Flavor Packed Cuisine and Creative Cocktails @Rooftop120

Rooftop 120 is a magical place.  It feels like a slice of somewhere much further south, where tropical cocktails flow freely, people dine out doors, and the food is infused with Caribbean flavors.  I had the pleasure of being invited in, not once, but twice! (blessed) in the past couple weeks.

Visit the first: a Martini Lab with the always entertaining Tyler Devecchis and Top Liquor Queen, Nadine Gengras:

spring fling rooftop 120

Pssst.  there is another one coming up on April 6th!  Call the number above to reserve seats and do so quickly – it will most likely sell out quickly.

A big, friendly crowd gathered for this pink themed event to mix cocktails and eat delicious food created by head chef Xavier Santiago

rooftop 120 blog 3

A big, rowdy crowd.  Not saying this was Girls Night Out because there were plenty of men present, but I sat at a table of all women – none of whom I knew – and was very entertained by the group (I was the quiet one – that’s a rare thing indeed).  Great night.

Pictured above: the starting cocktail Strawberry Martini with Ultimat Vodka

We mixed this ourselves (martini lab) I made a big mess.  My glass was not full.

rooftop 120 blog 4

Looks easy right?  Well, I’m a klutz.

rootop 120 blog 6

Food pairing: strawberry and feta salad

Isn’t the color great?  The green dressing offset the sweet strawberries quite nicely.  Pink food and pink drink – quite clever.

Next up: a delicious, scratch margarita

rooftop 120 new blog picture 3

Behold the flowing agave

This drink was great as we were able to control our level of tartness, and I went VERY tart, naturally

rooftop 120 new blog picture 4

Yum.  Patron Tequila, Agave, citrus.  Simple perfection.

Knowing margaritas are simple to make at home, why don’t I do this more often?  I should, particularly in the summer months.  Top shelf tequila doesn’t take much to coax out the flavor.  This paired quite nicely with course number two:

chicken and risotto

Chicken and risotto.  Texture was great, breadcrumbs were great, sauce was creamy, chicken well executed.  On point everything.

Last course, dessert: DONUTS

rooftop 120 blog 10

Teeny eeny bitty donuts with barely any calories.  Or so I told myself!  And strawberry milk.

I finished the donuts.  I’m not proud, but I did.  I passed on the last cocktail however – two full drinks is enough for me!

I enthused to Xavier about his food (particularly the risotto) so he invited me back to sample a couple of his other dishes that he is very proud of (thanks Xavier)

rooftop 120 final picture

PLUS I got to hang with Tyler and drink a Pineapple Mojito (Cruzan White Rum/lime/mint/simple syrup/sour mix/soda/pineapple juice).  Oh what a time to be alive.

Xavier made three dishes for me.  One of them was kidnapped by my boyfriend (the salmon – I sampled it, before he ate it).  The other two I polished off myself, in one evening, without any real plans on finishing them.  They were just… so good you guys.  The appetizer in particular.  I will never return to Rooftop 120 without ordering it.

rooftop 120 blog 13

Appetizer: Loaded “Potato” (House Mad Gnocchi/Pickeled Onions/Pickled Jalapeno/Sour Cream/Bacon/Scallions/Vermont Cheddar Bechamel)

rooftop 120 new blog picture 1

Squid Ink Spaghetti “Thai” style (Gulf jumpo shrimp/ confit tomato/shaved garlic/Thai bird chili/San Marzano Tomato sauce)

rooftop 120 blog 12

“Everything” Salmon (Butternut Ginger Puree/lemon creme fraiche/grilled scallions/picked red onions)

So there you have it.  Now is the PERFECT time to visit Rooftop, as their patio space is one of the best around.  Soak up the warm weather, have a cocktail, enjoy a little nosh.  Highly recommended.

 

 

@SBShades #StevieBoi #NYFW2015 show plus @NolchaEvents told through a #Snapchat story

I have some really, really talented friends, whom I got to watch in action during New York Fashion Week.  Top of mind right now are two people:

nolcha blog glasses

Kelly Hart of “That Girl” – who was the lead make up artist for the Stevie Boi shades fashion show 

and:

nolcha blog in line

Carolyn Paine, seen practicing resting bitch face with me as we lined up for the show, and who is currently deep in Nutcracker planning mode

Kelly was in charge of make up and styling for this show, which focused on blinged out glasses and a constructuralist aesthetic.  The venue was very Chelsea chic – the No. 8 Lounge, with the show itself happening quite casually with models strolling and and out of the crowd.

nolcha blog stevie boi

Whatever this chandelier is – I’m into it

nolcha blog runway

After the show, we popped  upstairs to congratulate Kelly and meet the models
nolcha blog backstage

