These Connecticut spots are hosting Kentucky Derby parties with mint juleps, fancy hats and all the action surrounding the "most exciting two minutes in sports." All events are May 6 unless otherwise noted.
The Hops Company, 77 Sodom Lane, Derby, hosts a Kentucky Derby party starting at noon, with loaded Bloody Marys and bottomless cider mimosas until 3 p.m. Starting at 3, there will be live music, cornhole and a pony and pint foot race at 4 p.m. The winner of the 5 p.m. crazy hat contest wins a Stella bistro set. 203-734-1616, thehopscompany.com.
Foxwoods Resort Casino hosts a Derby party in its Grand Ballroom starting at 10 a.m. with large-screen TVs, betting windows, hat contest and live table games. Make a minimum $50 bet and receive a free Derby glass, buffet and mint julep. At the Ultimate Race Book, enjoy reserved seating, a program and hat, and advance wagering starting May 5. foxwoods.com.
Bobby V's, 11 Schoephoester Road, Windsor Locks, hosts a Kentucky Derby party with mint juleps and prizes for best hat and best dressed. Reservations are strongly encouraged and parties need to arrive no later than 3 p.m; patio seating is first-come, first-serve. Must be at least 18 to enter the restaurant on Derby Day. 860-627-5808, bobbyvsrestaurant.com.
All b Restaurant (formerly Plan B) locations will host Derby Day parties starting at 11 a.m. with $8 Four Roses bourbon mint juleps, Kentucky-inspired food (country ham and biscuits, Hot Brown turkey burgers) and contests for best hat and best-dressed. burgersbeerbourbon.com.
Angelico's Lake House, 81 N. Main St., East Hampton, hosts a Derby party with mint juleps and Derby-themed cocktails, along with Kentucky Hot Brown sandwiches and bourbon pudding. The event features music by Wild Hearts and competitions for best hat and attire. 860-267-1276, angelicoslakehouse.com.
Max Downtown, 185 Asylum St., Hartford, hosts a Derby party starting at 5 p.m. with Woodford Reserve bourbon beverages, passed hors d'oeuvres, a buffet dinner and a best hat contest. The first 80 people to reserve will receive a commemorative Woodford Reserve julep cup. Tickets are $39. 860-522-2530, maxdowntown.com.
Max's Oyster Bar, 964 Farmington Ave., West Hartford, offers a special menu of Derby food and drink from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the bar only, including $6 mint juleps and other Bulleit bourbon cocktails and $6 snacks (Kentucky hot brown sliders, Bulleit-glazed chicken wings, pimento cheese sandwich, BBQ grilled oysters and shrimp and grits.) 860-236-6299, maxsoysterbar.com.
Max’s Tavern, 1000 West Columbus Ave., Springfield, offers a special race menu with $7 items, including BBQ shrimp and grits, bourbon BBQ pork sliders and Hot Brown sandwich, and $7 bourbon cocktails, including classic and rhubarb juleps. maxtavern.com.
Cure, 55 Mill St., Unionville, kicks off its Derby celebration at 3 p.m. with food specials ($4 to $12) including a Kentucky hot brown sandwich, chilled sweet pea soup and mint julep Jell-O blocks. Themed drink specials ($8 to $10) include a raspberry bourbon smash, classic mint julep and Eddy Palmer. 860-321-7821, curerestaurantct.com.
Park & Oak Restaurant, 14 Oakwood Ave., West Hartford, offers its full menu of Southern comfort food (with highlights like a pimento cheese sandwich and fried chicken and waffles) and special drinks like the Kentucky Buck ($9) and Southern Julep ($10). "Gates" open at noon. 860-244-2536, parkandoakrestaurant.com.
The North House, 1 Nod Road, Avon, will air the Derby on every TV in its tavern, along with specials like $6 mint juleps, Kentucky Hot Brown sandwiches, bourbon brined pork, and half-off all Kentucky bourbons. 860-404-5951, thenorthhouse.com.
Cask Republic hosts Derby parties at its locations in New Haven, South Norwalk and Stamford starting at 5 p.m., with bourbon flights, juleps and a prosecco toast to kick off the race. Gift cards will be awarded for gift cards to the Most Dapper Dressed male and Best Hat for the women. caskrepublic.com.