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Restaurant Awards and New Restaurant in Hartford!

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karyolyi2

Maryellen Fillo/Hartford Courant

 

Always so politically correct that Olympic coach Bela Karolyi.

The celeb coach was in town last week as part of the 2013 P & G Gymnastics Championships and as part of the event, participating in a “Capital City’s Taste of the Championships,” dine-around.

Karolyi, along with 1984 Olympic speed skating gold-medalist Johann Olav Koss, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, 2004 Olympic all-around champion Carly Patterson, 1984 Olympic gold-medalist, USA Gymnastics Board Chairman Peter Vidmar and USA Gymnastics President Steve Penny dined at the restaurants over a three-day period, with the intent of handing out gold, silver and bronze awards.

But everything was so good that this year everyone was a winner. Presented the “Nutrition Award” was Max Downtown while the “Most Creative Dish” award winner was Agave Grill. The “Carly Patterson Award” went to City Steam Brewery Café and honored for “Best Comfort Food” was Salute. The prestigious “ Bela Karolyi Award” went to Feng Asian Bistro while the “Mayor’s Award” went to DISH Bar & Grill.

Abillings1 (2)nd speaking of restaurants, another one is opening in Hartford and not where you would expect.

On August 28 “The Kitchen at Hartford Public Library” will open its doors at the Main Street main branch of the library. The new farm-to-table café, collaboration between Billings Forge Community Works and Hartford Public Library, will offer job training and permanent job placement services (through the library’s CT Works program) for Hartford residents.

Billings Forge also has a café at its complex on Broad Street in Hartford.

Ribbon cutting for the second location is at 10:15 a.m.

The restaurant will be serving breakfast, lunch and “to go” food Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Catering will also be available.  

 

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.