Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Plan b - Farm to Chef Week in Connecticut

Social Media Promotion: Sponsored

Plan b in Milford for Farm-to-Chef CT Week

Last week I posted about the Locals 8 Restaurants Group launch of Farm to Chef Week. This is a REALLY big event happening throughout the state that does so much to feature Connecticut's wonderful farms and farmers - and Connecticut's amazing restaurants and chefs! 

Connecticut's Farm-to-Chef Week is held each year to showcase Connecticut Grown ingredients featured in menus creatively developed by chefs and food professionals all throughout our beautiful state of Connecticut. The program is administered by the Connecticut Department of Agriculture 

Each Farm-to-Chef menu includes four or more items using Connecticut Grown farm products such as fruits, vegetables, and herbs; meats, poultry; shellfish, and other proteins; dairy; eggs; maple syrup and honey; wine; and more. 

The Connecticut Department of Agriculture created Farm-to-Chef Week in 2010 as part of its ongoing Farm-to-Chef program to help connect local farms and food service professionals. Each September they select a week when they know the harvest will be in. This year it runs September 16th - September 22nd, 2018.
Learn more about Farm-to-Chef here:

Plan b - Farm-to-Chef Menu

We had already decided to head out to our local Plan b in Milford CT to sample their farm fresh menu! Some of the local farms that Plan b sources from are 

  • Beltane Farm in Lebanon CT, 
  • Clatter Ridge Farm in Farmington CT
  • Deercrest Farm in Glastonbury CT
  • Gresczyk Farms in New Hartford CT
  • The Farm in Woodbury CT
  • Urth Farms in New Britain CT
  • White Eagle Farm in East Windsor CT
  • Windsor Farms in East Windsor CT
Plan b Burger Bar in Milford CT

Of course we started with some of Plan b's signature cocktails, the Party on the Patio and the Kentucky Lemonade. So good, and a perfect start to a mid-week date night! Love that plate of pickles to help get the party started!

Plan b Signature Cocktails

The cowboy and I decided to go for the whole enchilada and ordered each of the four offerings on Plan b's menu!
For an appetizer they have an Eggplant Rollatini made with local ricotta stuffed eggplant baked in a pomodor sauce, with smoked mozzarella. Served with garlic toast points.

Plan b Farm to Chef Eggplant Rollatini

The Salad features a Pickled Green Tomato and Watermelon Stack made from crispy-fried pickled green tomatoes, sliced fresh watermelon, thick slices of feta cheese, and drizzled with a sherry cream vinaigrette. 

Plan b Pickled Green Tomato and Watermelon Salad

For the entree there was a Sausage Orecchiette Pasta made with sauteed house-made sausage, cherry tomatoes, arugula pesto and goat cheese cream sauce.

Sausage Orecchette pasta

Dessert was simply amazing! An Apple Pie Bread Pudding made with cinnamon sugar dusted bread pudding with a bourbon caramel and  topped with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream 

Plan b - Farm to Chef Apple Pie Bread Pudding

What a wonderful way to end the summer and to support our local farmers and great local restaurants!

Remember, this special Farm-to-Chef menu only runs from September 16th to September 22nd. Be sure to visit a Plan b or a Locals 8 Restaurant Group location soon and enjoy your own Farm-to-Chef favorites!

Plan b Milford

1638 Boston Post Road
Milford, CT 06460
Phone: (203) 713-8700

This menu available at all Plan b Connecticut locations. Plan b is a member of Locals 8 Restaurant Group. For other Locals 8 Farm-to-Chef menus see HERE

About Plan b

They had one simple idea: food can bring people together in a bunch of different ways. Neighbors with neighbors. Locals with local ingredients. And bourbon lovers with bourbons worth loving. People go there to be there. For good beer. Cool surroundings. And one burger to rule them all.

Gathering is what they do. b Restaurants is where they share it.

About Farm to Chef

Farm-to-Chef is a free program administered by the Connecticut Department of Agriculture that connects local culinary professionals with producers of Connecticut Grown products. The program also helps the public locate restaurants and other dining facilities that serve Connecticut Grown foods.

