Tag Archives: Salute

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.”



‘Go Red’ Bash Raises Green for Hartford Arts Council

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red4red6At first (red) blush, someone would think it was Christmas or St. Valentine’s Day over at The Society Room Wednesday night, where nearly everyone there, all 350 of them,  was sporting crimson, ruby, cherry, fire engine or lipstick red wear.

But it wasn’t one of those traditionally red holidays but rather a way to raise “green” at the annual Greater Hartford Arts Council’s “Big Red for the Arts” fundraising bash.

Besides some really good food courtesy of the Hartford area’s best restaurants including Bricco, Salute, Capital Grille, Dish, Billings Forge and Trumbull Kitchen, great wines like the new awarding-winning Hopkins Vineyard Vidal Blanc Ice Wine, 2011 there was a great vibe that left no doubt that Hartford loves its arts.

“Last year we raised $68,000 and we have a bigger crowd this year,” said council president/CEOred3 Cathy Malloy, sporting the expected red dress. “It’s going to be a good night.”

It was thanks to some serious star power from Connecticut’s favorite celebrity chef Jacques Pepin and wife Gloria, just back a vacation in Mexico. Both dove right into the party spirit that included signing books and posing for pictures with clearly enthusiastic fans.

But what about the arts? was the question posed to the personable and so suave Pepin who is not only an artist in the kitchen but one at the easel at well.

“If I could not cook and could not paint I would be so dull,” he said. “I love both and as far as arts in red2life, it is no life without them.”

Pepin couldn’t help but promote his newest venture, yet another cooking show based on yet another cookbook “Jacques Pepin, Heart and Soul. ”

“I have about 200 recipes I wanted to share so they will be in a cookbook and I am doing a public television show based on the book,” explained Pepin about the new cooking series that will begin shot in California in the fall.  “I don’t know how many more I can do because you know, soon I’ll be 80,” he teased, referring to the landmark birthday in 2015.

The bargain of the night, the sole live auction item, an at-home dinner for 8 prepared by Sheraton Hotel chef  James King.  Valued at $2,000 it went for $1800.

“They got a deal,” remarked Gloria Pepin. “A real good deal.”

For more pictures go here!

Video Below: Attendees Share Favorite Arts Events In Connecticut

Super Bowl Seahawks at Salute, Then ESPN

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seahawskSalute’s Jimmy Cosgrove, Andy Rizzo and company became fast Seattle Seahawks fans late Thursday night when four members of the Super Bowl championship ball team stopped for something to eat at the popular Hartford restaurant.

Special visitors who were reportedly headed to ESPN Friday included wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, linebacker Bobby Wagner, defensive lineman Cliff Avril, and defensive end/tackle Michael Bennett, all reportedly so happy with their food that they posed for a picture.

And what did they chow down on?

According to their waitress Rachel Spellman, (who did a crash course on the Seahawks when she learned at 11 p.m. that they were coming in) dinner included chicken and broccoli alfredo, shrimp piccata, lobster pinchiori, mussels, a couple of salads and of course Salute’s famed garlic bread.

Spellman was tactful saying the very nice group of customers was ‘more than fair’ when it came to tip time, but word is that tip was a very generous 50 percent of the bill.

Class act. Thanks for coming by.


A Party On Every Corner In Hartford, Including One For House

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house (3)There was no doubt it was the holiday season in Hartford Wednesday night.

Company parties were as popular as candy canes and tinsel at downtown restaurants.

Various organizations including NBC Connecticut and CT1 Media were celebrating the season at places including The Society Room  and Capital Grille, while the group from public relations company McDowell Jewett,  partied at Max Downtown.

And among the parties, there was one very private but noteworthy one over at Salute where WFSB anchor Dennis House and his immediate family, including mom (who coincidently, is also named Mary Ellen) were celebrating his 50th birthday.

“It’s been a good day,” said House who also dined with wife and co-worker Kara Sundlun and their two children.

House, who by the way, shares a natal day and a Dec. 18, 1963 birthday with a host of celebrities including Brad Pitt, will  be celebrating his half-century birthday  again at a bigger bash in the weeks ahead.

