Tag Archives: Capital Grille

Ted’s Open, Lovallo Returns, Capital Grille’s Butler To The Altar

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Is Ted’s Montana Grill open? Is Capital Grille’s Joe Butler getting married? Was Dan Lovallo back ongalpin WDRC Saturday? Are the Salute guys opening another place to eat?

Yes, yes, yes and yes!

Ted’s Montana Grill, and its famous bison burger, is now in Hartford at its new location in the Front Street complex.

The handsome restaurant, with an even more handsome bar, is serving lunch and dinner and if you do stop in, make sure to meet its general manager, John Halpin.

A seasoned restaurateur, Halpin is also from Ireland so saying hi and chatting a bit is music to the ear, thanks to that wonderful Irish accent.

Speaking of Front Street, don’t be surprised when you don’t see its managing partner Joe Butlerteds (2) around later this week.

The man is getting married.

Butler and fiancée, Courtney Hankamer, will be saying “I do” to each other on Saturday in Hamilton Square, NJ.

And then it’s off to Mexico for a honeymoon.

Your mind was not playing tricks on you if you tuned into WDRC Saturday morning and thought you heard one of its former show hosts at the mic.

Dan Lovallo, who the station sent packing two years ago, was invited back to do a guest stint at the station.

But it was just a onetime deal.

“I had fun,” said Lovallo. “I am still looking for full-time work, though I am involved in other ventures.”

cosgroveSpeaking of other ventures, Salute’s Andy Rizzo, Jimmy Cosgrove and Dave Caudill are opening a new place to eat if you are in the mood for something sweet!

The three well-known downtown Hartford restaurateurs are now partners in a Sweet Frog Premium Frozen Yogurt franchise in East Longmeadow, Mass.

“It’s a good business and we thought it made sense,” said Rizzo who will be doing heavy lifting at the franchise, expected to open after Memorial Day.

And what’s in it for Hartford?

“We plan to do what we can for the community, in Hartford and in East Longmeadow,” said Rizzo, referring to the generous donations of food and service the restaurant guys are known for, so don’t be surprised to be tasting Sweet Frog’s “cake dough” yogurt at a non-profit event in Hartford soon!

Set your recorder or tune into CBS at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday. You might recognize one of the contestants on the game show, “The Price Is Right.”

Bloomfield resident Koryn Rose-Walker participated on the show episode which airs May 14. What or if she won is a secret. Word is to tune in.

And finally, if you haven’t noticed yet, a couple of well-known and well-liked Hartford faces aren’t in their usual around spots around town anymore.

LB Munoz, organizer extraordinaire at Real Art Ways has left her job there and Front Street’s Spotlight Theatres managing director Steve Menchell has also moved on.

Munoz and well-known Hartford artist Anne Cubberly have  started a new business, “Kinetic Dreams.”



CT Mag Readers Vote on Dining ‘Best’

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maggA new year means new opinions from Connecticut Magazine readers on what’s best when it comes to dining out around the state.

And even with a new, more streamlined  format in the January 2014  issue, several Hartford-area places have still made the grade when it comes to readers’ votes and special mentions by the editors.

In the ‘Best Mexican’ category, Bartaco, with a location in West Hartford, was deemed #1 while another WeHa Mexican eatery, Besito, placed third.

While no longer really part of the Hartford area food scene since closing its Wethersfield location, Carmen Anthony’s, with locations now  in Waterbury, New Haven and Woodbury, was voted ‘Best Prime Rib’ and ‘Best Steak,’ and took third in ‘Best Seafood.’

Placing third in the ‘Best Steak’ category was Capital Grille, which has a new Hartford location.capgrille5

Barcelona, with a location in West Hartford, was third in the ‘Most Romantic’ category,  while Millwright’s in Simsbury took third in the ‘Best Desserts’ contest.

When it comes to ‘Family Dining,’ it was a sweep for Hartford-area restaurants. Placing first was Bartaco in West Hartford. Second place went to First & Last Tavern and third to Wood-n-Tap, both popular places with several locations in and around Hartford.

Bartaco and Barcelona were tapped second and third respectively in the ‘Best Outdoor’ dining category and Barcelona racked up even more reader accolades, placing firsbarct in the ‘Best Wine Selection’ category and  second when it comes to ‘Best Service.’

Among the Hartford area restaurants that received a special shout-out as part of the magazine poll were Rein’s Deli, called a “must-exit I-84 gem,” The Willows in Bristol, Firebox in Hartford, the “Max Empire” restaurants, Republic in Bloomfield, Rizzuto’s in West Hartford , Hartford’s On20, (editors noting that the General Assembly should pass a bill requiring every Hartford executive to dine there,) and Vinted Wine Bar and Fleming’s, both in West Hartford.

