Happy Halloween! Let’s drink #REDRUM @NIXSHartford

Happy Halloween friends!  As a huge Halloween and horror story fan, I recommend Nixs Hartford this holiday for all your festivity related needs (as long as they are alchohol and party related – that’s what they do best after all).

Rich Clemens has been featured here before, and is an amazing mixologist, came up with a #redrum cocktail which is both delicious and an amazing reference to The Shining -

brady twins

Cue creepy Brady Twins, hello ladies

It’s a delicious libation, and it involves hand carbonation:

ze carbonation process

Hey, thanks Anthony!

And then it’s served in a VERY crowd friendly glass bottle, oh yaaas

red rum oh yeah

Soo into it

The ingredients are as follows:

hallo my beauty

Pyrat Rum, Sloe Gin, Coconut Water, Amaretto, lime juice, pineapple juice

Oh yeah, and it’s only $6.  So there’s that.  Nixs has a whole slew of Halloween activities planned – a Pyrat (rum) party tonight, with $500 in prizes (for sexiest costume and best pirate costume).  Tomorrow, there will be a “Dia de los Muertos” party with an additional $500 in prizes (wow yourself)

And last, but certainly not least, Sunday will bring a “Day of the Drag,” hosted by the one and only Amanda Lepore and Maritat Bonita, music by International DJ Producer, Scotty Thompson, and an additonal $500 in prizes!

 

Old School Glamour for the @HartfordCourant #250Gala and Old School Vintage for the Posh Sale @TheWadsworth

Sometimes, a night comes along which is 250 years in the making.  Starting in 1776 with the first printing of the Connecticut Courant – a paper which supercedes the United States in age, and which printed the Declaration of Independence.  Today, October 29th, is actually the official anniversary – so Happy Birthday to this publication!  A paper which boasted its first female Publisher withing three lifecycles of ownership and continues that tradition with Nancy Meyer to this day.  I’m talking of my place of work, the Hartford Courant, and the black tie gala at the equally magical Bushnell which took place last Friday eve.

bushnell stars in the sky

Shining stars and a red carpet.  Such dreamy things

The event was the official celebration of 250 years of continuous operation for the Hartford Courant, which is admittedly a pretty big deal.

There were publishers old and new present:
nancy in the media

Including the lovely Nancy Meyer.  Pictured with a gorgeous set of coworkers!

Ballerinas dressed by the ladies of Trashion Fashion in newspaper gowns:

trashion ballerina

Prepping with Amy in the dressing room!

bsllerinas dressing room

So pretty – and Nina Salazar’s tights are fab too

bustier selfie

And heck yeah, a newspaper bustier designed just for me!

Blo of West Hartford styled all the models’ hair – as well as my own:

blo poster

Just fab as always, thanks!

And the ladies were onsite to assist guests with newspaper accessories – also designed by the Trashion Team:

ballerina headband

Here is Penelope modeling her very own newspaper headband, because of course she needed one too

There was a cocktail hour featuring delicious Onyx Moonshine cocktails – a fitting libation for a historical event!

gorgeous onyx bar

Such a pretty bar set up!

onyx moments

Sharing #onyxmoments with the lovely Rachael Forker

Cartoonist Bob Englehart was on hand sketching caricatures of guests:

bob cartoonist

Cool guy

And at the seated dinner, some very fortunate guests dined on the stage

tables on the stage at the bushnell

Photo courtesy of Alex Syphers for CTNow

We ate in a nearby atrium, which features my favorite Chihuly glass sculpture:
chihully glass

Love it – the fact that it’s red and just fit in with the decor was a happy coincidence.  And I didn’t capture a picture (the horror!) but the feast provided by the Max Catering Group was simply delightful – Head Chef Scott Miller pulled off a spectacular spread, and on his birthday no less!  Thanks Scott.

After dinner, there were speeches galore:
dannel malloy

Including remarks from Dannel Malloy, fetchingly dressed in a Vineyard Vines tie specifically designed for the Courant!

your moments in history

So preppy and awesome

And at the end of the evening, a dance floor arose on the Bushnell stage – which was probably the coolest part of the entire evening:
stage

Wow yourself

Seeing Michael was out of town, I lucked out on a very special dance partner – Amanda Reese (married to Josh Reese, CEO of Camp Courant)

selfies with Amanda

Girl can twirl

Speaking of Camp Courant – the entire gala was a fundraiser for Camp Courant, and over $90,000 was raised for the charity. Hurrah!  Here’s to history.

