Monthly Archives: January 2013

Put the Black Back And Wear Red Friday Ladies!

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go-red-for-women-logo[1]Friday, Feb. 1,  is National Wear Red Day, a day when the nation bands together to bring awareness to the No. 1 killer of women – heart disease.

If it is statistics you need, nearly 13 Connecticut women die each day from cardiovascular disease and stroke.

So put the black back into the closet, choose something red and wear your heart on your sleeve.

And don’t forget the American Heart Association’s 8th Annual Go Red for Women Luncheon is coming up on Feb. 14 at the Connecticut Convention Center, featuring keynote speaker and heart transplant survivor, Ginger Zimmerman. For information go to



More TV Changes Including CT Faces

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More changes involving some CT tv alums and some newcomers as well:

angelicaAngelica Spanos has joined Fox Ct as a new morning reporter. She comes to Connecticut from WBOC in Salisbury, Md.

WFSB Channel 3 alum Kerry Connolly, a Connecticut native, has moved from weekend anchor to daily morning co-anchor at WBZ-TV in Boston. You may remember she did weekend duty at the now Rocky Hill-based station and then moved to the morning news and co- anchor spot while at WFSB.

Perez-Diana[1]And NBC CT alum Diana Perez has been promoted to co-anchor “World News Now” and “America This Morning” at ABC News. She left the local station just about two years ago, coincidently for WBZ-TV.

erikAt WTNH you can finally see what its sports producer Erik Dobratz looks like. He is now part of the on-air sports team there and also doing some back-up anchoring.

Super Weekend, Super Bowl, Super Groundhog Hartford

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Today, Jan. 31, take a ride south to New Haven where its popular “Flights of Fancy,” a wine tasting and shopping event returns from 4 to 8 p.m. Sponsored by The Wine Thief and The Study Hotel at Yale, the event includes  in-store wine tastings, special discounts and  giveaways at over 25 downtown shops.

Or head over to the New Britain Museum of American Art where you can fill your mind and your stomach at the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit there. Former “Hell’s Kitchen” contestants, Van Hurd and Kevin Cottle (now both with Jordan Caterers)  are hosting a series of French wine paired dinners at the museum to highlight the exhibit and the food of Georges Auguste Escoffier. There is still one more dinner after tonight’s two-hour event. Reservations are necessary. For more information call 203-272-8213

Former talk show host, author and director Phil Donahue will be attending a showing of his war documentary, “Body of War” at the Ridgefield Playhouse Friday, Feb. 1. The movie starts at 7:30 p.m. followed by a Q & A with Donahue. Admission is $10 for adults, $7.50 for seniors and $5 for students.

salute_opt If you haven’t taken advantage of it yet, there is still time to inhale those $20. 13 taste of Hartford bargains that continue to Feb. 3. Go to for a list of participating restaurants and prices.

Fun, entertainment, exhibits, prizes will be featured at the annual BIG Y “KIDS FAIR” , Feb 2 and 3 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. the two-day event includes pony rides, a petting zoo, product samples, entertainment celebrity appearances, rides and family activities. Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Sunday the fair will be open from 10a.m. to 4 p.m. Adults $8, kids are free.

ghogLonging for spring? Six weeks away or around the corner? There is hope that on Saturday, Feb. 2,  Connecticut’s new state groundhog will tell us spring is around the corner at the Lutz Children’s Museum in Manchester.

The museum’s  “Connecticut Chuckles VIII” will let us know beginning at 6 a.m. when Lt. Gov Nancy Wyman  “swears in” the new state groundhog.  Shadow reading is scheduled at about 6:55 a.m. There will be coffee and for those who want to stop by and be the first to find out what Chuckles predicts.

goats--wfsb_244x183[1]Feb. 3 is  Super Bowl Sunday and if football isn’t your thing, (especially since  the Pats won’t be there) tune in to see the ads and find out whether two former Simsbury residents, Ben Holst and Jeremey Gilbertson,  and their Dorito ad make it to primetime. (By the way, what is it about Simsbury and goats? Remember this?


bred2And don’t forget Wednesday, Feb. 6 when the Greater Hartford Arts Council hosts its annual Big Red for the Arts at The Society Room in Hartford. Considered Greater Hartford’s premier food and wine fundraising event, the evening features  dishes from top area restaurants and wines and spirits from around the world. The event opens at 6:30 p.m.  with tickets $100 each or $375 for a party of four. For $175 per person, you can attend the VIP vintage wine tasting that begins at 5:30 p.m.


