Showing posts with label around connecticut. Show all posts
Showing posts with label around connecticut. Show all posts
22 February 2014

Dinner at Downton

Downton Abbey Dinner
A little nosegay of tea and chocolate.
Parkside Cafe hosted a Downton Abbey dinner last week and, obviously, I was there. Attendees were encouraged to dress in their Downton-esque finest and there were ladies in hats and gloves, a few beaded flappers, and even a grande dame in a brown ermine wrap. I don't own anything even remotely Downton-esque and, knowing that the purchase of one fabulous cloche from Etsy would inevitably lead to the purchase of many more, stuck with my regular work wear.

Downton Abbey Dinner
All the ladies and their hats. And wine! (Ladies love wine!)
We sang old time songs like "If You Were the Only Girl (In the World)" and did a Downton trivia quiz I couldn't play, because I'd created it for last month's library tea and, theoretically, still remembered the answers. I did have a lot of fun giving hints to desperate ladies who hadn't watched all four seasons ... or even one! Yes, there were a surprising number of ladies in attendance who had only seen an episode or two!

Downton Abbey Dinner
Everyone was given a wee primrose plant to take home.
There was heaps of food, too, and it was all rather tasty (I'd happily go back to sample the regular menu) but not particularly British. That said, being married to a British person -- and as someone who has eaten a lot of British food, owns several British cookbooks, and watches British cooking programs -- I'm inclined to be rather snide about American faux-British cuisine and culture. I don't think any of the other ladies minded in the least and I certainly kept my thoughts to myself!

Downton Abbey Dinner
Wextford Mushrooms & Prawn Cucumber Cups

Downton Abbey Dinner: Shropshire Pea Soup w/ Roasted Leeks
Shropshire Pea Soup with Roasted Leeks

Downton Abbey Dinner: English Garden Salad w/ Pickled Beans
English Garden Salad with Pickled Beans

Downton Abbey Dinner: Poached Lemon Salmon over Saffron Basmati Rice
Poached Lemon Salmon over Saffron Basmati Rice

Downton Abbey Dinner: Popovers w/ Muddled Chocolate & British Trifle (not)
Popovers with Muddled Chocolate & British Trifle
25 January 2014

Throwing Money Around

A local restaurant ran a Kickstarter campaign recently to raise money to do some minor renovations and rebrand itself as a Southern-style restaurant. As I want my local restaurant scene to thrive and I me some classic Southern food, I funded it to the best of my abilities. Happily, and unlike a bunch of things I've Kickstarted recently, the campaign was a success and 457 Mason Jar opened last week.

457 Mason Jar

The little restaurant was packed for the launch party and everyone seemed almost hellbent on having a good time. Very much a "THIS RESTAURANT WILL BE A SUCCESS AND OUR CITY IS BECOMING AWESOME" vibe ... and I hope that's all true, because I want my city to be a happening (and happy) place.

Anyway, the food at the launch was pretty fine. There hush puppies, fried okra, fried catfish, greens, pulled pork, ribs, mashed sweet potatoes, and barbecued chicken ... oh, my stomach was happy! Indeed, so happy that we returned over the weekend for breakfast! While I couldn't get the red-eye gravy and country ham as the ham had not come up from North Carolina (snow storms, blarg) the eggs and bacon (and bits of The Husband's pancake) I did eat were certainly worth leaving the house for.
13 January 2014

Downton Abbey Cooking Demonstration

Sunday, we attended a Downton Abbey-themed cooking demonstration at the Silo Cooking School at Hunt Hill Farm. I'd worried many of the participants would be dressed in their Downton finest and we'd look odd dressed for contemporary Connecticut cold, but I needn't have worried as everyone else came dressed for cold and the only furs I saw were more for warmth than ostentation (Did make me think I should have dug out my faux arctic fox fur from the garlic closet ... What? You don't store garlic and potatoes in your coat closet?).