Speaking of history… the next morning Penelope and I headed over to the Design Source of CT together for a very special preview of the Posh Sale.   I attended a posh sale several years back and wrote about it here (actually – I wrote about it for http://www.ct.com before it rebranded and I have no idea why the article is on the Sun Sentinel now except that it’s our sister company – huh).  I thoroughly enjoyed the first one I attended and I am really looking forward to this upcoming incarnation, November 7-9th.  It’s also a charity event, to benefit the Wadsworth Atheneum’s Textile Society, and that means, well, vintage clothes galore:

vintage cabbage patch doll

Also: vintage cabbage patch dolls

christmas ham

Posing in an oversized hat for the “papparazzi” aka fellow bloggers Carolyn and Kerri (left to right)

shoe heaven

Shoes of every style and stripe imaginable – male and female!

zalo shoes

More shoes

dobbs hat yah

Don Draper hats, very hot

vintage lilly

Vintage Lilly Pulitzer.  No one else is allowed to buy this

vintage baby coat and hat

Teeny vintage baby coats (too small for P, alas)

j crew rack

A whole rack of J Crew (glorious)

coat and blazer

Sturdy and classically tailored wool suits

argyle coat that Diane stole jk

Soft, buttery houndstooth coats

throwback jumpsuit

Cool throwback jumpsuits.  Not my size but if it was, I would definitely swap out the buttons and wear this. 

Truly something for every fashionista (or fashion guy) of any shape, size, or persuasion can be had at this sale.  Plus, you’re shopping for a good cause so it’s basically charity work.  Hurrah!  Mark your calendars – I hope to see you there xo

 

 

 

@marchofdimesct Signature Chefs Auction at the Riverview in Simsbury

Man oh man.  Black coffee and blogging at 6 am?  This is the LIFE.  In other news, I don’t recognize the productive morning person I am becoming.  But, faced with a super busy week (husband out of town traveling, our black tie 250th gala tonight, hair appointment at Blo for said gala during my lunch break) I am fitting things in where I can, as one does as a mommy, a blogger, and a working professional.  And that includes setting my alarm an hour and a half early in order to recap the amazing time Leeanne and I enjoyed at the Riverview in Simsbury last week, for the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Gala!  If you missed this one, there will be another in Fairfield on November 5th too – right around the corner.

a recipe for healthy babies

A recipe for healthy babies!  Awwww

Let’s back up for just a minute and look at what the March of Dimes accomplishes.  They are the premiere charity dedicated to eradicating, whenever possible, premature delivery (which leads, naturally to health complications for mamas and their babies) as well as for providing the best possible care for preemies?  What a good cause, is my point.  I was honored to get an email requesting I attend the event as a blogger, and I did receive a free ticket (plus a guest – ie/ the lovely Leeanne) from the charity.

selfies with leeanne ftw also rizuttos cocktail

A rare Leeanne selfie.  I’d like to thank Suzie Hunter for making this possible

The Signature Chef’s Auction takes place annually, with a bunch of big hearted chefs joining forces to offer gourmet bites of food and small samples of cocktails, while guests mingle and enjoy a silent and live auction:

mickey mouse

I didn’t bid, but if I had, it would have definitely been on this Disney experience package.  So fun.  P is excited to meet Mickey Mouse.  Someday (soon) it’s going to happen.

In addition to the silent auction, guests enjoyed a live bidding, which Leeanne and I unfortunately missed as we were both tired and didn’t stay for more than an hour or two, although we thoroughly enjoyed circling the gorgeous Riverview space during the time that we were present, and saying hello to a bunch of our friends who were there working the event:

plan b

Starting with Plan B burgers.  Quite simply the best.  I snatched a ‘to go’ second burger on the way out because I’m obsessed and they were quite kind about my greed, ha.  Also, mini is the perfect size/shape for a burger, in my opinion, and I love that Plan B will make any of their regular burgers with toppings into minis upon request in their restaurants!  OK, end burger rant.

