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Small Bites: Dining News & Events

Small Bites

>>Connecticut Restaurant Week, sponsored by the Connecticut Restaurant Association, runs Oct. 12-18 with special menus and deals at eateries throughout the state. Restaurants will offer promotions for $20.15 or $30.15, including prix-fixe meals, two-for-one options or specially priced wines. Information and menus:

>>Arugula, 953 Farmington Ave., West Hartford, reopens for dinner on Sunday nights at 5 p.m. New menu items include a white clam flatbread and sauteed scallops served with a cauliflower and chickpea patty and curried coconut sauce. Reservations are accepted. 860-561-4888 and

>>Hartford's annual Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry/Share Our Strength returns Oct. 29 with a new format, a multi-course dinner prepared tableside by more than two dozen top chefs from Connecticut and the Northeast. The event at the Riverview in Simsbury begins at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception, followed by the seated dinner and chefs' dessert reception. Tickets are $150 for individuals or $3,000 for choice of chef table buyout (12 guests.) Information:

>>Mohegan Sun's restaurants offer several Halloween dining specials, including a $79 three-course dinner at Michael Jordan's Steak House, featured Halloween-themed cocktails at Michael Jordan's 23.sportcafe and SolToro Tequila Grill, children's treats and a giant pumpkin flapjack at Hash House A Go Go, pumpkin and apple dishes at Pasta Vita and free candy bar or cookie with entrée purchase at Geno's Fast Break.

 >>The Connecticut Garlic & Harvest Festival will be held Oct. 10 and 11 at the Bethlehem Fairgrounds (Route 61) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The event includes garlic cooking demonstrations, growing lectures, live music, kids' activities, crafts, and specialty food tastings of dips, spreads, oils and cheeses. A food court features a diverse collection of garlicky eats for purchase. Tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and $1 for children under 12.

 >>The annual Mohegan Sun BrewFest returns to the casino Oct. 2 to 4, with a special beer trivia night Friday at 7:30 p.m., tasting sessions on Saturday afternoon and a special BrewBrunch Sunday morning. Tickets to the Saturday sessions are $25 each; the first session runs from 1 to 4 p.m., and the second session from 7 to 10 p.m. Guests can also grab tickets to a “fanatic hour,” which allows access to Saturday's festival one hour early, for $40. The Sunday brunch at Todd English's Tuscany features Goose Island beer and Absolut Bloody Mary cocktails, with beer-infused food items. Tickets are $42, including all food and one sponsored cocktail. Information:

>>GoldBurgers in Newington, fresh off a James Beard House appearance in March, hosts four dinners at neighboring Eddy Farm. The BYOB event Oct. 4 will feature a "hearty take on farm fare," with local sourcing and a variety of courses. Tickets are $75 and are available at the restaurant at 1096 Main Street.

>>Max Downtown, 185 Asylum St., Hartford, hosts a “Best of the Wurst” Oktoberfest dinner Oct. 2 at 6:30 p.m. The menu features Reuben flatbread, cider-braised pork belly, housemade German sausage and Black Forest torte, paired with German beers. Cost is $65, plus tax and gratuity. 860-522-2530,

>>Restaurants at Foxwoods Resort Casino will offer Oktoberfest food and drink specials throughout the month, including grilled bratwurst, smoked pork loin and apple strudel at Cedars Lounge; grilled kielbasa with peppers and onions at Veranda Café and seasonal draft beers at several locations. Information:

>>Hungry Tiger, 120 Charter Oak St., Manchester, brings back its Sunday brunch Oct. 4 with an “omelette parlour” menu of 10 different three-egg omelette options, home fries and toast. Other brunch items include whole wheat apple walnut pancakes and $5 Bloody Mary drinks with Tito’s vodka. Brunch is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hungry Tiger also offers a German sausage platter ($14) with bratwurst, knockwurst with fresh sauerkraut, potato pancakes and braised red cabbage for its annual Oktoberfest celebration. 860-649-1195,

>>Dog Star Rescue hosts the second annual Bark & Brew fundraising event Oct. 10 at Thomas Hooker Brewery, 16 Tobey Road, Bloomfield, at 6 p.m. The $30 ticket includes samples of Hooker beer, barbecue, raffle, live music and a puppy kissing booth with several adoptable dogs. Information:

>>Tuscany Grill, 120 College St., Middletown, hosts a Berkshire Brewing Company beer dinner Oct. 13 at 6:30 p.m. The menu includes antipasti, squash almond bisque, beef stroganoff ravioli, poached pear-stuffed pork loin and an apple-pumpkin phyllo duet for dessert. Each course will be paired with a complementing BBC beer. Cost is $45, including tax and gratuity. Reservations and information: 860-346-7096,

>>The third annual WeHa Whiskey Festival returns Oct. 17 at 6 p.m. in the West Hartford Town Hall Auditorium, featuring samples of more than 200 bourbons, whiskeys and Scotches from around the world. Highland Park Market provides a catered spread. Advance tickets are $99 for general admission; $199 for VIP tickets, which includes a private tasting of Pappy Van Winkle, Johnnie Walker Blue Label and other rare finds. Designated driver tickets are $25. 860-761-2541,

