Small Bites: Dining News


11:44 AM EDT, October 15, 2013


>>A Taste of Hartford continues through Aug. 2 with more than 30 restaurants offering multi-course, price-fixed menus for $20.14 to $30.14 at lunch and dinner. For a full list of participating restaurants and their menus, visit www.ConnecticutRestaurantWeek.com.

>>A Blues, Brews and BBQ farm dinner, sponsored by the Wethersfield farmers' market, is today from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Solomon Welles House in Wethersfield. Connecticut-grown, organic farmers will supply the ribs, chicken and corn, and locally brewed Ten Penny Ale will be featured. Raindate is July 31. Tickets are $30. Information: 860-578-8650.

>>Carbone's Ristorante in Hartford and Carbone's Kitchen in Bloomfield will host Maine Lobster Nights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays through Aug. 27. The menu features a choice of New England clam chowder or garden salad and a 1-1/4-pound steamed Maine lobster, roasted potatoes, corn on the cob and strawberry shortcake. The cost is $29 excluding beverages, tax and gratuity. On Thursdays, the Late Happiest Happy Hour offers live music from 4 to 9 p.m. with half-price cicchetti – Venetian-style small plates – and drink specials.

 >>Fresh Salt, the casual, fine dining restaurant at Saybrook Point Inn & Spa in Old Saybrook, has introduced its summer menu. Chef Leslie Tripp developed the dishes and specials based on local ingredients, especially fresh-caught seafood. The catch-of-the-day inspires the daily "Today's Day Boat" special such as Bomster Stonington Scallops ($29.95) or Montauk Big Eye tuna ($29.95). Seafood also stars in paella Valencia and fresh salt Cioppino ($24.95 for a petite portion; $29.95 for a regular serving). Other menu items include roasted chicken breast with crisp thigh, gruyere potato purée, shiitake mushrooms, asparagus, peas, and roast lemon jus ($25.95) and prime pork chop, guava glazed with cardamom roasted apricot, summer dug carrots, and melted leeks ($27.95). Information: 860-388-1111.

>>Restaurant L&E in Chester makes Saturday0night dining extra special with its French Farmhouse wine pairing dinner. Served on the roof deck or in the dining room, the five-course menu is paired with select wines and costs $75, excluding tax and tip. The menu changes weekly, but chef/owner Everett Reid posts each Saturday's menu on L&E's website, www.restaurantfrench75.com, and Facebook page. The upstairs bar opens at 6:30 p.m. for cocktails starting at $9. The prix fixe meal begins at 7 p.m. Reservations: 860-526-5301.

>>The Grist Mill Restaurant in Avon has unveiled its new summer menu as well as other changes. The menu features several new tapas, lobster mac and cheese, baked clams casino, an artisan meat and cheese platter and herbed focaccia bread sticks with blue cheese fondue dup. The restaurant also offers a three-course, $19.99 lunch menu Mondays through Saturdays. Telephone: 860-676-8855.

>>Carmen Anthony of Waterbury will host an Italian wine dinner July 16 at 6:30 p.m. The four-course menu features Filet Milanese as an entrée served with Barolo Serralunga. Guest speaker will be Gianperrio Peru, an Italian wine specialist with Palm Bay Distributors. The cost is $59.95, excluding tax and gratuity. Reservations: 203-757-3040.

>>Confetti restaurant in Plainville is featuring all things lobster on a special menu available through July. The baker's dozen of offerings includes hot and cold lobster rolls; lobster-stuffed heirloom tomato with tarragon aioli; lobster pot pie, and lobster ravioli with tarragon cream and lobster meat garnish. The lobster menu is served all day. Telephone: 860-739-8809.

>>Carbone's Ristorante in Hartford and Carbone's Kitchen in Bloomfield offer "Lobster Nights" in July and August on Tuesday and Wednesday. The full meal includes choice of garden salad or New England clam chowder; a 1-1/4 pound steamed lobster, roasted potatoes and corn on the cob and summer berry shortcake for dessert. Cost is $29. Information: carbonesct.com; carboneskitchen.com.

>>BALLO Italian Restaurant and Social Club at Mohegan Sun, 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd, Uncasville, celebrates the arrival of summer with "Diva Fridays." Every Friday evening, the restaurant is offering $5 BALLO Limonatas, Ruffino Chianti and Ruffino Pinot Grigio at the bar for ladies only. On Sundays, the restaurant offers 50 percent off Champagne and wine over $100 per bottle. The bar is also serving a new Sweet Peach Tea cocktail, with fresh-brewed iced tea, Van Gogh peach vodka, elderflower, frozen peaches and mint. New menu items include swordfish with cauliflower, sopressata and salsa verde; skirt steak with grilled corn, herb and crema and housemade cavatelli with pizzaiola, summer squash and wild oregano. Information: 860-862-1100, balloitalian.com.

>>Firebox, 539 Broad St., Hartford, continues its Summer Patio Parties series, a partnership with The Wise Old Dog of West Hartford, on July 10 at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 and include a tasting flight of wines; food from the grill is priced a la carte. Information and reservations: 860-246-1222 and fireboxrestaurant.com.

