Tag Archives: carbone’s

Liver Foundation Serves “Flavors” With Flair And Celebrity Chefs

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liver10 (2)He was the kind of guy you couldn’t ignore as he stood in the doorway at the Aqua Turf, suave but not showy in his tux, and clearly happy to be at the American Liver Foundation CT Division’s annual “Flavors of Ct” fundraiser.
And it didn’t matter that he was only 11, because Christian Mercado,  who suffers from liver disease, knew how to work a room as the evening’s featured guest.
“I’ve worn tuxes before,” the North Haven youngster explained, easily handling yet anotherliver99 interview as hundreds of people arrived for the black-tie event featuring sophisticated sit-down wine-paired dinners prepared by a who’s who of celebrity chefs and served at lushly set tables worthy of any food/wine/home magazine cover. “I’m excited about tonight,” said the North Haven middle-school student. “I can’t wait to speak to the audience.”
“He wants to be an actor,” grinned his mother Nancy Rodriguez who explained her son has an immune system problem that results in his liver not working correctly. “As you can see, he’s such a ham.”

While the 11-year-old was the center of attention, the celebrity chefs who stepped up to cook and serve their gourmet dinners were the stars.
Among them, some of the Hartford area’s favorites including Carbone’s Vinnie Carbone, Besito’s Tim East, Cugino’s Mario Cirikovic, Peppercorn’s Dino Cialfi, Café Colt’s Harry Schwartz, Infinity’s Dan Fortin Hot Tomato’s Kevin Ruoff and The Willows Leo Bushey.
Bushey, once the chef at several area restaurants including Acqua Oyster Bar, The Simsbury Inn and The Hartford Club once again showed his cooking skills and then his table setting expertise as well, creating a decorative presentation that was all edible.

liver100 (2)
“You know how I am about farm-to-table and not wasting anything,” he grinned about the display at his Bristol restaurant’s table that won “Best Flora Table Design.” Besides an array of edible spring flowers including miniature daffodils and lavender piled in rustic containers, and crudités cleverly doing dual duty as part of the table’s decorative diorama, the ”dirt” that served as the table runner was actually edible savory and sweet chocolate cake crumbs.
Millwright’s, whose owner/executive chef Tyler Anderson also served as the evening’s Honorary Chef, won “Something Out of Nothing” award for his table. The Wharf at Madison Beach Hotel, whose table was reflective a tony summer dinner under a pergola, won the “Best Guest Giveaway” award thanks to the canvas tote bags full of gifts on each guest’s chair.

Clear Channel’s Renee DiNino served as master of ceremonies.
“I like to come to this just because sitting in this room and seeing so many beautiful tables filledliver5 with so much good food makes me want to go home and try harder in my own dining room,” laughed Grace Watkins, a pharmaceutical representative who was part of the crowd. “I think this is one of the prettiest and tastiest fundraisers there are in the state” she said. “And it all benefits a very good cause.”
Other prize winners were: “Most Elegant Table Design,” Bin 100 in Milford and Mambo in New Haven;“Most Witty Table Design” La Tavola in Waterbury and “Best Overall Table Design,” Caseus, New Haven.
For more pictures go here.

Like It Or Not, It’s ‘Bye Summer’ and ‘Hello Autumn’ This Weekend

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calendar_clip_art-1.29213820_std[1]It’s kind of the ‘glass half full, glass half empty’ quandary when you look at the upcoming weekend. It’s the end of summer and the beginning of autumn, and for some that can be both good or bad. But despite what season is your favorite Hartford, this weekend brings a lot of enjoy.

It begins today with two well-known al fresco dining events. Carbone’s will host its annual scotch and cigar social under a tent at the landmark restaurant on Franklin Avenue from 6 to 9 p.m. The evening features Carbone’s old world cuisine, aged single malt scotches, complimentary cigars, boutique beers, fine wines and music. Tickets are $125 a person with proceeds going to Carbone Family Charities. Information: 860-296-9646.  

At billings2the same time over at the Billings Forge Market Green at 539 Broad St., Hartford, there will be the annual Farm-to-Table  Dinner under the tent beginning at 6 p.m. The fundraiser showcases the best of the season’s harvest and supports the initiatives at Billings Forge Community Works. There will be food, wine, entertainment and auctions. Tickets are $160. Information: billingsforgeworks.org

If it’s shopping that makes your weekend, The Village for Families & Children will host a grand re-opening of its Second Chance Shop at 730 Hebron Ave., Glastonbury Thursday. The thrift boutique is operated by the facility’s auxiliary and benefits The Village programs. The grand opening and reception are from 5 to 7 p.m.