Having started with beef, we moved onto seafood:

bobby vs

Seared tuna FTW

The above delicate bite was from Bobby V’s, an upscale sports bar and lounge located in Windsor Locks:

sweet set up and bobby vs

Kudos for the signature table settings too!  Very cool.

Next up, we sampled a delectable and complex serving of short rib stuffed in pepper from Barcelona:

barcelona peppers

So very pretty

Side note: Leeanne seriously has a photographic memory when it comes to dishes/ingredients.  I was having difficulty taking notes and balancing the plates (plus I was distracted/excited by all the wonderful food and cute baby photos) and she repeated all the ingredients to me, which was seriously nice and also seriously impressive!

march of dimes leeanne photo

And she took this nice picture of the back of my dress/necklace detail!  She is the best

In addition to the food stuffs, there were plenty of libations being poured.  Our friends at Onyx are always nice to see out and about:

linley

The lovely Linley pouring several options for the Onyx (my favorite was the cider/apple Onyx combo – so very good)

Another high note for drinks came form Rizutto’s, who were present with a lovely bite of braised lamb and parsnip/potato mash:
risottos plate

Yum.

Paired with it was a really delightful cocktail called “The Orchard.”  I didn’t snap a picture of it and the event, but I may or may not have ordered a full sized version of the same drink at lunch today:

the orchard

The Orchard – house infused apple vodka, Lillet, sage garnish

So yes, very very nice.  We also enjoyed burnt ends sliders from Bear’s Smokehouse:

bears with burnt ends

Thanks Jamie – delicious as always

What goes well with BBQ?  Beer, naturally.  And Hooker Beer was conveniently located next to Bears (nice placement)

hooker beer selection

I sampled the Munich Style – even tho Watermelon Ale is my favorite – it just seemed like a better seasonal choice (it was the right call, especially to pair with the burnt ends)

There were many more plates to try, but I was filling up fast, so I went straight to dessert and enjoyed a really, really, really, really good cookiewich from Taste by Spellbound:

taste by spellbound

Choose your cookie, choose your filling.  I did red velvet with maple frosting and regretted nothing

But let’s not lose sight of what the event was all about – a fundraiser to help babies!  There were plenty of adorable baby photos everywhere to make sure that was top of mind during the evening:

ze babies awww

Sooo cute

Thanks again to the March of Dimes for the invite.  I’ve been connecting more with the coordinators, and I’m looking forward to walking in their March for Babies Greater Hartford in 2015!

Our 4th wedding anniversary @Atlantisresort

Happy 4th anniversary to my husband, Michael.  On October 21st, 2010, we carved our names into a tree outside of a courthouse in Vegas:

October 21

Perfect for the type B bride who elopes and easily forgets dates!

Ascended the Stratosphere

stratosphere

So high in the air

And said “I do:”

our wedding

The dress is BCBG and I bought it online without trying it on.  It fit perfectly.  I get lucky sometimes (in love too!  I mean, obviously)

It’s more traditional to do something ‘big’ for five years, but then again, we’re not really traditional people.  So we decided to head off, without little Penelope, to Atlantis Resort a couple weeks ago to commemorate our wedding in a big way.

balcony view

Thanks for the free balcony upgrade, Atlantis!  And the amazing trip

As the view above demonstrates better than a thousand words, Paradise Island (Freeport, Bahamas) is an absolutely idyllic locale.  The island vibe is happy, serene, and as relaxing as listening to the palm trees on the beach.  We enjoyed every minute of our four day, three night stay, although I think that we both agreed that the family friendly nature of the resort meant that the next trip back would definitely be with Penelope present.  There are large, clean, kid friendly pools…

pool yaaas

Whoa.  Yeah.

