Monday, October 30, 2017

Liv's Oyster Bar - New Fall Menu

If you're anything like me you love this time of year! 

Even though I absolutely adore Spring and Summer, there is just something so special about Fall. The beautiful colors of nature surround us inspiring our sense of fashion for deep jewel tones and warm cozy clothing. 

But even better - Fall harvest means sensational homestyle rustic dishes and savory comfort food. 

There's a great place out this way in southeast Connecticut that features some fabulous fall dishes. Now that fall weather is finally upon us, this is THE place to visit and enjoy some delicious fall food fare!

Where? Liv's Oyster Bar located on Main Street in Old Saybrook Connecticut. Executive Chef/Owner John Brescio has just added some new dishes to the fall menu and they sound absolutely delicious.

Sip your  way through a big bowl of savory soup enhanced with one of my favorite spices, curry in their Curried Cauliflower Soup made with smoked mussels, capers, and crème fraiche.

Curried Cauliflower Soup at Liv's Oyster Bar
Curried Cauliflower Soup $9.95
Photo Courtesy Liv's Oyster Bar

Soup not your thing? How about a Farro and Fall Vegetable Salad made with roasted fall squash and broccoli, baby brussel sprouts, beets, red onion, delightfully dressed with a brown butter and cider vinaigrette.  I know...right? So many fall flavors in one beautiful dish.

A must try is Chef's Fall Squash Ravioli, made with mushrooms, shrimp, parmesan mushroom sauce, pine nuts, and sage. Tell me this doesn't look and sound absolutely incredible. Rich, hearty, and so dang good!

Fall Squash Ravioli at Liv's Oyster Bar
Fall Squash Ravioli $24.95
Photo Courtesy Liv's Oyster Bar

Feeling like a bit more protein? Try the Pan Roasted Chicken served with potato gnocchi, roasted brussel sprouts, fall squash, with made on premise chicken sausage, with a beautiful chicken a jus! 

Pan Roasted Chicken at Liv's Oyster Bar
Pan Roasted Chicken $24.95
Photo Courtesy Liv's Oyster Bar

Last, but certainly not least, you simply must try these Short Rib Pastrami Sliders! Talk about a melding of fall flavors melting in your mouth! These flavorful big bites are made on pretzel rolls, with pickled red cabbage, cheddar cheese, whole grain mustard dijonaise, and potato knish. 

Short Rib Pastrami Sliders at Liv's Oyster Bar
Short Rib Pastrami Sliders $18.95
Photo Courtesy Liv's Oyster Bar

Liv’s Oyster Bar opened in 2006 from Executive Chef/Owner John Brescio’s desire to welcome the community to his family’s table, savoring time with friends and family on the shore during summer and beyond.  

The menu changes with the seasons, delivering simple, focused dishes with an emphasis on local ingredients, and stunning seafood, a mainstay of the Connecticut shoreline   
The restaurant is open six days a week for dinner on Main Street in the heart of scenic Old Saybrook, CT!

Be sure to visit them soon!

Liv's Oyster Bar

166 Main Street
Old Saybook, CT 
(860) 395-5577

Follow them on Twitter (@LivsOysterBar)
Like them on Facebook (Liv’s Oyster Bar
Follow them on Instagram (livsoysterbar). 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Greenwich Wine and Food Festival 2017 Recap

Social Media Promotion: Sponsored

This year's 7th Annual Greenwich Wine and Food Festival was absolutely amazing! 

I honestly don't know how they do it - but every year it keeps getting better and better. From the delicious gourmet food served by some of New England's best restaurants and restauranteurs -- to the fine wine and libations - and consistently getting top notch entertainment, it truly is the best way to spend a fall weekend in Connecticut.

Greenwich Wine+Food Fest Gift Bags

This year was no exception, and on a beautifully sunny and warm September Saturday, over 5,000 people agreed with me and attended  the Greenwich Wine+ Food Festival. This year a portion of profits supported the year's host Mario Batali's own Mario Batali Foundation, as well as the Friends of James Beard Benefits and the Town of Greenwich Parks and Rec Foundation.

The festival opened on Friday evening with Scott Conant serving as MC of the 2017 Serendipity Magazine's "Most Innovative Chefs" Wine Dinner.  This dinner honors the area's most innovative chefs as well as the festival's ambassador chefs. Each group of chefs prepares their specialty dishes along with select wines and signature cocktails.