The cooking demonstration was led by Chef Michael Chase of The White Horse Country Pub & Restaurant with the pub's owner, John Harris, providing commentary about Downton Abbey, English great houses, and English culture. I loved the demonstration portion, because it's always a treat to watch other people cook -- particularly professional chefs using pots that look like they've spent years being cooked with in a real kitchen. Also, they were all both extremely knowledgeable and terribly shy ... it was adorable. I developed several irrational crushes within minutes.

Watching the Chefs Working On Lobster Thermidor
Chefs preparing lobster thermidor
I was less taken with the historical commentary as it seemed very much ... IDK ... the all-singing, all-dancing Disney version of life in the Empire at the time(s) of Downton Abbey. The rest of the audience seemed to eat it up so, though, and I'm guessing that's what a lot of Americans watch Downton to experience. Anyway, I kept my thoughts to myself but The Husband, being snarkily British, was full of whispered asides and eye rolls. When then bagpiper came out at the end, I thought The Husband would die from horror (indeed, I will remember his Bagpiper Face forever) and I had to try so hard not to laugh.

Clearly, we are just snobby assholes.

What we ate:
  • Champagne Cocktail & Classic Smoked Salmon Sandwiches (upstair and adapted from The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook)
  • Oxtail Soup (downstairs)
  • Lobster Thermador (upstairs)
  • Steak & Kidney Pie (downstairs)
  • Crêpe Suzette (upstairs)
We came away with copies of all the recipes and I'm definitely looking forward to giving steak and kidney pie (yes, with actual kidneys) a whirl.

Watching the Chefs Dish Up Oxtail Soup
Dishing up oxtail soup
22 March 2013

Birthday Bakery Crawl

Took The Husband on a bakery crawl for his birthday, because The Husband loves himself some baked goods and we live in an area full of bakeries we have not visited yet. You would think, considering how much money we spend on baked goods every year, that such a thing could not be true and yet it is.

While I'd plotted a great many bakeries thanks to Yelp and Google Maps, we only visited three before The Husband cried uncle! I have no doubt we'll visit the remainder soon ... a bakery a weekend would probably be the sensible method.

Sensible, schmensible. Visit all the bakeries. Eat all the things.

Cupcakes @ Sugarbelle
Cupcakes  from Sugarbelle

Mousse cake @ La Petit France
Chocolate mousse cake from La Petit France

Tarts @ Aby's Bakery
Assorted tarts from Aby's Bakery

20 October 2012

He Takes Me To All The Best Places

Last Friday, The Husband surprised me with a quick trip to Trinity College in Hartford, to see Buddhist nuns from Nepal work on an enormous sand mandala. The nuns arrived, with their sand and tools, at Trinity back in August and have been working on the mandala since September. It was almost finished when we saw it and, wow, the colors and detail were stunning.

Sand Mandala

Sand Mandala

Sand Mandala
"On the first day, the lamas begin by drawing an outline of the mandala to be painted on a
wooden platform. The following days see the laying of the colored sands, which is effected
by pouring the sand from traditional metal funnels called chak-pur. Each monk holds a
chak-pur in one hand, while running a metal rod on its serrated surface; the vibration 

causes the sands to flow like liquid."                             Sandpainting @ Wikipedia

On Sunday, after all that painstaking labor, the nuns ritualistically dismantled the mandala and released the sands into the Connecticut River!

08 October 2012

CT Garlic Festival Goodness

We attended the 8th Annual Connecticut Garlic & Harvest Festival on Saturday and, as usual, arrived back home with tummies and totes full of garlic. This year, I finally broke down and bought a proper shopping basket. Every time we go to a festival like this or a farmers market or a picnic I regret not owning a deep, narrow, handled basket shopping basket. Well, they had baskets in spades at the Garlic Festival and one was purple and green, so ... I bought a basket. And, in under an hour, it was full to the brim.

CT Garlic & Harvest Festival Loot

What did I buy? Darlings, it's more like what didn't I buy! I bought:

CT Garlic & Harvest Festival Loot

We also ate many delicious things, including a fabulous lemongrass chicken bahn mi from Lemon Grass Grill (out of Somewhere, New York) topped with homemade roasted garlic mayonnaise, pickled carrots, daikon radish, cucumber, and cilantro. It was even better than I'd remembered and I look forward to eating another one next year. (Surely someplace in Hartford County sells good bahn mi and I don't have to wait a whole year for another one?)