Since its launch in 2006, the program has received widespread acclaim from both participants and observers, and has served as a model for programs in other states.

Disclaimer: We were invited to this Farm-to-Chef Connecticut tasting by members of Locals 8 management and marketing team, however, the opinions expressed are entirely our own. 

©  Home Place 2018

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Farm to Chef Week at Locals 8 Restaurants

Celebrate the glory of "Farm to Chef" Week with Locals 8 Restaurant Group

September. Beautiful September.

Although the month signals the end of summer, it's a glorious month for so very many reasons. Back to school, new routines, change of season, and most importantly, the beautiful and bountiful end of season farm fresh harvests. 

Of course, the Locals 8 Restaurant Group decided this was the BEST time of year for a FULL FARM FEAST, and each of the Locals 8 Restaurant Group's chefs have tailored a locally driven, farm fresh menu to suit any palate - or budget. That's right! These menus have been created to feature the very best that farm fresh and LOCAL has to offer!

From September 16th to September 22nd 2018,  all Locals 8 Restaurant Group locations are celebrating with a delicious farm fresh feast!

Links to each of the Farm to Chef menus for ALL the Locals 8 locations, b Restaurants, Tisane, Butchers & Bakers, and the Half Door, are found below.

At Plan b Restaurants, in Milford, Glastonbury, Hartford, Fairfield, Simsbury, Stamford, and West Hartford CT, the menu highlights include Pickled Tomato and Watermelon Stack, Eggplant Rollatini, Sausage Orecchiette Pasta, and Apple Pie Bread Pudding! Plan b is where I'll be going this week to sample all those and some specialty drinks too! (Follow me on my Instagram stories and posts at this week to see my Farm to Chef Feast at Plan b!)
See the Plan b Farm to Chef Menu here:

Over at Butchers and Bakers in Farmington CT they're featuring a luxurious corn chowder, Local Market Catch: heirloom squash, cherry tomato, navy bean and saffron stew, charred scallions 
See the Butchers & Bakers Farm to Chef  Menu here:

At the Half Door in Hartford CT they've got a starter of Smoked Salmon Crostini, Fig Salad: prosciutto, goat cheese, mixed greens, balsamic vinaigrette, and more!
See the entire Half Door Farm to Chef Menu here:

Finally, at Tisane Euro Asian Cafe in Hartford CT, they're serving up some Korean Style Street Corn Confit: fresh local corn confit dressed in a spicy Asian mayo, topped with cotija, served in a husk and drizzled with sweetened gochujang, and a Lemon Pepper Swordfish Salad, and more!
See the entire Tisane Farm to Chef Menu here:

With so many restaurants - and choices - it’s a good thing it’s Farm to Chef Week!   Catch the farm to chef menus at all Locals 8 locations (all CT locations for b Restaurants) from September 16-22nd.

About Locals 8: 

Formally established in 2008 in Hartford, CT, the Locals 8 Restaurant  Group is the award winning holding company of b Restaurants, The Half Door, Tisane Euro Asian Cafe, and most recently, Butchers & Bakers.  Winners of best burger, beer, and bourbon across four states and nationally known for excellent job creation, the company was founded on the simple belief that good food and drink bring people together - and, thank goodness(!), because the world certainly needs more connection. 

Monday, September 10, 2018

Mohegan Sun BrewFest Introduces New Event: Sip and Slice Connecticut

Sun BrewFest Returns Saturday, October 6th

Join the fun for Mohegan Sun's 7th annual Sun BrewFest! Step into a brew lover's paradise and sample the best of brews while enjoying delicious signature food. 

Let the good times flow!

Location: Earth Expo and Convention Center
VIP Preview & Grand Tasting: Noon-4:00pm | Tickets: $50
Grand Tasting: 1:00pm-4:00pm | Tickets: $30
Sip and Slice Connecticut: 6:00pm-9:00pm | Tickets: $40

Sip & Slice Connecticut

What goes together better than pizza and beer? Nothing, of course! On Saturday, October 6th, join in on even more fun in the Earth Ballroom for this brand new event - Sip & Slice Connecticut – as local breweries and pizzerias from all over the state team up to create a perfect pairing of their finest pizza and craft beer! You won’t want to miss a PIZZA the action!

