Thursday, May 25, 2017

Sunday Brunch at COTTO Wine Bar in Stamford CT

Social Media Promotion: Sponsored

On Weekends We Brunch - At COTTO Wine Bar

A few weekends back we found ourselves heading up to Stamford CT on a beautiful sunny Sunday morning for an invite to COTTO Wine Bar on Bank Street in Stamford CT. This amazing place is quickly becoming a local favorite for more than lunch and dinner! Their Sunday Brunch is fantastic too!

COTTO Wine Bar
51 Bank Street,  Stamford CT

Owners Claudio and Silvy Ridolfi opened Stamford's COTTO Wine Bar in 2012 with the simple idea of offering an interesting wine list full of regional Italian varieties, and a rustic trattoria menu including pizza, house made mozzarella and pasta, and a large selection of antipasti.

COTTO - Antipasti  Charcuterie
COTTO - Antipasti

COTTO Wine Bar remains dedicated to providing customers with a meaningful dining experience, and added even more talent to this intimate restaurant and wine bar, with accredited sommelier, Ian Toogood, our host for the day. who came to COTTO via Marc Restaurant Group’s A Voce in Manhattan and Le Fat Poodle in Greenwich, CT, revamping COTTO’s wine list and further elevating its service.

COTTO is reminiscent of a charming little café in a sleepy Italian village. Designed as a tapas style wine bar with communal dining tables, the focal point of the urban eatery is the exposed brick wall adorned with vintage photos and magazine covers of Silvy’s absolutely beautiful mother, Simonetta Simeoni, a prominent Italian actress and model throughout the 1960s-70s.

Complete with the requisite red and white checked tablecloths on the outside patio tables, you will feel like you have been whisked away to the streets of Italy when you dine at COTTO!

COTTO Wine Bar Artichokes
COTTO  Artichokes

Let's move on to some of the items we sampled at Brunch.

Besides diving in to the beautiful antipasti dish and the artichokes pictured above, we started with the delicious Bloody Maria and some tart and frosty Bellinis!

COTTO - Bellinis!
COTTO - Bellinis!

COTTO - Bloody Mary
COTTO - Bloody Maria

What's a brunch without some delicious egg dishes!! 

COTTO serves PORCHETTA E UOVO (Homemade Porchetta with Fresh Mozzarella and Sunny Side Egg), CHEF'S SCRAMBLED EGGS (Italian Omelette w/ potato, Onions, Eggplants, Zucchini, served with Mixed Greens, and the delicious SMOKED SALMON EGGS BENEDICT (Scottish Smoked Salmon Poached Eggs, Hollandaise Sauce)

Scottish Smoked Salmon Poached Eggs, Hollandaise Sauce

Any Pasta Lovers out there? 

You'll think you're in heaven when you try COTTO's SPAGHETTI ALLA CARBONARA (Pancetta, Egg, Black Pepper, Pecorino Romano),  TONNARELLI CACIO & PEPE (Fresh Homemade Pasta, Pecorino, Parmigiano, Black Pepper, EVOO), RIGATONI ALLE SPUNTATURE (Pork Ribs, Fresh San Marzano Tomato Sauce), PASTA AL FILETTO DI POMODORO (Choice of Penne, Spaghetti, Rigatoni, With Fresh San Marzano Tomato Sauce, Basil), PENNE GREY GOOSE (Pancetta, Prosciutto San Daniele,Tomato Vodka Cream Sauce)



And of course there's pizza! 

How about some MARGHERITA PIZZA (San Marzano Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella, Basil) SCARPARIELLO PIZZA (Grilled Chicken, Hot Cherry Peppers, Mozzarella, Italian Sausage),  AMATRICIANA PIZZA (San Marzano D.O.P. Tomato Sauce w/ Pecorino, Pancetta and Mozzarella Fiordilatte "Grande") ... and so many more!

COTTO - Pizza

Next we moved around the brunch menu and sampled some of their delicious Paninis!


COTTO PANINI CAPRESE Fresh mozzarella,Tomato, Basil
Fresh mozzarella,Tomato, Basil

There are just so many items available - there's truly something for everyone!

Mixed Green / Modena Aged Balsamic


Avocado / Sardinian Flat Bread

And we finished our brunch with a refreshing lemon gelato!


We loved COTTO Wine Bar and I know you will too! It's the perfect place for brunch with friends and family -- a delicious and flavorful lunch, or a romantic dinner date with a special someone!

