>>The Willows at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 42 Century Drive, Bristol, hosts its Homecoming Hop Fest beer festival Nov. 28 from noon to 4 p.m., with beer and food tastings. Representatives from more than 20 participating Northeast breweries will be pouring samples of their beers; the DoubleTree will also offer samples of its cookie martini, along with complimentary snacks. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door, and designated drivers are $10. All guests must be 21 or over. A portion of proceeds will benefit Bristol Community Organization Inc's energy assistance program. Information and tickets: willowsbristol.com.
>>Max Downtown, 185 Asylum St., Hartford hosts its annual Teddy Bear Tea on Dec. 5 at 11 a.m., featuring a cupcake and popcorn bar, candy buffet, bite-sized treats, a teddy bear and keepsake photo. Children are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy to be donated to Connecticut Children's Medical Center. Tickets are $35 for adults, $30 for children 12 and younger (plus tax and gratuity). 860-522-2530 and maxrestaurantgroup.com.
>>The Chocolate Expo comes to the Connecticut Science Center Dec. 6 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., with tastings and sales of chocolates, baked goods and specialty foods. General admission tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for children 3 to 17. Tickets for Science Center members are $10 for adults, $8 for children. Information: ctsciencecenter.org/visit/events.
>>La Petite France, 967 Farmington Ave., West Hartford, hosts a wine tasting with Wine Cellars 4 Dec. 9 from 7 to 9 p.m. Attendees will try 4 different French red and white wines, along with appetizers, miniature sandwiches and desserts. Cost is $29.95; reservations are required. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. 860-231-9255, lpfcafe.com.
>>Middletown-based NoRA Cupcake Company has announced that it will expand to West Hartford, opening mid-November at 103 Memorial Road in Blue Back Square. The bakery's second location will be a one-year "pop-up" shop, says owner Carrie Carella, and it will be a replica of the Middletown original with the same eclectic decor and vibe along with coffee, WiFi and a seating area. Information: facebook.com/NoRACupcakeWeHa.
>>Also in Blue Back Square, Vinted Wine Bar at 63 Memorial Road has introduced a new lunch menu, available Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Items include salads, soups, meat and cheese plates, sandwiches and entrée plates, priced at $6.95 to $12.95. 860-206-4648, vintedwinebar.com.
>> Play with your food at Mohegan Sun's newest dining concept: Sticks and Stones is now open, offering interactive fondues and molecular mixology.
The menu features a variety of fondues with breads, fruits and vegetables for dipping and "sizzling stone" entrees of meats, fishes and vegetables to be cooked tableside on a hot lava rock. "Journeys" of three or four courses ($32.95 to $42.95) include a cheese fondue, salad, stone entrée and choice of chocolate dessert fondue. Sticks and Stones' bar employs scientific techniques in its cocktails, using foams, sphereification, gels, powders and other methods for unique drink presentations. Information: sticksnstonesgrille.com.
>> Rooftop 120, 120 Hebron Ave., Glastonbury, has introduced a new "progressive American cuisine" menu at its NOSH restaurant, with a series of sharing plates (chicken satay, eggplant fries, fish tacos, "steak and cheese" fondue, garlic shrimp, priced at $7.25 to $15.75) and larger entrees like prosciutto-wrapped scallops, brick chicken, southern porterhouse pork chop and sesame-crusted ahi tuna ($15.75 to $31.25.) 860-430-9989, rooftop120.com.
>>In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Costa del Sol, 901 Wethersfield Ave., Hartford, offers several varieties of paellas throughout October. Featured dishes include lobster paella; "midnight" paella cooked with squid ink; Valencia-style paella with rabbit, pork, chorizo and artichokes; and fideua, a noodle-based paella with chicken, sausage and shrimp. All to-go orders of paella are 20 percent off throughout the month. 860-296-1714, costadelsolrestaurant.net.
>>Greenhouse Cafe & Frozen Gnome owners Christian Gombos and Glen Staubley will soon be expanding their Burlington operations to include a full-service restaurant called Tavern at the Greenhouse, with a planned early November opening. They'll be assisted by chef Ross Martin and manager Robert Parker. 860-673-8111, greenhouse-cafe.com.
>>World of Beer, with locations in Stamford and West Hartford, has introduced a "fall plates and pints" menu, featuring seasonal flavors. Items include habanero pumpkin spice wings, meatloaf sliders with Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale gravy, Southwest skillet cornbread, Colorado chili and pimiento cheese board. All plates are designed to pair with beer. Information: worldofbeer.com.
>>Bill Rizzuto of Rizzuto's Restaurant & Bar partners with the Noah Webster House in West Hartford for a hearth dinner Nov. 19 at 7 p.m., creating a three-course traditional Colonial meal using contemporary ingredients. The menu will be paired with beer and wine. Tickets are $75. Information: noahwebsterhouse.org.
>>Greenhouse Cafe & Frozen Gnome owners Christian Gombos and Glen Staubley will soon be expanding their Burlington operations to include a full-service restaurant called Tavern at the Greenhouse, with a planned early November opening. They’ll be assisted by chef Ross Martin and manager Robert Parker. 860-673-8111, greenhouse-cafe.com.
>>Coming off a successful barbecue-themed dinner at Community Farm, where courses included smoked clam and mussel chowder, Wagyu beef "BLTs" and prized Mangalitsa pork, Millwright's chef-owner Tyler Anderson and Bear's Smokehouse owner Jamie McDonald will partner again for weekly pop-up events at Anderson's Simsbury restaurant.
"The Cook and the Bear," with barbecue-inspired menu items and drink specials, will run Monday nights in Millwright's Tavern space. Anderson said the menu will feature smoked meats (brisket, pork butt, smoked wings, sausage) and meat sandwiches, and farm-fresh sides like smoked beets with cumin yogurt (the first course at the July dinner) and grilled corn with "flavors of a Greek salad." The barbecue nights begin at 5 p.m. Millwright's is at 77 West St. 860-651-5500, millwrightsrestaurant.com.
>> "Worth Tasting," a series of downtown culinary walking tours in New Haven, run through Dec. 5. The four-hour tours, led by food columnist and hospitality professor Stephen Fries, include stops at nine different restaurants and eateries in the Elm City. Tours kick off at 10:45 a.m. from the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale, where guests will receive a goody bag of Connecticut food products.
Tickets are $59 apiece, except for the December tour, which is $69. Reservations are required. Call 203-777-8550 or 203-415-3519, or visit stephenfries.weebly.com.
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