…awesome water slides (terrific) super aquariums (sharks! wow), and a really cool looking kids’ club.  So yeah, there was some natural parental guilt when I pictured how much P would have enjoyed the pools, being the little water baby that she is:
P1010483

Seen here enjoying a pool with Daddy on Sanibel Island last Christmas in Florida.  Man, that kid was bald back in the day

But – sometimes it’s really nice to have one on one time with someone you love.  And if that one on one time happens in paradise?  Well, heck, might as well roll with it.  So I relaxed, and we thoroughly enjoyed our vacation.

lying down

From the beach/grottos (that’s me, manatee style)

To the casino:

w the sculpture

Note Mike’s yard long daiquiri please.  The man loves his daiquiris

To our off resort field trip to Senor Frogs:

baby mike and kat

Our first trip to Senor Frogs in 2009

four years later

And in 2014!  I think Mike wore those same board shorts in 2009.  Might be time for a new pair ;)

In addition to the pool, beach, casino, and bar excursions, I went on a food quest: to eat conch in every form I could find it.  I had reasonable success but I believe I could have done better and will try to raise the bar next trip:
johny rockets

Conch chowder at Johnny Rockets?  Love it

preparing the conch salad

Conch crudo prepared fresh on the sea (literally, in a boat) ceviche style with lime and tomato

mimosa brunch

Stewed conch in gravy for breakfast (pictured right on that very full brunch plate)

awesome grouper

Ok, this is a picture of grouper.  But there were conch fritters at the meal.  We just ate them all before I could take a picture – it happens – and the grouper was very, very good

In addition to the Conch Quest, I crossed an item off my foodie bucket list and went to Nobu for the first time.  Michael and i both loved it, and my favorite items were the lychee martini with elderflower and the salmon wrapped in pear, which is a flavor combination I still fantasize about:

photo 3

Really masterful pairing, both in flavors and texture

In addition to the pools, the beaches, the really cool water slides, and all the aforementioned eating, there was a nice little cluster of shops on the resort.  I believe in duty free whenever possible, and I was very happy to score a travel perfume for myself:

chanel

yaaaas

And a Barbie perfume set for P:

barbie perfume set

Which she absolutely loves because of course she does

And, of course, I wore as much Lilly Pulitzer as possible in a four day period:

photo 2

Dress from Silkworm!

lilly t

Also from Silkworm.  Come to think of it – most of my Lilly is from Silkworm.  Thanks for being a northern outpost for this awesome southern brand, Erica!

We stayed at the Royal Towers at the resort, which is the mid price range option, and very centrally located, which is nice, because as you can probably imagine, the resort itself is friggin’ enormous:

atlantis arches

And also, really gorgeous

When we return, I think it will be to the Royal Towers.  And it most likely is a question of if, not when, as the entire vacation was really lovely from start to finish, and all the family friendly elements of Atlantis will make it a great destination to return with P in the years to come.  So goodbye for now Atlantis:

rum cake yaaas

And goodbye rum cake, which definitely did not survive the plane ride home.  Because I ate it.

Until, we hope, very soon!  And thanks to all the lovely people we met on the island who helped us to celebrate our four year anniversary in such a wonderful way.  And to my husband, if you overcome your hatred of social media long enough to read this – I love you very much, and happy anniversary.

“We can” with @LoveMondoTrasho and the first #Hoptoberfest hosted by the @MaxRestGroup

Hello friends!  I’m drinking Malbec, watching The Matrix, and not feeling super inspired to write, to be honest.  BUT I had such an amazing weekend with two very cool events, so it’s totally worth it to get in the flow and get this post going.  That’s what I’m telling myself anyway :)

As I had mentioned in my last post, I was very on the fence about going to the Aids CT Fashion Show.  Simply because of the sheer volume of cool events in October – but I rallied and I attended, and it was so worth it.  I was also battling a head cold last Saturday night, so I didn’t get to see the whole fashion show and I’ve stolen some of Nick Caito’s gorgeous photos from CTNow to do justice to the main event.  First off: New Country Motor Cars is an absolutely fabulous event venue:

harvest people pouring

Also fabulous – the good folks of Harvest who donated their time and products to help fight Aids in CT!

saison beer very rare

They even poured a super rare saison for myself, Nick, and Emily.  It’s good to hang with Caito/Cahill, because these are the type of perks they get =)

