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CTnow

Small Bites: Dining News

CTNow.com

11:44 AM EDT, October 15, 2013

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>>The Time Out Sports Bar at the Doubletree by Hilton, 42 Century Drive, Bristol, will host Martini Madness on March 26 from 6 to 9 p.m. The event, sponsored by Belvedere, will feature 16 contestants who will compete in brackets similar to March Madness basketball playoffs. Martini entries with the most votes from guests sampling the drinks will move on in the competition. Deadline for contestant registration is March 9. Tickets are $25 for guests and $10 for designated drivers. Information: 860-589-7683

>>Vito's by the Park in downtown Hartford is now offering an a la carte brunch from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Information: 866-432-6456 and vitosbythepark.com

>>Café Louise, 1156 New Britain Ave., West Hartford, hosts "The Elegance of Ireland" wine pairing event exclusively for women on March 12. The evening is the first in a series of intimate gatherings for women only. Space is limited to 25 guests and will feature wine, traditional Irish cuisine as interpreted by Cafe Louise and conversation. Tickets are $45. Information: 860-561-0160.

>>Anthony Jack's Wood Fired Grill, 30 Center St., Southington, will host a five-course dinner featuring beer pairings from Broad Brook Brewery on March 16. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $44.95 a person. Reservations are required. Information: 860-426-1487.

>>Metro Bis, 731 Hopmeadow St., Simsbury, will be open for Easter on April 5 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Entrée choices include roasted ham, rack of lamb, salmon and braised short ribs. Reservations: 860-651-1908 or metrobis.com.

>>Carbone's Kitchen, 6 Wintonbury Mall, Bloomfield, offers a new pasta-flight tasting every Wednesday night from 4 to 9 p.m. The meal includes a choice of antipasto or salad; a flight of chicken and spinach ravioli, pappardelle and shrimp risotto, and gelato and biscotti for dessert. Cost is $24.99. 860-904-2111, carboneskitchen.com.

>>Jonathan Edwards Winery, 74 Chester Main Road, North Stonington, hosts a winemaker's dinner Feb. 28 at 6:30 p.m. Chefs from Paragon at Foxwoods will prepare the five-course meal, which includes Maine diver scallops, cassoulet and Piedmontese sirloin. Cost is $150, plus tax and gratuity. 860-535-0202, jedwardswinery.com.

>>Max Burger, 124 Lasalle Road, West Hartford, hosts a 2 Roads Brewing Beer & Burger Bash dinner March. 4 at 6:30 p.m. Scott Miller of Max Catering & Events joins Max Burger's executive chef David Sudol in the kitchen. The menu features spins on beef tartare, a shrimp burger with country ham and poached egg, chorizo burger with black truffle paste and an assortment of cookies with a blood orange Creamsicle shake for dessert. Cost is $55 plus tax and gratuity. 860-232-3300, maxrestaurantgroup.com.

>>Metro Bis, 731 Hopmeadow St., Simsbury, hosts a Pork and Pinot dinner March 5. Special guests include Cree LeFavour, author of "Pork: More Than 50 Meals That Celebrate: The Glory of Pig, Delicious Pig" and Edward Dunn of Brescome Barton. Cost is $78 a person or $142 per couple, plus tax and gratuity. The price includes a signed copy of LeFavour's book; additional books may be purchased for $27.50. 860-651-1908, metrobis.com.

>>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 cbuisine, 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: prudencesloane.com.

>>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: dinnersatthefarm.com

>> Rock Aronheim who owns Doogies, the home of the two-foot hot dog, on the Berlin Turnpike, and The Clam Digger in Manchester is hosting two hot-dog eating contests: The first, at Clam Digger, will be April 18; Doogies hosts the second on April 19. Proceeds will be donated to the Dana Farber Pan-Mass Challenge for Cancer Research. Prizes include gift certificates to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and dinner for two at the winner's choice of any restaurant in Connecticut with Mr. and. Mrs. Doogie. Information: doogieshotdogs.com

>>The Griswold Inn's museum-quality collection of nautical prints, paintings and ephemera will be the subject of a free tour and talk on Sunday, March 8, at 3:30 p.m. The art tour and talk will be led by owner Geoffrey Paul, expert on the Inn's collections. Participants can meet in the Wine Bar for the tour where a complimentary snack and cash bar will be available. Reservations are required. Information: 860-767-1776 or griswoldinn.com.

