Small Bites: dining news and events

Barcelona Wine Bar
Barcelona Wine Bar (Handout)

Editor’s note: As of Monday, March 16, Gov. Ned Lamont has ordered a mass shutdown of restaurants and bars. Restaurants and bars will be allowed to continue food delivery and takeout.

Carbone’s Ristorante, 588 Franklin Ave., Hartford, offers a Lenten Table menu, featured every Friday during Lent (through April 10.) The four-course menu includes choice of starter (crispy calamari, arancini or soup of the moment); choice of three salads; entree of risotto paella, pan seared cod or seafood mixed grill; and dessert. Cost is $49, plus tax and tip. A special wine by the glass menu to accompany this menu offers four choices ranging from $10 to $12. 860-296-9646, carbonesct.com.


Bartaco, with Connecticut locations in Stamford, West Hartford and Westport, features Margarita Month throughout March, introducing a new margarita each week. All feature Bartaco’s proprietary Libélula tequila. From March 11 to 17, it’s the Verde Cooler, with poblano liqueur, fresh squeezed cucumber juice, lime, and agave simple. The Golden Hour debuts March 18 through 24, with cappelletti, salted fresh cantaloupe juice, lime, agave simple, and a float of Flower Power bubbly. Margarita Month wraps up from March 25 to 31, with the Northern Lights: elderflower liqueur, fresh squeezed lime juice, and agave simple. All margaritas are $12. bartaco.com.

Saybrook Point Resort & Marina, 2 Bridge St., Old Saybrook, hosts a lobster month promotion throughout March, with daily specials like lobster mac and cheese, lobster cassoulet, lobster shepherd’s pie, lobster paella, corn and lobster fritters, lobster and grits and many more. saybrook.com/event/lobster-month.


Saybrook also hosts a “Treasures of Tuscany” Frescobaldi wine dinner March 20 at 7 p.m. Courses include shaved artichoke salad, yellowtail carpaccio, grilled leg of lamb with garlic and rosemary, Tuscan style duck ragout with pappardelle and ricotta cheesecake. Cost is $109. Reservations are required. 860-339-1318, saybrook.com/event/treasures-of-tuscany-frescobaldi-wine-dinner.

The Griswold Inn’s Wine Bar & Bistro, 36 Main St., Essex, will host an “It’s All About The Reds” wine series in March. The final event on March 19 spotlights “Washington’s Rewarding Reds.” Each event features a guest presenter, who will offer three or four wines for tasting. The Inn’s executive chef will provide small plates for pairing and give a brief cooking demonstration. Events begin at 5:45 pm. $20 per person; reservations required. 860-767-1776, griswoldinn.com.

The Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society (227 S. Main St., West Hartford) will host A Taste of Ireland in honor of St. Patrick’s Day on March 13 and 14, featuring Irish fare, craft beer, and live music. Dinner at 6 p.m. each night includes dishes like Irish soda bread and butter; salad and pickled beets; Irish beef and stout stew; and apple crisp. Connecticut breweries Stony Creek and Hanging Hills feature their beers in the taproom on Friday and Saturday respectively. The event also features live music and historic tavern games. Tickets are $45; $40 for members. Entry includes dinner and one drink (beer or wine), with additional beer and wine for purchase. Advance registration is required and available at noahwebster.yapsody.com.

Oyster Club, 13 Water St., Mystic, hosts its 9th annual Pig and Oyster dinner March 15 at 6:30 p.m., with five courses and drink pairings. Cost is $85 a person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required: 860-415-9266 and oysterclubct.com. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

Foxwoods celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with a Get Shamrocked Pub Crawl March 15, featuring food and drink specials at participating property locations. Tickets are $10. Shamrocked kicks off at 1 p.m. at The Celebration Zone on the Retail Concourse of the Great Cedar hotel and ends at 5 p.m. at Centrale Fox Tower. Information: foxwoods.com/shamrocked.

Shell & Bones Oyster Bar and Grill, 100 S. Water St, New Haven, is hosting Omakase: A Sake Dinner on March 18 at 6:30 p.m. The four-course menu includes food and cocktail/sake pairings from executive chef Arturo-Franco Camacho, sous chef Brendan Hovan and sommelier Steve Bayusik. Tickets are $85, plus tax and gratuity. Information and tickets: 203-787-3466, eventbrite.com/e/omakase-a-sake-dinner-tickets-98730301991.

Barcelona Wine Bar hosts a series of “Women in Wine” wine tasting events, featuring 30 different wines from female winemakers across Spain, Portugal, Argentina and Uruguay. The events will be held March 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the restaurants in Fairfield, New Haven, Stamford and West Hartford, and on March 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the Waypointe location in Norwalk. Tickets are $55 (available on Eventbrite) and include food and beverage. barcelonawinebar.com.