I liked the New Country Motor Cars Mercedes dealership space because, well, all the pretty cars, but also because it was light, airy, and split into several sections which made for fun exploration and also separated the mixing, mingling, and shopping from the catwalk in a cool way.  The show itself was split into two sections: local designers and local retailers.  Hosting and judging was Mr. Mondo Guerra himself, of Project Runway fame:

pic w mondo

And also kindly posing for pictures at the step and repeat with us!  Featured left to right: Jon Aidukonis, (SP), Diane Taha, Mondo, Me, and Emily Cahill

We drank champagne and browsed local retailers during the VIP hour:

ctn-pictures-we-can-2014-fashion-show-20141011-004

We are experts at drinking champagne.  Photo by Nick Caito for CTNow

stackpole jewelry

Check out the cool neon bands – they are necklaces/bracelets/customizable/from Italy.  I’m going to investigate further the next time I’m on Pratt St, which luckily for me, is tomorrow

One of my coworkers, Betsy Foster, actually walked in the fashion show too for local boutique Lyn Evans!

betsy modeling

Werk, girl

And yes, unfortunately part of my head cold was a blinding headache with light sensitivity, which made watching the runway show near impossible.  But as promised previously, here’s a gorgeous photo by Nick, and you can check out the entire gallery here

nick caito photo

Sunday, October 12, I awoke blessedly head-cold free to a quintessentially gorgeous autumnal day.  Which made for a wonderful three mile run at the Farmington Rail Trail

trees man

I love to spend almost an entire day per weekend outside.  It’s harder to do this in winter, of course, although I do snow shoe which helps with getting my fix of the great outdoors (yes, I know, hippie) but days like last Sunday?  Those are the ones that are MEANT to be spent al fresco.  Gorgeous, sunny, perfect – if you like in CT you know what I’m talking about.  It was a perfect day.  Which, as I told Scott Miller of Max, was really quite awesome for their first ever, totally sold out, Hoptoberfest!

scott miller with p

I asked Scott for a picture and he in turn asked to pose with “the famous Penelope” which was just adorable

baby dance off

Equally adorable: tiny friends getting acquainted.  There was a dance off.  Then P went in for a kiss and the little boy ran to his Mommy.  Alas, young love.

As far as the beer?  Oh, excellent.  And the snacks were of equal quality.  The Max Restaurant Group doesn’t mess around – so that’s no surprise.  Rosedale is a beautiful location for al fresco events, and I love that it’s only 20 minutes from home

rosedale farms cow

Sooo charming

There were familiar faces as well as new friends in the beer selections:

hooker beer tent

A perennial favorite: Hooker Beer

pumpkin scotch and cannolli beer

New to me: Shebeen Brewing.  The Cannoli Beer was nutty and packed with flavor – sweet with hints of vanilla and chocolate

And oh yes!  The snacks.  Glorious, glorious snacks.  I was oh so glad I had gone for a run that morning, as there were nice little passed (free with ticket entry!) bites:

allagash and blue cheese

My favorite: the blue cheese and walnuts on an endive.  It balanced so nicely, flavor wise, with the beer.  Particularly the saison in my glass for this picture

And a very reasonable $5 token bought heartier fare:

pretzel and bacon

Pictured: candied bacon, which I have sampled before as a garnish on cocktails at Max Burger.  Candied. Bacon.  And, of course, pretzels with mustard and beer sauce.  Yaaaas

The aforementioned Scott Miller is now the head of the Max Catering Group and assured me that they will be rolling out more events in the future.  Which is great news.  We all had a terrific time, and it was hands down the best beer festival I’ve ever attended:

hoptoberfest group shot

Pictured left to right: Matthew Hodgman, his fiancee, Amanda Young, Penelope!, my husband, Michael, and of course, me

October is a glorious month! Let’s do all the things

Greetings, friends, and welcome to a special events round up featuring my very favorite month of the year: October.  Without waxing too basic about pumpkins and the like, let me just say that I friggin’ love this time of year, especially in gorgeous Connecticut.  And today I am feeling particularly Octoberish – well – mostly orange – as you can see by my outfit:

selfie orange dress

This dress is from a Posh Sale several years back – and yes there is another Posh Sale in several weeks, and more details are below

and my lunch as I write this:

squash soup

Roasted butternut squash soup, served in an awesome C Wonder bowl from the lovely Cait, and with a gorgeous skyline view of Hartford from our cafeteria at work