CT “Still Revolutionary” A HSMAI Winner

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revoApparently change is good!

The state’s new branding slogan “Still Revolutionary” won three Adrian Awards for its new brand campaign.  The awards wer presented by The Hospitality, Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI)  and are awarded to recognize excellence in advertising, public relations and digital marketing specifically tailored for the hospitality, travel and tourism industries. The Connecticut campaign received a gold award for television creative, silver for digital marketing and bronze for repositioning.

“We are honored that the Adrian Awards recognized the value of our new brand.  And we’re thrilled that results from our ad tracking study demonstrate that the still revolutionary campaign is working and inspiring people to visit the state of Connecticut,” said Randy Fiveash, Director of Tourism.

Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and its Office of Tourism recently unveiled new advertising results that demonstrate the state’s $15 million investment in the still revolutionary brand and tourism marketing campaign is having a positive effect.


It’s A Wrap For 2013 Sun WineFest

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cc5winewinefest3They came, they cooked, they conquered.

That’s the lowdown in a tasty nutshell on this past weekend as dozens of celebrity chefs and wine and libation purveyors converged at Mohegan Sun’s annual WineFest.

And this year was special because it marked the 10th anniversary of the event considered one of the state’s largest, attracting more than 10,000 people to three days worth of food, wine, demonstrations and really good eating and drinking.

“We try to do something different every year to keep it fresh,” said Vicky Cirilli, whose Cirilli Productions has coordinated the food and drink extravaganza since the start.

Besides lots of eating and drinking, the weekend also included a sold-out bourbon tasting with Adonis cigars, Grand Tastings, a Grand Cru, oyster shucking and grape stomping contests and the very popular Celebrity Chef Dine Around.

The who’s who list of celebrity chefs who were “in the kitchen” for the dine around that benefited the Channel 3 Kids Camp included pastry chef Gesine Bullock-Prado, sister of actress Sandra Bullock, Food Network’s Robert Irvine, Zagat proclaimed “Hostest With the Mostest” Donatella Arpaia, Bobby Flay, Jasper White, PBS show host Mary Ann Esposito, “Iron Chef” competitor Elizabeth Falkner and WineFest veteran, Kim Cateenwalla.

“I’ve been part of this for nine of its 10 years,” said Canteenwalla, co-founder of Blau & Associates, who was preparing wasabi pea and ginger crusted tuna for the enthusiastic crowd. “It’s fun, it’s a way to show diners your best and it’s a way to run into other chefs. It’s a nice blend of social and professional.”

And there was some new talent with Connecticut roots.

“It’s a great event,” said former West Hartford guy, William Kovel, as he put the finishing on his short ribs being served with Ciroc French martinis. “And it’s for the kids, a good cause,” added Kovel, who owns the award-winning Catalyst Restaurant in Boston and whose sister, Christy Kovel, is communications director at the CT Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Vita’s in Plainville Closed

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Bad news for the ‘ville. Vita’s at 33 East St. has closed.

The  popular Italian restaurant with roots tied to the former landmark, Vita’s, in Bristol, closed unexpectedly over the weekend.

vitas“With regret we will no longer be at 33 East St. Plainville,” owner Nick Vita Jr. writes on Facebook late Sunday night. “Please keep your eyes and ears open. We will resurface hopefully within a month…We will miss you very much.”

Like his father’s place before him, Vita Jr. and staff , including his mother, served up homemade Italian food and daily dinner specials as well as award-winning pizza.

The building on Route 10 has been the site of many restaurants beginning more than 30 years ago when a Burger King  was located there. Since then several restaurants have located at the site only to close.

I for one am very bummed because it had the BEST chicken parmagiana grinders that made the worse day better! Sorry to see it close.



