What’s better than a wonderfully relaxing weekend getaway at a charming inn and spa in beautiful costal Connecticut? Oh, you know, a wonderfully relaxing weekend getaway at a charming inn and spa in beautiful coastal Connecticut, centered entirely around amazing food! Yeah, that’s happening at Saybrook Point Inn and Spa in Old Saybrook and you need to get in on it, stat!
Saybrook Point Inn and Spa’s Food Lovers Weekends offer “food enthusiasts” an amazing opportunity to go behind the scenes of their highly acclaimed casual fine dining restaurant, Fresh Salt. Executive Chef Leslie Tripp and his team will be your tour guide through the whole experience, not only telling you about the restaurant’s philosophy and practices with local farmers and food suppliers, but also walking your through, step by step, how to create culinary masterpieces. You know you’re in great hands with Chef Tripp since he’s a graduate of the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and spent some time at Michelin Starred Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons in England alongside our hero, Gordon Ramsay, when he was just a sous chef for the legendary Master Chef, Raymond Blanc.
Near the end of an epic Saturday with our buddies Alicia and Renato, we stopped by the newly opened Bear’s Smokehouse in Hartford. Perhaps by some divine work of Bacchus, god of gluttony, we saw a parking spot right outside the restaurant and snagged it. You know, we figured the closer the better, so we could roll ourselves out the car after we devoured ribs, pulled pork, Paw Paw’s poutine, and a ton of sides.
The cool thing here about Bear’s Smokehouse is they serve up super high-end tasting BBQ in a super low-key atmosphere—cafeteria style, in fact. You just line up, think about all the food that you can handle, order, then bring it back to a table either downstairs, upstairs, or in the summer out on the rooftop BBQ garden owner and Pit Master Jamie “The Bear” McDonald plans to open. Yeah, the same Bear who won the 21st Wing Bowl by annihilating 287 wings in just 30 minutes. To find out more about his competitive eating gastronomic victories, check out his site. And, if you feel daring, you could challenge him to an eating contest on the spot or even try to down the Bearwich for a shot at $500.
In December of 2004, Bill Rizzuto started Rizzuto’s in Bethel. The menu featured good, classic Italian dishes paired with brick oven pies fresh out of the oven. As the success for the Bethel restaurant grew, Bill expanded Rizzuto’s into West Hartford, Westport, and Stamford. With expansion also came evolution, as they began to focus more on small plates, drink selection, and new concepts like recently adding more of a sports vibe to their Stamford spot.
To celebrate their continued success, Bill and everybody at Rizzuto’s Bethel will be offering up deals from 1/25-2/21 (not including Valentine’s Day). Lunch will cost you just $10 ($1 for every year) and dinner will set you back only $20.04 (2004, get it?)
Rizzuto’s Bethel is located at 6 Stony Hill Road.
The OLD Georgetown Saloon was known for that no frills, down and dirty, neighborhood dive bar vibe that locals can’t get enough of. The NEW Georgetown Saloon still is that, but this time around new owner, Chris Forland, and new chef, John Brennan (formerly Executive Chef of Plan B Burger Bar) kicked it up about a million notches with kickass, modern comfort food and creative cocktails that fit the vibe perfectly. So in honor of that super chill vibe, let’s just get down and dirty with the experience, food, and cocktails.
From what our friends tell us, the restaurant itself still has a lot of the same decor elements it had back in the day, but Chef Brennan himself amped it up by picking out some new, fun, modern additions (like graffiti), perfecting that neighborhood, roadhouse vibe that makes you want to hang there all night. There’s still a great stage for fun entertainment (we were there for Open Mic Night on Thursday) and TVs for the sports lovers. In fact, once the word gets out about all the new awesomeness Georgetown Saloon has to offer, we can see this place getting PACKED with fun entertainment every night.
Look, there are tons of Italian restaurants in CT, especially in Fairfield County. Some of ’em you can love, some you can just like, and some you can say aren’t even as good as Olive Garden (and that’s saying something). Well, after our press dinner we think Brick + Wood, the newest Italian spot to open in Fairfield in November 2014, is one you can love. We’re gonna break down the reasons why . . .
When we lived in Westport back in ’04, we became rabid sushi eaters. A typical week saw us picking up or getting sushi delivery at least twice a week. You might say we had a problem, though we’re sure Matsu Sushi didn’t think so since we usually got it from them! They were not only conveniently located right down the street, but their sushi was always fresh and delicious.
But, it’s been a loooong while since we’d been, so long in fact that we hadn’t realized that when we were invited to check out Matsu, that this was the restaurant we had always ordered from. Quite a happy coincidence!
Parking was very easy across the street at the Library (which we *think* is legal after hours, but we can’t be held accountable if not, lol). That particular night we had the pleasure of dining with one of the owners, Paul Teoh and his partner. They took us through their menu, their history, sushi culture, and seemingly every single dish on their menu.
So let’s dive in…
Although we’ve always been obsessed with discovering and sharing great places to dine out in CT, back in 2006 (when we lived in Black Rock) we were just developing our professional eating and dining abilities. We’d check out the hottest spots in the area, and (of course) we’d also try out the newest restaurants. One such restaurant was Viale, which we saw being built, start to finish. Ever the intrepid explorers, we had a meal during the first few weeks of their opening. While we didn’t remember all the details of our first meal so many years ago, we do remember the meal to be decent, but no amazing.
Now, fast forward to a few weeks back when we were invited to come in and try Viale again. We were very interested to see if things were the same or if they’d improved, especially now that we have so many great places to compare it to.
In a few weeks on December 13, we have a good hunch where you’ll be: at the inaugural BeerConn at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport. The brouhaha is so brew-centric that there are actually two sessions: Session 1 goes from 12:30-4 and Session 2 goes from 5:30-9! Tix are just $35 per person (tax and fees extra), $45 the day of (if there are any left), and just $10 for those saintly designated drivers. You should be able to buy these tickets today, so keep checking their site!
And, as for the drinkable deets, here we go:
Drink wine, eat food, repeat.
Hey, that’s something that we can get used to! And, that’s exactly what you’ll be doing this Friday from 7-10 at The North Stamford Exchange Club’s 5th Annual Wine Tasting. The event, held at The Italian Center of Stamford, is a vital fundraiser for the Exchange Club who uses the money to donate to the Exchange Club Parenting Skills Center, ARI, Stamford Youth Foundation, local fire departments, the Shelter for the Homeless, and the Stamford Historical Society. Tickets are $50 per person, $190 for a Bottle Pack of 4, or $270 for a Magnum Pack of 6 people. You can get tickets here, by calling up Amy Wilmot at 203-667-1202, by visiting Giovana’s Wines & Spirits at 1492 High Ridge Road, or even at the door.