This was our fifth year at the CT Garlic Festival and I still can't get over how big it's getting. Every year, there were so many more vendors and visitors than the previous year and, after a couple hours, I find myself completely overwhelmed by the crowds. We arrived at 10:30 and the Festival was already hopping. By the time we left at 1:30, the place felt packed to the rafters. I know this is a good thing as it means the Festival is unlikely to fail, but it can be exhausting if you're a very short woman who doesn't like crowds.

Clearly, next year we will arrive at 10 on the dot. And I will bring two shopping baskets.
27 September 2012

And Good Belly Cheer Was Had

Like many small New England cities, the heart went out of mine a few decades ago as the business and community center moved away from Main Street. People moved out to the burbs, etc, and businesses moved out to keep them company. It’s sad and frustrating, but my city is (despite vocal naysayers and trolls) trying to revitalize. The downtown streetscapes have been redone, some storefronts spruced up, and a few new businesses have moved in.

Today I attended a preview of Barley Vine, the new gastropub on Main Street. It’s all exposed brick and wood, tin ceilings and chalkboards, bar stools and friendliness. I was completely charmed. (I offer no insult or condescension when I say it reminded me a lot of Plan B -- my husband and I have spent a lot of time at Plan B in West Hartford and consider it one of our favorite burger places, so to find something similar-but-different in my own little city is just totes awesome).

Barley Vine

The bar is extensive, with lots of good beer selections. They even offer Samuel Smith’s Organic Cider which is one of my favorite ciders and one I don’t usually see a lot locally. (I see a lot of Woodchuck ciders and, while they’re good, they’re no Samuel Smith). Always smooth and gently apple-y, it goes well with everything ... including the BarleyVine burger.

Barley Vine

The BarleyVine burger is the only burger on the lunch menu (dinner menu unseen) unless you want to build your own. I reckoned anything that eponymous was likely to be good and ordered it medium as written. Ground and shaped on site from local beef, it was a thick puck of tender, juicy beef on a sturdy roll with charred onions, roasted red bell pepper, blue cheese crumbles, and arugula. Lunch burgers come with sweet potato and kale chips -- fry people, like The Husband, may not be amused. I love sweet potatoes and kale chips are always a win, so I was exceedingly amused. (Next time, I might try building my own burger so I can try Barley Vine’s house-made bacon).

I have to be honest and say my preview wasn’t without flaws -- the bartender had some trouble locating a bottle opener for my cider, the fussy computerized cash register refused to print my tab, and the top of my hamburger roll was a little charred. But, hey, it was a preview. By the time Barley Vine has its grand opening on 11 October, I expect everything will be fine. Barley Vine is actually (quietly) opening to the public this Saturday and I fully intend to drag The Husband down for supper on Saturday or Sunday.

My meal, minus the 20% preview discount, came to just under $15 which seemed extremely reasonable considering it was a drinking lunch. (I even merited a free sample of Cisco Brewers' Monomoy Kriek -- it smelled slightly sulphurous and tasted, at first sip, a bit like mellow cherry balsamic vinegar. That may sound weird, possibly undrinkable, to you but I thought it was quite delicious. I can’t imagine what I’d drink it with, though. Duck with balsamic cherry sauce? French vanilla ice cream?)

Barley Vine
26 January 2012

Taste of Hartford: Firebox Restaurant

So it's Taste of Hartford, again. That delicious time of year where my kitchen grows cobwebs and I accrue many OpenTable points as I bop from restaurant to restaurant. It's impossible, with my work schedule, to eat at every restaurant but we still manage to make a good go of it, anyway.

Wednesday night, we dined at Firebox which is a restaurant I've been meaning to try for *cough* years now, but somehow never got around to. More fool me. The food -- all locally grown or sourced as Firebox is all about farm to table -- was delicious and I can't wait to back to try the duck confit pierogies or duck confit salad (I  duck).

