Deluxe:  In Good Taste

Meet Duff Goldman, 'Ace of Cakes,' at Taste of the Nation, June 8. (Promotional Photo)

Join Duff Goldman, star of Food Network's “Ace of Cakes” and renowned chef Jacques Pépin to taste delicious bites from more than 40 of the best local restaurants at Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation New Haven June 8 at Yale Commons (in Woolsey Hall, 500 College St.; One hundred percent of the proceeds (which totaled over $65K last year) from this first-class food and wine event will support efforts to end childhood hunger by local non-profit groups Christian Community Action, the Connecticut Food Bank, End Hunger Connecticut! and the Connecticut No Kid Hungry Campaign. Votes from a panel of judges as well as guests will determine the night's best dishes and table presentations — last year's awards went to Barcelona Wine Bar (, Caseus Fromagerie & Bistro ( and the Farmer's Cow ( Tickets are offered in three categories: general admission, 6-9 p.m. ($85 advance, $100 at the door); general admission-plus, 6-9 p.m. ($125 in advance only, includes desserts); and VIP, 5-9 p.m. ($150 advance, $175 at the door; includes desserts, early entrance, lounge seating and additional top-shelf tastings).

Mory's (306 York St.; 203-562-3157,, a dining clubhouse that's been a Yale institution since 1849, became more welcoming to townies last year when it extended its “Yale-affiliated” membership requirement to include anyone who has attended a Yale museum, theater, sporting or music event. While memberships usually run $30-$99, Mory's is offering short-term summer memberships, valid from June 6-Aug. 22, for just $1. The menu at Mory's, overseen by La Cuisine (, will add casual summer specials such as a lunch buffet, brew and burger nights, lobster rolls, paella Thursdays and more. Summer sounds like a great time to try out Mory's — recent renovations included the addition of a 75-seat outdoor dining patio.

Sit back and watch the pretty Litchfield County scenery go by as a bus whisks you between stops at three Connecticut vineyards — New Hartford's CT Valley Winery (, Litchfield's Haight-Brown Vineyard ( and New Preston's Hopkins Vineyard ( — on the Northwest Connecticut Vineyard Bus Tour, June 4 from 9:30 a.m.-12 a.m. A picnic lunch, a tour of Hopkins Vineyard and souvenir wine glasses from all three places are included in the ticket fee ($85) — the proceeds of which benefit The Animal Haven, a no-kill shelter helping homeless pets (9 Mill Road, North Haven; 203-239-2641, To reserve a seat, call 203-249-7355 or send an email to

The Harvest Kitchen at Jones Winery (606 Walnut Tree Hill Road, Shelton; 203-929-8425, celebrates local flavors June 3 from 6-7:30 p.m., when the final installment of their “Springtime Sips” series focuses on the “Best of Connecticut Wines.” Instructor Jon Haight will lead a blind taste-test of the wines, and chef Sherry Swanson will create two dishes that showcase all-local ingredients, followed by a “Best of Connecticut” dessert. Reserve a spot ($40, wine glass included) by sending an email to