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Bridgehampton features world-class restaurants helmed by talented chefs, upscale boutiques and venues, top notch wineries, and some of the most beautiful horse farms in the region. This is a great destination for all, no matter where your interests or desires lie.
This visit we head out to the Hamptons on a Thursday and stop by Wolffer Estate Vineyards in Sagaponack enroute to Bridgehampton and right on time for its The Barstool Series where you can head over to the Tasting Room once each month for an interactive and informa tive hour with Suellen Tunney. Explore all things food and wine while sampling along the way. March offers To Age or Not to Age? The ultimate question when it comes to wine. Guests will taste through and compare different styles and levels of wine and learn to identify key points that will help determine what to store and what to drink. This special class will use the 2015 and 2002 vintages our flagship wine, the Christian's Cuvee Merlot, among other varietals, to teach this subject. In April, look forward to their Pairing Cider course.
After Wolffer, we head over to The Bridgehampton Inn, which is within walking distance to Bridgehampton's boutiques, art galleries, and cafes. This inn, circa 1795, is a charming clapboard house, featuring six lovely rooms and an on-site cooking school, allowing for a great opportunity to brush up on skills in the kitchen. The following day, we enjoy a delightful English breakfast, served on the veranda. Then we head over to Mecox Beach, which has a volleyball set-up and dedicated court, ample facilities, and food stands. It is a glorious morning of fun, sun, and sand. For lunch we visit Almond, featuring contemporary French bistro fare served in a historic space. It has antique tin ceilings and a hand-carved bar, wood-topped tables, and dark wood wainscoting. We dine on delicious chicken and mussels paired with a cool and refreshing lemongrass Cosmo.
For dessert we take a ride over to the famous Candy Kitchen. This nostalgic luncheonette and soda fountain conjures up a simpler time by offering friendly service and basic and classic menu items. This is the perfect spot for a scoop of t homemade ice cream and a smooth cup of hot coffee. We learn that the seventh annual Great Food Truck Derby is returning to Bridgehampton this season when a caravan of New York City and Long Island food trucks park at the Hayground School. Some vendors have included Billie Jean's Grill, Blondie's Bake Shop, Chiddy's Cheesesteaks, and more. Look out for The Long Island Shucking Truck, ready to satisfy your raw bar cravings on the fly. Live music is provided often.
For dinner, we choose Calissa in Water Mill, one of the newest restaurants in the Hamptons and inspired by the design and cuisine of the Greek island of Mykonos. The executive chef Dominic Rice crafts an extraordinary menu of shareable plates of Long Island seafood, local seasonal vegetables, and other Grecian specialties. Highlights include traditional Greek dishes like salt-baked striped bass or lamb, as well as modern interpretations of Greek standards such as corn croquettes with spicy feta, chilies, and cilantro yogurt or pickled octopus, celery, carrots and grilled ciabatta. Calissa also has the largest selection of large-format bottles on Long Island, the most by-the-glass options, and plenty of roses. Calissa features weekly winemaker dinners throughout the summer months. New this year is Sunday brunch service for the summer; an aperol spritz bar; and Agora, an outdoor marketplace that will run through the season. Participating vendors include Pared Eyewear, Stephanie Gottlieb, and Tai Jewelry, among others. Calissa will continue to offer live music and hot DJs to pair live entertainment with great food. Another offering is Cellar Night, where you can bring in a special bottle from your very own collection and Calissa will open it at no charge, asking for a taste for their sommelier. This is offered from Sunday through Thursday nights. The policy is designed to allow guests to enjoy wines not readily available for purchase that come from their personal cellars or travels.
Another fabulous dining spot is Bistro Ete, featuring Chef Arie, whose preparations reflect his Cypriot heritage, formal training at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, and his years working under Michelin-starred chef Philippe Da Silva in Provence. This dining spot offers classics such as escargot and striped bass with champagne truffle sauce along with signature dishes such as wild-caught Spanish octopus with cherry tomato or duck wings confit with curry coleslaw, house bbq jerk, and roasted local Brussel sprouts with pomegranate seeds and tahini. Chef Arie's vegan and vegetarian dishes are tasty options as well. For seafood cravers, Hudson Blue Crab House features interesting seafood, including an array of crab-centric dishes such as Alaskan red king crab legs, Dungeness crab, snow crab, and Florida stone crab claws; East and West Coast oysters, including Kuma moto oysters; and dishes made with fresh local seafood. The bar menu includes 70 tequilas and 20 beers on draft, and a great selection of cocktails.
