The Shops at Yale Fri, 01 May 2015 16:35:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Shopping for Mother’s Day? Wed, 29 Apr 2015 20:23:40 +0000 UP-horz


Shop For Mom at Some of the Most Unique Stores and Boutiques Around … 

Lou Lou
derek simpson goldsmith
Therapy Boutique
Hello Boutique

and so many more

…And Park FREE!

Spend $20.00 or more at any of The Shops at Yale stores and your parking is
FREE at the Broadway Center and 255 Crown Street lots from May 7th through
May 10th.

Just show your store receipt to the parking attendant before exiting and your parking is on us.

This is a limited time offer. Free parking is on a first come, first serve basis. Purchases must be made on the same day free parking is requested. Parking not to exceed four hours. This offer has no cash value.

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Good Nature Market Tue, 17 Mar 2015 18:44:12 +0000 Good Nature Market small











Good Nature Market, owned by Sun Yup “Sunny” Kim, is an affordable market with healthy and fresh food. The Market has two locations in New Haven: 15 Broadway and 44 Whitney Avenue. Both Good Nature Market locations in New Haven include, among other offerings, basic grocery items, hot and cold beverages, frozen and prepared foods, and made-to-order deli sandwiches. The Good Nature Markets on Broadway and Whitney Avenue will provide twenty-four hour service. Stop by today for great customer service and quality products at affordable prices. 

Click the below link to read a statement by Sunny:

GOOD NATURE MARKET – Statement by owner Sun Yup Kim


Address & Phone

15 Broadway
New Haven, CT



Mon-Sun: 12am-11:59pm







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Broadway Open Markets Wed, 11 Mar 2015 20:03:49 +0000 9a Event


Come shop and stroll through the Broadway Open Markets to find handcrafted items from more than 20 Connecticut artisans!  The open air markets on Broadway Island offer everything from beautiful pottery to scented candles and soaps!  Various vendors produce specialty foods, men’s and women’s apparel, home goods, decor, and women’s accessories for the markets.  Food trucks provide a variety of gourmet treats including  burgers, tacos and homemade cupcakes!


Enjoy a day of sampling, shopping and more in beautiful New Haven while supporting local artists!

The Greg Sherrod band, a blend of blues and soul, will perform at each market on the Island to entertain the crowds with live music.

2015 Participants and Schedule

Food Home Goods Pottery
Caseus Cheese Truck Lightjoy Lithophanes – Ceramics by Kiara Matos
Bounty Food Truck The Higganum Co Young Arts Pottery
Taco Loco Sparrow Soaps – Clothing & Jewelry
Fryborg Truck CT River Candles Cinder + Salt
Bakers Dozen Bethany Homecrafts Original Beading
Nora Cupcake Truck The Olive Oil Factory Alison Designs
Singley’s Pecan Perfections Redesigned by Elizabeth Hartford Prints
Music And Fun Art Aquinnah Jewelry
VInyl Street Records Blinking Owl Art Wrapped Rainbows
Greg Sherrod Band Studio B. Gallery
Fun Face Painting Esperanza Art Gallery
Three Bluebirds

Contact Information:

Jennifer Csedrik
Specialty Events LLC
Stratford, CT
Phone: 203-856-8534
Fax: 203-381-9861


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March 2015 Tue, 10 Mar 2015 22:35:33 +0000 Idiom
1014 Chapel Street  .

Celebrate Spring At idiom on Friday, March 20th with a view of new arrivals while enjoying refreshments. Enter to win a Toyko Milk (lotion) gift set valued at $50.

  The UPS Store
24 Dixwell Avenue  .

The UPS Store offers:

  • Mailbox Services with 3 months free with annual contract
  • 15% off Moving Boxes
  • Local Pick-up Service

  Basta Trattoria
1006 Chapel Street  .

Help Basta Trattoria Celebrate Chef Eduardo’s 10th Anniversary at Basta with a Prix Fixe Menu for the month of March! $35 per person includes an organic arugula salad, a choice from three entrees, and Eduardo’s cheesecake of the day.

  American Apparel
51 Broadway   .

St. Patrick’s Day Sale – Get 25% Off Green + Orange Items! Valid from March 14-17. *See store for details.

Last Chance Sale – Shop hundred of items up to 90% off – limited time only! March 6 – 18  *Sale items are final sale and cannot be returned or exchanged. Additional restrictions may apply, see store for details.

  Kiko Milano
1 Broadway  .