In addition to Halloween, there is a plethora of fun events coming up this month.  For example: apple picking, which is super fun no matter what your age, but even better if you’re 18 months old

photo (53)

Just ask Penelope, who picked a whole basketful of drop apples (50 cents a pound at Lost Acres Orchard!  Can’t beat that) and then went on a tractor ride like a Very Big Girl

If you are looking for more of a round up of general events in Hartford, I recommend Real Hartford’s blog – she is the Queen of all things fun, and cool to do around town.  I’ve just hand picked a couple that I am personally attending and looking forward to this month, as there is so much going on, and it’s all very cool.  Without further ado, here goes:

We can with Mondo Guerra at New County Motor Cards on October 11th

Oookay.  I’m not sure if I am actually able to attend this.  I have both FOMO at missing the fashion AND sadness to miss an amazing charity event dedicated towards ending the course of AIDS.  And I want to see my favorite Titian, Carolyn, wow the crowd as an MC.  But – I know my limitations, and I know I need to have balance with my daughter and my social life (and my time on the couch in no pants watching baaaad Bravo TV, if we are being brutally honest).  So I might have to pass – but I still highly recommend that you go, and you can purchase tickets here as they aren’t available for sale at the door typically.  And there will be bubbles and food and amazing fashion and celebrity host, all for a great cause.  Gah.  So I might go.  But probably not.  But stay tuned!  Haha.

1st ever annual Hoptoberfest at Rosedale on Sunday, October 12th

OK, sorry folks – this event IS sold out.  But there are two more opportunities to partake in Max beer festivities – the first being a Hoptoberfest Dinner at Max Downtown on October 10, and the second is the Trumbull Kitchen Beerfest on November 2nd.  In addition to being stoked for all the rich local beers which will be poured and paired with Max appetizers, I’m excited to congratulate Scott Miller on his promotion to head of Max Catering (a new position).  So well deserved, as Scott has headed up the very successful Farm to Chef dinner series at Rosedale and other amazing farm locations statewide.

 

A Recipe for Healthy Babies: Signature Chefs Auctions for the March of Dimes on Thursday, October 16

Yet another wonderful, wonderful cause.  The March of Dimes makes its mission in helping  ensure that expectant mothers carry their babies to term whenever possible – ensure healthier babies.  How cool is that?  And their signature auction and chef round up (Cuginos, Bear’s Smokehouse, Barcelona Wine Bar, Salute, and more) will ensure an evening of wonder, wine and cuisine to raise funds for the charity.  It’s also at Simsbury’s The Riverview – one of my favorite venue spaces due to both the pretty layout and its proximity to my home.  Leeanne will be my partner in crime next Thursday at this event, and I can’t wait.  Tickets are currently on sale here.

“A Courant Affair:” 250 Years of Beats and Bylines from the Hartford Courant on October 24

Wow.  I work for the oldest continuously published newspaper in the United States.  The same paper that printed the Declaration of Independence for the public to read.  That’s a lot of history to explore, and the majority of this year has been spent exploring it, month by month, by delving into the rich history – visual and textual – in the Courant’s archives.  The gala, onsite at the Bushnell, will be a night to celebrate all of this.  The Trashion Fashion crew is busy assembling some really terrific newspaper dresses.  I don’t know what I’m wearing.  Probably at least some newspaper.  I’m awfully excited.  Tickets on sale here folks.

Blogger Preview of the Posh Sale (and brunch!) on October 25

The Posh Sale will be here from November 7-9.  That means that the most wonderful vintage clothing for men and women – from both the Wadsworth’s textile society and generous donations from the community.  I attended, as previously mentioned, two years ago, and I’ve been impatiently waiting for another Posh Sale since (it doesn’t happen every year so extra reason to be excited and to definitely, definitely go).  I will also be giving away a pair of tickets to the preview party on the evening of November 7th, after our blogger’s preview, with some sneak peek photos of what’s for sale, so stay tuned and check out all the event details here.  Oh yeah.  Vintage baby.

