Funk Night at the Half Door and Open Studios with BALLOONS

Last weekend was very Hartfordy in all the right ways.  I met up with Emily, Nick, and Jon on Friday night for a very pleasant and mellow evening of good cheese, friendship, and funky music at the Half Door in Hartford

go snarknado go

It’s a mini #snarknado.  All my pictures from this event are dark because my camera’s flash is terrible!  Time for a camera perhaps?

For $35, we were treated to two drink tickets – good for funky beers, naturally – as well as all the funky cheese and grilled cheese we could eat.  Which turned out to be (surprise) a considerable amount of cheese:

funky cheese

I’m not proud of the things I did to the cheese plate.  But they happened and we move on

I first sampled a saison beer:

beer and pork belly

Paired with delectable pork belly.  Such win

nick caito pork

Nick Caito delicately liberates mutliple pork belly pieces from the tray for our table

We also sampled beer flights, in which I unknowingly ordered sample sizes of beers far outside of my comfort range:

beer flight

The Blueberry Nightmare was aptly named, let’s just put it at that.  Pretty photo by Emily who is a better photographer than I am.

I have it on good authority from a leading area Beer Snob that sour, mashy, decarbonated beers are about to become the next trendy “thing.”  Which needs I really need to develop my palate, as I was unable to appreciate the more ‘exotic’ samples in the flight.  Well, it’s not like they didn’t warn us – funk night, funky music, funky beer, funky cheese.  Speaking of funky music, the band was amazing:

funk band

And you had better believe people were dancing

But the crowning pinnacle of Funk Night, for me, was the grilled cheese bar.  Because the gods are kind, we sat in a booth perfectly positioned for multiple trips to said bar to load up on tasty, fresh grilled cheese on sourdough bread:

grilled cheese station

Thank you, oh Grilled Cheese Master

Not surprisingly, I rolled myself home quite early, extraordinarily full of beer, cheese, and happiness.  Which was fortuitous as the next day I volunteered for Open Studio Hartford!  Open Studio is a quite wonderful annual event featuring hundreds of local artists exhibiting their wares across multiple venues in Hartford.  I was selected for balloon duty – a noble honor indeed.

balloooon duty

I’m not saying I’m a little kid.  I just really like balloons.  Who doesn’t?

This fun volunteer activity involved tethering balloons to various locales in Hartford so that passers by would know they were of the Open Studio tour.  I had adorable help on Pratt Street in the form of Kerri Provost and Penelope:

balloons on the street

Who was, naturally, also very into the balloons

We stopped by Hartford Prints and I discovered their new Dinner Party line, which means now I have to throw a dinner party as an excuse to buy all the things:

set the perfect table

Look at the pretty, pretty paper ware

And also previewed the super cool Dada exhibit, which will be the site of a Welcome to Bohemia party tomorrow night!  I’m pretty stoked for this party, as Dada/Surrealism is my favorite art movement, and I also wrote my thesis in part on Dada:

dada storefront

Nothing says “Liberal Arts Major” quite like writing a thesis on absurdity

So yes, that promises to be a cool party tomorrow night – not to mention my first ever Welcome to Bohemia event, which is pretty awesome. We finished balloon tying and did a quick, and too brief tour, of Artspace.  I would have loved to stay longer,, but 20 month olds operate on very strict timelines, if you know what I mean:

art space

But look at the cool art

So we did a brief tour before making our way to a favorite lunch spot: Tangiers.  I had most delicious falafel and Penelope demonstrated her artistic talent drawing with her bean soup (I think she even ate some of it)

p and kerri

P was more interested in Auntie Kerri’s cookies.  Smart girl.

So that was quite the fun and Hartfordy weekend, and this upcoming one promises to be more of the same – the Mouth tonight at the Mark Twain House, One Big Event on Saturday and then, of course, the Dada party.  Have a great weekend everyone – and if you’re lucky enough to live in a city with plenty of artsy happenings and parties, get out and go to one, because they’re wicked fun.

