Tag Archives: grants

“New” Faces On/In Hartford TV, Movies, Restaurants

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There are some “new” faces around town if you have been tuned into tv or taking advantage of summer dining or entertainment.

Erin Brady poses at a news conference after being crowned Miss USA 2013 in Las VegasNBC Connecticut has brought royalty, so to speak, to its traffic report the pastHeidi-Voight[1] couple weeks. Former Miss Connecticut Heidi Voight and former Miss USA Erin Brady have been taking turns guiding motorists through the Connecticut streets and highways until a replacement is named for former traffic reporter, Kayla James.

That decision is expected shortly, according to vice president of news Matt Piacente,  but in the meantime, he has another staffing announcement as the political season heats up.

Max Reiss has been named the new political beat reporter and contributor to the “Decision 2014,” the station’s Sunday political program.

Reiss  has covered politics for the past four years at WSFA, and Raycom Media, in Montgomery, Alabama., Piacente reports. Reiss is also a New York native, and a graduate of the University of Missouri.

He starts August 25th

If you stopped by Max Downtown recently, you will notice a new, and really happy, face when you walk in the door.

max Rachel Lenda has been tapped as the new manager, replacing Duncan Hunter.

Smart, sassy and a really nice dresser,  (‘I have to keep up with Steverachel Abrams,’she notes) Lenda comes from  S&P Oyster Company in Mystic where she was the Director of Sales and Marketing. Prior to that, she was the Sales and Marketing manager for Hard Rock Cafe Foxwoods.

And over at Grants there is a familiar face taking over general management duties there, as well.

Jim Kehoe, of Feng fame, has moved on to take over those duties at Billy Grant’s  place, while  Michelle Mc Mahon has returned as director of catering  and Joyce Raicik has been hired as director of operations.

And in the “famous and formerly of Connecticut” category, Kensington native Annemarie Griggs has received an Emmy nomination for her work as the visual effects producer on the Starz series, “Black Sales.” The Primetime Creative Arts Emmy ceremony will be held on Aug. 16.

And if you happen to be headed to the opening of the James Brown biopic, ‘Get On Up,’ watchgreer carefully, there’s a well-known former Hartford guy on the screen.

Well-known arts supporter and performer David Greer, has  a part in the movie that opens Friday about the “Godfather of Soul.”

“I appear in a scene with actor Jill Scott in the movie, ” Greer informed Java. ” I’m her character’s date to a JB performance at the Apollo theater in 1962. She dumps me for the “Godfather of Soul!”

Boys Scouts Hand Out Annual Service Awards In Hartford

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MaryEllen Fillo/Hartford Courant

When he was young, now famed CT restaurateur Billy Grant lived by the Boy Scout motto “Be Prepared.”

That, according to his mother Diana Lombardo who was one of about 150 people who turned out for the Connecticut River Council Boys Scouts of America event at the Hartford Hilton Wednesday, honoring Grant and several other philanthropists at the 20th annual Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award Dinner.

“He never said no,” said the doting mom, explaining how ‘Billy’ was the one who help around the house and do whatever needed to be done without an argument or an excuse. “He was just a really great kid,” said Lombardo, adding that as far as his exemplary culinary skills, he honed them on his own.  


MaryEllen Fillo/Hartford Courant

Grant, along with Foodshare’s Gloria McAdam, Schaller Auto Group president, Art Schaller Jr. and retired Ernst & Young managing partner Howard Carver were all honored with Whitney M. Young Service Awards, kudos given in memory of the civil rights activist, social worker and former executive director of the National Urban League.  

The awards are given each year to individuals who have contributed significantly to the positive development of young people.

Joe D’Ambrosio, “The Voice” of UConn football and men’s and women’s basketball, and Hartford Fire Department deputy chief, Clifton Cooper, received the Spirit of Scouting Awards. Hartford Boy Scout Shawn W. Lawrence received the Richard Weaver-Bey Youth Leadership Award.