What I ate:

Greznyk Farm Potato Leek Soup
chive oil

Braised Sepe Farm Lamb

White Chocolate Bread Pudding

raspberry sauce, whipped cream

I would happily eat all of these things again. The Husband, alas, was not so keen and I do not know when I will be able to cajole him back.
02 October 2011

County fair, county fair / Everybody in town'll be there

We spent the afternoon at the Harwinton Fair which is, I am ashamed to admit, the first fair we've made it to in 2011. We had a lot of fun eating delicious fair food, admiring the animals, and acquiring pickles.

Swing, Swang, Swung

We shared clam chowder in a bread bowl, Philly style cheesesteak, buttery grilled corn on the cob, foot long hot dog, soft-serve strawberry sundae, and tempora-fried cheesecake. Oh, the cheesecake! So unbelievably delicious! (Admittedly, I've yet to meet a fried cheesecake I didn't like!)

Deep-Fried Cheesecake

There was lots of livestock, of course, and we admired the bunnies, poultry, coos, and draft horses. Draft horses were big, bunnies were unbelievably squee, and coos ... they looked at me with their big brown eyes and I felt just wee bit guilty for eating their relatives.

Cow 290

Strangely, I didn't feel guilty admiring the prize winning cabbages.

Prize-Winning Cabbage

It was a fine day for a fair, but by the time we returned home the weather had taken a turn and we were content to hunker down in the living room and warm ourselves with our laptops.

I still have lots of turkey left from Friday's roast, so I whipped up a batch of Frontier Soup's Colorado Campfire Soup for supper using, of course, turkey broth and leftover turkey meat. Very thick and rich with lots of carrots, peas, potatoes, peppers, and white beans, it is much more a stew than a soup and made a for a very comforting, warming Sunday supper.

Turkey Soup
01 August 2011

UnMenu Plan Monday, 1 August

Why is it unMenu Plan Monday? Because I don't really have a menu plan, this week. Oh, I have an eating plan, but it doesn't involve cooking unless "cooking" means "making big bowls of salad." Taste of Hartford runs August 1 through August 14 and I mean to take advantage of all the great prix fixe menus available to me. Missed last year's TOH as bringing a wheelchair into restaurants can be a big pain in the butt no matter how handicapped accessible the law (and common freakin' sense) says they ought to be! And I had enough drama and pissiness in my life at that time without adding more, thankyouverymuch.

*deep breath*

So, yes, eating out a lot and subsisting on enormous salad between times in an effort to, I don't know, pretend I have a healthy lifestyle or something.

Dish Bar & Grille (TOH menu here). Looking forward to mussels, tomato pie, and chocolate cream pie. Haven't been to Dish Bar & Grill before, but enjoyed lunch at its sister restaurant, Dish 'n Dat, a few months ago.

Enormous salad with grilled chicken, diced roasted beets, sunflower seeds, goat cheese crumbles, and light red wine vinaigrette.

Feng Asian Bistro. TOH menu isn't up yet and I've never been to Feng, but keep meaning to so this seems like the perfect time!

Another enormous salad.

Haven't made reservations anywhere yet, but thinking about trying the USS Chowderpot IV (TOH menu here) -- RI clam chowder, salad, sweet
 tilapia, and cheesecake sound pretty good to me.

Late lunch/early supper at Black-Eyed Sally's BBQ & Blues (TOH menu on main page) or Agave Grill (TOH menu here).  Leaning toward Black-Eyed Sally's as The Husband insists we've eaten at Agave before, but I think I just talked about trying the (now defunct) Southington Agave that he just thinks we've been there.
07 June 2011

Plan B for (Nearly) Best Burger Ever

Sunday, we hit Hartford for a little art, some Puerto Rican pride, and (of course) delicious food. Connecticut has a Burgers & Brews Trail [pdf] and, while we're not terribly keen on brews, we do love a good burger so were eager to try one of the Trail's many venues. Plan B Burger Bar in West Hartford seemed like a good start and we arrived just after opening (it's never too early for a good burger) with good appetite.