Join them for Happy Hour, Monday thru Friday, 4-7 PM, where they feature $5 Wine, $7 Cocktails, and 3 Tapas $15.

COTTO's offers Live Music on Thursdays at 7 PM

And of course, Sunday Brunch!

Visit them soon and you'll see why COTTO is where people gather over great food and wine!   

COTTO Wine Bar

51 Bank Street
Stamford, CT

Disclaimer: I was invited to attend a complimentary brunch by members of COTTO's management and marketing team, however all views expressed are my own.

The post "Sunday Brunch at COTTO Wine Bar in Stamford CT" 
first appeared on Home Place on May 25, 2017. 

© Home Place 2017

Monday, May 22, 2017

The First Annual West Hartford Wine and Food Festival - 2017

The First Annual 

West Hartford Wine and Food Fest!

Save the date - and get your tickets NOW 
to the first annual

If you follow my website you know I love a good wine and food festival - especially when they are held in my native Connecticut! Fairfield County has it going on every year with the Greenwich Wine and Food Festival, and Mystic County has Mohegan Sun's Wine and Food Fest.

And now Hartford County has answered the call 

That right! The VERY First Annual West Hartford Wine & Food Festival is coming Saturday, June 17th from 1-6pm at Kingswood Oxford School

I attended a preview event for the festival few weeks back at Maximum Beverage that showcased just a few of the foods and wines that will be featured from some of Hartford County's favorite places! There will be OVER thirty local restaurants, farms and bakeries. (AND ALL are included in your ticket price!)

Here's what I sampled at the preview event!

From the Rockin' Chicken:

Tigre de Leche from the The Rockin' Chicken
Tigre de Leche
The Rockin' Chicken

Fish Escabeche from The Rockin' Chicken
Fish Escabeche
The Rockin' Chicken

From Park and Oak Restaurant

Pimento Cheese  from Park and Oak Restaurant
Pimento Cheese
Park and Oak Restaurant

From India Restaurant

India Restaurant

From Cafe Louise

From Cafe Louise
From Cafe Louise

From Cafe Louise
From Cafe Louise

Let's move on to the WINES!

Believe me, this won't be your typical wine festival, the wines available for tasting at this wine fest are those that run around $20/bottle and go up to $100!

We sampled a few that will be available at the festival. My favorite was a wine I'm familiar with a nice Sauvignon Blanc from Justine Wineries!

Sauvignon Blanc from Justine Wineries!
Sauvignon Blanc
from Justine Wineries!

And there's EVEN MORE!

Local craft beer, wine and spirits tents, and non alcoholic options will be available as well!

Also on hand at the wine fest will be some talented local musicians, and contests with one of the world's first Master Sommeliers, Joseph Spellman!

Here's a list of Participating Restaurants

  • Millwright's
  • Grants
  • Firebox
  • ON20
  • Blind Pig
  • Park & Oak Restaurant
  • Student Prince
  • Carbone’s Kitchen
  • Local’s 8
  • Rooster Company
  • The North house
  • Cavey’s
  • @The Barn
  • Table 570 Asian Fusion
  • The Rockin Chicken
  • Butchers & Bakers
  • 4 Eat & Drink
  • Noble & Co.
  • Ideal Tavern
  • Café Louise
  • Seoul BBQ
  • Chango Rosa
  • Zohara
  • Popover Bistro & Bakery
  • OINK Pop Ups
  • Sub Edge Farm
  • Killam & Bassete Farmstead
  • Hartford Baking Company

VIP Grand Cru Tasting

  • Flemming's
  • NORA Cupcake

Be sure you get your tickets and we'll see you at the WeHa Wine and Food Fest!

  • General Admission $149.00 (or get the four-pack for $500.00)
  • VIP (includes General Admission and Grand Cru Tasting $249.00
  • Designated Driver Ticket $75.00 (no alcohol included)

Please allow 1 week before pick up at Maximum Beverage. 
All tickets must be picked up BEFORE June 17th.

Only a limited number of tickets are available and a sell out is expected!

Event Location:

Kingswood Oxford School
170 Kingswood Road
West Hartford, CT 06119

The event will benefit multiple independent schools in West Hartford with need based financial aid and scholarships including our hosts, Kingswood Oxford, as well as The American School for the Deaf, the Intensive Education Academy, Renbrook School, The Watkinson School, Northwest Catholic, Solomon Schechter Day School, and St. Brigid-St. Augustine Partnership School

© Home Place 2017

Friday, May 19, 2017

Mohegan Sun's Private Pool Cabanas

Mohegan Sun Introduces Private Pool Cabanas
And Al Fresco Dining
For The Summer Season

It's time for some hot summer fun in the sun at Mohegan Sun at their renovated Sun Terrace Pool!

