Dining

Happening in the Hills: A Look around the Northwest Corner of Connecticut

While many realtors exit your life after you have finished buying or renting a home, we look forward to forging a lasting relationship and introducing you to the community in every way. Litchfield County is a special place with wonderful restaurants, galleries, land trusts, lakes, plenty of children's activities, and talented residents.

Check out one of our favorite local blogs that explores just how great the Litchfield County community is: Happening in the Hills. Happening in the Hills embraces all the great things Litchfield has to offer. From the variety of restaurants, to the various art galleries, museums, antique stores, high-end boutiques, tag sales, and more, Happening in the Hills keeps you up-to-date on all local events, gatherings, workshops, seminars, and outings throughout Litchfield County. 

A great aspect of the blog is the series of in-depth articles on our talented residents. Litchfield County is a unique community with an abundance of residents who want to share their talent with others. Happening in the Hills does a great job of highlighting their expertise and promoting their work for all of us to see.

A new addition to the blog is the local life coach expert Tal Fagin. In her "coaching corner" she answers reader's requests for advice.

Make sure to check out their blog for great recommendations if you need something to do, or if you want to give your friends a better idea of why Litchfield County is so great!

Don't forget to Subscribe! 

New Wine Bar in New Preston!

 

 

If you are looking for something to do this weekend, go and stop by The Owl!

The owner and executive chef of the Main Street Grill in Watertown, John Bourdeau, has opened a modern wine bar in the center of New Preston. Modeled after an authentic European wine bar, The Owl provides a cozy intimate setting for you to relax with a glass of wine or craft beer. The wine bar features an extensive list of wines including the typical wine by the glass as well as rare wines. There is also a ‘small bites’ menu that features snacks such as nuts and olives, local meats and cheeses chosen to complement the wines and beers available, and various desserts.

Stop by to enjoy this unique experience!

The Owl                                         Hours
18 East Shore Rd.                           Mon/Tues: Closed
New Preston, CT                             Wed-Fri: 4p-10p
860-619-0585                                  Sat/Sun: 1p-10p
owlnewpreston.com 

 

Gracious Federal Antique Brick Home in New Hartford, CT

This circa 1829 home in New Hartford has been lovingly restored and sits on 2.2 lush acres with mature English perennial gardens, fruit trees,a meadow and deeded access to Jones Pond. The property is situated in the scenic Farmington Valley which is home to buccolic, historic towns and lovely countryside.

A View of the Town of New Harford

The area has many beautiful outdoor areas that can be enjoyed while skiing or hiking or simply walking through the town and enjoying the boutique and restaurant window fronts. Dining options include many establishments that use farm fresh ingredients and are inspired by the countryside around them.

Ski Sundown in New Hartford, CT has a variety of Trails for all Levels

There are many places to enjoy nature in Farmington Valley during the various seasons. The 80-mile Farmington Canal Heritage Trail and the 26-mile Farmington River Trail are spectacular destinations to explore. Of course, after the fresh air and activites, there are a trio of restaurants in New Hartford that should not be missed!

Exquisite Cheese Plate from Quercibella in New Hartford, CT

Homemade Sups and Scones from the Passiflora Tearoom in New Hartford, CT

The Eclectic, Fun Atomsphere of Blue Sky Foods known for their Amazing Seafood and Burgers.

New Hartford is bordered by Torrington to the west, Barkhamsted to the north, Canton to the east, and Burlington and Harwinton to the south. It is a close knit community with a lot of charm.

As the town website mentions, "The Farmington River traverses the downtown area, providing scenic beauty to all who frequent the quaint shops and businesses located there. In the spring, fly fishermen can be seen casting their lines in one of Connecticut's most well known catch-and-release areas."

Around this historic home you can meander through the gardens and across the covered foot bridge to the shed and greenhouse.The interior of the house features many period architectural details, stunning wide board chestnut and maple floors, built-ins, 5 fireplaces, a first floor bedroom with a remodeled en-suite.

Charming Interiors throughout this Historic Home.

Gracious Design and Cast Iron Tub.

The Master Bedroom with Vaulted Beamed Ceilings.

An Cozy, Comfotable Living Room with Fireplace.

A Charming Guest Cottage.

Well Lit Interior Spaces with Period Architectural Details.

For more images and information about this property, please click here.

Clcik on the links to area places and restaurants to be directed to their websites. 

 

 

 

 

Unlocking New Milford: Discover the Charm of this New England Town

On the western border of CT and nestled in the Housatonic Valley, the town of New Milford is often termed the “Gateway to Litchfield County”. Incorporated in 1712, the area is rich in history and was the original home of the Paugusett Native Americans who fished on the Aspetuck and Housatonic rivers still popular today with both residents and visitors. The town was active during the American Revolution and became a business hub for industries including buttons, furniture, pottery lime and tobacco in the 19th and 20th centuries. New Milford is actually the largest town by area in the state at approximately 64 square miles and includes the communities of Merryall, Northville and Gaylordsville.

Today, the town has blossomed with a variety of unique restaurants, artisanal gourmet shops, specialty boutiques for adults and children, galleries and more… Most people think of New Milford as the place to go for the big box retailers, you know the store you want close but not too close. However, there are lots of special places in New Milford. Here is a sampling of the businesses I love to frequent.

Poached Pear Salad at Lucia's Restaurant

Whether it is authentic Italian cuisine, gourmet Paninis, organic farm to table fare or Thai exquisitely spiced food, New Milford offers a wide range of dining choices. Lucia Ristorante, which was featured in the New York Times, has exceptional dishes that feature homemade pastas including pappardelle, spaghetti and cavatelli. Chef and owner, Antonio Caldaria delivers unmatched flavor with his Gnocchi Piemontese with prosciutto, fresh peas and mushrooms in a pink champagne sauce. Tonio’s Panino is not your average sandwich shop with wonderful vegetarian, chicken and meatball parmesan paninis as well as an amazing caprese sandwich with fresh mozzarella, basil and tomato. Buon Appetito to all!