NEW Product Launch & Event:Kiko Milano Cosmetics will host an event on Friday, March 27 to launch the new collection: Generation Next. Kiko Milano will offer makeovers and a gift with a purchase of more than $75, the value of the gift is equal to $50. Appointments are very limited. Call or e-mail the store to book your appointment!

27 Broadway  .

Come explore our new arrivals! Check out Barbour’s new Seafarer and Naval Belter collections in-store now!

  Insomnia Cookies
1143 Chapel Street  .

Deals of the month at Insomnia Cookies:

  • March 9 – 15: Get 12 traditional cookies for only $12. Offer available in-store and for delivery!
  • March 16 – 22: Get one FREE traditional cookie in-store all week.
  • March 23 – 29: Get 8 traditional cookies for only $8. Offer available in-store and for delivery!

  Connecticut Running Company
976 Chapel Street  .

New Spring apparel is in! Save up to 75% off select Winter items! Come in for your running and active needs.

  Hull’s Art Supply & Framing
1144 Chapel Street  .

Ready-made frames are half price for the entire month of March!

  ]]> 0 Museum Shop Book and Poster Sale Tue, 10 Mar 2015 21:44:08 +0000 Book and Poster Sale

Museum Shop sale March 2015









Visit the Museum Shop on Monday, March 16, for a special one-day sale. A selection of books on British art, history, and daily life will be priced at two dollars or less and a variety of posters, featuring paintings from the Center’s collection, will be twenty-five cents each. The Museum Shop is open Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm with an entrance next to FroyoWorld at 47 High Street.

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New Harvest Wine Bar Adds Deliciousness to New Haven Dining Scene Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:22:49 +0000 New Harvest Wine Bar Adds Deliciousness to New Haven Dining Scene

By Kate Hartman


Mussels at Harvest

Step down off bustling Chapel Street and into the former home of the beloved Italian restaurant Scoozi, and you will find yourself in the newest (and arguably most delicious) addition to the New Haven dining scene—Harvest Wine Bar & Restaurant—the fifth restaurant by growing Connecticut dining brand and family affair, the JS Restaurant Group.

Brothers Vicente and Kleber and sister Nube Siguenza own CAVA Wine Bar & Restaurant in New Canaan, 55 Wine Bar & Restaurant in Fairfield, SCENA Wine Bar & Restaurant in Darien, the first Harvest Wine Bar & Restaurant in Greenwich and now Harvest’s second location in New Haven.

Vicente Siguenza says it was Yale University Properties that reached out to see if they were interested in expanding to New Haven. They were, and now local foodies in a city where fine food is seemingly everywere are rejoicing about the latest option.

The restaurant, which is actually below street level, occupies an L-shaped room with a long wooden bar and high-top tables filling one section and a more secluded dining room sitting opposite. Large glass walls look out onto an immense patio and beyond that the wide stairs up to the street. The feel here is distinctly modern with wooden walls and unadorned tables and chairs in shades of chocolate and burnt umber.

(The interior of the New Haven Harvest resembles the Greenwich restaurant, pictured above.)

At Harvest, like all other JS Restaurant Group properties, the emphasis is on farm fresh food. Ingredients are locally sourced, with most meats and produce coming from farms in upstate New York, Gilbertie’s Herb Garden in Easton and their own small farm in Weston. Dishes are designed around what’s in season—a dining ethos of the Siguenza family since moving to America from Ecuador in the early 1990s.

Harvest in Greenwich Gets an ‘Excellent’ Rating from the New York Times

“Ever since I moved to this country I’ve always grown something in my backyard,” says Vicente. “You can tell the difference because it is huge.”

Chef Gustave Christman III is in charge at Harvest New Haven, crafting his interpretation of the brand’s signature dishes (75 percent of the menu remains the same from Greenwich) and weekly specials. He shares the Siguenza family’s farm-forward style and the result is a winning culinary marriage.

Take, for instance, the wood grilled organic salmon (above) we enjoyed on a recent visit, served alongside fingerling potatoes and baby carrots with roasted baby beet vinaigrette. Everyone in our party commented on how moist the fish was and how well the sauce paired. 

The butternut squash ravioli was decadently creamy without being too sweet, and the wood grilled veal chop was satisfying, sitting atop a bed of creamy spinach.

However, the true winner among the entrées (agreed upon by everyone) was a fish dish on the specials menu. It was supposed to feature halibut, but was replaced with sole at last minute. The change was perhaps for the better. Two fish filets were piled on top a bed of a creamy well-seasoned risotto with greens on the side.