  • Most Innovative Chefs: Carlos Baez (The Spread), Stavros Karipides (Famous Greek Kitchen), Lisa & Steve Maronian (Sweet Lisa’s Exquisite Cakes), Mike Pietrafeso (Ada’s Kitchen + Coffee), Brad Spence (Amis Trattoria), Ian Vest (Back 40 Kitchen) and Marc Weber (On the Marc Events).  
  • Festival Ambassador Chefs: Mogan Anthony (Village Social), Rui Correia (Douro/Gaia), Constantine Kalandranis (273 Kitchen), Brian Lewis (The Cottage), Christian Petroni (Fortina), Debra Ponzek (Aux Délices), Nadia Ramsey (Méli-Mélo Catering), Robin Selden (Marcia Selden Catering & Event Planning) and David Snyder (Char Restaurant).
Saturday is the showcase event, the Grand Tasting where over 150 vendors meet under the Grand Tasting Tent. In addition, contests, demonstrations and interviews are taking place outside the tent. Guests were treated to demos and interview with Celebrity Chef and this years GWFF Chef Host, Mario Batali, Chopped judges Alex Guarnaschelli and Scott Conant, Man V Food host Adam Richman, as well as many locally renowned chefs! Here local Chef Matt Storch interviews Chopped's  Scott Conant. 

Matt Storch and Scott Conant

We started our day visiting the vendors and sampling some of the great food and drink before moving on to the contests, like this one of the Bartender's Showdown!

Bartenders Showdown
Photo Courtesy 2017 Greenwich Wine + Food Festival - Sara Luckey

  • Burger Battle Winners: Hapa Food Truck – Judge’s Choice and Darien Butcher Shop – People’s Choice
  • Top Bartender Showdown Winners: Juan Meyer from Eastend in Greenwich – Judge’s Choice and Jamie Johel from Craft 14 Kitchen + Bar in Wilton – People’s Choice
Here are some of our pictures from throughout the day

GWFF the lodge
Small bites from The Lodge at Woodloch

Wine Pour with AIX Wine
GWFF Back 40 Brunch
Delicious offerings from Back 40
featuring their delicious Sunday Brunch

GWFF Muscado
More Delicious Wine from Greenwich Wine + Food Fest

GWFF 2017 Del Frisco Grille
Del Frisco's Grille at Greenwich Wine + Food Fest

GWFF 2017 Bom Bom Liqueur
Bom Bom is the Bomb!

The highlight of my night was staying for the first time to see the entire entertainment act of the evening - with headliners TRAIN closing out the evening!

Train at GWFF
Photo Courtesy 2017 Greenwich Wine + Food Festival - Sara Luckey

We had a wonderful time again this year at Greenwich's premier food festival and can't wait to return next year to see what Serendipity Magazine has in store for us all!

Hope we see you there!

For more photos of our day 
visit our Facebook page HERE 
and while you're there - don't forget to "like" us!

Greenwich Wine and Food Festival

Sponsored by Serendipity Magazine
Roger Sherman Baldwin Park
100 Arch Street
Greenwich CT 06830

Disclaimer: Portions of our weekend at the Greenwich Wine and Food Fest were sponsored.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Chefs from West Hartford’s The Cook and the Bear Receive Accolades and National Attention

The Powerhouse Duo of Chef Tyler Anderson and Pit Master Jamie McDonald are Causing a Sensation on the Restaurant Scene

The Cook and the Bear

Within only three months of opening West Hartford’s newest dining experience, The Cook & The Bear at Blue Back Square, already has accolades and attention streaming in for the co-owners, the staff, and, of course, the acclaimed craft barbeque food and unique beverages. 

“The Cook” Tyler Anderson, also of Millwright’s Restaurant in Simsbury, was just announced as one of the competitors on Bravo TV’s fifteenth season of Top Chef, debuting this December. Chef Anderson is no stranger to national audiences having won Chopped and competed on Beat Bobby Flay. In addition to his upcoming appearance on this high-profile show, Anderson was nominated as a semi-finalist for the third time for the prestigious James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef in the Northeast.
Not to be outdone, Jamie “The Bear” McDonald, the owner of Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ, was recently named – alongside his wife, Cheryl McDonald – a Polaris Award winner by Leadership Greater Hartford. This honor was bestowed on the McDonald’s due to their advocacy for the City of Hartford, Bear’s commitment to fair wages for employees with non-tipped workers receiving $15 an hour, and for their many philanthropic endeavors. In addition, Jamie McDonald has also been selected Alumni of the Year by his alma mater, Hartford’s Trinity College

The Connecticut Restaurant Associationhas nominated The Cook & The Bear, which is owned in partnership with A.J. Auricchio, in the category of “Best Newcomer” for their 2017 CRA Awards. Joining in the attention are The Cook & The Bear’s Pastry Chef Kristin Eddy (nominated for “Rising Star” for her work at TC&TB and Millwright’s) and bartender Aaron Stepka (nominated for “Best Mixologist”). 