Mentioned as “fast balls right down the middle” that are worth the trip include 50 West in Plainville, and La Tavola and Sweet Maria’s in Waterbury,

Abartacolso getting some special attention were West Street Grill in Litchfield, Carole Peck’s Good News Cafe in Woodbury, a renowned restaurant that just celebrated its 20th anniversary, Arethusa al Tavolo in Bantam, The Vanilla Bean Cafe in Pomfret, River Tavern in Chester, and a slew of places in New Haven,  editors nicknamed ‘ Connecticut’s hot lava core of fine dining.’

For more of the list go here.


2013. What A Java Year It Was!

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goodspeed5stage501capgrill1It’s a day of change, one year ends and the new calendar begins and for Java, 2013 was one packed with anniversary celebrations, new babies, power weddings, celebrity visits, new places to eat and old ones that closed and media comings and goings that kept the buzz factor high.

Anniversaries (and the celebratory galas that marked most of them) were the big news as some of the area’s most prominent arts venues and non-profits celebrated noteworthy milestones. Among them, the Goodspeed, CPTV and Hartford Stage marked “gold” with 50th anniversaries. Hartford Symphony Orchestra marked its 70th year while Mercy Housing celebrated its 30th and Infinity Hall (which opens a second location in Hartford in the spring) celebrates its fifth anniversary. When it came to eating, Carbone’s, an iconic landmark in Hartford’s South End marked its 75th anniversary and downtown’s Bin 228 marked 10 years in the business.

Speaking of food, the anxiously awaited Capital Grille arrived in Hartford and Salute’s Jimmy Cosgrove was named restaurateur of the year by the CT Restaurant Association. Manolo Blahnik execs George Malkemus and Anthony Yurgaitis opened their chic Arethusa al Tavolo eatery in Bantam and Chris Prosperi moved his Metro Bis restaurant into the historic 1820 House in Simsbury. Dan Keller and Billy Carbone added to their dining dynasty, opening Sorella across the street from their DISH restaurant in downtown Hartford while West Hartford’s Dorjan Puka, well-known owner/chef, opened a second restaurant, Avert, just around the corner from his TREVA rsilo (2)estaurant there.

Gary Santorso of Silo restaurant family fame got back in the business after a brief hiatus, opening his own place, 150 Central in Bristol’s Forestville Center.

Well-known eateries, Rainforest Café at Westfarms Mall and Prospect Café in West Hartford closed, as did Mortensen’s, the family friendly haven on the Berlin Turnpike. Carmen Vacalebre also closed his Carmen Anthony’s Fishhouse on the turnpike.

Wedding bells were loud and impressive with some power couples hooking up during the year. Hartford Public Library’s President/CEO and Hartford Board of Education chairman Matt Poland and Cigna exec Jeff Capelle said “they did” at a ceremony at the Wadsworth Atheneum. The Hartford residence of wedding guests Gov. Dannel P. and Cathy Malloy served as the backdrop for the nuptials of former legislative heavyweight and now deputy OPM secretary for criminal justicelawlor (2), Mike Lawlor and David Zakur, as well as that of former Malloy political advisor Roy Occhiogrosso and Meagan Cowell.

Also saying “I do” in 2013 were FoxCT’s Rachel Frank and Laurie Perez and WTIC 96.5 FM radio’s Damon Scott.

And hours before a new year begins, WTNH personality Teresa LaBarbera plans to tie the knot with Brandon Dufour.

Babies made the news when Dr. William Petit and wife, Christine Petit, welcomed new son William Petit III into the world. WTNH anchor Anne Craig and her husband also welcomed a baby daughter while FoxCT’s  Rachel Lutzker and her husband welcomed a new son.

Tallison-demers-feat[1]here were lots of comings and goings on radio and TV during the year. Among them, WTNH’s Sonia Baghdady left that station as did Jamie Muro. WFSB’s Olessa Stepanova headed to Boston while former NBC CT/WVIT General Manager Dave Doebler headed to Chicago. WDRC FM’s Jerry Kristafer was shown the door but walked through another at WJMJ. WDRC AM’s Mary Jones retired and WRCH’s Allison Demers also left the business. Veteran radio personalities stepped up. Mary Scanlon joined WRCH and Kim Zachary joined WDRC. WCCC had a bit of a ruckus during the year with a change in music format and an unwilling departure by Mike Picozzi.

Truthhe stars hone bright in the area, the biggest and shiniest being Prince Harry’s spring trip to Greenwich where he played polo and hobnobbed with VIP guests at the Greenwich Polo Club. Project Runway’s Mondo Guerra, supermodel Kathy Ireland, sports greats Tim Wakefield and Tony Dorsett, and others including Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Justin Bieber, Jillian Michaels, Tabatha Coffey, Malcolm Gladwell, Stephen King, Jimmie Johnson, Nick Cannon and Steve Carell were all out and about the Hartford area, with some doing special guest shots at Bristol’s ESPN.

king1Hill-stead Museum’s Sue Sturtevant left the executive director’s job there and was replaced by Susan Ballek. Rob Ruggiero officially took over as producing artistic director at Theaterworks, while at Mark Twain House & Museum, Cindy Lovell took over as the new executive director. At the Bushnell, Mike Fresher left his COO job to take a post in San Antonio.