Between the Snack and Shares menu and the Starters menu, a meal could easily be made from appetizers alone. The butcher board comes piled with seven different meats and treats, including a memorable chicken liver mousse. Cheese boards are customizable depending on how many you’d like to sample.

Don’t miss the deliciously creamy short rib mac & cheese with Cabot white cheddar off the Snacks and Shares menu, or the pear and endive salad off the Starters menu. Spiced pecans and Manchego cheese cut the sweetness of the raspberry vinaigrette in just the right way. On our visit, we enjoyed a risotto tater tot appetizer served with a creamy cheese sauce—a reminder to never overlook the specials.

Brunch and lunch menus boast copious options too, some repeated at dinner and others exclusive to the earlier hours of the day. All of the best regions are represented on Harvest’s wine list, and their custom cocktails, like the Harvest Moon Shine, which mixes American Harvest vodka infused with fresh pineapple, Chambord and sour mix, are definitely worth a try. 

It’s fair to say the Siguenzas have struck gold again and with this second Harvest location, open only a few months, and things will only get even better from here. 

For more information contact (203)777-2500 or visit


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Best Pizza in Connecticut (With Interactive Map) Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:17:28 +0000 Best Pizza in Connecticut (With Interactive Map)


The generally agreed-upon best-of-the-best in Connecticut pizza. These pizzerias are often at the top of national lists and have competed with each other for decades, much to the delight of pizza fans.

  1. The Original  Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana  |  New Haven

Everyone calls it Pepe’s, but the full name is important to why this legend is perennially named the best (or among the best) pizza in the U.S. Every pie is blessed by authenticity, tradition and the taste derived from the original coal-fired pizza ovens. Frank Pepe came to the U.S. in 1909 at 16 from Italy’s Amalfi Coast. He would open a bakery first and then, in 1925, he and his wife, Filomena, started making apizza. Today Pepe’s original location is always overflowing with pizza disciples, and there are satellites in Fairfield, Manchester, Danbury, West Hartford and at Mohegan Sun, with one coming to Boston. Legend, empire—call it what you will but Pepe’s white clam, seasonal fresh tomato and white spinach, mushroom and gorgonzola pies remain the holy grails for pizza lovers.

(203) 865-7602,

  1. Sally’s Apizza  |  New Haven

The war between Sally’s and Pepe’s fans has waged for decades—and there are devoted legions in both camps. Located a few doors down from Pepe’s, Sally’s has been a Wooster Street institution since Salvatore and Flora Consiglio opened its doors in 1938. And it’s still a family affair here as the Consiglio kids now hold the reins and stick to what’s always worked. Thin crust, charred edges and asymmetrical wedges are Sally’s signatures and pies continue to be made in the same coal-fired oven. The décor also hasn’t changed and the line can still be long to get in the door, but those who are firmly on Team Sally’s say it’s always worth the wait.

(203) 624-5271,

  1. Modern Apizza  |  New Haven

The third highly acclaimed legend in New Haven’s pizza pantheon, Modern is located nearby on State Street. The pies are fired in an oil-fueled brick oven instead of a coal-fired oven, but Modern sticks to the thin-crust, irregular sliced pies that are the Elm City’s calling card. The restaurant went by the name State Street Pizza when it opened in 1934, and may have changed its name but not the location or the quality of the pizza. Nearly any topping is available, but the classic Pizza Margarita with fresh mozzarella from Liuzzi Cheese in North Haven, the Clams Casino pie with bacon and peppers, and the Italian Bomb pizza with bacon, sausage, pepperoni, mushroom, onion, pepper and garlic are all must-tries.

(203) 776-5306,

4.  Roseland Apizza  |  Derby

Roseland Apizza is not for the fair-weather pizza fan: It’s tucked away in a residential neighborhood in the north of Derby, making it a challenge to find (although you can follow the long lines that form on weekends); the place is a cozy, no-frills, old-school Italian restaurant where the wait can be long and the service lacking; and the price of a pie can be steep—a large plain mozzarella starts at $20. But those who persevere and make the pilgrimage are amply rewarded with amazing New Haven-style pizza, featuring a thin, chewy crust and delicious toppings such as homemade sausage and fresh seafood.