Seen here being fierce

nolcha blog bonjour berlin

Also extraordinarily fierce – Carolyn’s friend Andrae, modeling a pair of the Stevie Boi shades

nolcha blog fierce shoes

With some very fine Jeffrey Campbells

After the show, we headed over to the Vanity Fair after party, at the Empire Hotel Rooftop

therapy outfit empire hotel after party

My entire outfit is from Therapy (minus the Alexis Bittar pendant) – a lovely slouchy black tee and a black leather skirt – casual but dressy, perfect for venue hopping in the city.  I like Therapy so much that I wore a SECOND outfit for the store for my follow up trip to the city for Nolcha on Sunday:

IMG_1431

This is, quite possibly, my favorite little black dress.  The only reason I say ‘possibly’ is that I have an absurd amount of LBDs in my closet (but can you really ever have too many?  I think not)

Nolcha is a showcase of some independent and up and coming designers, with several high impact runway shows occurring back to back.  It takes place at Pier 59 Studios, another excellent venue with onsite valet parking and a really excellent lounge and rooftop space.

IMG_1352

I missed the 6 pm shows this year, but was delighted to attend the 9 pm ones to see Danny Nguyen, Acid NYC, and Intrepid by AO’C

IMG_1428

Selfies were taken with Danny

IMG_1370

As well as solo with a photobomb from one of the lovely gents from BE Magazine (hurrah new friends!)

IMG_1350

And last but not least, the lovely Paula Mele, who is also the current Mrs. Connecticut International

Alas and alack, last year my good friend Kat attended Nolcha with me and took some killer photos.  This year, my evil camera roll decided to become full within minutes of arriving at the venue and, of course, before the fashion shows commenced.  So I had to resort to good old fashioned Snap Chat to capture the runway shows.  You can find higher res images from the photographers at Nolcha at the following links:

For Danny Nguyen

For Acid NYC

For Intrepid by AOC

… of all the three shows, my favorite element were the textiles by Acid.  their use of colors, particularly on the swimwear, combined with trendy prints, was right in my wheelhouse, aesthetic wise.  Some of the highlights from my Snapchat “gallery” are below as well for your viewing pleasure – enjoy!

IMG_1418

IMG_1415

IMG_1421

IMG_1420

IMG_1423

IMG_1424

 

IMG_1425

IMG_1427

Cheers to New York Fashion Week and all the creativity which goes into each and every designer’s collection!  It’s an honor to attend and experience the new apparels first hand

IMG_1430

Finishing with a glass of bubbly and a new glossy mag for reading at home

Penelope’s Big Year + Send a Kid to Camp Courant!

This post is all about my kid – Penelope – and some of my favorite photos from this past year.  I promised it to a couple of you in lieu of the Facebook ‘year in review’ algorithm (which I don’t care to do for multiple reasons).  So I hope you enjoy!  And speaking of kids – a great fundraiser is coming up in February – for Camp Courant.  I’ll be there – will you?

send a kid to camp

 

2014 was a big year for little Penelope!  She finally grew some hair!

2014-05-17 14.06.34

Naice hair

Learned to walk:

IMG_2313

Like a Big Girl

Enjoyed her first birthday party:

2014-04-05 16.29.38

And her birthday cupcakes

Visited the Garlic Farm:
p with her scapes

Seen here with a scape, which we learned are for looking at and not eating raw in the car

Rosedale Vineyards:

scott miller with p

Straight up chilling with Scott Miller

As well as Lost Acres Vineyard:

IMG_6090

Where they look the other way when babies sneak grapes off the vine

We also went to the beach!

tankini

Seen here at Cape Cod in a baby tankini with whales.  So fetch.

And to Florida

swimming with grandpa

Swimming with Grandpa in Florida

We learned about the finer things in life, such as:

2014-10-10 15.02.05

Fashion

baby w cannoli

Cannoli

2014-02-25 13.36.51

Cupcakes

2014-10-09 06.55.41

…and temper tantrums.  Unfortunately.

We attended some marvelous parties:
2014-05-10 15.39.17

Such style

And channeled our inner Naked Cowboy:

2014-05-10 13.30.37

IMG_5583

Went to lunch with the ladies

p and auntie

Bonded with our favorite Auntie

p and mommy on the beach lilly pulitzer

And coordinated outfits with Mommy

And we finished up the year dancing on the stage at the Wadsworth in an ugly Christmas sweater at the Connetic Dance Nutcracker Suite and Spicy matinee:

p in the snow

So amazing

Such a big girl now :*)  Mommy is so proud.

