From Happy Hour at Rizuttos to a Cinco de Mayo Art Party at @HartfordPrints – one heck of a weekend

May is a glorious month, is it not?  Especially for those of us who live far enough north to experience a true, biting winter, followed by a slow starting Spring (brrr).  But the warm weather is finally here, and all of the state seems to be in bloom with flowers, as well as cool events and happenings:

chef tony

Chef Tony of Rizutto’s in West Hartford

My good friend Carolyn Paine joined me for a free happy hour on Friday over at Rizutto’s.  Chef Tony Camilleri, pictured above, invited us in and graciously picked up the check (thanks so much!)

kat and carolyn

Cheers!

We both immediately bypassed wine in favor of cocktails, as there were so many good looking ones to choose from.  When we remembered we could have more than one (yay adults!) it made life a lot easier

grilled cheese and dippers and cocktails

Pictured: our first round.  From left to right: a “Cool as a Cucumber,” (Crop organic cucumber vodka, agave lemon soda, finger limes, and soda), Mini Grilled Cheese (manchengo, prosciutto, and acai berry mustard), Cherry Pepper Buffallo Chicken Skewers with gorgonzola dip, and “The Devil’s Honey,” (Old Overholt rye, muddled mint, house-made sriracha honey, and lemonade)

I thoroughly enjoyed the Devil’s Honey – which I ordered with extra sriracha for an extra spicy and sweet kick.  The skewers were also very spicy and tender, and who doesn’t like mini grilled cheese – even when ordered without prosciutto at Carolyn’s request?

carolyn instagramming

A photoshoot for the next cocktail: a Lavender Cosmo (vodka, white cranberry juice, triple sec, fresh lime juice, and house made lavender syrup).  Also, please note and admire Carolyn’s fetching business onesie

sniffing the cocktail in a business onesie

Here’s a better picture of the onesie.  It’s amazing.  Perfect for office meeting or cocktails with friends.

guava deliciousness

My own little beauty: the Guava Goddess (Ulimat vodka, fresh lime, Domain de Canton ginger liqueur, guava nectar).  Love the rosemary garnish!

We also sampled several other perfectly sized appetizers, which are all priced from $3 – $5.  The cocktails were not on the happy hour menu – although we could have chosen a wine or beer which was – and were all priced at a reasonable $10

little pizza

Margherita mini-pizza.  So cute!

crab dip

Cast Iron Crab Dip!  Carolyn declined so I had this all to myself.  I was ok with this

bruschetta

Luscious bruschetta.  According to Carolyn at least – I had enough carbs with the dip and the pizza!

At the end of the evening, curiosity got the better of us, and we ordered and sampled the ominously, and honestly titled, “fireball shot”

fireball shot

Oh my goodness.  Why.

The initial sip was heaven, but the flavor got cloying very quickly – it’s basically whiskey, infused with fireballs.  Yep.  I can see why they serve this with a beer chaser!

After happy hour, Carolyn and I strolled to Charming Charlies for some cocktail enhanced shopping for a birthday party we are attending next weekend – one of the best things about the Blueback Square!  Again, a big thanks to Tony for inviting us in, and I’ll most definitely be headed back ASAP to sample the cocktails we didn’t get to this time around.

Saturday, Penelope and I had a nice play date with some other babies at ReCreate CT, which takes place every year in Elizabeth Park

baby playdate

Attempting to push the stroller.  Kudos for trying, kid.

Naomi, who I met at the Best of Hartford party invited us to listen to Little Ugly during an al fresco, free concert.  It was great to see all the babies enjoying the music, and also – I lucked out and found the NoRa Cupcake Truck right before they sold out!

nora cupcake

Cinco de Mayo preview with a Margarita cupcake.  All the yaaaaaas.