(203) 735-0494

  1. BAR  |  New Haven

After a few beers any slice of pizza can seem like the best decision you made all day, but when you drink at BAR in New Haven (which brews its own beers) you have the advantage of ordering some of the city’s best pizza—seriously. Large, oblong, thin-crust pies have been served here since BAR’s opening in the industrially chic BruRM in 1996. Toppings are diverse and all delicious, but the mashed potato pizza sets BAR apart. Pizza can be ordered for dinner all week and lunch Wednesday through Sunday, and by the slice as the hours grow late and dancing in the nightclub works up appetites.

(203) 495-1111,

  1. Legends in the Making

These spots have rising profiles. Whether through attention to the craft of pie-tossing or savvy franchising, they are making a name for themselves and, in our opinion, could keep pace with today’s legends in the future.

  1. Colony Grill  |  Stamford, Fairfield, Milford

Stamford’s Colony Grill is known—and has been loved since 1935—for its simplicity: no fancy décor, no upscale dress code and only one item on the menu (pizza), so you know there’s focused dedication to crafting the ideal complement for a night of socializing. Even more, the ultra thin-crust pies (super chewy, plus more room for beer!) are either served with or without Colony’s custom hot oil and only a handful of basic, traditional toppings (meatball, sausage, pepperoni, mushroom, anchovies, etc.), so it’s a haven that draws bar-style pizza purists from all over. The recently added Fairfield and Milford locations have been thriving, proving that by keeping it simple, Colony has been keeping it delicious.

  1. Da Legna  |  New Haven

When Connecticut Magazine told the world about desserts wizard Tommy Juliano at Community Table in Litchfield County, we asked about his favorite restaurants. High on the list is Da Legna, the wood-fired pizza and gourmet Italian place of his friend Daniel Parillo, a co-owner. Parillo’s parents came to Hamden from Italy, he grew up speaking Italian, developed a passion for pizza early, earned his stripes by opening Portofino in North Madison, and arrived in New Haven with Da Legna in December of 2011. He and chef Francisco Pereira produce flash-fired pizzas so inspired Da Legna is flirting with the legendary status of Pepe’s, Sally’s and Modern. Taste the pies and you’ll see why.

(203) 495-9999,

  1. Tarry Lodge  |  New Haven, Westport

With big names Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich behind this restaurant group, there was no question that Tarry Lodge would be a success. Its brand of contemporary Italian cuisine has made an impression on diners in Westport, Port Chester, N.Y., and most recently New Haven, where the pizza competition is already stiff. But the pies at Tarry Lodge are thin-crusted, authentic and truly delicious. These gourmet pizzas are topped with some delectable ingredient combinations like goat cheese, pistachios and truffle honey or burrata with pancetta and chili oil or guanciale with black truffles and egg, and all are cooked in the restaurant’s dedicated pizza oven. Opened just a few months ago on Park Street, Tarry Lodge has slid into the New Haven dining scene easily.

(203) 672-0765,

  1. ​Bufalina  |  Guilford

At Bufalina it’s all a numbers game. Square feet of the restaurant: 325. Time it takes to cook a 12-inch pizza in the 900-degree wood-fired oven: 90 seconds. The number of wondrous, blistered, Neapolitan-style pizzas they make daily from a kitchen the size of a hall closet: seemingly hundreds. One visit to this itsy-bitsy pizzeria and you’ll understand why it’s a legend in the making. Husband-and-wife team Melissa Pellegrino and Matteo Scialabba pay serious attention to the details learned from months of research in Italy. Special 00 double milled flour, San Marzano tomatoes, the best local cheeses and seasonal influences are just some of what make the BYOB Bufalina shine. The rest awaits discovery in that first bite of heaven.

(203) 458-1377,


Beer Bar Pizza

Pizza and beer is a classic combination. These restaurants know that and have made impressive beer lists a staple of the menus, pairing ideal brews with hand-crafted pies. 

  1. Fire Engine Pizza Company  |  Bridgeport

After a fire destroyed his original pizza restaurant, Marty McCarthy bought a fire engine and converted it to a pizza truck, and following its success, brought that theme to his new place on Fairfield Avenue in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport. Firefighting paraphernalia hangs on the walls, there’s an inviting brick-faced rectangular bar—with an excellent selection of seasonal drafts and craft brews—but ultimately it’s the delicious specialty pizzas with bubbly crusts from McCarthy’s brick oven that draws the crowd, gems like the Fruitti Di Mare (laden with clams, lobster and shrimp), the Buffalo Chicken and the Loaded Mashed Potato (with garlic mashed potato, scallions, bacon, caramelized onion and cheddar).