Trumbull Kitchen, 150 Trumbull St., Hartford, hosts a Jameson whiskey dinner March 20 at 7 p.m. Courses include cottage pie, walnut-crusted Hidden Fjord salmon and corned beef short ribs. Cost is $85 plus tax and gratuity. Call 860-493-7412 for reservations. maxrestaurantgroup.com/trumbull.

Artisan, 1 Memorial Road, West Hartford, offers half-priced bottles of wine ($100 or less) on Mondays and waives corkage fees on Sundays (750 ml or less; limit of one bottle per table.) 860-937-2525, artisanwesthartford.com.

Artisan also hosts monthly winter tavern parties with hot toddies, winter-themed cocktails and red wines along with light bites. The final party in the series is on March 26. Tickets are $25 in advance (available on Eventbrite) and $30 at the door, and include appetizers and two drink tickets. 860-937-2525, facebook.com/artisanwesthartford.

The New Britain Museum of American Art’s 7th annual Craft Sippin’ beer festival March 27 has been postponed, with a date to be announced. 860-229-0257 and nbmaa.org.

Hartford Flavor Company, 30 Arbor St., Hartford, celebrates its fifth birthday March 27 to 29, offering special discounts on tours, Wild Moon Liqueurs and merchandise. The tasting room is also open with a cocktail menu (available with a tour.) The business has paired with a local bakery for Wild Moon Liqueur-infused cupcakes. Hartford Flavor is open Friday from 4 to 7 p.m.; Saturday from 1 to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. 860-338-1642, hartfordflavor.com.


The CT Craft Beer Fest at the Oakdale Theatre (95 S. Turnpike Road, Wallingford), rescheduled from March 28 to July 11, features more than 60 breweries and food for purchase. Two general admission sessions run from 1 to 4 p.m. and then 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. A VIP session begins one hour before each, with exclusive special brews. General admission tickets are $35; VIP tickets are $50; designated driver tickets are $15 at universe.com.


MiKro and Michael’s Greenhouses team up March 29 at 1 p.m. for the annual Greenhouse Beer Festival at the Cheshire venue, 300 South Meriden Road. The event features beer tastings, live bluegrass music and food for purchase. $60 for general admission; $30 for designated drivers. Proceeds benefit the Smilow Cancer Hospital “Closer to Free” ride. Information and tickets: tickets.beerfests.com/event/mikro-greenhouse-festival.

New Haven Restaurant Week, originally scheduled from March 29 to April 3, will be postponed to a later date. Information: infonewhaven.com/food-drink/nhrw.

The annual Taste of East, a fundraiser for East Catholic High School, takes place at the school (115 New State Road, Manchester) Apr. 4 at 7 p.m. Sample food and drink from local restaurants, breweries and vendors like A Villa Louisa, BJ’s Brewhouse, Café Aura, Carbone’s Ristorante Hartford, Elicit Brewing, Elmo’s Dockside, First & Last Tavern (Hartford), Hartford Road Pizza, Highland Park Market, Mulberry Street, Munson’s Chocolates, Pastrami on Wry, Shady Glen, The Main Pub and Urban Lodge Brewing. Tickets are $60. squareup.com/store/TASTE-OF-EAST.

Tickets are now on sale for The Bite, Connecticut Public’s live food experience, on Apr. 4 at The Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Guests will enjoy cooking demonstrations, special master classes, vendors, tastings, meet & greets, and more. The event features PBS chefs Julia Collin Davison and Bryan Roof of America’s Test Kitchen, Sara Moulton of Sara’s Weeknight Meals, and Nick Stellino of Storyteller in the Kitchen. General admission ($130) includes entrance to the PBS Chef Showcase and a three-course luncheon. Master classes are an additional fee of $10. Information and tickets: ctpublic.org/the-bite.

Priam Vineyards, 11 Shailor Hill Road, Colchester, hosts “Cabernet Cabaret,” a wine tasting and drag show event, on Apr. 18 at 8 p.m. The performance with Summer Orlando & Barbra Joan Streetsand features live singing, drag entertainment, cabaret-style variety acts and comedy. Guests receive a tasting of four pre-selected wines, with a signature 11-ounce wine glass to keep. 21+ guests only; doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 plus tax. priam-vineyards.com/events-1/cabernet-cabaret-1.