>>Looking from somewhere new for that weekend brunch? Arugula, 953 Farmington Ave., West Hartford, has expanded its brunch menu, now offering in on Saturday from 11:30 to 2:30 p.m. Information: 860-561-4888, arugula-bistro.com.

>>The Saybrook Point Inn & Spa will host a series of weekend food getaways focusing on different cuisines from around the world. The Food Lovers Weekend Getaways begin with an Italian Winter Holiday Jan. 30 to Feb. 1. Leslie Tripp, executive chef of the inn's restaurant, Fresh Salt, and special guest, Mary Tagliatela, the inn's matriarch, will treat guests to special menus prepared from local ingredients and a full day of hands-on cooking lessons.

The Italian weekend will feature dishes such as Pumpkin Risotto, Slow-Braised Beef in Chianti, Local Cod Fish Puttanesca, and an assortment of pastries. The Taste of New England program Feb. 20 to 22 will cover the importance of apples in New England cuisine and include tastings of local cheeses, wine, craft beer and chowders. The Tour De France March 20 to 22 will focus on French cooking techniques and regional dishes such as bacon-onion tart and truffled chestnut soup.

Overnight packages begin at $698 per couple and include a two-night stay, welcome reception, breakfast at Fresh Salt, full day of hands-on learning and lectures from the Executive Chef, lunch, dinner and gala on Saturday evening, and brunch on Sunday. Information: 800-243-0212 or www.saybrook.com.

 >>Six venues in western Connecticut are once again participating in the Litchfield Hills Winter Wine Trail promotion. Pick up a registration card at any of the following wineries and have it signed at each location before March 29. Those who visit all six wineries will be entered to win prizes.

Participants are DiGrazia Vineyards, 131 Tower Road, Brookfield; Haight-Brown Vineyard, 29 Chestnut Hill Road, Litchfield; Hopkins Vineyard, 25 Hopkins Road, New Preston; Jerram Winery, 535 Town Hill Road (Route 219), New Hartford; Miranda Vineyard, 42 Ives Road, Goshen; and Sunset Meadow Vineyards, 599 Old Middle St., Goshen.

For more information on the Litchfield Hills Winter Wine Trail, call 860-201-4654. Contact each winery for updated hours prior to visiting.

 >>Majorca is now open at 2074 Park St. in Hartford, in the space formerly occupied by O'Porto. The menu features Spanish and Mediterranean-influenced fare, including tapas. Information: 860-231-1003.

 >>Mark your calendars for spring. A new food and wine festival, Savor - A Celebration of Wine, Food & Spirits, presented by Foxwoods Resort Casino, will be held at the Connecticut Convention Center April 10 to 11.

Savor will include grand tastings, samplings of signature dishes from Connecticut's leading chefs, a Savor in Style charity gala and food demonstrations.

Guest chefs will include Robert Irvine, host of "Restaurant: Impossible" on Food Network; Mary Ann Esposito, creator and host of television's longest running cooking series, "Ciao Italia" with Mary Ann Esposito; and Elizabeth Falkner, a James Beard Foundation Award nominee and Iron Chef America favorite.

A portion of the proceeds from Savor benefits Helmets to Hardhats, which promotes careers in the construction industry to individuals leaving military service or serving in the military Reserves or National Guard. Information: SavorCT.com

 Send restaurant news at least 10 days before publication to MaryEllen Fillo at fillo@courant.com and Leeanne Griffin at lgriffin@courant.com.