Old School Glamour for the @HartfordCourant #250Gala and Old School Vintage for the Posh Sale @TheWadsworth

Sometimes, a night comes along which is 250 years in the making.  Starting in 1776 with the first printing of the Connecticut Courant – a paper which supercedes the United States in age, and which printed the Declaration of Independence.  Today, October 29th, is actually the official anniversary – so Happy Birthday to this publication!  A paper which boasted its first female Publisher withing three lifecycles of ownership and continues that tradition with Nancy Meyer to this day.  I’m talking of my place of work, the Hartford Courant, and the black tie gala at the equally magical Bushnell which took place last Friday eve.

bushnell stars in the sky

Shining stars and a red carpet.  Such dreamy things

The event was the official celebration of 250 years of continuous operation for the Hartford Courant, which is admittedly a pretty big deal.

There were publishers old and new present:
nancy in the media

Including the lovely Nancy Meyer.  Pictured with a gorgeous set of coworkers!

Ballerinas dressed by the ladies of Trashion Fashion in newspaper gowns:

trashion ballerina

Prepping with Amy in the dressing room!

bsllerinas dressing room

So pretty – and Nina Salazar’s tights are fab too

bustier selfie

And heck yeah, a newspaper bustier designed just for me!

Blo of West Hartford styled all the models’ hair – as well as my own:

blo poster

Just fab as always, thanks!

And the ladies were onsite to assist guests with newspaper accessories – also designed by the Trashion Team:

ballerina headband

Here is Penelope modeling her very own newspaper headband, because of course she needed one too

There was a cocktail hour featuring delicious Onyx Moonshine cocktails – a fitting libation for a historical event!

gorgeous onyx bar

Such a pretty bar set up!

onyx moments

Sharing #onyxmoments with the lovely Rachael Forker

Cartoonist Bob Englehart was on hand sketching caricatures of guests:

bob cartoonist

Cool guy

And at the seated dinner, some very fortunate guests dined on the stage

tables on the stage at the bushnell

Photo courtesy of Alex Syphers for CTNow

We ate in a nearby atrium, which features my favorite Chihuly glass sculpture:
chihully glass

Love it – the fact that it’s red and just fit in with the decor was a happy coincidence.  And I didn’t capture a picture (the horror!) but the feast provided by the Max Catering Group was simply delightful – Head Chef Scott Miller pulled off a spectacular spread, and on his birthday no less!  Thanks Scott.

After dinner, there were speeches galore:
dannel malloy

Including remarks from Dannel Malloy, fetchingly dressed in a Vineyard Vines tie specifically designed for the Courant!

your moments in history

So preppy and awesome

And at the end of the evening, a dance floor arose on the Bushnell stage – which was probably the coolest part of the entire evening:
stage

Wow yourself

Seeing Michael was out of town, I lucked out on a very special dance partner – Amanda Reese (married to Josh Reese, CEO of Camp Courant)

selfies with Amanda

Girl can twirl

Speaking of Camp Courant – the entire gala was a fundraiser for Camp Courant, and over $90,000 was raised for the charity. Hurrah!  Here’s to history.

Speaking of history… the next morning Penelope and I headed over to the Design Source of CT together for a very special preview of the Posh Sale.   I attended a posh sale several years back and wrote about it here (actually – I wrote about it for http://www.ct.com before it rebranded and I have no idea why the article is on the Sun Sentinel now except that it’s our sister company – huh).  I thoroughly enjoyed the first one I attended and I am really looking forward to this upcoming incarnation, November 7-9th.  It’s also a charity event, to benefit the Wadsworth Atheneum’s Textile Society, and that means, well, vintage clothes galore:

vintage cabbage patch doll

Also: vintage cabbage patch dolls

christmas ham

Posing in an oversized hat for the “papparazzi” aka fellow bloggers Carolyn and Kerri (left to right)

shoe heaven

Shoes of every style and stripe imaginable – male and female!

zalo shoes

More shoes

dobbs hat yah

Don Draper hats, very hot

vintage lilly

Vintage Lilly Pulitzer.  No one else is allowed to buy this

vintage baby coat and hat

Teeny vintage baby coats (too small for P, alas)

j crew rack

A whole rack of J Crew (glorious)

coat and blazer

Sturdy and classically tailored wool suits

argyle coat that Diane stole jk

Soft, buttery houndstooth coats

throwback jumpsuit

Cool throwback jumpsuits.  Not my size but if it was, I would definitely swap out the buttons and wear this. 

Truly something for every fashionista (or fashion guy) of any shape, size, or persuasion can be had at this sale.  Plus, you’re shopping for a good cause so it’s basically charity work.  Hurrah!  Mark your calendars – I hope to see you there xo