CRC Styles Fashion Gala to benefit Make a Wish Foundation on October 26

My goodness.  Another really great cause and wonderful charity.  What could be more wonderful than making the dreams of gravely ill children come through?  Rhetorical questions aside, this event is the 10th annual Fashion Gala, and it will be black tie fancy and full of fashion, food, and of course, raising funds for the Make a Wish Foundation (most important of all by far).  Tickets on sale hereYes, that is also two black tie galas in one weekend for me.  No, I’ve never been to a black tie gala before.  Yes I’m excited. No I don’t know what I’m wearing.  But: challenge accepted (style wise, that is).

ARTini on October 30th

The Greater Hartford Art’s Council’s signature cocktail fundraiser features a curated art deco show this year – a first!  As well as a roaring 20’s flapper theme.  Which will suit me just fine, as I’m headed there with Carolyn and will just raid her enormous costume wardrobe (read: basement).  Ooooh.  I haven’t managed to attend this event yet either, but I love cocktails and I love the arts, so this will be a lovely pre-Halloween adult festivity (Halloween is, of course, reserved for squiring Penelope around in her baby shark costume).  Tickets on sale here if you care to join us for ARTini!

Wagyu and wine for a mere $25 at the @CapitalGrille

Several weeks past, the Capital Grille launched its seasonal deal on a gourmet burger and a delectable glass of wine, hand selected by their master sommeliers.  I was invited in for the experience by their local management at the Front St, Hartford location – and they graciously comped the check and, as with previous entries, approved this post prior to publishing.  Just a bit of full disclosure here folks.  And oh my, was it a rich and mighty pairing.

front st view w wine

We dined on the patio.  This offer is available at the bar, the patio, and in the main dining room for lunch.  Behold our mighty wine line up!

This year, the choices for the wine and burger pairing are: a Wagyu Cheeseburger (havarti, fried egg, and crisp onions), a Kona Crusted Wagyu Burger (shallot mayo) or a Wild Mushroom Wagyu Cheeseburger (15 aged balsamic).  This is up from two burger choices last year.  The wine pairing options are: Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley, 2010), and J Vineyards Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley 2013).  Also noteworthy: these two wines are excellent, revered, and very rarely available by the glass.  So that’s all kinds of fancy.

It was with great difficulty that I settled upon the Wild Mushroom Wagyu.  My husband, Michael, selected the Kona Crusted Wagyu.  We were blessed with two glasses of wine thanks to our lovely server, who saw us hemming and hawing and graciously brought us both options to try.  I ended up drinking most of the cabernet and Michael took care of the pinot, based on personal preference.  Flavor wise, the Jordan Cab charmed me with its complex berry aromas and tart sweetness.  I love a good, full bodied red, and this one in particular sang with lots of high fruit notes which made it an excellent summer to fall transitional wine.  the J Vineyards Pinot was also excellent – lighter than the cab (of course) and silky smooth, also with plenty of notes of fresh berries.  My husband very rarely drinks reds and he was surprised by how much he enjoyed it.

And how did the wine pair with the burgers, you may ask?  Well, only as nicely as a luscious glass of red can blend with the tangy, rich flavors of a perfectly executed, high quality beef burger.  Seriously, check this little beauty out:

wagyu precut

In presentation at the table.  Pictured nestled lovingly next to the burger: delicious truffle fries.

burger side view

Sliced open for further investigation.  Note the perfectly pink center.

wagyu better picture

En route to my mouth #actionshot

I should really investigate the type of balsamic that Capital Grille uses.  It’s just marvelously complex, tart, and brings out these amazingly three dimensional flavor palates in the food.  I became acquainted with this fine balsamic during a previous post, on the plate with prosciutto wrapped chicken.

 

chicken prosicutto better pic

Hello, lover

The balsamic alone made me glad for my burger choice, and the creamy mushrooms complimented the flavorful, fatty wagyu beef quite nicely.  I DO want to go back to try, well, both other varieties actually, but most definitely the Kona Crusted Wagyu.  Sadly, I forgot to even ask for a bit of my husband’s Wagyu Cheeseburger, and by the time I thought to ask, it was gone!  There is plenty of opportunity to return, thankfully – as the event runs until November 23rd.  For the $25, you receive both the burger and the wine, and a second glass of wine may be purchased for $20.  I really can’t recommend this promo enough – go and enjoy it before it’s gone!