(203) 333-3473,

  1. Krust Pizza Bar  |  Middletown

As soon as you walk through the door of this downtown Middletown hotspot, you are struck by the hip, young vibe, but after you sit at the bar and start talking to the staff, you realize that there’s also an honest passion that goes into every facet of Krust, especially the pizza. Inspired by the classic Neopolitan style and wood-fired in a custom oval oven, the pizzas here are as tasty as they are creative: the Sunny Side has garlic, fresh mozzarella, parmesan, pancetta and egg, while the Meat is topped with pancetta, pepperoni, salami, tomato and mozzarella. The libations here are also a source of pride, from whiskey, rum, bourbon and scotch to the dozen or so local craft brews on tap that change almost daily.

(860) 358-9816,

  1. Coal House Pizza  |  Stamford

With 52 craft beers on tap, beer cocktails, beer events and bargains like a $12 per pitcher deal for brews from Connecticut breweries, this is a place that certainly understands the deep spiritual connection between hops and dough. “In many ways we look to the American craft beer revolution for inspiration in what we do,” says owner Gerard Robertson. “Like these brewers, we strive for authenticity with a free-spirited approach.” The restaurant’s craft pizza is cooked at high temperatures that sear in all the flavors and add a delicious char and smoke taste. During a recent trip we were able to wash the pizza down with hard-to-find gems of brewing such as Sip of Sunshine IPA and the soon-to-be-renamed Gandhi-Bot from New England Brewing Co.

(203) 977-7700,

  1. Stanziato’s  |  Danbury

Minutes from the Danbury Fair Mall, Stanziato’s is a gourmet pizza and craft beer oasis. Specialty small pies are prepared with farm-to-table ingredients in an Italian-made wood-fired oven and have a crust that is crunchy and smoky on the outside yet flakey and airy on the inside. Try red sauce classics like the Margarita or go for a white pizza such as the delectable Totes McGoats topped with mozzarella, goat cheese, chopped spinach and a squeeze of lemon. The bar features a constantly rotating and curated list of great and hard-to-find beer from breweries in Connecticut and beyond. There’s often at least one sour beer on tap, a wine-like tart style that pairs well with pizza.

(203) 885-1057,

  1. Brick + Wood  |  Fairfield

One of the newest additions to the Fairfield dining scene, this is not “just another brick” in the pizza beer bar wall. The small pie pizzas are topped with decadent fresh mozzarella prepared at the restaurant’s mozzarella bar. During a recent visit, the bar’s draft beer list included brews from established craft beer players like Cisco Brewers and Allagash Brewing Co. In addition Brick + Wood has more than 20 wines on tap, which allows the restaurant to take a page from the craft beer/brewery playbook and offer flights with samples of four different wines.

(203) 939-1400,


Unusual places

Great pizza can be found anywhere, from bakeries to train stations. These are not locations where it is traditionally found, but we dare you to step outside the pizza box. 

  1. Nica’s Market  |  New Haven

With its crowded shelves of artisan pastas, imported olive oils, fresh produce and meat, Nica’s Market has long been beloved as East Rock’s small grocery wonder. But the market’s true strength is its deli, where Italian salads, monstrous grinders and pastries are served daily. This is also where you can take away a slice of thick, airy Sicilian or thin-crust pizza for lunch, or get an entire pie. Whole pizzas are made to order and can be topped with any number of ingredients from pepperoni to eggplant. Try specialty pies like the Sorrentina with fresh tomato, ricotta, eggplant, basil and mozzarella, or the Campagnola with artichoke, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese.

(203) 787-5919,

  1. ​Mozzicato DePasquale Bakery, Pastry Shop & Café   |  Hartford

Most Connecticut folks think they have to go to Boston’s North End or New York City to find authentic Italian bakery-cafés. Proving otherwise is Mozzicato, divided between a gleaming bakery with a staggering array of cookies, pastries and cakes, and an adjacent but separate café, which offers everything from breakfast or espresso at the “bar” to a hearty lunch, or espresso martinis with dinner. The location near Hartford Hospital and Trinity College gives Mozzicato a cosmopolitan following, and its best-kept secret may be the Sicilian pan pizzas. Made with bread dough, these thick, chewy delights are always available in a few varieties (like sausage-and-peppers) to be warmed in the oven and enjoyed immediately or taken home. The establishment created by Gino Mozzicato after he arrived in the U.S. from Italy in 1968 will make a pizza any way you want it—and everything here is a true bargain; also true at the satellites in Plainville and Wallingford.