Happy Birthday!



And the Ct Restaurant Assn. Winners Were…

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jimmySalute’s Jimmy Cosgrove (if you aren’t sure he is the guy in the rarely seen tie and jacket ensemble) was honored by the Ct. Restaurant Association at its annual dinner at Mohegan Sun Tuesday. Cosgrove, with wife Elisa and daughters, Allison, left and Alana, right, was named Restaurateur of the Year.

Other award winners chosen by online voting were J. Timothy’s Taverne, Plainville, Casual Restaurant of the Year; Oyster Club, Mystic, Upscale Restaurant of the Year; Marcia Selden Catering, Stamford,  Caterer of the Year; John Tsipouras, Bricco, West Hartford, Mixologist of the awardwinnersYear and Steve Lisitano, Pavilion Catering, Middletown, Chef of the Year.  The Ct. Hospitality Hall of Fame Award was presented to the Union League Cafe and to The Marchetti Family who own several restaurants in Fairfield County. The Friend of the Industry Award was given to State Sen. Bob Duff while the Vendor of the Year Award was presented to Siegel, O’Connor, O’Donnell & Beck LLC.

CT Restaurant Assn. Taps Salute’s “Cos” As 2013 Award Winner!

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cosgroveThe choices have  been made and it’s ‘salute’ to Hartford’s Jimmy Cosgrove of downtown’s Salute restaurant. The Ct. Restaurant Assn. has chosen him as the 2013 Restaurateur of the Year!

The association will honor award winners at its annual meeting on December 3 at Mohegan Sun.

The Ct. Hospitality Hall of Fame Awards will go to the Union League Cafe and to The Marchetti Family who own several restaurants in Fairfield County. The Friend of the Industry Award will go to State Sen. Bob Duff while the Vendor of the Year Award will be presented to Siegel, O’Connor, O’Donnell & Beck LLC.   

Online voting is now going on for finalists in categories including Chef of the Year, Caterer of the Year, Casual Restaurant of the Year, Mixologist of the Year and Upscale Restaurant of the Year.

Among the restaurants and individuals who are in the running from the Hartford area include J. Timothy’s in Plainville, The Society Room in Hartford, John Tsipouras of Bricco in West Hartford, Andy Pezzuoli of La Trattoria in Canton and Steve Lisitano of Pavilion Catering in Middletown .

Go to ctrestaurant.org for information.

And Congrats Jimmy!!!! We already knew you were a winner!


Restaurant Awards and New Restaurant in Hartford!

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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.  


King And Bieber Celeb Power Fills Hartford

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 king1Star power in Hartford? Oh yes. Because on Thursday evening, it celeb city at both ends of downtown.

Award-winning author Stephen King was the first main event, entertaining fans at a VIP reception at the Mark Twain House & Museum before moving on to the Bushnell for a sold-out crowd who couldn’t wait to hear the contemporary suspense and science fiction scribe talk at the Twain-sponsored program.

So what would his day in Hartford pan out to if it were one of his signature scary stories?

“There’s been nothing scary yet here,” said the 65-year-old as he prepared to greet the VIP’ers who were wined and dined as they met the author. “If anything I feel bad because all these people paid money to see me but I have nothing to give them.”

About 200 people attended the private reception including many who came from New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and beyond.

“We are supporters of the Mark Twain House and huge fans of Stephen King so we decided to come up to Connecticut for this,” explained Alan Lorden, who with his wife Renee, traveled from North Carolina for the program and reception.

King, a huge Mark Twain fan, stayed at the Marriott Downtown Thursday night, had a private tour of the Mark Twain House on Friday and then boarded his private jet for the trip to his home in Maine.

Asbieb King told tales at the Bushnell, pop star Justin Bieber had 13,000 people waiting for him to take the stage at this “Believe” tour. The 19-year-old made a less-than-best first impression on the 13,000 people in the XL Center when his scheduled 8:30 p.m. appearance didn’t materialize until 9:50 p.m. But for most of the crowd, it was worth the wait as the teen/tween heart-throb belted out hit after hit with staging that included pyrotechnics, a cherry picker sweep of the crowd and more winks and eye-battings than could be counted.

