Birthdays are often wonderful, especially when they are filled with delicious food. And boy, did I have a foodie birthday this year! Let’s start with my actual birthday eve, last night, at the Capital Grille. With impeccable attention to detail and making special occasions as special as can be, they started with a card and confetti:
They also brought out bubbly, which paired nicely with our (not pictured) oysters:
Making a girl feel special
And finished off with a dessert plate, which our server Michael customized for me upon overhearing me mention I hate cheesecake (which I do, don’t judge me):
So instead, we were served my very favorite coconut creme pie. Which is tart, salty, sweet, smothered in hand made whipped cream, and perfectly decadent
That’s just the level of consideration and attention to detail that can be expected at the Capital Grille.
IIn addition to the glorious celebration dinner listed above, I was fortunate enough to finally attend a Bears Smokehouse and Millwrights pop up dinner in the Millwrights Tavern on Monday night. This will be a ‘thing’ every Monday night for the forseable future, and it involves taking Bear’s glorious BBQ and giving it a high end twist with Tyler Anderson’s signature cooking style. Behold: “The Cook and the Bear”
Behold also my Sloe Gin Fizz (sloe gin, lemon, and soda)- Chris Parrot never disappoints
The menu is divided into small plates (priced at $4) salads (priced at $8) proteins ‘from the smoker’ (at $6.50) sandwiches ($10.50), sides (also $4), and sweet stuff, aka dessert ($6). It’s quite affordable and, well, let’s just look at some food porn shall we?
Tyler always makes a good pickle. It helps that he works with the Community Farm at Simsbury and always sources fresh and local. Also pictured: a “Dirty Holiday” cocktail (tequila, coconut, pineapple, and lime)
Grilled corn with the flavors of Greek salad. Like Mexican style corn, this is drizzled and drenched in decadent toppings. It’s, quite obviously, corn season, so the best time of the year to be eating the stuff anyway. Tyler’s preparation of it is very signature of his style – a simple vegetable dish elevated with masterful flavors and a twist on a traditional technique.
It might seem difficult to order a salad when there’s so much meaty BBQ to be had – but get your dang salad. It’s good for you – pictured is the: “smoked beets, ricotta, and walnut pesto.” The beets packed flavor and texture and the citrusy, earthy flavors balanced nicely against the creamy cheese sauce.
You should still get BBQ. Obviously. Pictured: baby back ribs, baked beans, and mac & cheese with chicken cracklings. Of all the things on this plate, the mac and cheese really sang to my soul. In the way that only creamy cheese and crunchy chicken cracklings do
The burnt ends sandwich – with the flavors of french onion soup. It was difficult for me not to order this one for myself. Burnt ends – the fatty, juicy ends of the brisket – are my favorite item to order at Bears Smokehouse. But I restrained myself and will get it next time, because I simply, absolutely needed this:
The nashville hot chicken sandwich, iceberg, pickles. Also known as the chicken sandwich against which all others will now be judged and found wanting. Sorry Chick Fil A. I don’t need you or your bigot chicken anymore. I’ll take this local, better version instead. And pair it with a nice Maine “Baxter” IPA.
The cozy Millwright’s Tavern is a perfect back drop for a decadent BBQ dinner – moving into the fall, this will be epically good comfort food. Please go, check it out, and enjoy. It’s a unique local collaboration which we are very fortunate to have here.