Connecticut had a couple of ‘beauty and brains’ firsts. West Hartford native Ashley Wilson became the state’s first Playboy centerfold in 2013.  Miss Connecticut, accountant and Glastonbury resident Erin Brady was crowned Miss Connecticut and went on to win the Miss USA pageant, a first for a Connecticut contestant. She represented the country at the Miss Universe pageant in Russia a few weeks ago, placing in the top 10 in the international competition.Erin Brady poses at a news conference after being crowned Miss USA 2013 in Las Vegas

When it came to reality shows, Connecticut did okay in 2013. The New Haven-based 3 Penny Chorus and Orchestra did the state proud as it advanced on the “America’s Got Talent.” And East Hartford’s Ashlee Feliciano was equally impressive as one of contenders on “American Idol.”

It’s Official! Hartford’s Capital Grille Opens Sept. 9

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capSeems like Hartford has been waiting for this opening for a while and finally, it’s official. That top -shelf steak house will open its doors on Front Street next month.

This is the announcement about the award-winning restaurant and its arrival in Hartford.

“The Capital Grille, known nationally for its dry aged, hand-carved steaks and extensive, award-winning wine list, will open in Hartford, CT on September 9. Located on Front Street, The Capital Grille, which prides itself on professional, attentive service in an atmosphere of relaxed elegance, will be open seven days a week.

“Front Street is the perfect location to introduce The Capital Grille to Hartford,” said Joseph Butler, Managing Partner, The Capital Grille Hartford. “We believe The Capital Grille will complement the existing entertainment options on Front Street, and we eagerly await the restaurant’s opening and the opportunity to provide guests with our unique dining experience.”

The restaurant features a diverse dinner menu offering perennial favorites including;• Bone-In Kona Crusted Dry Aged Sirloin with Shallot Butter,Porcini Rubbed Delmonico with 15-Year Aged Balsamic, Lobster Mac ‘N’ Cheese, Seared Citrus Glazed Salmon and Pan-Fried Calamari with Hot Cherry Peppers

Additionally, The Capital Grille offers a well-rounded lunch menu with offerings such as The Grille’s Signature Cheeseburger with Parmesan Truffle Fries. The ‘Plates’ lunch menu, which allows guests a choice of soup or salad, entrée and a side for $18, draws inspiration from seasonal cues and allows lunchtime guests a fine dining experience that fits within their busy schedules.

Lunch “Plates” highlights for this season include;• Porcini Bisque with Chive Oil, Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberry Chutney, Dry Aged Sirloin Hash with Crispy Onions and Mini Tenderloin Sandwiches

The Capital Grille wine list features over 350 selections. The offerings, which are hand selected by Master Sommelier, George Miliotes (@TheWineExpert), one of only 207 Master Sommeliers worldwide, include wines under $30 to prized vintages from small, limited production vineyards around the world. For those with an especially discerning taste in wine, The Capital Grille offers a private wine locker membership. Wine enthusiasts have the option to lease a wine locker, personalized with an inscribed brass nameplate. The Capital Grille is pleased to acquire desired bottles for guests, ensuring that they will always have their favorite vintages available.

The Capital Grille of Hartford will have a seating capacity of 239 guests between the main dining room and three private dining rooms. The restaurant will also feature a generous lounge area that opens up to a covered outdoor patio to provide comfort from the elements. Executive Chef Partner Sebastiao Pignaton is delighted to create a customized menu for special events.

The Capital Grille will be open seven days a week, serving lunch Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and dinner Monday through Thursday, 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.; Friday through Saturday, 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.; and Sunday, 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The lounge is open daily. Reservations are recommended, but not required. Call 860-244-0075 or visit www.TheCapitalGrille.com to make a reservation.”

Looking forward for sure!

Capital Grille Makes It Official! It’s Coming to Hartford

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Chalk up another newcomer to Hartford’s Front Street Entertainment District.

The Capital Grille has officially announced  it will open its second Connecticut steakhouse as part of the Front Street complex.

It has been rumored for months that the well-known steakhouse was eyeing Hartford and company  president, John Martin has finally confirmed the plans.

“We are absolutely delighted to bring The Capital Grille experience to guests in Hartford,” Martin said. “Our convenient location adjacent to the Connecticut Convention Center offers us an amazing opportunity to be part of a bustling destination for shopping, business and entertainment.”