Friday also has a plethora of choices including the annual WOW Forum, a professional women’s conference held at the Warner Theater in Torrington and sponsored by the Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce. Guest speakers including author Ann Leary, NBC Today Show contributor Susanna Salk, artist Danielle Mailer and author Suzy Kline. Information: wowforum.org

Thappy (2)he Goodspeed Opera House continues its 50th anniversary celebration with the opening of “The Most Happy Fella” Friday. It marks the second time the opera house has staged a production of the musical about an aging vineyard owner who proposes to a younger woman via mail, but sends pictures of his much younger and more handsome foreman instead. The show runs through Dec. 1. Information: 860-873-8668 or goodspeed.org 

bbash6Over at Camp Courant in Farmington Friday it will be ‘superhero’ time as the camp holds its annual “Buddy Bash.’ Guests are invited to dress as their favorite superheroes and enjoy a dine-around, auctions and entertainment with proceeds going to the facility that provides free summer camp to eligible youths from Hartford. The party begins at the camp at 6 p.m. and there is an ‘after party’ at Trumbull Kitchen in Hartford.  Tickets are $125. Information: campcourant.org

Celebrate the official end of summer Saturday by heading to Hartford for the annual ‘Envisionfest,’ a  free one-day festival highlighting the city’s innovative history, arts and cultural assets. Hundreds of live entertainment and hands-on activities will be featured throughout the day with musical entertainment and dramatic performances on six stages, free admission to more than eight museums, landmark building tours, lawn games in Bushnell Park and activities along the riverfront. Information: envisionfesthartford.com

Ahclso on Saturday, The Hartford Club will celebrate its ‘140 Years of History’ at a gala there beginning at 6:30 p.m.  The evening will include cocktails, a four-course dinner, dessert room, music and dancing as well as live and silent auctions. Information: hartfordclub.com

Best of Everything This Weekend Hartford!

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calendar_clip_art-1.29213820_std[1]It’s a weekend of the best Hartford, fine food, fine art, fine causes, anniversary celebrations and  more as sights are set on what to do to get out and enjoy.

Thursday,  Carbone’s in Hartford will hold its first ” Serata di Cibo” dinner from 6 to 9 p.m. benefiting the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. The fundraiser includes Italian hors d’oeuvres, stations serving pasta, seafood, grilled items,  desserts, all with selected wines and boutique beers. Tickets are $125 a person. Information: carbonesct.comcarbones

Over in Bloomfield on Thursday , Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation will hold its Donor Recognition Evening beginning at 6 p.m. at its facility at 103 Vision Way.  Among the honored guests will be former Gov.  Jodi Rell, Fidelco client Ed Bordley, who works for the U.S. Marshals Service and Navy Lt. Brad Snyder, who was blinded while serving in Afghanistan and went on to win two gold and a silver medal at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.  Information: fidelco.org

Want to know who is the best when it comes to stores, restaurants, services and such? Head over to the Society Room on Pratt Street in Hartford Friday for Hartford Magazine’s “Best of ” party beginning at 7 p.m. Winners will be celebrated at the event that also marks the 10th anniversary of the magazine. Tickets may be purchased at the door for $65.00

On Saturday, there are lots of choices.

Artartgrab2Space in Hartford will be the place for  the “Art 4 Aids”  fundraiser, benefiting The Richard B. Fried Fund for ACT. The evening includes an art grab, food, music and wine. General admission tickets are $50. Information:  aids-ct.org

It will be a very colorful evening for CPTV as it parlays its famed  purple dinosaur, a black tie and  a red carpet into a golden celebration at the Hartford Marriott Downtown Saturday beginning at 6 p.m. 

The 50th anniversary party includes red carpet interviews, and will be hosted by PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger. Honorary chairs are Gov. Dannel P Malloy and Cathy CPTV50th-Anniversary-logo-color[1]Malloy.

Also on Saturday at the Connecticut Convention Center, Eastern CT Cancer Institute will hold it 2013 “Healium Ball,”  a Parisian-themed black tie fundraiser  that will include dinner dancing and entertainment. It benefits the new John A. DeQuattro Cancer Center, and Meg Berté Owen Survivorship Fund. Information: echn.org

Visit some of CT’s best museums, attractions and historical sites including  Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s  house in Hartford Saturday as part of “Connecticut Open House Day.”

The GOpenHouse200[1]overnor’s Residence at 990 Prospect Ave. will be among the destinations participating in the annual  event. The residence will be open to the public for tours from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. 

“Connecticut Open House Day provides a great opportunity for residents and tourists alike to take advantage of the fantastic attractions we have in the state,” Governor Malloy said.  “We have nearly 200 destinations located all throughout the state participating this year such as museums, galleries, theaters, vineyards, shops and historic properties.”

  Go to  CTvisit.com to view the list of participants and special incentives being offered as part of Saturday’s open house.