Delicious Pretzel Burger

I ate the "Pretzel Burger" -- a beef burger on a pretzel bun with spicy mustard, lettuce, pickles, cheddar. Served with organic mixed greens and a half-sour pickle, it was definitely one of the best burgers I have ever eaten. The beef was tender and juicy with just a little pink and the soft buttery pretzel buns soaked up all the good juices. My only complaint was that the cheddar was too mild and waxy -- the spicy mustard and the burger's sheer beefiness overwhelmed it.

At the end of our meal, we shared a twee chocolate cake which looked rather like a certain snack cake, but tasted so much better:

Chocolate Cake Hostess Homage
12 October 2010

Garlic Festival Fun

Sunday we took my parents to the Connecticut Garlic & Harvest Festival at the Bethlehem fairgrounds. We had a lot of fun sitting in on workshops, eating all sorts of garlicky deliciousness, and browsing the many vendors of garlicky loot. This was the third year we've attended the Festival and it's hard to believe how much its grown in that time. There were so many more vendors and visitors than last year that it was almost overwhelming!

I brought a shopping list with me, of course, and did manage to find just about everything I'd planned on buying at the Festival:

  • One dozen beautiful brown eggs and a pound of green beans from Killam & Bassett Farmstead of South Glastonbury.
  • Pint of tangy sauerkraut from Horman's Best Pickles of Glen Cove, NY.
  • Always yummy Vinegre de Garlique from Josie Porter Farm of Stroudsburg, PA. The blue labeled bottle is made with agave & the green with brown sugar -- the agave vinegar is a new product and is a little harsher (but still awesome).
  • "Mild" Can't Beet It! from East Windsor.  I love this stuff on sandwiches or pirogi.
  • Olive Oil Factory's fig balsamic vinegar from Twin Pines Farm of Thomaston. They were also giving away bits of 4-yr-old Cabot cheddar on thin slices of pickle -- a surprisingly tasty combination.
What's missing from my loot? Plain ol' garlic! The vendor I usually buy from wasn't at this year's Festival and the other garlic vendors just couldn't tempt me. Better luck next year?


Roast beet and carrot flatbread topped with whole milk mozzarella, fresh thyme, honey, and greens from Farm to Hearth! Farm to Hearth specializes in making delicious, all natural, organic made-to-order wood-fired personal pizzas made with locally sourced ingredients. It was nice to see their booth at the Festival as I've never seen them outside the Coventry Regional Farmers Market (where they're usually surrounded by a huge crowd of hungry people).

Big, beefy hot dog topped with roast garlic cloves from Spacey Tracy's. Hot dog has a nice bite to it and the roast garlic was all that is nutty, garlicky, and good. Would have been absolutely perfect if the bun had been toasted.

Can't wait until next year's Connecticut Garlic & Harvest Festival.
03 October 2010

Delicious Connecticut Noms

Saturday was the last day of Connecticut Farm-to-Chef Harvest Celebration Week so we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and go get some Connecticut noms:

Doesn't that look tasty? It's pumpkin bisque and a Gyro Burger from Plan B Burger Bar in Simsbury:
Lyman Orchards's spicy pumpkin bisque with candied pecans and a bourbon crème fraise ...

Fresh ground lamb blended with our all natural and certified beef topped with Rosedale Farms inspired Tzatziki sauce, diced local tomatoes, organic red onion and feta cheese served in a warm pita pocket and with a side of crispy rosemary salt dusted fries.

The Husband ordered the Salmon Burger (Atlantic salmon, red onion, corn spread, organic lettuce) with truffle fries and while the fries weren't as good as truffle fries we've had elsewhere, the little bit burger he deigned to share with me was very good.

We followed up our burgers with ice cream from J. Foster's in Avon. The Husband stuck with safe choices -- cake batter and chocolate fudge brownie -- while I went straight to the good stuff and tried the maple bacon ice cream ("Bacon from locally raised pork mixed with CT Sugarhouse maple Syrup"). Oh, it was tasty with a good, strong maple flavor and lots of crispy, smoky, salty bacon bits.

