Small Bites: Dining News

>>Wingstop, a Dallas-based chain of chicken-wing restaurants, has debuted in Connecticut with its first restaurant in Hartford, at 550 Farmington Ave. Another Wingstop will open in Vernon at 35 Talcottville Road in mid-May, and a third is planned for Storrs later this year. Wingstop's menu features classic and boneless-style chicken wings and strips in a variety of sauce flavors. Information:

>>Max Restaurant Group has announced its Chef to Farm dinner schedule for the 2015 season, with a variety of themed alfresco dinners at locations throughout the state. Events include seasonal dinners featuring local seafood, corn, tomatoes, vegan fare and brunch at venues like Rosedale Farm and Vineyard in Simsbury, Graywall Farm in Lebanon and Sub Edge Farm in Farmington. Tickets range from $45 to $115. Information:

>>Al Forno, 1654 Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook, hosts an Antinori wine dinner April 29 at 6:30 p.m. The dinner, featuring the highly regarded Tuscan label, features pasta, fish and meat courses. Cost is $78 plus tax and gratuity. Information and reservations: 860-399-4166,

>>Chef Leo Bushey, whose past work in Connecticut includes executive chef roles at Acqua Oyster Bar, Hartford Club, Country Club of Farmington and The Willows at the Doubletree Bristol, has been named the executive chef at Madison Beach Hotel. The hotel hosts a special Meet the Chef dinner April 30 at 6:30 p.m. to preview upcoming items from the spring menu. Dinner features an assortment of hors d'ouevres, appetizers of fried cold-water oysters and seared diver scallops, courses of grilled mahi mahi and pan-roasted lamb chops, and a cherry Newton with almond Devonshire cream for dessert. Cost is $89 plus tax and gratuity. Information: 203-350-0014 and (This listing was updated April 20 to reflect a change in pricing.)

>>The Taste of Manchester event returns May 12 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. The pub crawl-style event features tastings of signature items from participating restaurants such as Cosmic Omelet, Hartford Road Café, Hungry Tiger, La Bamba, Lucky Taco, Main Pub and Rocco's. Tickets are $25 for adults; $15 for children until May 1; after that they're $30. The event will benefit Manchester Dog Owners Group. Information:

>>New London hosts its annual Spring Food Stroll May 13 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. More than 40 restaurants, shops and arts and cultural institutions participate in the event, which features bite-size samples of dishes and drinks, food competitions and entertainment. Stroll buttons are $30 in advance. Information:

 >>The 8th Iron Chef Elm City competition on Sunday, April 26, at the Omni Hotel at Yale features a showdown between chefs Carlos Cassar of the Copper Beech Inn, Ian Frew of Yale New Haven Hospital and Todd Ruiz of the Omni. At the competition, a "secret" ingredient is unveiled and the chefs are required to create an appetizer, entree and dessert using the ingredient – all in one hour. A reception includes tastings from the competing restaurants and samples by the secret ingredient sponsor. Tickets are $45 (or $65 for preferred viewing; these tickets are limited) and proceeds will benefit scholarships for Gateway Community College's hospitality management and culinary arts students and programs. The event starts at 11:45 a.m. Information: 203-777-8550 or 203-415-3519; or visit and click on "Iron Chef."

>>Carmen Anthony Restaurant Group has closed two more of its restaurants in New Haven and Waterbury, leaving its Woodbury fishhouse as its sole remaining property. In a statement, owner Carmen Anthony Vacalebre said the Woodbury menu would be revamped to include many of the steakhouse menu item favorites. Information:

>>To celebrate its one-year anniversary under new ownership, Billy Tee's at 150 Sebethe Drive in Cromwell features an all-Connecticut lineup of draft beer for the month of April. The bar's 23 taps will pour a rotating selection of brews from Thomas Hooker, Olde Burnside, New England Brewing, Black Hog, Thimble Island, Beer'd, Two Roads, Back East and DuVig, among others. Information: 860-632-1333,

>>Altanaveigh Inn, 957 Storrs Road, Storrs, has introduced a new Sunday brunch, served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The a la carte menu items include creme brulee-style bread pudding French toast, roast beef hash, a farmers' market scrambler egg dish, sirloin steak and "cheezie" eggs and salmon cakes Nicoise. Entrees are $12.50 to $18. Information: 860-429-4490 and

>>Wasabi Modern Japanese Cuisine & Lounge has opened at 1155 Tolland Turnpike in Manchester, featuring traditional Japanese sushi and hibachi dishes. It's open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 10 p.m. 860-432-4665,

>>The Thread City Hop Fest in Willimantic's Jillson Square on May 3 features craft beer tastings from more than 30 New England breweries, live music and food vendors. Tickets are $35 per person in advance or $40 at the gate. Proceeds from the Hop Fest benefit The No Freeze Project, Willimantic Renaissance, Inc. and Vulturetown Arts. The festival starts at noon. Information:

>>Saybrook Point Inn, 2 Bridge St., Old Saybrook, offers a new seasonal menu at its Fresh Salt restaurant with spring salads, panini, wild salmon crudo flatbread, Jonah crab-avocado salad with grilled watermelon steak, sweet pea risotto with blackened Stonington shrimp, Connecticut and Maine-style lobster rolls and raw bar selections. 800-243-0212,

>>After first introducing Sunday brunch as a National Margarita Day special in February, Besito in West Hartford has announced it's here to stay, with a 2-for-1 margarita promotion. Brunch, served from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., features entrees of enchiladas huevos y chorizo ($10.95), huevos rancheros ($9.95), chilaquiles roja ($8.95), two eggs any style with chorizo and breakfast potatoes ($9.95) and yogurt with fresh fruit and granola ($7.95.) Margaritas are 2-for-1 from noon to 3 p.m. Besito's regular lunch menu will also be available. 860-233-2500,

>>Ethnic grocery stores abound in the Hartford area, offering a host of exotic ingredients that may be new to most amateur cooks. Foodie Prudence Sloane is once again offering a series of cooking workshops that will acquaint you with the stores, the cuisine, the customs and the products. Her Hartford City Food Tours will include a trip to A Dong Asian Supermarket and a Vietnamese lunch on May 9. Cost is $75. On May 16, the program includes visits to DiFiore Pasta, D&D Market, Peppercorns Grill and Mozzicatos, all in Hartford. Cost is $95. Sloane is also hosting a Knife Skills Workshop on April 25 for $75. Information:

>>The Dinners at the Farm dates have been announced for the 2015 summer season. The 10 open-air dinners will be Held at White Gate Farm in East Lyme and Barberry Hill Farm in Madison. Started in 2007, the summer dinners feature six-course feasts with foods that are fresh and seasonal, and cooked alongside the fields from which they come. Proceeds benefit five non-profit partners, CitySeed, CT Farmland Trust, The New Connecticut Farmers Alliance, Working Lands Alliance and Region 4 Schools' Get Fresh 4 School Healthy Lunch Initiative. Under the direction of River Tavern's Jonathan Rapp and the Farm Dinner Team, dinners this year will be held at Barberry Hill Farm each night from July 22 to 26 and at White Gate Farm from Aug. 5 to 9. Information:


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