Awards for CT Food and Chefs

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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.

CT Mag Releases 2013 ” Best Restaurant” List

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ctcoverIt’s that time of year again when Connecticut Magazine announces its prestigious “Best Restaurant” list, a carefully compiled accounting of restaurants from all over the state that shine in categories ranging from appetizers to service to cocktails.

This year, the landmark list, featured in its February issue,  was created a little differently. Instead of reader votes, magazine editors invited food writers, cookbook authors and bloggers to do the nominating.

Several Hartford area restaurants  made the grade again including Tyler Anderson’s Millwrights in Simsbury, a winner in the “Best New Restaurant”  and “Best Service” categories.

maxBoth Max Downtown and West Street Grill also made the “Best American” list. Among the “Best Overall”  winners was West Street Grill in Litchfield, with Max Downtown, Brasserie Pip in Ivoryton and Hartford’s On 20 making the honorable mention list.

Speaking of Brasserie Pip , the place popular chef Noel Jones landed after leaving On20 last year, it was tapped as one of the “Best Romantic” places to dine and interestingly enough, On20 also made the “Best Romantic”  list as well.

grantdWest Hartford’s Grants made the “Best Dessert” list, Besito “Best Mexican” and Barcelona “Best Appetizers” lists. Among the “Best Italian” winners was Hartford’s Carbone’s.

“Best Brunch” included Hartford’s Firebox, “Best Seafood” included Max Fish in Glastonbury and “Best French” restaurant included Cavey’s in Manchester.

casteakTapped for the “Best Steak” category were Carmen Anthony, with several locations in the state including Wethersfield and Waterbury, and Fleming’s in West Hartford. “Best Prime Rib” winners in the Hartford area were Carmen Anthony and Hawthorne Inn in Berlin.

Named to the “Best BBQ” list was The Pit Stop BBQ in New Britain.

Making the “Best Sushi”  list was Feng in Hartford and Sushi Red in Plainville.

For the complete list go here.



Carbone’s Set To Open Tuesday In Bloomfield

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If you are a fan of the Hartford South End landmark Italian eatery, Carbone’s, then smile! Christmas is arriving early.

 The well-known restaurant family is opening its second restaurant, Carbone’s Kitchen, in Bloomfield at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11.

“We are really excited about it,” said Vinnie Carbone, whose cuisine and culinary reputation have made his Franklin Avenue restaurant a destination dining place for generations of families. “Bloomfield is a great area and we decided to ring what we do, there.”

Carbone’s Kitchen  is located at 6 Wintonbury Avenue and will serve lunch and dinner.

Menu offerings include wood-roasted brisket with blood orange bbq sauce, its original melanzane fritte (eggplant fries), as well a sandwiches, paninis, grinders, salads and artisan pizza. The dinner menu includes pastas, steaks and well-known Carbone’s main plates including veal piccata, sweet Italian sausage and chicken parmesan.

The place is a New York-style casual restaurant with lots of brick, wood and iron, Carbone said.

For information call (860) 904-2111.


Clang Clang Clang Goes the Trolley Hartford!

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There’s more than just Hartford’s Winterfest, Black Friday shopping and Thanksgiving leftovers this weekend.

The trolley is back, too!

Beginning Friday, the 3rd annual Holiday Trolley resumes its seasonal transportation between  Wethersfield and several stops in Hartford.

The 25-minute ride begins at Lucky Lou’s in Old Wethersfield with stops at Carbone’s, J Restaurant, Costa Del Sol, and Bushnell Park. The free rides offer a fun and affordable way to travel around the city, go out for dinner, ice skate and take advantage of other holiday events including the Bushnell Park carousel, carolers, Santa and cookies are also part of the ride. Riders can get off or get on the trolley at any stop on the route.

Rides begin at 5 p.m. and continue through 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through December and including New  Year’s Eve.


Carbone’s Opening Second Restaurant

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Carbone’s Ristorante is expanding.

Vinnie Carbone, who heads up the South End landmark Italian restaurant bearing the family name, said a second location will open in Bloomfield in early fall.
“It’s something we’ve been looking at for a while and are so excited about finding the right space,” said Carbone, about the new restaurant that will be located at 6 Wintonbury Avenue which housed the former Blue Smoke Bar & Grille.

It’s been a while since the Carbone family has operated two restaurants. The only other time, Carbone said,  was when he, his cousins, his uncle Carl and his dad, Guy,  were the force behind the very popular Gaetano’s in the former Hartford Civic Center.

Carbone said the second restaurant, to be called Carbone’s Kitchen, will have a more casual feel than the Franklin Avenue location, but the menu will still feature the best of the family’s Italian offerings.

“Bloomfield is having a resurgence when it comes to new restaurants,” said Carbone. “This is the right location and the right time.”