(860) 296-0426;

  1. Nauti Dolphin Pizza  |  Fairfield

Terrific pizza in a train station? You are on the right track in Fairfield, where Nauti Dolphin has gained a well-earned reputation for serving  delicious slices (perfect for commuters) and whole pies (take-home after a long day), all out of a cozy location alongside the northbound rails. Unlike other pizza places, there are two kinds served here: If you order by the slice, it’s a wide, thin-crust New York-style piece that you get, ideal for folding in half as they like to do down in the City; get an entire pizza and it’s a thicker, crunchier, crustier version, ideal for piling on the fresh toppings. The take-home pizza also offers more options, from a classic Margherita to a Clams Casino or even a Hawaiian-style pie.

(203) 256-1877

  1. ​Vocatura Bakery  |  Norwich

The best thing coming out of the oven at this no-frills, old-school bakery isn’t the legendary made-daily Italian bread, or the cannoli and other Italian delicacies that will leave your sweet tooth singing “That’s Amore”—it’s the pizza. The square sheet-style (not Sicilian) pizza is a hidden gem with a cult following in the area. The crust has a unique crunchiness and the toppings are exceptional. Just remember it’s a grab and go establishment with an emphasis on food quality rather than customer service or flashy décor. Our advice: “Take the pizza, leave the cannoli,” or better yet take both.

(860) 887-2220


Best of the Rest

These places also make great pizza, bet it classic style or thin crust, and are well worth a try.

Michaelangelo Pizza & Subs | West Haven
(203) 389-1603

Otto Pizza | Chester
(860) 526-9445,

Camille’s Wood Fired Pizza | Tolland
(860) 896-6976,

Bohemian Pizza | Litchfield
(860) 567-3980

Rizzuto’s | Bethel, Westport & West Hartford

Willington Pizza | Willington
(860) 429-7433,

Vero Pizza | Plainville
(860) 846-0491,

Al Forno Brick Oven Pizzeria & Ristorante | Old Saybrook
(860) 399-4166,

The Little Rendezvous | Meriden
(203) 235-0110,

Mad Greek | Southbury
(203) 264-3080

Cappie’s Apizza | Hamden
(203) 553-7518,

John & Maria’s | East Haven 
(203) 466-1550,

Papa’s Pizza | Milford
(203) 874-0215,

Pizzeria Marzano | Torrington
(860) 618-0875,

Pizzeria Lauretano | Bethel
(203) 792-1500,

The Upper Crust Cucina Italiano | New Milford
(860) 350-0006,

Julio’s Wood Fired Pizza & Grill | Southbury
(203) 264-7878,

Locali Pizza Bar Kitchen | New Canaan
(203) 920-1440,

Pizzetta | Mystic
(860) 536-4443,

Mango’s Wood-Fired Pizza Co. | Mystic
(860) 572-0600,

Kitchen Zinc | New Haven
(203) 772-3002,

Bar Sugo | Norwalk
(203) 956-7134,

Grimaldi’s | Woodbridge
(203) 556-9889,

ReNapoli Pizza Restaurant | Old Greenwich
(203) 698-9300,

First & Last Tavern | Hartford, Avon, Middletown & Plainville
(860) 956-6000,

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CT Magazine: Great Dates in Connecticut for Valentine’s Weekend Romance Wed, 11 Feb 2015 16:06:33 +0000 Great Dates in Connecticut for Valentine’s Weekend Romance

Connecticut Magazine February 2015

By Staff

What do you do for Valentine’s Day? Go out for dinner? Pick up flowers and bring home a bottle of wine? It used to be that lovers aspired to be very creative in orchestrating special-occasion dates meant to impress. That got us thinking about how easy it would be to put Connecticut’s manifold amenities center-stage in some great dates this Valentine’s Day. Here’s some inspiration for some good, old-fashioned romance.

Arts & Culture, New Haven Style

Remember when you were young and wanted to impress your lover with a tempting travel daydream? The romantic destinations you conjured surely included Paris, London and Venice. It’s a voyage you can complete amid the cold Connecticut winterscape by building a great date around the exhibit “Whistler in Paris, London, and Venice” at the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven.

Wherever you’re arriving from, here’s an itinerary for a magical day, or an overnight:

Without stressing, plan to “touch down” in downtown New Haven by mid-morning, the perfect time to alight at the Belgian bakery Maison Mathis for a pre-exhibit latte and croissant, or The Green Teahouse for an authentic Chinese tea experience and, perhaps, an early lunch.