19 September 2010

Farmers' Markets Fun

Sunday morning we visited CT NOFA's Taste! Organic Connecticut festival at Manchester Community College. While this was CT NOFA's tenth festival, it was the first time we had ever gone and we weren't sure what to expect. Mostly, it seemed like a large farmers' market with workshops and music. Some of the workshops sounded quite interesting -- "Pickle This!" and "Extended Season Gardening," in particular -- but we arrived too late for the pickling workshop and were ready to leave well before the gardening workshop started. Maybe, next year? I already make pretty good dill and bread 'n' butter pickles, but I'd like to pickle my own garlic and giardiniera.

While we didn't end up buying any produce at the festival, we did pick up a baguette and beautiful rhubarb pie from La Brioche. Farmer's Cow was giving away free pints of ice cream, so we snagged a pint of "Hay! Hay! Hay! Vanilla" to go with the pie.

On the way to pie and ice cream, we had to walk past Joy Newton's beautiful display of jewelry, note cards, prints, magnets, and paperweights. I stopped, thinking I might buy something for my mother (never too early to start Christmas shopping for difficult giftees), and couldn't resist buying myself a pretty dogwood and faux-pearl bracelet. Isn't it lovely?

Of course, "on the way home," we did a quick sweep through the Coventry Regional Farmer's Market and picked up:
  • Salsa from Salsa Loca
  • Goat's milk yogurt from Ladies of Levita Road
  • Gnocchi from Pasta di Modena
  • Red bell peppers
  • Macoun apples
05 September 2010

Coventry & Coo-beasties

Today, we visited the Coventry Regional Farmers’ Market at the Nathan Hale Homestead for the first time this summer. Missed all of June, July, and August, but the market runs through October so there's still plenty of time to shop.

We bought:
  • Giardiniera and pickled garlic from Christine's Country Kitchen
  • Peaches, eggs, and bacon from Highland Thistle Farm
  • Gnocchi from Pasta di Modena
  • A half pint of blueberries
  • A quarter pound of shiitake mushrooms

We also bought some yummy beef from New Boston Beef:
  • ground beef
  • flank steak
  • tenderloin steak
  • sweet Italian sausage

I meant to go back round and pick up a beautiful watermelon from Four Fields Farm and a container of Beaver Brook Farm's lamb bolognese sauce, but my ankle was pretty tuckered out by then and we decided to head back to the car ...

And then we drove to Storrs for ice cream at the UConn Dairy Bar. The Dairy Bar makes all of its ice cream (24+ flavors) on the premises from UConn milk. The ice cream was quite wonderful -- very creamy and rich -- and we were pleased to call it lunch. Total ice cream consumed: one scoop each each black raspberry, vanilla, strawberry cheesecake, and cherry vanilla. While the Dairy Bar does not sell milk, it does also sell UConn eggs and cheeses at extremely reasonable prices (2½ dozen eggs for $5!) and we will surely pick some up next time we visit.

Full of "lunch," we drove a little way to UConn's animal barns where we saw ships and coo-beasties. Happily, we managed to arrive at the Kellogg Dairy Center in time to watch the one o'clock milking. Must admit that, having grown up on Farmer Boy, I am always surprised by the massive amounts of stainless steel and rubber whatsits used in modern milking. Where is the tin milk bucket? The three-legged stool?
Almanzo took his own little milking-stool, and a pail, and sat in Blossom’s stall to milk her. His hands were not yet strong enough to milk a hard milker, but he could milk Blossom and Bossy. They were good old cows who gave down their milk easily, and hardly ever switched a stinging tail into his eyes, or upset the pail with a hind foot.

He sat with the pail between his feet, and milked steadily. Left, right! swish, swish! the streams of milk slanted into the pail, while the cows licked up their grain and crunched their carrots.
Of course, UConn milks about a hundred cows three times a day with each cow yielding ten or so quarts of milk per day. Nostalgia aside, who would want to do that by hand?

We also visited the meat cattle barn ("Cattle Resources Unit") where I was, much to The Husband's amusement, licked on the arm by an overly inquisitive caramel-colored beastie. The Husband was also amused by sight of a cow peeing and had to point it out to me. Boys.