Black Hog Brewing, 115 Hurley Road, Oxford, hosts “Suds and Curds,” a beer and cheese pairing festival, on Apr. 18 from 1 to 5 p.m. General admission is $60 and includes 2-ounce beer samples with cheese tastings. VIP tickets, including an exclusive tour and tasting with master brewer Tyler Jones and cheese pairing master class with Jason Sobocinski, are $80. A designated driver ticket is $35 and includes cheese samples. Tickets at beerfests.com.

Firebox, 539 Broad St., Hartford, hosts a special “Eat Local, Give Local” dinner to benefit Forge City Works on Apr. 20 at 6 p.m. The menu features courses like lobster bisque, chicken roulade, braised beef cheek pappardelle and sticky toffee pudding. A pre-ordered vegetarian option is available. Tickets are $150 and include wine and beer. forgecityworks.org/event/eat-local-give-local-a-special-firebox-dinner.

Mohegan Sun hosts the Sun Whiskey Union April 24 from 8 to 11 p.m. in the Earth Ballroom, featuring tastings of bourbon, whiskey, rye and Scotches and craft cocktail samplings. Live music. Catering provided by Backyard Smokers barbecue and NoRA Cupcake Company. Tickets are $50. Information: mohegansun.com/sun-whiskey-union.html.

“Worth Tasting,” a series of downtown culinary walking tours in New Haven, begins its 2020 season on April 25. Spend an afternoon on a food tasting adventure with Stephen Fries, food columnist for the New Haven Register and professor of hospitality management. The four-hour tour includes stops at eight or nine different restaurants and eateries in the Elm City. Tours begin at 10:30 a.m. from the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale, where guests will receive a goody bag of Connecticut food products. Other upcoming tours will be held on June 13, July 18, Sept. 12, Oct. 24 and Dec. 5 (holiday tour). Tickets are $68 each, except for the December tour, which is $79. Reservations are required. stephenfries.com/culinary-tours, 203-415-3519; 203-777-8550.

The annual Bristol Hospital Festival O’ Wines & Spirits , originally scheduled for March 14 at 6 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton (42 Century Drive, Bristol) has been rescheduled to Oct. 3. Sample more than 225 fine wines, beers and spirits, with gourmet food stations and desserts. Live music by the Sharp 5 Jazz Quartet. Tickets are $125; all proceeds benefit the renovations to the Emergency Center at Bristol Hospital. Information and tickets: 860-585-3365, charityauction.bid/BHWine.

The annual Hartford Rib Off, originally scheduled for June 19 and 20, has been rescheduled to Oct. 23 and 24 due to coronavirus concerns. Information: hartfordriboff.com.

Continuum Distilling is now open at 2066 Thomaston Ave., Waterbury. The new distillery is dedicated to producing spirits using green practices and ingredients to reuse and repurpose, including “trimmings” from the beer brewing process. Partners include founder and head distiller Brandon Collins, and Jason Sobocinski, Tom Sobocinski and Tyler Jones of Black Hog Brewing in Oxford. Continuum’s three flagship products include Charred, a “beer whiskey” made from brown ales, stouts and porters, double-distilled and aged on local wood staves; Drops, distilled from craft IPAs and offering an “unaged, bright and hoppy flavor”; and ContinuRum, a white craft rum made from Blackstrap molasses, which will be aged for one year in repurposed beer barrels to pull flavor characteristics. 203-725-3291, continuumdistilling.com.


Plan b’s newest location has opened at 20 Spring St. in Southington. This is the 10th Plan b, known for its upscale burgers, craft beer and bourbon, by Locals 8 Restaurant Group, joining Connecticut locations in Fairfield, Glastonbury, Milford, Simsbury, Stamford and West Hartford. Others are in Springfield, Mass., Washington, D.C. and Ashburn, Va. 860-426-3200 , burgersbeerbourbon.com.

MJ23 Sports Bar & Grill, formerly Michael Jordan’s 23.sportcafe, has reopened at Mohegan Sun after a brand refresh. The sports bar and grill, with contemporary American cuisine, is able to accommodate larger groups in its 7,449-square-foot space, with a 35-seat bar, 13 big screens and five large projection TVs. New menu items include The Big Mike Burger with a double Wagyu patty, onion, pickle chips, American cheese and Big Mike sauce ($17); roasted chicken with asparagus, Yukon mashed potatoes, garlic, lemon and au jus ($17.50); a lobster club with Maine lobster salad, bacon, lettuce, tomato on a poppy seed bun ($19); and a vegetarian quinoa bowl with sliced almonds, dried cranberries, arugula and citrus vinaigrette ($10). Information: mj23sportsbar.com.

Send restaurant or food news at least two weeks before publication to Leeanne Griffin at lgriffin@courant.com.