>>ON20, 400 Columbus Blvd., Hartford, hosts a BBQ in the Sky July 12, with reservations available from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The buffet dinner includes fried chicken, barbecued Berkshire pulled pork, grilled bratwurst, smoked beef brisket, striped bass, lobster, assorted salads, watermelon, cornbread, pies and ice cream. Cost is $65 for adults, $30 for children under 12, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations and information: 860-722-5161 and ontwenty.com.

>>Guest speaker Adam Baker from Allan S. Goodman distributors will lead a Battle of the Grapes wine education seminar July 9 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Super Cellar Warehouse Liquors in Avon. The workshop will pit against one another Washington and California sauvignon blancs; New Zealand and California pinot noirs; Washington and California cabernets, and Washington and California merlots. The fee is $25, which includes two bottles of wine. Reservations: 860-678-9777.

>>Granby Connecticut's agricultural heritage will be on display this summer at Lost Acres Vineyard with "Farms, Food and Wine" on Saturdays during July and August at Lost Acres vineyards.

Ryan Jones and his team from the Mill at 2t and a local farm will be featured each Saturday from 11a.m. to 1 p.m. Jones will develop a recipe that will be prepared at the farm with guests offered small bites paired with wines from Lost Acres Vineyards. Participating farmers will be on hand at the free events to talk about their farm, and the chefs will give demos and discuss how to maximize the ingredients from the guest farm.

On July 12, The Garlic Farm will be the first guest farm with a Garlic Scape Pesto paired with Clemons Springs being served. The Sepe Farm and lamb meatballs paired with Firehouse Red will be featured on July 19 with sweet cheese cake made with cow cheese and yogurt and a savory goat cheese, paired with Salmon Brook Rose on July 26. The vineyard is at 80 Lost Acres Road. Information: 860- 324-9481

>>River Tavern's Dinners-at-the-Farm series begins on July 9 at White Gate Farm in East Lyme. The open air benefit dinners, held each night through July 13 at the East Lyme location and at Barberry Hill Farm in Madison Aug. 6 to 10, benefit CitySeed, CT Farmland trust, New Connecticut Farmer Alliance, World Lands Alliance & Region 4 Schools. Tickets range from $100 to $175. Information: 860-526-9417 or DinnersAtTheFarm.com

>>Carbone's Kitchen, 6 Wintonbury Mall, Bloomfield, is offering a special $23.99 Monday night three-course dinner. Menu choices include shrimp arancini, house minestrone, chicken parmesan, eggplant rollatini and tiramisu. half price bottles of wine from the Captain's List will also bew featured on Mondays. Information: 860-904-2111 or carboneskitchen.com.

>>Cavey's Tuesday Night Summer Wine Series begins July 1 at 6 p.m. with an all-American theme. Five wines and five small plates including clam chowder, lobster roll and mini burgers plus a speaker will be featured. Cost is $28 per person.

>>Beer, brick-oven baked pizza and entertainment for two? That's the summer deal at Confetti, 393 Farmington Ave., Plainville on Wednesdays from 5 to 9 p.m. Eat in the bar or on the deck and you can have two cheese individual pizzas, a pitcher of beer or soda and enjoy acoustic guitar entertainment. Information: 860-793-8809 or idineconfetti.com.

>> As New Haven's 116 Crown rolls into its seventh summer in business, the lounge introduces a new seasonal happy hour, with special cocktails and small plates priced at $5 to $7. 7th Summer specials are available from 5 to 7 p.m. on weekdays; all night Thursdays. 116 Crown St. Information: 203-777-3116 and 116crown.com.

>> Plan B Burger Bar, 1000 West Columbus Ave., Springfield, hosts a Front Yard BBQ July 4 from 8 p.m. to midnight. The event features all you can eat burgers, hot dogs, watermelon and ice cream. Tickets are $40 for adults, $20 for children. Information and tickets: 413-285-8296 and locals8.com.

>> Haight-Brown Vineyards, 29 Chestnut Hill Road, Litchfield, hosts its second annual pig roast and Hawaiian luau on July 5 at 1 p.m. The event features Hawaiian music, hula hoop and limbo contests, grass skirts and leis. The $25 ticket includes pig roast with two sides and a glass of wine. Reservations are taken with a credit card: 860-567-4045 and www.haightvineyards.com.

 >>Morton's Steakhouse is celebrating its 35th anniversary at locations including Old State House Square in Hartford with a special anniversary menu from June 30 to July 6.

The $35 per person special includes appetizer, entrée, side and dessert from the anniversary menu. The Steakhouse has also partnered with Sbragia Family Vineyards to offer a special pairing menu featuring vintage wine called Sbragia, "State & Rush" Merlot, 2012. The limited edition wine will be offered for $16 per glass or $64 per bottle, while supplies last. Information: 860-724-0044 and mortons.com.

>>Peppercorn's Grill, 357 Main St., Hartford, has a new, free rewards program for its customers. Diners will receive points for every dollar spent at the restaurant, and at 500 points will receive $25 off the next visit. Bonus points will also be offered at special times including happy hour and for special events including birthdays. Information: 860-547-1714 and peppercornsgrill.com.