14 August 2010

Happy Anniversary! I Bought You Some Peppers.

We celebrated our eleventh wedding anniversary by visiting not one, but two farmers markets!

Burlington Farmers Market
268 Spielman Highway
Fridays through October, 3-6

This year, Gresczyk Farms is the only vendor at Burlington, but they put out a good spread and we picked up some lovely yellow squash, pickling cucumbers, peaches, and huge stuffing peppers. When we go back next Friday, I'll be sure to pick up some eggs and hydroponically grown butter lettuce, too.

Southington-Plantsville Farmers Market
1003 South Main Street
Fridays through October, 3-6

The Plantsville market had about five vendors -- including one who was custom cutting chunks of Cabot cheddar from a huge block. We considered buying some, but decided we had enough cheese at home. Madness, I know. We did buy tomatillos, zucchini, apples, and baked goods (including a yummy pumpkin pie square).

Combine my farmers market loot with the huge bowl of cherry and small fruit tomatoes I harvested from my garden and it looks as if my kitchen is exploding with produce. What to do?

Well, I have a plan. A menu plan ...
18 January 2010

Menu Plan Monday, Week Forty-Three

An abridged Menu Plan Monday this week as it's Taste of Hartford Winter 2010 and I don't "need" to cook supper again until January 25. What is Taste of Hartford? Local restaurants set a special prixe fix menu (usually includes a choice of appetizer, entrée, and dessert) for $20.10. It's a low-risk way to discover new favorites or try out some of the fancy-pants establishments!

Monday (Max Downtown)

  • Lobster bisque with caviar crème
  • Grilled veal chop with crispy polenta cake, asparagus, and port wine black pepper glaze.
  • Gingerbread & pear bread pudding with sauce anglaise

Tuesday (Peppercorn's Grille)

  • Prosciutto "Sushi Style" -- slices of imported prosciutto di Parma rolled with gorgonzola, black mission figs, and a drizzling of fig and balsamic essence
  • Costolette di Manzo Ubriaco -- slow cooked fork tender beef short ribs with a port scented red wine sauce, tiny little vegetables, and a gremolata served with potatoes and sautéed greens
  • Chocolate mousse

Wednesday (Mayor Mike's)

  • Tuscan bean soup
  • Roast chicken lasagne a la panna
  • Fried cheesecake

Thursday (work)

  • Salad with freezer apple sauce and Kashi crackers.

Friday (Hook & Ladder)

  • Soup of the day
  • Potato encrusted tilapia with broccoli & mashed potatoes
  • Toll house cookie pie

Slow Cooker Saturday (work)


  • Having my parents up for Sunday dinner. Probably going to serve them meatloaf with mashed potatoes, peas, and salad.
And then we will all fall into a food coma and not rise again until Spring ...
30 August 2009

If You Could Deep Fry Heaven ....

It might taste like a deep fried brownie dusted with powdered sugar. One of the most delicious things I have ever eaten (and it's a good thing I can't get another one until next year).

Went to the Terryville Fair and saw more ships and coo-beasties!

22 August 2009

Ships & Coo-Beasties

Went to the Wolcott Country Fair and saw the animals ... seriously, who needs a midway when there are wee piglets to see?

12 August 2009

Rib Love

The Eight Annual Taste of Southington seemed to go off quite well despite the rain (oh! the eternal rain!) and much deliciousness was on display for very little money. We ate:
  • Chicken Milanese w/ lemon butter & white wine sauce over penne (Aziago's)
  • Crab, shrimp, and avocado salad with honeydew, cantaloupe, and citrus extra virgin olive oil (Kess' Cafe)
  • Chili w/ corn bread (Pig Out BBQ)
  • Quarter rack baby back rib combination with coleslaw (Smokin' with Chris)
  • An adorable little Italian tart filled with chocolate (Paul Gregory's)
The ribs were definite faves, but I've eaten them before so it wasn't a particularly adventurous choice for me. The shrimp and melon salad was also very nice and a combination I'd like to try at home.

Will we go to the Ninth Annual Taste of Southington? Of course.
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