Tag Archives: billy grant

Amistad Tempts With ‘A Taste of History’

by Categorized: Uncategorized Tagged: , , , Date:

amistad99Braised short ribs with papaya salsa and plantains,  decadent made-from-scratch macaroni and cheese, sweet veal meatballs, spicy African peppers, hearty Brazilian calabaza and curry chowder.

Hungry yet?

Too bad because it’s too late. You had to be at the Wadsworth Atheneum Monday night if you wanted to enjoy the foods at the Amistad Center for Art & Culture’s biannual “Taste of History” party.

Honorary chair and the chef everyone knows, Billy Grant, rounded up a who’s who of fellow chefs who brought their best African/Caribbean/South American insprired dishes with them, serving up nearly 300 people who attended the festival that included live entertainment and an art bar in the downtown musuem.

“It’s our celebration,” said center executive Olivia White. “it is a celebration of our art, our historytaste31taste35 and our food.”

And while it was about art and entertainment, it was the small plates of food that had everyone talking.

“Some of it is almost as good as my mother would make,” said Carol McBride as she sampled choices from Russell Caters.

“This rice is good and I usually don’t like rice,” added McBride’s friend, Madeline Welborn, as she sampled one of dozens of dishes featured at the event.

“The food, well you have to admit it’s good,” said East Hartford resident Diane Stuart, who has attended the fundraiser several times since it started. “But it’s more than that,” she said. “It’s a beautiful setting with all this beautiful art, a nice way to end the day and a really good way to suptaste37port the Amistad Center and its commitment to our history and culture.

Participating restaurants included Dish Bar & Grill, Grants Restaurant & Bar, Healthy Source Catering, The Mill at 2T, Peppercorn’s Grill, Restaurant Bricco, Russell’s Creative Global Cuisine, Salute Restaurant, and Scott’s Jamaican Bakery, Trinity’s Carry Out and Wintonbury Hills Golf Course.

HSO’s ‘Playing With Food’ Time Again!

by Categorized: Uncategorized Tagged: , , , , , , , , Date:

hso8The concert date is set, April 26,  and so are the restaurants and the chefs that participating in the Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s 2nd annual “Playing with Music” program.

You might remember it from last year. Hartford-area restaurants interpreted pieces of music with food and HSO conductor Carolyn Kuan chose music to go with menu dishes. The event climaxed with a symphony playing the music while the restaurants featured the foods.

This year’s restaurants and chefs  have been announced and they are:

Apricots Restaurant and Pub- Chef and Owner Ann Howard, Grants Restaurant and Bar / Restaurant Bricco- Chef and Owner Billy Grant, Max Downtown- Pastry Chef Warren Hardman,Treva Restaurant / A Vert- Chef and Owner Dorjan Puka and Trumbull Kitchen Executive Chef Chris Torla

Fine Wine, Good Tastes, Great Cause At Taste of the Nation Hartford

by Categorized: Uncategorized Tagged: , , Date:

TASTE1Meanwhile, a few blocks away from the Brown Rudnick bash, Save Our Strength Taste of the Nation Hartford had its own party going on with another crowd of about 500 people.

The annual event, designed to raise money to end childhood hunger, was a clear winner as hungry, happy, almost-end-of-the-week revelers and supporters of the cause poured through the doors of the Marquee Events and Catering venue at 960 Main St.

“I don’t even know if I’ll be eating but we are planning a good night,” said longtime co-chair and celebrity chef Billy Grant who with co-chair Angela Pitrone were ready for a great night of wine, food and fundraising. “We’re making inroads to fight hunger in children in Hartford and all the money we raise tonight will be put toward that end.”

TASTE4Dozens of area restaurants put their respective best dishes forward at the dine-around that boasted fine wines and cocktails, desserts including chocolates from Bridgewater, Frosted Couture Cupcakes and cookies from Mozzicato, lobsters rolls, sliders, pulled pork, braised duck breast, bok choy and sushi from places including Carbone’s, Tisane, On20, Salute, Infinity Hall, Wood ‘n Tap, Backstage, Piccolo Arancio, Dish and more.

“This is just great,” said Lauren McCarthy, who works in Hartford and came with a group of friends after work. “We came for the first time last year and it’s like the best Happy Hour ever,” she said about the three-hour long wine and dine around that also included silent and live auction with FoxCt personalities Erika Arias, Rachel Lutzker, and Joe Furey.

It was date night for two East Hampton couples who left their collective nine children behind with babysitters and planned a fine night of wining and dining.

“It’s mommy’s night to go out without the kids,” said Holly Grant, with husband Rob and neighbors Justin and Annmarie Wagner. “It’s our night and a night to benefit a good cause.”

For more pictures go here!


Awards for CT Food and Chefs

by Categorized: Uncategorized Tagged: , , , , , , , , Date:

ooilWhat’s Connecticut’s best food product in 2013?

Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Ariston Specialties LLC in Bloomfield.

That was the decision after judges recently taste tested 184 food items from Connecticut-based manufacturers in the recent 2013 CT Specialty Food Association Product Awards Competition.

For those that imbibe, the best 2013 Wine Product of the Year was the Cayuga White 2010 from Sunset Meadow Vineyards in Goshen.

The event featured 35 categories including cheese, ice cream, hors d’oeuvres, CT grown, gluten free, relish, salad dressings, organic and desserts.

food2Some well-known winners included Cato Corner Farm, which took first, second and third place in the cheese division, Rachel’s Cookies & Treats in Plainville which swept the cookie category, Chester’s Tiezzi Imports, LLC which won all three awards in the honey division, and  Willington’s Purple Pear, a past “best of” winner that took it all in the sweet toppings category.

“It’s always amazing to see the variety of high quality food and beverages made by producers right here in Connecticut,” said CSFA director Tricia Levesque. “This competition showcases the best of the best in the state.”

ryan_portrait[1]And since we are talking food, there were several other carbonesConnecticut chefs included in the “Best Chefs America” book that was recently released.  Besides chefs from the Max Group and Simsbury Millwright’s, other chefs who were included in the book are Josef Aigner of Brew Bakers in Middletown, Hartford chefs. Vinnie Carbone from Carbone’s, John Chen of Feng, Jeffrey Lizotte of On20 and Celestino Cialfi from Peppercorn’s, Christiane Gehami of Arugula Bistro  and Billy Grant of Bricco Trattoria, both in West Hartford, Ryan Jones of the Mill at 2T in Tariffville and Steven Wolf of Bloomfield’s Republic.

Grants To Get A Facelift

by Categorized: Uncategorized Tagged: , , , Date:

Before the rumors begin, Billy Grant’s flagship West Hartford Center restaurant, Grants, is not closing.

But it will be not open for business  for a few days beginning Sunday so the 11-year-old dining room can get a little sprucing up.

Grant said the place will be closed Sept. 16 to Sept. 20  for the makeover. Grant and his brothers, Anthony and Michael, have contracted with decorator Kellie Burke of Kellie Burke Interiors to create the makeover at the Farmington Avenue eatery. The restaurant will reopen for dinner on Sept. 21.