>>Tuscany Grill in Middletown has announced its new seasonal menu additions including a spring/summer antipasti with ahi tuna tartar, arugula and watermelon salad with feta, and entrees including grilled salmon with mango jalapeno chutney, pan seared salmon and grilled pork tenderloin with taso ham and potato hash. Information: 860-346-7096 or tuscany-grill.com.

>>On20, 2 State St. Hartford, and its executive chef Jeffrey Lizotte have introduced a new bistro-style lunch menu featuring a new mix of soups, sides, salads and main courses from $4 to $23. The restaurant's regular lunch menu will also be offered. Information: 860-722-5161 or ontwenty.com.

>>Costa del Sol, 901 Wethersfield Ave., Hartford, has opened its landscaped patio dining for the season and is now featuring its summer menu. Seasonal choices include chilled New Zealand mussels, salmon and shrimp ceviche, house cured codfish with lemon garlic parley glaze and rib eye with chimichurri sauce. Information: 860-296-1714 and costadelsolrestaurant.net.

>>Calling it a "survivor" of the days when cocktail "lounges" were in vogue, Esquire Magazine has chosen New Haven's Anchor Restaurant as one of its Best Bars in America for 2014. The Best Bars list, in its ninth year, features nightspots from coast to coast. Anchor joins establishments in Seattle, Boston, Brooklyn, Manhattan, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Houston. 272 College St. Information: 203-865-1512.

>>Sorella, 901 Main St., Hartford, showcases its new summer menu with such specialties as handmade burrata with marinated tomato and aged balsamic, porchetta with broccoli rabe and fried egg, fava bean bruschetta with pecorino and mint and "green and white" pizza with mozzarella, parmesan, fontina and Starlight Garden greens. Information: 860-244-9084, sorellahartford.com.

>>Pond House Café, 1555 Asylum Ave., West Hartford, finds itself among good company on a recently released list of OpenTable's Top 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in America. The cafe within picturesque Elizabeth Park prides itself on "eclectic, creative cuisine," and serves brunch Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Information: 860-231-8823, pondhousecafe.com.

>>Get a taste of summer with Millwright's new weekly clambakes, offered Tuesday through Thursday. The complete meal, with choice of whole lobster, New York strip or roasted chicken, is served with clams, mussels, corn, potatoes, fennel and chorizo (family-style) and strawberry shortcake and buttermilk sorbet for dessert. Guests will be seated on the restaurant's deck, overlooking a rushing waterfall. Cost is $35 for the meal. Millwright's is at 77 West St. in Simsbury. Reservations and information: 860-651-5500, millwrightsrestaurant.com.

>>Max's Chef to Farm dinner program kicks off for the 2014 nearly-summer season on June 14 at Rosedale Farm and Vineyard in Simsbury. The "Lobster & Clam Bake" is $55 for adults and $10 for children, plus tax and tip. Dinner begins with a reception at 4 p.m. Price includes food and entertainment. Beer, wine and a raw bar are a la carte. Information: 860-522-9806 or maxcheftofarm.com.And speaking of Max's and summer, head down to Max Downtown on 185 Asylum Street in Hartford for its "Summer Jazz" entertainment Sundays from 5 to 8 p.m. Featured will be the Steve Davies group. Information: 860-522-2530 or maxdowntown.com.

>>Pink's Hot Dogs, the renowned Hollywood-based hot dog restaurant, has opened its first East Coast location at Bristol's Lake Compounce amusement park. Lake Compounce is open on weekends until June 14, when it begins daily operation. Information: lakecompounce.com.

>>The Capital Grille has doubled its burger offerings on its lunch menu, adding three new options for daytime dining. The new burgers include a Kona coffee-crusted Wagyu burger with shallot mayonnaise ($17); a wild mushroom Wagyu cheeseburger with 15-year aged balsamic ($18); and an Oscar-style Wagyu burger with jumbo lump crab and Bearnaise ($19). In Connecticut, Capital Grille is at 44 Front St. in Hartford (860-244-0075) and 230 Tresser Blvd. in Stamford (203-967-0000). Information: thecapitalgrille.com.

>>West Hartford's Blue Plate Kitchen has added hours to its Sunday service, now offering dinner from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. The restaurant's Happiest Hour now extends through the bar, dining room and expansive patio on weekdays from 4 to 6 p.m. Deals include $3 select City Steam Beers; $4 select glasses of wine and $5 small plates. Blue Plate Kitchen is at 345 N. Main St. Information: 860-906-1873 and bpkwesthartford.com.

>>Thomas Hooker Brewery has opened at Mohegan Sun. Located in the Race Book in Casino of the Earth, it will feature six beers on tap including Blonde, IPA, Irish Red Ale and Chocolate Truffle Stout. Information: 888-226-7711 and mohegansun.com

 Send restaurant news at least 10 days before publication to MaryEllen Fillo at fillo@courant.com, 860-241-3717 (phone), 860-520-6927 (fax) or in care of The Courant, 285 Broad St., Hartford, CT 06115