On our way home Saturday, we stop at Manna Restaurant in Water Mill to enjoy al fresco dining, which is available in both the courtyard terrace. On Sundays, Manna presents "Under the Stars;' live music for diners. This restaurant's celebrated chef, Marco Barrila, creates a multi-regional array of traditional, rustic dishes that change seasonally and focus on local farm-to-table, as well as imported Italian products. The menu includes signature dishes such as the char grilled octopus with chimichurri and the truffied veal chops.
This sublime dining spot located in the Delamar West Hartford hotel captures you visually, even before you have a bite to eat from its menu, with its distinctly rich atmosphere---- both easy on the eyes and over the top loaded with history. ARTISAN West Hartford pays tribute to Hartford, expressed through thoughtfully curated decor such as the hallway leading to its dining space, lined with authentic red planks reminiscent of the region's tobacco farms of yesterday. Add to this a larger than life mural of flowering tobacco fields with not a detail missed, along with a charming country-chic vibe featuring a colorful and fragrant garden/outdoor dining space. Enter the garden and take in the whimsical decor such as Mason jar pendant lights and natural willow branch hanging lanterns strung from the trees, making for a truly enchanting feel of a secluded sanctuary. Breathe in the fresh scent of the restaurant's herb garden as it mingles with the aroma of tasty dishes served; take in the sound of relaxed conversation, along with strains of soft music playing. Enter the main dining room and view the striking hand painted fig mural along the back wall, along with a dark wooden bookcase holding a collection of eighteenth-century Swedish books, brass and glassware. Notice the two-story ceilings, light wide-plank pine flooring and Gustavian furniture, all lending an inviting feel. The pewter Parisian bar top surrounded by 9,000 hand-laid bricks in a herringbone design tie everything together with finesse. Sofas and chairs grouped for casual conversation around the handcrafted traditional Swedish farmhouse tile fireplace create great appeal.
The New England-inspired menu is continuously changing and influenced by the four seasons in capturing New England together with the French heritage of its own Chef Kieffer. For example, the signture Artisan Seafood Chowder is loaded with tasty oysters, clams and shrimp served with freshly baked fennel crackers as opposed to the typical clams and potatoes standard versions.Those little touches here and there give beloved traditional dishes a nip and tuck via unique interpretation, maintaining that which we as diners have come to expect, but taking it notches above the ordinary. Another popular choice on the menu is their signature prime hangar steak served with watercress, shallot sauce and a generous pile of crispy pommes frites in classic bistro mode, but again with a signature twist. Desserts such as their lemon olive oil cake with Maine blueberry compote or perhaps a collection of local artisanal cheese with a perfectly paired glass of wine conclude the meal beautifully.
For those looking for a more intimate space, the Private Dining Room at Artisan (often referred to as the "Copper Room" ), features custom copper string chandeliers suspended from a gold-leaf patina barreled ceiling. Keeping with the 18th century theme throughout Artisan, a Gustavian dining table, grand armoire and roomy chairs with farmhouse upholstery enhance the vibe. An intricate plastering technique that dates back to Roman times adorns the walls. What a memorable dinner party could be had here.
When you chat with Chef Frederic, you get an immediate sense of his passion and drive, that drives him way beyond his love for food, farming, creating and cooking. Kieffer shares his life history with me, meaningful and impressive from a very young age to the present; and we linger deliberately when we touch upon something of significance and passion. Kieffer grew up in France and attended culinary school there in the late 1980s; first visiting America when he participated in a culinary exchange program with Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. Following this, Kieffer began working in Greenwich, ultimately spending over a decade in restaurants both there and in New York City. He humbly mentions that he was one of three chefs involved in the 1996 reopening of Windows on the World after the first bombing of the World Trade Center. (The restaurant would ultimately be taken down during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001). Chef describes getting" there" Windows of the World) each morning, looking out of those famous windows and spending his mornings "peeking out above the clouds". This is who he is in essence-the passion and the great losses that followed.