After feasting on the Whistler exhibit—the first Whistler show of its kind for the world-class art museum—it’s time for some self-indulgent shopping at the amazing array of clothing and specialty shops that are collectively branded as The Shops at Yale.

A post-shopping coffee or tea experience is always in order—try Atticus Bookstore Café for a unique experience or take a stroll to the incomparable Blue State Coffee on Wall Street.

As twilight falls, a brisk walking tour of the Yale campus (find the Beinecke Library and the Alexander Calder sculpture in the courtyard) is truly romantic—and it helps work up an appetite to experience what may be New Haven’s greatest strength, its world famous pizza places and fine dining restaurants. There are so very many we love, but for French head to Union League Café, for Spanish it’s Barcelona or Olea, for true Italian Basta Trattoria, Goodfellas, l’Orcio and the new Mario Batali-branded Tarry Lodge, and for pizza Pepe’s, Modern, Sally’s and the off-the-radar insider’s choice, Da Legna.

After such a satisfying day, who wants to drive home? Why not stay the night in sophisticated luxury at The Study at Yale and enjoy more of New Haven before heading home the next day.

READ MORE: Connecticut Magazine Online.

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In One Act, a Troubled Life Recounted Wed, 04 Feb 2015 19:56:40 +0000 A Review of ‘Forever’ in New Haven

By Anita Gates

Not all the music lovers recalling the first time they heard the Doors song “Light My Fire” bother to mention Ray Manzarek’s organ solo. Dael Orlandersmith does in the opening moments of “Forever,” her brave and heartfelt new solo show at the Long Wharf Theater. She describes the sound as “something otherworldly,” which is a particularly apt comment because she is standing beside Jim Morrison’s grave at the time.

“I got myself to Paris,” Ms. Orlandersmith announces proudly more than once, even as voices in her head tell her she does not belong there, in this one-act reminiscence, directed with a lovingly firm hand by Neel Keller. She is visiting Père Lachaise, the astounding 19th-century Parisian cemetery where lie the graves of Chopin, Colette, Proust, Balzac and Oscar Wilde. And those are just the few Ms. Orlandersmith mentions. She claims them as her family, her artistic family, perhaps because her biological family was never of much use.

Forever” dares to acknowledge that mothers have been known to use their children, crassly and without visible remorse, to feed their own psychological shortcomings. The play does not feel a thing like “Mommie Dearest,” but it shares a theme and the same adult sense of childhood bewilderment revisited and sharpened. Ms. Orlandersmith’s alcoholic mother, Beulah, a daughter of South Carolina, insults her daughter (“You’re fat. You’re hateful. You’re disgusting.”) but is so dependent on her that she threatens suicide when the girl grows up and announces her plans to move out. When Dael, as a child, is raped by an intruder, Beulah focuses on her own maternal pain. “He should have killed us both,” she wails.

Ms. Orlandersmith has a gift for raw immediacy. At a recent performance, while she described the sexual assault (in graphic and emotional detail), the theater fell almost as silent as a tomb. Then she broke the tension gradually, with pinpoint timing, recalling an Irish police officer who was kind to her afterward and how she imagined herself growing up to marry him and beginning a beautiful new life in Ireland.

Ms. Orlandersmith’s earlier play “Yellowman,” about skin-color prejudice among African-Americans, was a finalist for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for drama. As a performer, she has embodied drug dealers, nuns and cleaning women of various ethnicities. She has written for the stage about friendship, alienation, dysfunction and the difficulty of escape. But first and foremost, Ms. Orlandersmith is a poet, and her language sings, even when it insists on calling itself prose. Descriptions of linoleum, kitchen vermin, cigarette burns and “something beyond this broken house” (the one she grew up in) assume their own beauty. “Forever” also pays tribute to one of Ms. Orlandersmith’s poet idols, Richard Wright.

The most striking aspect of Takeshi Kata’s set is the display of dozens of photographs on walls just beyond the stage. The audience’s first guess may be that these are pictures of some of the famous people buried at Père Lachaise, but Ms. Orlandersmith reveals late in the play that these are family photos; a surprising number of audience members stop on their way out of the theater to take a closer look. Mary Louise Geiger’s lighting adjusts subtly but decisively to fit the subject matter, whether that is a single mother’s weekly, Scotch-soaked Saturday night party or a daughter’s clear-eyed visit to the morgue.