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Happy Halloween! Let’s drink #REDRUM @NIXSHartford

Happy Halloween friends!  As a huge Halloween and horror story fan, I recommend Nixs Hartford this holiday for all your festivity related needs (as long as they are alchohol and party related – that’s what they do best after all).

Rich Clemens has been featured here before, and is an amazing mixologist, came up with a #redrum cocktail which is both delicious and an amazing reference to The Shining –

brady twins

Cue creepy Brady Twins, hello ladies

It’s a delicious libation, and it involves hand carbonation:

ze carbonation process

Hey, thanks Anthony!

And then it’s served in a VERY crowd friendly glass bottle, oh yaaas

red rum oh yeah

Soo into it

The ingredients are as follows:

hallo my beauty

Pyrat Rum, Sloe Gin, Coconut Water, Amaretto, lime juice, pineapple juice

Oh yeah, and it’s only $6.  So there’s that.  Nixs has a whole slew of Halloween activities planned – a Pyrat (rum) party tonight, with $500 in prizes (for sexiest costume and best pirate costume).  Tomorrow, there will be a “Dia de los Muertos” party with an additional $500 in prizes (wow yourself)

And last, but certainly not least, Sunday will bring a “Day of the Drag,” hosted by the one and only Amanda Lepore and Maritat Bonita, music by International DJ Producer, Scotty Thompson, and an additonal $500 in prizes!

 

@marchofdimesct Signature Chefs Auction at the Riverview in Simsbury

Man oh man.  Black coffee and blogging at 6 am?  This is the LIFE.  In other news, I don’t recognize the productive morning person I am becoming.  But, faced with a super busy week (husband out of town traveling, our black tie 250th gala tonight, hair appointment at Blo for said gala during my lunch break) I am fitting things in where I can, as one does as a mommy, a blogger, and a working professional.  And that includes setting my alarm an hour and a half early in order to recap the amazing time Leeanne and I enjoyed at the Riverview in Simsbury last week, for the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Gala!  If you missed this one, there will be another in Fairfield on November 5th too – right around the corner.

a recipe for healthy babies

A recipe for healthy babies!  Awwww

Let’s back up for just a minute and look at what the March of Dimes accomplishes.  They are the premiere charity dedicated to eradicating, whenever possible, premature delivery (which leads, naturally to health complications for mamas and their babies) as well as for providing the best possible care for preemies?  What a good cause, is my point.  I was honored to get an email requesting I attend the event as a blogger, and I did receive a free ticket (plus a guest – ie/ the lovely Leeanne) from the charity.

selfies with leeanne ftw also rizuttos cocktail

A rare Leeanne selfie.  I’d like to thank Suzie Hunter for making this possible

The Signature Chef’s Auction takes place annually, with a bunch of big hearted chefs joining forces to offer gourmet bites of food and small samples of cocktails, while guests mingle and enjoy a silent and live auction:

mickey mouse

I didn’t bid, but if I had, it would have definitely been on this Disney experience package.  So fun.  P is excited to meet Mickey Mouse.  Someday (soon) it’s going to happen.

In addition to the silent auction, guests enjoyed a live bidding, which Leeanne and I unfortunately missed as we were both tired and didn’t stay for more than an hour or two, although we thoroughly enjoyed circling the gorgeous Riverview space during the time that we were present, and saying hello to a bunch of our friends who were there working the event:

plan b

Starting with Plan B burgers.  Quite simply the best.  I snatched a ‘to go’ second burger on the way out because I’m obsessed and they were quite kind about my greed, ha.  Also, mini is the perfect size/shape for a burger, in my opinion, and I love that Plan B will make any of their regular burgers with toppings into minis upon request in their restaurants!  OK, end burger rant.

Having started with beef, we moved onto seafood:

bobby vs

Seared tuna FTW

The above delicate bite was from Bobby V’s, an upscale sports bar and lounge located in Windsor Locks:

sweet set up and bobby vs

Kudos for the signature table settings too!  Very cool.