WHAT: New this year, Sun Brewfest adds Sip & Slice Connecticut, featuring local pizzerias and breweries!

WHEN/WHERE: Saturday, October 6th, 6:00pm to 9:00pm, Earth Ballroom

Get Tickets here:

Tickets for Sip and Slice Connecticut are $40.00 and on sale today at the Mohegan Sun Box Office and Ticketmaster. A portion of all ticket sales will go to the Channel 3 Kids Camp. All guests in attendance must be 21 years of age or older. 


Owned by Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, 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 90 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 us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @mohegansun, view us on YouTube and find us on Snapchat at username MoheganSun.

Friday, September 7, 2018

11th Annual ChowdaFest 2018 Coming on September 30, 2018

You Can Be a Judge!
Determine the Best Chowder, 
Soup & Bisque in New England
at ChowdaFest! 

Once September rolls around, you know it's time for CHOWDAFEST!

Tickets are now on sale for the 11th Annual Chowdafest competition presented by Stop & Shop.  

This year's competition will be held at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport Connecticut on Sunday Sept. 30, 2018 from 11am – 3pm.  

“Come early and definitely come hungry” can often be heard from Jim Keenan, executive director of the event.   

Each year, a record breaking crowd attends to determine which restaurants have the best chowder, soup & bisque in New England.  

Chowdafest features up to 40 award winning restaurants in five different categories: Best New England clam chowder, Best Traditional clam chowder (reserved for Manhattan, Rhode Island and Shoreline clam chowders only), Best Creative Chowder, Best Soup & Bisque and Best Vegetarian entry (can be a chowder, soup or bisque).   

Keenan says the categories are necessary as you can't compare a New England clam chowder to lobster bisque to chicken noodle soup. 

Yankee Magazine has named Chowdafest as one of the “top events of the season” for the past two years and also named it just one of eight “not to be missed events in 2018”.  

Adults and kids alike are an official judge, enjoying unlimited sampling and rating everything on a scale from 7 to 10.5.  The highest average rating in each category is declared champion.  

Unlike many food competitions with a selected panel of judges determines the winners, Chowdafest prides itself on being a true people's choice event as well as being a “true value”, said Keenan.  “Where else can you enjoy unlimited sampling, plus our incredible Italian and Mexican themed sections, free beverages and a sweet treats section, all for just 20 clams?” Kids ages 6-12 are just $5 and parking is free and plentiful. 

Last year, Chowdafest set an attendance record for the 10th straight year.   Attendees literally traveled from all over the country to Connecticut, the chowder capital of New England, to be an official judge.  “We've grown from just a few hundred people when we first started to tens of thousands, even selling out hotels” said Keenan.  The event even features a “Stay & Slurp” hotel and ticket deal which can be found on their website. 

“It's great to see people come back year after year and bring more friends with them to share the experience” Keenan said.  More people also means more money will be raised in the fight against food insecurity.  Last year, Chowdafest funded over a half million meals for the hungry through Food Rescue US resulting in over 2 million meals since the competitions inception.   

Each year, Chowdafest strives to increase the level of competition between restaurants, inviting only those they feel can win the competition.  More than half the restaurants featured this year are new to the event.  

“One of the best compliments we get each year is hearing our restaurants tell us that when someone has won at Chowdafest, they have truly earned it because the level of culinary talent showcased is so high” said Keenan.  “The attendees notice too as they often mention how the restaurant collection was even better than the year before”.  Keenan feels that the 2018 restaurant lineup is arguably the best yet will also feature chowders that have never been entered including a “shoreline” and lobster chowder. 

Keenan expects other records to fall as two defending category champions are vying for an unprecedented fourth in a row title.  Another first includes an accomplished chef entered in all five categories.  Each year, Chowdafest invites a Manhattan based restaurant to defend it's namesake chowder.  This year, Chowdafest extended an invitation to executive chef Bruce Rogers of the infamoud NY based Hale & Hearty Soups restaurants.  “Bruce makes a mean Manhattan clam chowder but being both the consumate competitor and one hell of a soup maven, he asked to enter all five categories” noted Keenan.  “With a Hale & Hearty location now in Boston, it made Hale & Hearty's eligible to compete in this New England event.  Just making the attempt is worth an award but Bruce's entries have a real shot of winning more than one category”.  Keenan says no restaurant has ever attempted or been qualified for more than two categories in the same year and no one has won more than one category in doing so.  