Ms. Orlandersmith is an imposing presence, with waist-length braids and wary eyes that appear to have seen it all. She began wearing black long ago, not because she is in mourning for her life like a Chekhov antiheroine but, she says, to stand out. And she does.

“Forever,” by Dael Orlandersmith, is at the Long Wharf Theater, 222 Sargent Drive, New Haven, through Feb. 1. Information: 203-787-4282 or


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Inventiveness with a Hot Plate Wed, 04 Feb 2015 19:47:34 +0000 A Review of August: Upscale Bar and Eatery, in New Haven

By Sarah Gold

Even for veteran chefs working in state-of-the-art kitchens, it can be taxing to consistently whip up sophisticated, satisfying meals for a parade of discriminating patrons. So when a self-taught cook manages to pull it off using only a hot plate, a plug-in stew pot and a panini press, the results can seem like feats of culinary magic.

Such are the enchantments to be found at August: Upscale Bar and Eatery, a tiny wine bar that opened in the East Rock neighborhood of New Haven in May. Though just 16 stools line its cozy space — and everything on its one-page menu is prepped and cooked in a corner behind the mahogany bar — the boîte serves up rustic yet elegant fare that would be notable in a venue 10 times its size.

Part of the wizardry here has to do with ambience. Wine bars can be intimidating, especially for novices. But the married co-owners, Andrew Hotis and Michelle Chadwick-Hotis, who work the space together every evening, have an easy warmth and an appealing, plain-spoken way of discussing terroir and varietals that immediately dispel any shyness. (Ms. Chadwick-Hotis described a Spanish red to me as “gravelly, you know? It has a little bite to it.”) Though each spent years working in upscale bars and eateries around the country — most recently in Manhattan — they comport themselves here, in their first shared venture, as if entertaining friends in their own living room.

The space itself is inviting in a deeply personal way. Before opening the restaurant, the couple spent 10 months refurbishing the 1920s-era, 350-square-foot room (once a goldsmith shop, and before that a headquarters for a local election campaign), painstakingly restoring the pressed-tin ceilings and wide-plank floors themselves. Their labors somehow imbue the place with a cherished, intimate feel; so do the quirky personal items they have used to decorate.

A photo of Mr. Hotis’s young son, August, for whom the bar is named, looks down from a high shelf; taxidermy mounts of two chickens and a pheasant, a nod to Mr. Hotis’s father, a taxidermist, adorn the exposed-brick wall, and Mason jars of fresh-cut roses are spaced along the bar — a favorite of Ms. Chadwick-Hotis’s mother. Old clothbound copies of Shakespeare plays are piled here and there, too — and are used to tuck bar bills into.

The most startling sorcery at August, however, happens in the tight alcove — right next to the wine rack and shelves of Reidel goblets — where Mr. Hotis cooks. Building on what he learned working in esteemed spots like Lelabar in the West Village, he has crafted a small, seasonally changing menu based not just on high-quality ingredients, but on what he can prepare at a station roughly the size of a speaker’s lectern. A miracle of space economy, his niche evokes the galley of a sailboat — incorporating hidden mini-fridges and artfully stacked cutting boards and utensils, and a meat slicer that pulls out on a sliding shelf so Mr. Hotis can compose charcuterie plates.

“Believe it or not, I actually prefer working in this sort of limited space,” Mr. Hotis told me after several visits. “It forces me to be more creative, to make more intelligent choices about what to cook.”

His one-page menu is succinct, but it always has a few of what he calls “curveballs” in it: unusual ingredients that marry in surprisingly nuanced ways. Among the excellent dishes I tried were a “winter stew” (actually more of a richly flavored soup) bobbing with coins of rabbit sausage and heirloom Royal Corona beans; a thick-crusted panini sandwich layered with meaty Spanish sardines, a shallot lemon zest gremolata, and a smear of Sriracha mayo; and a hearty salad of slow-cooked wheat berries and kale, studded with wine-soaked raisins and maple-glazed walnuts (Mr. Hotis prepares the raisins and walnuts in house, as he does almost all his condiments.)

The one drawback to working on such a small scale is that menu items sometimes run out; it was with great wistfulness that friends and I watched one night as the last plate of delicate smoked-salmon rillette was delivered to the couple seated next to us. But we were placated by the arrival of two splendid desserts — a silken goat-milk panna cotta and a luxuriant salted caramel pudding (the first made by Mr. Hotis, the second by Ms. Chadwick-Hotis). Also, by the realization that we now had a perfect excuse to return.


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