With their combined backgrounds of Jamie McDonald’s award-winning classic Kansas City BBQ and Millwright’s fine dining, The Cook & The Bear takes taste buds on a casual-food journey combining adventurous New England with a twist of southern comfort. The restaurant itself highlights the marriage of two distinct visions. The capacious bar area features a bright, New England clapboard feel reminiscent of Millwright’s 17th century home in Simsbury while the dining area takes its rich, dark brown hues from Bear’s smokehousemilieu.

Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ has two popular locations in Windsor and Hartford’s Front Street, as well as a Bear’s Express takeout location in South Windsor. Jamie “The Bear” McDonald’s take on Kansas City BBQ was deemed “Excellent” by The New York Times, was named Casual Restaurant of the Year by the Connecticut Restaurant Association, and was voted Best BBQ and Best New Restaurant by the readers of CT NOW. Reflecting his expansive vision, McDonald opened the acclaimed Blind PigPizza in downtown Hartford in 2016 and, this summer, he debuted Chango Rosa, his fun and funky take on Latin street food at Hartford’s Union Station.

Tyler “The Cook” Anderson, a California native, has fallen in love with New England farms, aspiring to use foods within a 150 miles radius to provide fresh flavor. Chef Anderson honed his skills, learning from master chefs in Chicago at the Ritz Carlton, which achieved the highest Zagat rating and a Mobil Five-Star rank during his tenure. During his time at the Prairie Grass Café, he helped the restaurant receive the designation of one of the “50 Hottest Restaurants in the United States” from Bon Appetit. He was executive chef for Equinox in Manchester, VT and Arrabelle in Vail, CO.

At Pip’s at the Copper Beech Inn, Anderson’s spin on regional New England fare earned a five-star review in Hartford Magazine and was voted best new restaurant by Connecticut Magazine. At Millwright’s in Simsbury, he has received perfect score reviews from The New York Times, Connecticut Magazine, Hartford Magazine, and has earned four nominations for the prestigious Best Chef Northeast James Bear Award. Chef Tyler has twice (2014, 2015) been nominated for the prestigious Best Chef Northeast James Beard Award, and in 2014 was named Chef of the Year by the Connecticut Restaurant Association. Chef Anderson was the winner of the Food Network’s Chopped in 2009 and appeared on the popular Beat Bobby Flay in 2014.

Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday, Noon to Midnight (kitchen open until 10 PM11 PM on Friday & Saturday), Sunday Noon to 10 PM (kitchen open until 9 PM) with the brunch menu available until 3 PM.  The Cook & The Bear offers happy hour specials Monday through Thursday. Reservations are not accepted, however the restaurant recommends calling in advance for a waitlist or downloading their The Cook & The Bear App to prebook your spot in line. The restaurant is located at 50 Memorial Road, Blue Back Square in West Hartford, Connecticut. 860-595-3345 and online at

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Connecticut Loves Puerto Rico

Let's Do This Connecticut! 

CT Loves PR ( is an initiative featuring Connecticut chefs, bartenders, bakers and restaurateurs standing together to serve up a small offering of food and drink – inspired by Puerto Rico – as tribute to this important sisterland that we will not leave behind. 100% of the proceeds generated by these dishes will be donated to Unidos Por Puerto Rico / United for Puerto Rico, an initiative brought forth by the First Lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rosselló in collaboration with the private sector, with the purpose of providing aid and support to those affected in Puerto Rico by the passage of the hurricanes (

The event will run October 21 – 28, with the following list of participants:

21 Oak (Manchester)
The Barn Restaurant (Granby)
Amis Trattoria (Westport)
Artisan (West Hartford and Southport)
Avert Brasserie (West Hartford)
Beachland Tavern (West Hartford)
Black Bamboo (West Hartford)
Bricco Trattoria (Glastonbury)
Butchers & Bakers (Farmington)
Carbone's Kitchen (Bloomfield)
Carbone's Ristoronte (Hartford)
Caseus Fromagerie Bistro (New Haven)
Chief Brody’s Bahn Mi  (New Haven)
Cook & The Bear (West Hartford)
Cure (Unionville)
Flora Plant Food + Drink (West Hartford)
Grants Restaurant & Bar (West Hartford)
GZen (Branford)
Han Restaurant (Hartford)
Ichiro Habachi & Sushi (West Hartford)
India (West Hartford)
L’escale (Greenwich)
Liquid Nirvana (Glastonbury and Avon)
Max Oyster Bar (West Hartford)
McLaddens (West Hartford)
Millwright's (Simsbury)
Park & Oak Restaurant (West Hartford)
Park Tavern (West Hartford)
Rockin Chicken (Hartford)
Rooster and Co (Newington)
Seoul BBQ (New Britain)
Shu (Fairfield)
Shu (West Hartford)
Table 580 Asian Fusion (Simsbury)
The Cottage (Westport)
The Green Teahouse (West Hartford)
The North House (Avon)
The Sweet Beet (Granby)
Toscano Trattoria (Manchester)
Treva Restaurant & Bar (West Hartford)
Vitality Juice and Smoothie Bar (Manchester)
Zohara Mediterranean Kitchen (West Hartford)

The event’s website - - will be adding information in the coming weeks to highlight the special dishes and cocktails each restaurant will be offering.  

Social media channels (#CTLovesPR) include:
o   Twitter: @CTLovesPR
o   Instagram: @CTLovesPR
o   Facebook Page: CTLovesPR

CT Loves PR is hoping to continue to add local businesses to this growing list of participants! The deadline to sign-up is this Friday – for any chefs or owners looking to join this initiative, contact Susan Hosmer

Monday, October 2, 2017

Noodles On9 in New Haven

Here's a fun event taking place this week! 

The Town Green District is holding ttheir second annual Noodles On9- a street festival take over Orange St in New Haven’s Historic 9th Square on Friday, October 6 from 6pm to 8pm.  In conjunction with the opening reception for City Wide Open Studios this will be a fun event with something for everyone! 
Noodles  On9 will feature your favorite 9th Square restaurants with noodle dishes ranging from ravioli to rice noodles. Craft cocktails, beer and wine will be available for purchase.  In addition, a DJ pumping up the music and performance art on the street will highlight the viewing of over 400 artist commissions inside Artspace that will make this an event not to be missed. 
Noodles On9 is free, family friendly and open to the public. 

 What’s on the menu:

Amoy’s Cajun, Creole & American Restaurant | Cajun pasta & Amoy’s famous corn bread
Duc’s Place | Vietnamese specialtity rice vermicelli noodles with roasted pig 
Fornarelli’s Ristorante | Spinach and atrichoke ravioli with gorgonzola cream sauce & pumpkin ravioli with light sage cream sauce
Hunan House CT | Pan fried & steamed dumplings, Hunan style spicy noodles & fried rice
Meat & Co. | “Jack’s Favorite Rigatoni” & “Aunt Connie’s Linguine and Clams”
Mecha Noodle Bar | Shrimp Cake Pho 
Ninth Square Market | Middle Eastern hummus, mojadra & tabbouli
Pho & Spice Restaurant | Drunken noodles, lomain & Pad Thai

 What to drink:

Fornarelli’s Ristorante | Italian wine feature
116 Crown | Specialty cocktail feature
skappo merkato | Wine feature
The Juice Box with Breathing Room Yoga | cold-pressed juice sample & learn about free yoga
The Trinity Bar & Restaurant | Beer

What will get you moving at Noodles:

DJ David Chambers | Spinning on the street to make you move your feet!
BRICKYARD | Outdoor performace art installation by John O’Donnell for all ages 
Psychic Readings | Discounted tarot and palm readings

And there's more happening around the 9th Square: 

116 Crown | 116 Crown St |  1/2 off any noodle dish 
Artist & Craftman Supply | 821 Chapel St | Cathartic Canvas Creations | 6-8 pm | free
Capture Salon | 100 Crown St | Insights & Delights: Hair, skin and nail consultations | 6-8 pm | free
Ecoworks | 839 Chapel St | Angel Hair Shag Rug Making | 6-8 pm | free
Fornarelli’s Ristorante | 99 Orange St | Complimentary glass of wine with dinner 
Fresh Yoga | 49 Orange St | Fresh Flow Free Yoga Class | 4:30-5:45 pm | free 
Make Haven | 266 State St | Pasta Making | 7:30-9 pm | free
Reynold’s Fine Art | 96 Orange St | Sea and Stone: The Thimble Islands, Paintings by Arthur Yanoff | free 
The Bar at Firehouse 12 | 45 Crown St | Carbonara pasta dish. Beer special til 8 pm
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