Get your tickets NOW at

For additional information about Chowdafest, please visit or email executive director, Jim Keenan at 

Chowdafest, presented by Stop & Shop, is sponsored by: BlumShapiro, Cabot Creamery, Carla's Pasta, Chica de Gallo, City Carting, Copp's Island Oysters, Dole Fresh Vegetables, Even Hotels, HamletHub, Harney & Sons Tea, Ken's Foods, Lowe's, Lucy's, Michele's Pies, MINI of Fairfield County, New England Coffee, Nounos Creamery, Ocean Spray, Peapod by Stop & Shop, People's United Bank, Polar Beverages, Rose Sister Chips, The Farmers Cow, Tortilleria Mi Nina, WEBE 108

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Progressive® Insurance Norwalk Boat Show™ Info and Ticket Giveaway #NorwalkBoatShow

Boating and Waterfront Fun 

at the 

Progressive® Insurance 

Norwalk Boat Show™
September 20-23, 2018

The end of summer means ONE THING! 

Let's get ready for next summer! 

And there is NOWHERE BETTER to do that than at a BOAT SHOW! Not just ANY boat show, but one of the biggest and best shows in the Northeast. 

The best thing of all is we are partnering with the folks at Progressive® to offer two lucky couples two tickets to the boat show with an easy rafflecopter entry at the end of this post!

But first, let me tell you all about the fun you'll have at the Progressive® Insurance Norwalk Boat Show™

The Boat Show returns this year with a Bigger & Better Touch-a-Boat Tour for Kids and Free Boat Rides for the Whole Family at the Area’s Largest One-Stop Shop for Luxury Yachts, Center Consoles, Watersports Boats and Affordable Family Cruisers

The 2018 Progressive® Insurance Norwalk Boat Show®, the Northeast’s premier in-water boating event, docks at Norwalk Cove Marina Thursday through Sunday September 20-23, 2018, offering water lovers an all-access pass to discover why life is better with a boat. 

With more than 300 boats from luxury yachts and center console sportfishers to affordable family cruisers, the Show is best place to compare and buy boats in a beautiful waterfront setting.

Photo Courtesy
Progressive® Insurance Norwalk Boat Show®

Thousands of boating novices and lifelong enthusiasts can check out the newest introductions and best deals of the season with exclusive show specials and competitive bargains on hundreds of boats, plus thousands of the latest marine accessories. In addition to boats and accessories, attendees can enjoy the last days of summer on Long Island Sound with unique events and features.

Photo Courtesy
Progressive® Insurance Norwalk Boat Show®


NEW! Shop, Save & Win Big on “Super Thursday” – Elevate savings, shopping and boat show fun to superstar levels at our annual “Super Thursday” on Thursday, September 20.  Super Thursday specials include even deeper savings on the best in boating, plus food & drink specials, discounted tickets and exclusive giveaways!

NEW! Boat U.S. Hands-On Boating Courses: All levels of on-water experience can sign up for boating courses to hone skills or learn new ones with Boat U.S. experts and captains. Check to reserve your spot and view a full listing of courses soon.

Expanded Touch-a-Boat Tour gives kids the opportunity to talk with captains of real rescue and fireboats, snap a pic at the helm and learn the ropes of life on the high seas. Kids can also build their very own toy boat, take a free boat ride & much more!

Try It Cove invites attendees to get their feet wet and try the latest in paddlesports, including kayaking, canoeing and stand-up paddle board demos.

Progressive® Boat Club: Attendees can take the helm at Progressive’s NEW Oculus Rift virtual reality experience and race a boat.  Plus, those looking to improve their nautical know-how will find an array of hands-on boating courses and a docking pool with remote control model boats from the Annapolis School of Seamanship.