That's right - Mohegan Sun is proud to present the resort’s first outdoor food and drink experience at the Bean and Vine Terrace.

Resort guests and visitors are invited to embrace summertime at one of the East Coast’s premiere destinations with the Sun Terrace Pool’s enhanced amenities and contemporary updates, including brand new cabanas and pool furniture. Capturing the essence of summer, Mohegan Sun unveiled the new Bean and Vine Terrace, its first al fresco casual dining spot, featuring all day menu options ranging from hand-crafted coffee and breakfast specialties to sommelier-selected wines and seasonal small bites for sharing.

The new cabanas are available starting Saturday, May 27, and the Bean and Vine Terrace opens to the public on Thursday, May 25.

“The guest experience is our priority at Mohegan Sun and we take special care and pride in continuously adding new amenities for our guests to enjoy,” said Ray Pineault, President & General Manager of Mohegan Sun. “Whether hungry for the finest in dining, catching major headliners and live concerts or wanting to discover the best in gaming, we at Mohegan Sun are proud to offer guests premier entertainment, gambling, shopping and relaxing experiences this summer!”

About the Sun Terrace Pool Cabanas at Mohegan Sun

Guests can experience the ultimate in comfort and relaxation in the new cabanas at the Sun Terrace Pool, which offers the ideal warm-weather escape amidst Mohegan Sun’s beautiful resort setting, located on the third floor of the Sky Tower. The new pool cabanas feature a cool outdoor space for hot summer days amidst plush pillows and soothing colors – perfect to relax with a summer book or create an outdoor entertainment lounge for friends and family.

Each cabana comfortably seats ten people, comes with a television, mini-refrigerator and towels, and features sturdy shutters around the perimeter providing both sun protection and privacy for guests. Beginning this summer, daily cabana reservations are available for $400 Monday through Friday, $600 on Saturday and $500 on Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and guests receive a complimentary $100 food and beverage credit when they book. In the evenings, cabanas can be reserved between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. for a lower rate of $250 Monday through Thursday, $350 Friday and Saturday, and $250 on Sunday, with a $50 food and beverage credit.

Guests are encouraged to place their cabana reservation through Mohegan Sun’s concierge (Ext. 2-1230) for both future and day of bookings, with a 24-hour cancellation policy.

The outside Sun Terrace Pool is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, weather permitting.

About the Bean and Vine Terrace at Mohegan Sun

The Bean and Vine Café & Wine Bar, located in Mohegan Sun’s recently opened Earth Tower, will launch outdoor food and drink service on the new Bean and Vine Terrace, beginning Thursday, May 25. The first al fresco casual grill spot at the resort will seat up to 120 guests on a contemporary designed patio matching the indoor restaurant’s modern style, where guests are invited to enjoy small bites at the Bean and Vine Terrace Thursdays through Saturdays. The Bean and Vine Terrace menu features shared plates such as chips and guacamole with salsa, a Mediterranean hummus platter, hot poke bowls with guests’ choice of beef tenderloin, chicken or shrimp, and grilled chicken, beef or shrimp skewers served with a summer salad and naan triangles. The restaurant will also offer $7 cocktails and Moet champagne by the glass, as well as outdoor entertainment on Thursday nights as part of Mohegan Sun’s annual Hot Summer Fun celebration, which kicks off in June.

These new features are part of Mohegan Sun’s multi-million dollar revamp initiated last year. The project includes several stages of renovations for the property’s original 1,200-room Sky Tower, and opening of the brand new Earth Tower last fall. The Earth Tower brought 400 hotel rooms to Mohegan Sun’s riverfront property, featuring the full-service Mandara Spa along with a fitness center, pool, a fire pit lounge outside on the Earth Tower Terrace and now the newly introduced Bean and Vine Terrace.

To learn more about the all-encompassing resort property in Uncasville, Connecticut and experience the Sun Terrace Pool and Earth Tower Terrace this summer, visit Mohegan Sun!