Chefs Serve Up A Feast For SunFest Crowd

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cc1Beef filet by “The  Meat Men ,”  braised short ribs with burgundy snails by Kovel, salt crusted halibut by English and squid salad by White were among the offerings at Mohegan Sun WineFest’s Celebrity dine Around. And the chefs like LaFrieda, Pastore, English and White did not disappoint when it came to showing off how good they are at what they do.


It was another sold-out event Saturday night as the Mohegan Sun WineFest held its Celebrity Dine Around with a who’s who of famous chefs serving up specialty entrees and desserts with wine pairings and more.

cc3“I’ve been part of this for nine of its 10 years,” said Kim Canteenwalla, co-founder of Blau & Associates, who was preparing wasabi pea and ginger crusted tuna for the enthusiastic crowd. “It’s fun, it’s a way to show diners your best and it’s a way to run into other chefs. It’s a nice blend of social and professional.”

cc7New to this year’s dine around was someone with West Hartford roots. William Kovel, who recently opened Boston’s famed Catalyst Restaurant, was happy to participate.

“It’s a great event,” he said as he put the finishing  on his short ribs being served with Ciroc French martinis. “And it’s for the kids, a good cause,” referring to a portion of the proceeds that was donated to the Channel 3 Kids Camp.

It wasn’t just about the food  but also about the celebrity. Chefs including Food Network’s Robert Irvine and Tuscany’s Todd English  had long lines of fans waiting to have their pictures taken with the two.

cc9There were also plenty of fans who had heard that actress Sandra Bullock’s sister,  pastry chef Gesine Bullock-Prado was at the dine around, serving Gateau St. Swanaré Cream, a puff swan floating on a cloud of maple cotton candy.

“You can tell  they’re sisters,” said Betty Reynolds as she watched Bullock-Prado set up her display. “She is so sweet, they both are.”

For more pictures of the WineFest go here.






Mohegan Sun WineFest Begins With Bourbon/Cigars

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sw2 A sold-out crowd opened this year’s Mohegan Sun WineFest Friday night.

The Bourbon Tasting, presented by Beam Inc., featured fine bourbons ranging from Jim Beam  Devil’s Cut  to Basil Hayden, Plan B Burger food (with help from Hartford’s Tisane)  including bourbon-laced short ribs and wild mushroom ravioli and  Adonis cigars for those who liked the quintessential bourbon/cigar experience.

Producing the three-day signature event for the 10th year in the row was Vicky Cirilli, of Cirilli Associates.

sw1“Every year we offer something new, something to make it different,” she said, noting that the popular bourbon event was moved to a bigger venue to accommodate a crowd of 350 people.

Saturday includes the first of the Grand Tastings, main stage demonstrations by celebrity chefs including Donatella Arpaia, Robert Irvine, Pat LaFrieda and Mark Pastore, Mary Ann Espositio, and Todd English.

The Mohegan Sun Grape Stomp sponsored by Ciroc Vodka and the Celebrity Chef Dine Around are also on tap for Saturday.

For more pictures go here.


FOXCT Launches News At 5 Monday With Terzi/Morris

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terzi[1]There is new news at Fox Ct…literally.

The Hartford-based station is adding a daily one hour  5 p.m. newscast beginning Monday, Jan. 28.

“This makes FOX CT news the only station in the market bringing viewers 52
hours of local news programming every week, almost 50% more than any other local news station”, said Richard Graziano, vice president and general manager
of FOX CT/WCCT-TV and publisher, president & CEO of the Hartford Courant.
“We’re proud to be a station that is growing and expanding to serve the ongoing
viewing needs of our audience.”

Al Terzi and Alison Morris will anchor the show, joined by meteorologist Rachel
Frank and sports director Rich Coppola.

FOX CT’s “The Real Story” anchor and award-winning reporter, Laurie Perez will
join Brent Hardin at the anchor desk during the FOX CT News at Four, along with
meteorologist Rachel Frank.

“Viewers are turning to us because our team works 24/7 to be relevant,” said
FOX CT News Director Coleen Marren. “We care about protecting and informing
viewers so they are constantly aware of all local news and weather events.”