>>Artisan Made Northeast and Percy Thomson Meadows Farm in Bethlehem (78 Thompson Road) host the Farmstead Festival on Oct.17 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., featuring cheeses, wine, meats, condiments, chocolates, baked goods, produce, a pig roast and entertainment. Admission is $15 in advance; $18 at the door. Information:

>>The Capital Grille’s Wagyu and Wine promotion pairs two of its high-end beef burgers with two premium California wines. For $25, guests can choose from the gorgonzola and black truffle burger or the Wagyu cheeseburger with fried egg and crisp onions, accompanied by choice of a glass of two wines typically reserved for bottle purchases only: 2012 Justin Isosceles Cabernet Sauvignon and 2013 Landmark Overlook Pinot Noir. This offer is valid in The Capital Grille’s lounge through Nov. 22; Connecticut locations are in Hartford and Stamford.

>>Coyote Blue, 1960 Saybrook Road, Middletown, offers an Oktoberfest menu through Oct. 22, with specials like sauerbraten with red cabbage and potato pancakes, wiener schnitzel with spätzle, beef rouladen, goulash and German sausages. Entrees range from $17.95 to $20.95. 860-345-2403,

>>The Griswold Inn, 36 Main St., Essex, hosts its autumn wine series on four dates in October, with themed tastings of several wines and small plates for pairing. Oct. 1’s event covers wines from France’s Loire Valley and Bordeaux regions; Oct. 8 highlights “gems of the Rhone,” Oct. 22 spotlights Santa Barbara and Oct. 29’s theme is “global Pinot Noir,” comparing and contrasting Oregon and New Zealand wines. Each event begins at 5:45. Cost is $18 and reservations are required. 860-767-1776,

>>Max Restaurant Group hosts a Hoptoberfest on Oct. 11 at Simsbury's Rosedale Farms and Vineyards from 2 to 6 p.m. The event features beer from more than 50 local, regional and national breweries and food samplings, with additional food available for purchase. Tickets are $45 in advance; $55 on the day of the event if not sold out (capacity limited to 700 guests.) A portion of the ticket price will be donated to the Connecticut Children's Medical Center. All guests must be 21 or over with valid ID. Information:

>>Hartford’s annual Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry/Share Our Strength returns Oct. 29 with a new format, a multi-course dinner prepared tableside by more than two dozen top chefs from Connecticut and the Northeast. The event at the Riverview in Simsbury begins at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception, followed by the seated dinner and chefs’ dessert reception. Tickets are $150 for individuals or $3,000 for choice of chef table buyout (12 guests.) Information:

>>Denise Appel, chef/owner of Zinc and Kitchen Zinc restaurants in New Haven, shops at the CitySeed Downtown Farmers Market every Wednesday. Inspired by the farmers and artisans who bring their foods to the market, Appel creates a new market menu each week using fresh produce, meats, cheeses, honey and herbs. Zinc donates $1 to CitySeed for every Market Menu ordered. For a look at the weekly menu, visit Reservations: 203-624-0507.

>>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,

 >>Chef Billy Grant will host a series of pop-up dinners at Rose’s Berry Farm in South Glastonbury throughout the summer and fall. Each monthly event will have a specific theme: Oct. 10 is “Harvest Game.” Tickets are $95. Reservations and information: 860-236-1930,

>>Millwright's has announced a series of collaborative farm dinners at Simsbury's Community Farm this summer, as chef-owner Tyler Anderson joins forces with other Connecticut chefs for special themed meals. Proceeds will benefit Gifts of Love, a local non-profit organization that provides basic needs services to the Greater Hartford community. Cost is $95, which includes food, beverage and tax. Information and tickets:

>>Hard Rock Café at Foxwoods Resort Casino offers a limited-edition “World Burger Tour” menu with fan favorites. The list includes a Guatemala-themed Marimba burger with spiced beans and tortilla straws; a sweet and sour burger with fried onion ring, bell peppers and grilled pineapple; a Lancashire lamb burger with caramelized onions, crispy carrots and mint mayonnaise and a Cuban burger with pulled pork, melted Swiss and sweet plantains. All burgers are $16.95. Information:

>>Barcelona Wine Bar, 971 Farmington Ave., West Hartford, has introduced a new Sunday brunch. The menu features a selection of its small Spanish-influenced plates and cheese and charcuterie, in addition to brunch entrees like lobster Benedict, fried chicken and biscuits, biscuits and Serrano gravy with sunny-side duck egg, challah French toast with blackberries and vanilla bean-infused maple syrup and hash with spring vegetables or oxtail. Special brunch cocktails include cava sangria with vodka and St. Germain liqueur, and a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar with choice of ingredients and garnishes.

Brunch entrees are $6.50 to $18.50. The menu is available Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. 860-218-2100,

>> "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.

Remaining tours are on Oct. 24 and Dec. 5. 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

>>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

>>Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is offering its Filet & Flights menu – an 8-ounce petite filet and three red wines – in the bar. The choice of rubs includes porcini mushroom, black and white peppercorns and Kona coffee. The pairing is $39.95. 860-233-1116.

 Send restaurant news at least 10 days before publication to Leeanne Griffin at 

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