Next up, we sampled a delectable and complex serving of short rib stuffed in pepper from Barcelona:

barcelona peppers

So very pretty

Side note: Leeanne seriously has a photographic memory when it comes to dishes/ingredients.  I was having difficulty taking notes and balancing the plates (plus I was distracted/excited by all the wonderful food and cute baby photos) and she repeated all the ingredients to me, which was seriously nice and also seriously impressive!

march of dimes leeanne photo

And she took this nice picture of the back of my dress/necklace detail!  She is the best

In addition to the food stuffs, there were plenty of libations being poured.  Our friends at Onyx are always nice to see out and about:

linley

The lovely Linley pouring several options for the Onyx (my favorite was the cider/apple Onyx combo – so very good)

Another high note for drinks came form Rizutto’s, who were present with a lovely bite of braised lamb and parsnip/potato mash:
risottos plate

Yum.

Paired with it was a really delightful cocktail called “The Orchard.”  I didn’t snap a picture of it and the event, but I may or may not have ordered a full sized version of the same drink at lunch today:

the orchard

The Orchard – house infused apple vodka, Lillet, sage garnish

So yes, very very nice.  We also enjoyed burnt ends sliders from Bear’s Smokehouse:

bears with burnt ends

Thanks Jamie – delicious as always

What goes well with BBQ?  Beer, naturally.  And Hooker Beer was conveniently located next to Bears (nice placement)

hooker beer selection

I sampled the Munich Style – even tho Watermelon Ale is my favorite – it just seemed like a better seasonal choice (it was the right call, especially to pair with the burnt ends)

There were many more plates to try, but I was filling up fast, so I went straight to dessert and enjoyed a really, really, really, really good cookiewich from Taste by Spellbound:

taste by spellbound

Choose your cookie, choose your filling.  I did red velvet with maple frosting and regretted nothing

But let’s not lose sight of what the event was all about – a fundraiser to help babies!  There were plenty of adorable baby photos everywhere to make sure that was top of mind during the evening:

ze babies awww

Sooo cute

Thanks again to the March of Dimes for the invite.  I’ve been connecting more with the coordinators, and I’m looking forward to walking in their March for Babies Greater Hartford in 2015!

October is a glorious month! Let’s do all the things

Greetings, friends, and welcome to a special events round up featuring my very favorite month of the year: October.  Without waxing too basic about pumpkins and the like, let me just say that I friggin’ love this time of year, especially in gorgeous Connecticut.  And today I am feeling particularly Octoberish – well – mostly orange – as you can see by my outfit:

selfie orange dress

This dress is from a Posh Sale several years back – and yes there is another Posh Sale in several weeks, and more details are below

and my lunch as I write this:

squash soup

Roasted butternut squash soup, served in an awesome C Wonder bowl from the lovely Cait, and with a gorgeous skyline view of Hartford from our cafeteria at work

In addition to Halloween, there is a plethora of fun events coming up this month.  For example: apple picking, which is super fun no matter what your age, but even better if you’re 18 months old

photo (53)

Just ask Penelope, who picked a whole basketful of drop apples (50 cents a pound at Lost Acres Orchard!  Can’t beat that) and then went on a tractor ride like a Very Big Girl

If you are looking for more of a round up of general events in Hartford, I recommend Real Hartford’s blog – she is the Queen of all things fun, and cool to do around town.  I’ve just hand picked a couple that I am personally attending and looking forward to this month, as there is so much going on, and it’s all very cool.  Without further ado, here goes:

We can with Mondo Guerra at New County Motor Cards on October 11th

Oookay.  I’m not sure if I am actually able to attend this.  I have both FOMO at missing the fashion AND sadness to miss an amazing charity event dedicated towards ending the course of AIDS.  And I want to see my favorite Titian, Carolyn, wow the crowd as an MC.  But – I know my limitations, and I know I need to have balance with my daughter and my social life (and my time on the couch in no pants watching baaaad Bravo TV, if we are being brutally honest).  So I might have to pass – but I still highly recommend that you go, and you can purchase tickets here as they aren’t available for sale at the door typically.  And there will be bubbles and food and amazing fashion and celebrity host, all for a great cause.  Gah.  So I might go.  But probably not.  But stay tuned!  Haha.