Fred’s Shed DIY Seminars: Think “Tool Time” for boaters where attendees can enjoy free hands-on clinics on boat maintenance, repair and upgrade techniques in a garage-like setting.

Thursday, September 20 – Sunday, September 23, 2018
10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Thursday-Saturday;
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Sunday

Norwalk Cove Marina
48 Calf Pasture Beach Road, East Norwalk, CT

$15 for adults; children 12 and under get in FREE when accompanied by a paid adult
Save $2 on advance tickets online when you purchase by September 19

MORE INFO:                       
For more information, visit

Plus follow the latest and join in the excitement of the Boat Show on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
Follow the fun at #NorwalkBoatShow

Contest Rules:
This contest runs Thursday, 09-06-18 midnight through Saturday, 09-15-18 midnight.
Winners will be notified within 24 hours of the contest end and will have 24 hours to respond. 
If no response is received, after 24 hours a new winner will be selected and notified. Tickets are not redeemable for cash.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

End of Summer Vacation with Tenth Street Hats

Thank you Tenth Street Hats for Sponsoring this Post

Farewell to Summer with Tenth Street Hats

Tenth Street Hats - Style Challenge

First of all, can we give a big round of applause to the Royal Family for the huge comeback in hats! Ever since Kate Middleton's wedding there has been such a resurgence in millinery fashions, and our favorite new Royal, Meghan Markle, is also championing the cause! 

As a little girl, I remember my mom always wearing such stylish hats with every outfit. I also remember getting special hats myself to wear for holidays, especially Easter, along with a new spring dress and spring coat. 

And nowadays, I find ANY reason I can to wear a hat, like a visit to Saratoga Race Track or even a Royal Wedding.

When Tenth Street Hats reached out to challenge me to select a hat to style, I jumped at the opportunity! With a New England travel tour already on my schedule, I knew I'd have plenty of opportunities and NEEDS for a hat.

Traveling through three of the five New England States, we spent most of our time in sunny New Hampshire and Vermont touring antique shops, local attractions, and eating our share of great food throughout each state! We also did plenty of sightseeing, which meant plenty of time out in direct sun. A hat was definitely in order!

For my style challenge, I selected the Hokkaido from Tenth Street. The Hokkaido is a wide brim women's boater hat made with a natural straw fiber. I knew it would be casual enough that it would see plenty of wear, and yet, I could dress it up enough for church, a summer garden wedding, or to wear to my beloved Saratoga. It had a gorgeous baby blue grosgrain ribbon, and a cute little bumble bee adorning the bow.

Tenth Street was founded in 1921 by Jack Dorfman and Arthur Hyman. The Tenth Street name is from the original warehouse on 10th Street and Broadway in Oakland, California. The company is known for their blend of a vintage feel with modern sensibilities. Almost 100 years later, they remain a family-run organization.

First up, a casual look. Perfect for my breakfast meetup with friends, shopping, and sightseeing throughout New England.

Shopping Excursion in Lebanon New Hampshire

Hat: c/o Tenth Street
Top: Roz & Ali
Jeans: Nordstroms
Purse: Amazon Fashion

Town Green in Lebanon New Hampshire
Hat:  c/o Tenth Street
Top: Roz & Ali 

Sightseeing in Lebanon New Hampshire
Hat: c/o Tenth Street
Top: Roz & Ali
Jeans: Nordstroms
Purse: Amazon Fashion

Next up, we take it up a notch, but easy breezy none the less. 

This is a great look for brunch with friends, church, or a little garden party I attended at our bed and breakfast.

In Lebanon New Hampshire
Hat: c/o Tenth Street
Dress: Jessica Howard for Dillards
Purse: Amazon Fashion

In Lebanon New Hampshire
Hat: c/o Tenth Street
Dress: Jessica Howard for Dillards
Purse: Amazon Fashion

I just loved my weekend away exploring all that New England has to offer!  I hope you enjoyed my style challenge looks with Tenth Street.

Tenth Street Hats 
Designer hats, made the old way, sold the new way. 
Hats for both men and women!
Find them online at

This post was sponsored by Tenth Street Hats, but all opinions are my own.

©  Home Place 2018

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