Mohegan Sun 

1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard
Uncasville, CT 06382
General Information: 1.888.226.7711

About Mohegan Sun

Owned by the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, Mohegan Sun is one of the largest, most spectacular entertainment, gaming, dining and shopping destinations in the United States.  Situated on 185 acres along the Thames River in scenic southeastern Connecticut, Mohegan Sun is home to three unique casinos, 1,600 deluxe hotel rooms, 2 world-class spas, a golf course, over 80 shops, restaurants and bars as well as three award-winning entertainment venues including a 10,000-seat Arena. Mohegan Sun is within easy access of New York, Boston, Hartford and Providence and located 15 minutes from the museums, antique shops and waterfront of Mystic Country. More information is available by calling 1.888.226.7711 or visiting Connect with them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter and Instagram @mohegansun, view them on YouTube and find them on Snapchat at username MoheganSun.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Farmington's New Restaurant: Butchers and Bakers

Social Media Promotion:  Sponsored  

Butchers and Bakers Kitchen and Bar in Farmington CT

I love this time of year when everything in Connecticut starts 'greening' up and the days get warmer, and daylight lasts longer. It's a sure sign of spring and new beginnings. The first thing I want to do when the days get longer is hop in the car and take a ride to find some great new places to wander about in!

Thankfully this impulse just happened to coincide with an invitation to visit Butchers and Bakers Kitchen and Bar located in "The Exchange" in Farmington CT!

Farmington CT is located about an hour from New Haven, and it's just minutes from Hartford. Butchers and Bakers serves new American cuisine, prepared using fresh ingredients seasoned in twin coal-fired ovens.

But why the restaurant name?

In addition to the beautiful coal fired ovens that bakes up some delicious artisan breads - they feature daily fresh cuts of meat, butchered in their very own kitchen.

There is a small but tasteful wine selection, a fun cocktail menu, and a full service bar. In addition to a good sized bar, dining room, and loft dining area perfect for small parties, there is a spacious outdoor patio. The atmosphere is fun, relaxed, and casual and the dining area is tastefully decorated with cute food themed wall art and kitchen utensils. It's bright and airy and comfortable.

I started with a delicious and tart Tito's Moscow Mule.

And when the rest of our crew arrived we sampled some more of the fun cocktails like the Pisco Sour and the Rum Swizzle. Joining us for this tasting were Greg and Wendy from Connecticut Lifestyles Magazine , Ron from Ron's Food Trips, and Gina from Gina Zammit's WanderLaughs

Then the small plates started arriving! We shared some delicious starters like calamari, meatballs, red lentil hummus, garlic bread - and more!

Artichoke hearts + roasted pepper + sliced olives

House-made focaccia + Gorgonzola cream

Garden-fresh crudité + tahini + smoked sea salt

Extra virgin olive oil + grape tomato + dried chili .

Butchers and Bakers famous meatballs
+ basil + house-made ricotta

Smoked mozzarella fondue

And you know that with these beautiful coal fired ovens that there was some amazing pizza goin' on!


Blue Cheese and Arugula

Blistered cherry tomatoes + prosciutto +
Luzzi Brick Oven Mozzarella

San Marzano tomato + I
talian long pepper + fontina + mozzarella

Before moving on we decided to clear our palates with a little salad.

And we sampled the day's "Butcher Board" - which changes daily. On the day we visited it was a rib rack and some bratwurst with some made on premise hearty mustards.

Today’s cut + chef’s presentation of farm vegetables
+ house-made condiments

And then we moved on to the entrees and pasta portion of the menu!

Smoked sweet potato puree + cardamom sautéed Brussels sprouts ...

Pork belly + horseradish crumbs + soft fried egg

Shrimp + chicken + cod + cockles
+ saffron + smoked paprika

And we finished the night off with some decadent desserts!

Ganache + raspberry coulis

Grass Roots Creamery ice cream
+ house-made honey nut tart shell

Chef's Latin heritage shines through with his delicious seasonings and creative offerings. We enjoyed all the delicious food we sampled and got to catch up with one another while we waited between courses for the next round of plates! 

There is nothing quite like the atmosphere of dining with good friends, laughter, and fun times --- in a beautiful and scenic restaurant with great food!

Eating should be an experience and I hope you experience Butchers and Bakers soon!

Butchers and Bakers Kitchen and Bar

270 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06032. 
 (860) 470-7414

Disclaimer: I was invited to Butchers and Bakers Kitchen and Bar by members of their marketing and management team, however all view expressed are my own.

The post Farmington's New Restaurant: Butchers and Bakers first appeared on Home Place on May 14, 2017.

© Home Place 2017
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