1st ever annual Hoptoberfest at Rosedale on Sunday, October 12th

OK, sorry folks – this event IS sold out.  But there are two more opportunities to partake in Max beer festivities – the first being a Hoptoberfest Dinner at Max Downtown on October 10, and the second is the Trumbull Kitchen Beerfest on November 2nd.  In addition to being stoked for all the rich local beers which will be poured and paired with Max appetizers, I’m excited to congratulate Scott Miller on his promotion to head of Max Catering (a new position).  So well deserved, as Scott has headed up the very successful Farm to Chef dinner series at Rosedale and other amazing farm locations statewide.

 

A Recipe for Healthy Babies: Signature Chefs Auctions for the March of Dimes on Thursday, October 16

Yet another wonderful, wonderful cause.  The March of Dimes makes its mission in helping  ensure that expectant mothers carry their babies to term whenever possible – ensure healthier babies.  How cool is that?  And their signature auction and chef round up (Cuginos, Bear’s Smokehouse, Barcelona Wine Bar, Salute, and more) will ensure an evening of wonder, wine and cuisine to raise funds for the charity.  It’s also at Simsbury’s The Riverview – one of my favorite venue spaces due to both the pretty layout and its proximity to my home.  Leeanne will be my partner in crime next Thursday at this event, and I can’t wait.  Tickets are currently on sale here.

“A Courant Affair:” 250 Years of Beats and Bylines from the Hartford Courant on October 24

Wow.  I work for the oldest continuously published newspaper in the United States.  The same paper that printed the Declaration of Independence for the public to read.  That’s a lot of history to explore, and the majority of this year has been spent exploring it, month by month, by delving into the rich history – visual and textual – in the Courant’s archives.  The gala, onsite at the Bushnell, will be a night to celebrate all of this.  The Trashion Fashion crew is busy assembling some really terrific newspaper dresses.  I don’t know what I’m wearing.  Probably at least some newspaper.  I’m awfully excited.  Tickets on sale here folks.

Blogger Preview of the Posh Sale (and brunch!) on October 25

The Posh Sale will be here from November 7-9.  That means that the most wonderful vintage clothing for men and women – from both the Wadsworth’s textile society and generous donations from the community.  I attended, as previously mentioned, two years ago, and I’ve been impatiently waiting for another Posh Sale since (it doesn’t happen every year so extra reason to be excited and to definitely, definitely go).  I will also be giving away a pair of tickets to the preview party on the evening of November 7th, after our blogger’s preview, with some sneak peek photos of what’s for sale, so stay tuned and check out all the event details here.  Oh yeah.  Vintage baby.

CRC Styles Fashion Gala to benefit Make a Wish Foundation on October 26

My goodness.  Another really great cause and wonderful charity.  What could be more wonderful than making the dreams of gravely ill children come through?  Rhetorical questions aside, this event is the 10th annual Fashion Gala, and it will be black tie fancy and full of fashion, food, and of course, raising funds for the Make a Wish Foundation (most important of all by far).  Tickets on sale hereYes, that is also two black tie galas in one weekend for me.  No, I’ve never been to a black tie gala before.  Yes I’m excited. No I don’t know what I’m wearing.  But: challenge accepted (style wise, that is).

ARTini on October 30th

The Greater Hartford Art’s Council’s signature cocktail fundraiser features a curated art deco show this year – a first!  As well as a roaring 20’s flapper theme.  Which will suit me just fine, as I’m headed there with Carolyn and will just raid her enormous costume wardrobe (read: basement).  Ooooh.  I haven’t managed to attend this event yet either, but I love cocktails and I love the arts, so this will be a lovely pre-Halloween adult festivity (Halloween is, of course, reserved for squiring Penelope around in her baby shark costume).  Tickets on sale here if you care to join us for ARTini!