Yankee Mag “Best” of CT, Celebs Coming to Town

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If you are into celeb sightings you might want to make note:

clinton21Fashion master and lifestyle expert Clinton Kelly is coming to Macy’s at Westfarms Mall Friday at 6 p.m. The Connecticut resident, best known as co-host of TLC’s “What Not To Wear” and ABC’s  “The Chew,” will be giving up his fashion expertise at the program that will include questions and answers and a fashion show. Go to macyswestfarmsclintonkelly.eventbrite.com for information.

The CT Breast Health Initiative’s annual “Race In The Park” on May 11 at Walnut Hill Park in New Britain will have some super-sized star power this year.

Journalist, author and former ABC “ Good Morning America” co-host Joan Lunden will be the featured speaker at the race’s “Survivors Brunch Celebration” at 11 a.m. that day. Breast cancer survivors are honored at the annual brunch, which, this year, will also include humorist and author Eileen Kaplan.

A Mother’s Day weekend tradition, the race/walk is one of the area’s largest. Go to www.cthi.org for information.

Yankee-Logo-77[1]There is also some celebrity when it comes to our state.

New England’s Yankee Magazine’s May/June “Best of” issue is hitting the newsstands and several Hartford area restaurants, hotels, attractions and events have made the “Spotlight” list.

billygrant.li.jpgNoteworthy attractions included the Old State House, Mark Twain House 7 Museum and Real Art Ways. Restaurants included Black eyed Sally’s, Grants, City Steam Brewery Café, On20 and Mozzicato DePasquale Bakery and Pastry Shop. Tapped as Best Designer boutique was Japanalia Eiko. Best lodging kudos were handed to Marriott Downtown Hartford and Chester Buckley House in Wethersfield.

Among the “Top 20” Connecticut Events, several Hartford-area happenings including the current “Burst of Light: Caravaggio & His Legacy” exhibit at The Wadsworth Atheneum, the upcoming Hill-Stead Museum’s Sunken Garden Poetry Festival and July’s Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz.   

For the magazine’s complete list of New England and Connecticut’s best go to yankeemagazine.com

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.



Grants To Get A Facelift

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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.

2012 Best of CT Announced

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It’s that time of year again when Connecticut Magazine announces its coveted “Best of Connecticut”  list.

The Hartford area did not fare badly with some repeat winners and some new ones as well, according to the list in the September issue.

Shady Glen in Manchester was deemed best cheeseburger; Wood-n-Tap best burger sliders; Grants Restaurant in West Hartford , best chocolate cake,  and Close Harbour Seafood in Southington, best Manhattan clam chowder.

Also in the foods category, Jojo’s in downtown Hartford was deemed best coffee bar, best crab cakes when to Carmen Anthony’s Steakhouse in Waterbury (although the crab cakes are available at all locations including Wethersfield location,) best Jewish deli, Rein’s New York-Style Deli and best diner, O’Rourke’s in Middletown.

On20 in downtown Hartford was deemed Best Bird’s Eye View at Dinner, Best Fried Chicken went to Greer’s in Bristol, and Best Guacamole, Besito in West Hartford. UConn Dairy Bar got the nod for Best Ice Cream and Hartford’s Carbone’s for best Caesar Salad. Best Cobb Salad went to Max Downtown in Hartford while Hartford’s  Salute won Best Side Dish for its mac’n cheese.

When it came to drinking, winners were Best Bloody Mary, Max Fish in Glastonbury ; Best Margarita, Coyote Blue in Middletown; the Cottage Restaurant in Plainville for Best Manhattan; Thomas Hooker Brewing for best Connecticut beer, and McKinnon’s West Hartford for Best Irish Pub.

Rooftop 120 was named Best Outdoor Bar, Sliders in Plainville for Best Sports Bar and Fleming’s in West Hartford for Best Wine By The Glass.

In the attractions category, Hartford’s  Connecticut Science Center won Best Indoor Family Amusement and Lake Compounce in Bristol, Best Outdoor Family Amusement.  New Britain Museum of American Art was named best Art Museum and Cinestudio in Hartford, Best Independent Cinema. New Britain Rock Cats was named Best Night at the Park, Artisan’s Marketplace in Plainville as Best Crafts Gallery, West Hartford Center as Best Destination Shopping, and Lux, Bond & Green in West Hartford,  Best Fine Jewelry Store.


For the complete list go to: http://bit.ly/U8DP6J