As a distinguished chef, he gets to express this through cooking, dining and teaching his staff. "Passion is expressed through making things your own" he explains. He offers the example of his Yankee Pot Roast, steeped in New England tradition as well it should be but instead of using typical cuts of beef, he uses tender beef cheeks. "I remain true to the idea of the classics but with my own approach. As a chef, your dishes need to have a story behind them or they're just standard versions of the same thing:' Kieffer sources fresh, sustainably grown local ingredients, and is dedicated to highlighting Connecticut-grown produce in his menu. For him Farm-to-Fork isn't a trend or a business model; it's a lifestyle for him and his family.
Situated in the heart of the Blue Back Square neighborhood, DELAMAR West Hartford is the area's newest boutique luxury hotel. Styled with a contemporary take on traditional elegance, this six-floor mid-rise with 114 rooms and suites, features an open plan lobby resplendent with marble, big windows overlooking the lawn, professional displayed artwork, a beautiful piano in the lobby accompanied by a spiraling seat made with 2,500 quarter coins which lends great character. All guests visiting here toast with a complimentary welcome glass of champagne at check in enjoy a lovely breakfast buffet spread; can take advantage of a courtesy vehicle within a 5-mile radius as well as valet parking. With high-speed internet access, access to their fitness center with Peloton bikes, a class at The Yoga Shop and complimentary admission to the New Britain Museum of American Art.
The spa invites all to relax and rejuvenate.
Not a trick missed.
Opened in the spring of 2018, this signature Spanish style dining spot is located in the Goodwin Hotel. Helmed by celebrity Chef Tyler Anderson and his loyal professional team, Restaurant Porron brings local fare to a globally-inspired menu which features a Ham Bar and a Wine Tasting Room making for an authentic Spanish dining experience, while maintaining the traditions of New England. The Ham Bar features an assortment of ham with such tasty choices as Iberico de Bellota (Spain), Benton's Smoked Ham (Kentucky) and Coppa (Italy) among others. Skewer of octopus, pickled peppers and onion, smoked duck legs with a sherry glaze and spiced yogurt introduces exotic flavors and for a heartier appetite, a full sized course such as the delicious grilled quail with chimichurri hits the spot.
The Wine Tasting Room boasts an Iberian-style tiled floor with ceilinghigh shelving wines from around the world. Together, the Ham Bar, the Wine Room and extensive and creative Tapas-style menu all lend to sharing, tasting and relaxing making for not just a delicious meal but a dining destination experience. The professional servers and their team enhance your dining pleasure with great suggestions offered, never insisted.
This craft cocktail bar pays homage to the iconic history of the Goodwin building starting with the library, which gives a deliberate nod to the publishing hub that the city of Hartford once was to the craft-cocktail menu with its classic twist, at the same time updated by the fun gin-and-tonic selection and other classics, many of the ingredients from local purveyors. Pina which is Spanish for pineapple was a symbol of hospitality in colonial America. Visitors are able to meander from the bar to the dining room, and back again should they desire, enjoying the Spanish-style tapas from Restaurant Porron just down the hall. Bar Director Tim Cabral has developed an extensive list of classic, modern and Spanish-inspired drinks.
For the quelling of your daytime sweet tooth, Pastry Chef Kristin Eddy has designed an artisan donut menu. Hotel guests and passers-by can stop in for some coffee and a sweet treat as they relax in the circular "library" nook of the restaurant.
Nationally renowned Chef Tyler Anderson has been nominated for The Best Chef Northeast award from The James Beard Foundation for the past five years. A former TOP CHEF
contestant from Season 15 of Bravo's hit show; he has also appeared on several Food Network shows. Chef was just 16 years old when he discovered his affinity with food preparation in restaurant kitchens. Each experience helped him develop his culinary skills, his palate and his seasoned signature style. Anderson is embracing what many poo pooed - appreciating the magic in maintaining Hartford's character in the name of revitalization. His concepts and menus are fresh and unique while he manages to maintain tradition. When asked what his favorite spice is, he responds "fennel pollen".
I believe that this says it all!
The Goodwin was originally developed in 1881, as an upscale apartment building and later converted to a hotel hosting prestigious guests such as J.P. Morgan, who resided at the hotel during visits to his hometown. Today it is touted as an iconic Hartford landmark, with a vibrant urban feel while staying true to elements of its heritage and tradition. The Goodwin is a one-of-a-kind boutique hotel in Hartford, known for its impeccable attention to detail. Its downtown location puts visitors in the heart of Hartford's very best in shopping, dining, art and culture.