Wagyu and wine for a mere $25 at the @CapitalGrille

Several weeks past, the Capital Grille launched its seasonal deal on a gourmet burger and a delectable glass of wine, hand selected by their master sommeliers.  I was invited in for the experience by their local management at the Front St, Hartford location – and they graciously comped the check and, as with previous entries, approved this post prior to publishing.  Just a bit of full disclosure here folks.  And oh my, was it a rich and mighty pairing.

front st view w wine

We dined on the patio.  This offer is available at the bar, the patio, and in the main dining room for lunch.  Behold our mighty wine line up!

This year, the choices for the wine and burger pairing are: a Wagyu Cheeseburger (havarti, fried egg, and crisp onions), a Kona Crusted Wagyu Burger (shallot mayo) or a Wild Mushroom Wagyu Cheeseburger (15 aged balsamic).  This is up from two burger choices last year.  The wine pairing options are: Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley, 2010), and J Vineyards Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley 2013).  Also noteworthy: these two wines are excellent, revered, and very rarely available by the glass.  So that’s all kinds of fancy.

It was with great difficulty that I settled upon the Wild Mushroom Wagyu.  My husband, Michael, selected the Kona Crusted Wagyu.  We were blessed with two glasses of wine thanks to our lovely server, who saw us hemming and hawing and graciously brought us both options to try.  I ended up drinking most of the cabernet and Michael took care of the pinot, based on personal preference.  Flavor wise, the Jordan Cab charmed me with its complex berry aromas and tart sweetness.  I love a good, full bodied red, and this one in particular sang with lots of high fruit notes which made it an excellent summer to fall transitional wine.  the J Vineyards Pinot was also excellent – lighter than the cab (of course) and silky smooth, also with plenty of notes of fresh berries.  My husband very rarely drinks reds and he was surprised by how much he enjoyed it.

And how did the wine pair with the burgers, you may ask?  Well, only as nicely as a luscious glass of red can blend with the tangy, rich flavors of a perfectly executed, high quality beef burger.  Seriously, check this little beauty out:

wagyu precut

In presentation at the table.  Pictured nestled lovingly next to the burger: delicious truffle fries.

burger side view

Sliced open for further investigation.  Note the perfectly pink center.

wagyu better picture

En route to my mouth #actionshot

I should really investigate the type of balsamic that Capital Grille uses.  It’s just marvelously complex, tart, and brings out these amazingly three dimensional flavor palates in the food.  I became acquainted with this fine balsamic during a previous post, on the plate with prosciutto wrapped chicken.

 

chicken prosicutto better pic

Hello, lover

The balsamic alone made me glad for my burger choice, and the creamy mushrooms complimented the flavorful, fatty wagyu beef quite nicely.  I DO want to go back to try, well, both other varieties actually, but most definitely the Kona Crusted Wagyu.  Sadly, I forgot to even ask for a bit of my husband’s Wagyu Cheeseburger, and by the time I thought to ask, it was gone!  There is plenty of opportunity to return, thankfully – as the event runs until November 23rd.  For the $25, you receive both the burger and the wine, and a second glass of wine may be purchased for $20.  I really can’t recommend this promo enough – go and enjoy it before it’s gone!

Jalapeño #errathang and #TGIF mixology @NIXSHartford

I have two current obsessions – one is the word “errathang” – the other is jalapeños – and both are in this blog title.  “Errathang” I discovered whilst writing the Fall Arts Preview.  It’s an imaginary word from the imaginary world of Frowhawk Two Feathers – which will be on exhibit at the Wadsworth shortly.  ERRATHANG.  I love it.  Thankfully my love of jalapeños is shared by one Rich Clemons – of Nixs in Hartford.  He showed be a step by step tutorial on how to prep one of my favorite Nix’s cocktails – the Jalapeno Business – and here’s the video for your viewing pleasure:

jalapeno business

Ze Jalapeño Business, yaaas

Ingredients: 1.75 oz. Tanduay Silver Ru, 1.75 oz lime juice, .75 oz jalapeno simple syrup, coconut water

In addition to drinking my jalapeños, I’ve been eating them.  Lots of and lots of them, thanks to my CSA with The Garlic Farm.  Fresh jalapeños are a delightful, crisp addition to our meals – plus they are organic.  And it’s fun playing “Russian roulette” with them, as the heat level varies wildly with each individual pepper.  Hehe.  Here’s a really simple corn, jalapeño, and bacon side dish.  I’ve also made it with goat cheese – and if you want to add a tablespoon to this recipe, it will blend all the flavors together nicely.