We wanted to head to Firebox afterwards, but alas, when we arrived, all the low tables in the bar were full, and even the trendiest of babies doesn’t fare well with a high top (although if someone were to design an extra tall high chair for such occasions, that would be wicked cool).  So we headed home early, which was just fine as it was still a lovely day in the park, and the next day we had big plans to join Leeanne for a much anticipated brunch at Millwrights!

sweet cocktails

Hallo beauties.  All photos courtesy of LeeAnne Griffin

The brunch at Millwrights is quite unique as, according to Chef Tyler Anderson, he basically made a menu around what he would want for brunch – a mix of three courses (appetizer, main, and dessert) and family style sides for $30 a person.  Yes, it was decadent.  Yes, it was a ridiculous amount of food.  Yes, I have more pictures (naturally)

bruleed grapefruit yas

Beautiful grapefruit bruleé with tarragon syrup.  I’ve had something similar at Firebox before – and I’m a big fan.

asparagus

Thanks to Chef Tyler for treating us to the Asparagus, with house cured ham and sauce gribiche!  P loved the crunchy asparagus although she balked at the sauce (because baby).

bread basket

The lovely bread basket

steak and eggs

My main course: Steak and Eggs, with beef tenderloin, poached egg, greens, and bearnaise sauce

eggs benny

Leeanne’s very pretty main: Eggs Benedict with braised ham, wild ramps, and meyer lemon hollandaise

omg sausage

Oh nothing.  Just house cured bacon, and home made sausage, and succulent potatoes.  Just hanging out.

custard pie omg omg

Last but certainly not least – Buttermilk Pie with black current sorbet

leeanne and p

Penelope chilling with her Auntie Leeanne, reading the thrilling page turner: Where is Baby’s Belly Button

We left thoroughly stuffed (I mean, obviously) and I brought home the bacon, which went quite nicely with roasted asparagus for dinner that night.  In the afternoon, P and I enjoyed the garden because…

vogue

Yes, because Sunday Funday

mushroom

She is my very favorite mushroom

If anyone is wondering – Mike was away on business this weekend, which is why P and I got to enjoy so much quality time and play dates together!  And to top it all off, we attended a very fun, creative, engaging Cinco de Mayo party at Hartford Prints! on Monday night

arts

Pictured: sidewalk chalk and street graffiti.  I really hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow because I want to see the finished designs quite badly when I go downtown!

Rory sure does know how to throw a party in her letterpress studio, and there are plenty of cool new items in for spring if you haven’t been shopping there in a while.  In addition to live music from Oh Cassius! (which I’m sure was wonderful but was past Penelope’s bed time, so I didn’t get to find out first hand, alas) there were free tacos!  yeah!  free tacos.  And free margaritas!  yeah, free margaritas. Sorry about that sentence structure but I get quite excited about these things:

tacos

Thank you Whole Foods West Hartford!

ripe

Thank you Ripe!

Plenty of Hartford friends were out and about as well – who wouldn’t want to check out such a cool party?

p and kerry

Pictured: best friends with rad hairstyles

selfieeees

Pictured: ridiculous selfies with CT Ain’t So Bad.  Just because we can.

Nothing like Cinco de Mayo on a Monday to make it feel like a three day weekend, even if I worked a full day today!  Well, that about wraps it up.  But yeah, Hartford is kind of awesome, and if this is what the rest of the summer is going to be like, I can’t wait.

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2 thoughts on “From Happy Hour at Rizuttos to a Cinco de Mayo Art Party at @HartfordPrints – one heck of a weekend

  1. This is essentially the best weekend I have ever seen. I LOVE Rizzutto’s cocktails and that cast iron crab dip looks incredible. You better be glad I wasn’t there to take some of it from you. Buzzed shopping is just the best. I’m surprised Charming Charlie didn’t end up out of stock! I never did get to have Millwright’s brunch though I prefer dining out for dinner as you know. I missed you this past Cinco de Mayo – last year was so fun.

    1. I know you’re having a fab time in Boston but ugh, I wish you had been here too! So glad we have the rose cruise in June to look forward to! xo

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