Perhaps the most envied people in town Thursday were the staff at downtown restaurant Salute.

Owner/partner Jimmy Cosgrove and his staff catered the King reception which means the heavy lifters over there, including owner/partner Andy Rizzo and catering manager Sean Jarvis got their own meet-and-greet with the author.

And “The Biebs?” Guess where he went for lunch?

Seems Dale “Daleo” Kirshnitz there took the reservation call for a private lunch for Bieber and his entourage and the restaurant sprung into action. A rear room was “privatized” by putting up a makeshift curtain made of tablecloths. Bieber was brought in through a rear door so as not to have to walk through the crowded main dining room and according to everyone; he was polite, gracious, kind and a good tipper.

“He had Bolognese and sparkling water” reported “Rose the Waitress” Sczuret who was assigned the Bieber table. “When Dale told me it was Justin Bieber coming for lunch I didn’t believe him,” she said. “But he was very nice,” she said about the pop star. “And he left a 20 percent tip.”

Is It The Weekend Yet? Close Enough CT!

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calendar_clip_art-1.29213820_std[1]It may be winter but there is still plenty to do when it comes to “getting out”  Hartford.

Today, Thursday,  committee members of “Oscar Experience”  are over at the Mark Twain House & Museum waiting for the Oscar nominations to be announced as they prepare for the Feb. 24 Oscar night gala there benefiting the Connecticut AIDS Resource Coalition.

The “dress-up” or “dress as your favorite Oscar movie character,” event  begins at 6 p.m. In Hartford it includes a red carpet welcome (with Java hosting, of course!) as well as movie-themed food and drinks, viewing of the actual Oscar show, entertainment  and silent auction.

For more information go  here. 

Have you taken advantage of downtown Hartford’s Winterfest yet ? More than 40,000 people have so far! There is still time and there is also time to help fund the popular winter extravaganza.

skating Have some fun at a  fundraiser Friday  from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at  Hartford’s Salute restaurant on Trumbull Street to help raise money to ensure that skating and other Winterfest Hartford activities remain free of charge this year and beyond. Sponsored by the iQuilt Partnership and the City of Hartford, the evening includes complimentary appetizers and drink specials. Pre-registration is $20. Walk-up registrations is $25. Click here to register.

SpaghettiAlso on Friday, head over to the Mark Twain House & Museum where two authors, New York Times bestselling author Adriana Trigiani  and Giulia Melucci, author of “I Loved,I Lost, I Made Spaghetti” (brought to stage here by the museum’s Jacques Lamarre) will be featured at “A Conversation Between Adriana Trigiani & Giulia Melucci.”

The program begins 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25, $20 for museum members. A special $65 package includes a pre-lecture Italian reception with the authors. Ticket information, 860-280-3130.

(And as a “by the way,” Lamarre was voted Best Connecticut Playwright in a broadwayworld.com poll. Read more: http://broadwayworld.com/article/2012-BWW-Connecticut-Awards-Winners-Announced-Goodspeed-Musicals-Wins-Big-20130109#ixzz2HZWcIhg1)

“Million Dollar Quartet,”  the story of a rockin’ 50s jam session with  Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash continues at the Bushnell through the weekend. Bonus? James Barry , who plays the legendary songwriter, singer and musician Carl Perkins , is a Connecticut guy!

martiniOn Saturday, The Connecticut Science Center, 250 Columbus Blvd. in Hartford, kicks off a fun 21 + film series titled “Martians & Martinis” on Saturday. The cocktail-hour event features once-a-month  screenings of science fiction movies.  Opening the series  is “Monsters From The Id.” Writer, director and producer David Gargani will do a Q&A after the screening. Doors open at 6 p.m. for concessions and cash bar; film starts at 7 p.m. Admission is $10 per film, or $35 for a four-film pass.