bacon

Begin by sautéeing several slices of bacon in a frying pan.  Drain the excess bacon fat.

corn in pan

Add fresh raw corn.  Just slice it right off the cob and you’re good to go.  Salt and pepper to taste!

jalapeno and corn

Select your jalapeño

jalapeno corn and bacon

Slice and add to the pan.  Cover and reduce heat slightly – cook for 5-10 minutes or until corn is juicy

fish tacos

I served mine with fish tacos and more fresh, sliced jalapeños on top.  Because I can’t get enough.

So there you have it.  Hot pepper season is almost over, so get out there and enjoy the fresh jalapeños while they last!

 

A Taste @RealArtWays #playnice with mixology @NIXSHartford and five awesome events in September

Greetings friends!  I am writing this on Labor Day from the wonderful Lost Acres Vineyard, which is way better, quite frankly, than Starbucks:

lost acres working

Not pictured: my delicious pumpkin whoopie pie from Lost Acres Orchard, which is right up the road!  Time for fall, yes?

Speaking of autumn and local farms – I’ve rounded up some of my favorite, upcoming September events and they are listed below for your viewing pleasure.  But first, a recap of some of my favorite happenings from the last couple of weeks!  Not going to go into a crazy amount of detail, but I did have a lovely birthday (at Lost Acres, obviously), and my friend Emily hosted an equally lovely cocktail party called “Dazed and Infused” because she and her boyfriend Nick are really clever like that:

 

penelope and alex

Drawing at my party with her BFF Alex from next door, sporting a fetching Unicorn Horn courtesy of Auntie Cait

p on the balcony

Enjoying the balcony at Emily’s party

Penelope attended both parties of course, although she was regrettably absent from two fun events her Mama got to finally try out this week (alas, not everything is 18 month old approved – topping the list are probably French films on cooking and VIP cocktail mixers – which is what I did at Real Art Ways (for their Taste series) and at Nixs (for the cocktail party!)

Taryn invited me to the Taste featuring Chris Prosperi, and I rapturously accepted her invite as I’ve been following this event closely since it’s first season (details here if anyone’s interested!)

with taryn

Taryn and I.  Ain’t we cute?

Basically, the premise behind this concept is: a cozy, food themed movie in Real Art Way’s hipster cinema (wine encouraged!) followed by a q and a and “taste” of small plates with the chef in question.  Fabulous!  This Taste paired the work of Chris Prosperi – a gazpacho and panzanella to be exact – with movie from the Inventing Cuisine series featuring French Chef Michael Troisgros.   The whimsical film featured an in depth portrayal of the inner workings of one of the best kitchens in France (with some ‘heavily staged’ scenes according to Mr Prosperi) and elaborate, beautiful shots of some elevated haute cuisine.  Michael’s stage presence – he is a regular guest on WNPR’s Faith Middletown Show – was in full force post film:

chris prosperi

Preparing the panzanella!

metro bis panzanella

A group pairing of the gazpacho and panzanella, with a card from Chris’ home restaurant, Metro Bis in Simsbury

The next show is on September 29th will host Rachel Carr, of Six Main for a farm to chef, vegetarian/vegan/pescatarian evening.  Tickets are on sale here!  Highly recommended for the cerebral foodie who really appreciates the intellectual and visual aspects of cuisine.

Real Art Ways was one of the first Hartford venues I really experienced upon moving here through their Creative Cocktail Hour.  It was, therefore, from beloved old to shiny new to go in the course of a week from an event at RAW to a cocktail mixer at Hartford’s newest sexy newcomer – NIXs.  This Boston chain features a slick chandeliered, mirrored, pirated up interior (seriously, go check it out) creative, delicious mixology, and a nice offering of seafood entrees:

raw bar

Hello there, $1 happy hour raw bar!

I met my good friend, JC, at the bar, where she had discovered a $6 martini special which I promptly ordered too (in spite of the free cocktail samples circling the party – it was too good to pass up!)

cocktail with happy hour menu

Clementine vodka, grapefruit juice, triple sec, prosecco.  Heaven.

Next up: circling the cocktail party, playing nice with good friends, and trying every cocktail in sight!  Rich Clemens is the head Bar Manager at Nixs.  JC and I both know him from Tisane, and we did nerdly bonding over his Dr Who inspired “Bad Wolf” cocktail
nixs cocktails pouring

Fresh lemon juice, orange juice, Redemption Rye Whiskey, and honey simple syrup.  Plus this awesome quote: “I wanted to make a cocktail that is extraordinarily sexy like Billy Piper but badass like a pissed off Tardis.”  I can’t even.

Another personal favorite of mine was the Tequila Mockingbird (more clever names, yaaas):

pouring the watermelon one

“Alabama Slammer” style with silver tequila, slept gin, amaretto, lime juice, and orange juice

But the majority of people I talked to named the pretty Beach Please as their favorite:

nixs cucumber cooler

Pineapple vodka, cucumber juice, agave nectar, lime juice, and sparkling coconut water

I have pretty rampant ADHD and between the shiny chandeliers and the cocktails, I missed almost all of the food pairings

deviled egg

It was delicious.  But lonely.

So I most definitely need to go back to NIXs pronto to try more food offerings.  Fortunately, the new Bear’s Smokehouse is right around the corner, so JC, Rachael, and I headed over there for delicious BBQ.

rachael eating bbq

Rachael demonstrating great street eating skills with her Mac Attack.

Truly, a week full of Hartfordy goodness.  And there’s so much more coming up in September!  Below are five events I’m really looking forward to:

Open Farm Day in Granby: This is the epitomy of a family friendly event.  Grab the kids (or the dogs, or both) and head out to the farms in Granby for a day of expos, samples, and general wholesome earthy goodness.  From the goat cheese at Sweet Pea, to the fresh organic garlic at the Garlic Farm, to the peach cobbler at Lost Acres Orchard, to a free sample of wine at Lost Acres, you’ll have a good time and support local agriculture.  And bring the reusable tote you usually cart to the farmers’ market, because there will be plenty of fresh produce and other goodies for sale.

Taste of the Suburbs – our restaurant week featuring prixe fix menus of awesome deliciousness.  I’m currently in the throes of agony trying to decide between 50 West and El Pulpo.  Heavy stuff man.  Other strong, noteworthy contenders and favorites: Esca, Max’s Oyster Bar, Millwrights and Vinted.  Pick one – or two! and go enjoy between September 8 -21st.  Reservations strongly recommended.

Urban Challenge – West Hartford! You probably need to burn some calories after all the delicious feasting at restaurant week.   Why not do it the FUN way on September 19th – working in teams of two to decipher clues about local West Hartford stores and dashing from place to place ahead of some fierce competition!  And I mean ‘fierce’ in the most fashiony way, as dressing up is encouraged and Carolyn and I will be participating and BRINGING IT.  Early registration is strongly encouraged as the event will sell out. 

Harvest Party Dinner at Lost Acres  We attended this dinner last year and it was a blast.  Penelope and I picked grapes in the morning (which is totally free and a thing you can also do the day of if so inclined) and then headed back for a farm to chef dinner with Mike that evening, complete with many samplings of Lost Acres blends.  This event is also anticipated to sell out, so pre-registration is a good idea.

The Colin McEnroe Show’s Fifth Year Anniversary!  Attention, WNPR nerds.  The Colin McEnroe Show is turning 5 and YOU are invited as a fellow fan to celebarte at Infinity Hall in Hartford.  For the low price of $5 a person, come enjoy your favorite radio personalities and hobnob with hipsters (let’s just be realistic about that being a thing that will happen) at the gorgeous new Infinity Music Hall and Bistro in Downtown Hartford.

So that’s what I’ll be up to in September, and I hope many of you will join me!  Any cool events I missed?  Leave them in the comments please xo