The Menu Board at Tonio's Panino

Farm Fresh Food at The Green Granary

If you lean towards organic fare, visit Epicuria located at the garden center ‘The Green Spot’. Epicuria has a variety of healthy salads and sandwiches as well as their renowned chocolate covered strawberry smoothie. You can eat al fresco in a sumptuous garden while the weather is warm. Epicuria is a gourmet take out and catering business as well. The Green Granary on Railroad St is an organic, non-gmo and sustainable café with a mission of farm to table food. Try their vegetarian, western or avocado omelettes, all made with organic eggs. Yum! They have outstanding chocolate chip cookies and this is my favorite food group! I am a chic chocolate chip cookie connoisseur (friends who know this send me cookies from all over the world). If you crave aromatic, exquisitely spiced food, don’t miss Thai Charm where they make a luxurious Tom Yum Goong soup and red, green and panang curries with your choice of chicken, beef, vegetable or shrimp.

Thai Charm Dinner with Aromatic Spices

There is much more to tempt your palette at the specialty food stores, cooking schools and premier caterers In New Milford. At Villarina’s pasta there are a host of homemade pastas and you can pick out Italian sauces such as porcini, puttanesca and walnut pesto to pair with them. The have great prepared garlic bread you just pop in the oven and wonderful frozen lasagnas. The Silo, as part of the Hunt Hill Farm offers a variety of cooking classes throughout the year. Upcoming is a Junior Bakers session on October 12th and ‘How to Make a Sublime Vegetarian Meal’ on October 16th. If you want to leave it to the experts and have your dinner party or event catered, Executive Cuisine has a full complement of dinners, hors d’oeuvres and succulent desserts. Sesame & wasabi crusted tuna skewers, garlicky lamb kebobs with tahini and lemon panna cotta with fresh fruit were recently served at interior designer’s event.

Villarina's Homemade Past Sauces

A Delectable Table from Executive Cuisine

An interesting array of boutiques for adults and children can be found in New Milford. Two delightful children’s toy stores, Nordica and Play, are definitely worth a visit and not just for birthday presents! Another great family activity is a visit to Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market which is held every Sunday through November 29th from 7 am to 2 pm. You can look at vintage clothing while the kids can check out the toy collectibles.

Games, Puzzles and More at Nordica Toy Store

A Wonderful Selection at Play Toy Store

Swank on Bank, a fashion boutique, located on Bank Street directly across from the movie theater, has one-of-a-kind apparel, jewelry and accessories. , I love the super soft cotton tee shirts! After shopping, Joe’s Salon is a great place for a blow dry, color or cut. They were voted one of the top 200 salons in the US by Salon Today. They also have an excellent spa for facials and massages.

Chic Denim Vests at Swank on Bank

An Open, Airy Interior at Joe's Salon

Across the street from Joe’s Salon is the Harts Art Galley which recently opened and exhibits mixed media, paintings and photography. Their new show, entitled ‘She’s a Changeling ‘opens October 3rd. If you take a stroll around the corner, have a look at the newly renovated and restored United Bank building which is now called 19 Main. It will be a rental space for weddings and other events starting with an upcoming wine tasting.

Photography by Evan Abramson at Harts Gallery

The United Bank Building is now 19 Main

I am thrilled to ‘unlock’ some of the treasures in New Milford. Try them for yourself and let us know your thoughts in the comments box. All the businesses mentioned are linked to their websites so you can view directions and contact information.

Enjoy!

 

Washington Art Association Barn Dance at Waldingfield Farm

Love a good old-fashioned barn dance and country harvest festival? Then you don't want to miss this fantastic evening put together by The Washington Art Association and hosted by the well-loved Waldingfield Farm. There will be finger-lickin' barbeque, grilled foods, fresh garden salads, a pie contest and dancing for all!

Waldingfield Farm in Washington, CT

During the festivities, The Washington Art Associations invites you to take "a break from dancing, enjoy the art exhibition on the walls of the barn. Featured will be scenes from farm life: landscapes of barns and fields, portraits of chickens and cows, and much more!"

The Washington Arts Association is located in the Center of Washington Depot, CT

Drawing Classes at the Washington Arts Association

Education and Promoting the Arts is at the Heart of The Washington Arts Association

A Lovely Entry to the Farm Stand at Waldingfield Farm

Enjoy The Wool Hats band who will be playing your favorite reels and square dances! Family, friends and kids are welcome to enjoy this great night.

Place: Waldingfield Farm, 24 East Street, Washington, CT
Date: Saturday, September 26
Time: 5:30 - 10 pm
Price:
Adults -- $40 per person
Couple -- $75 per couple
Children -- $10 per child

Registration is required, please click here.

For more information, please contact The Washington Art Association by telephone at 860.868.2878 or by email at washingtonart@snet.net.

 

Vote for Winivan in USA Today's Most Romantic Inn Awards

Luxurious Accomodations at Winivan Farm

This ideal retreat for couples has been nominated for 'Best Romantic Inn' in USA Today's Reader's Choice awards. Travelers from all over the country and abroad have discovered what the locals have always appreciated; luxury accomodations, farm fresh gourmet cuisine in an exquisite setting.

You can easily support Winivan by clicking on the USA Today link here. It will take you directly to the page where you can place your vote.

Luxury Accomodations with Unique Touches

A Beautiful Setting in Pristine Countryside

Gorgeous Tabletop Style

Farm Fresh Ingredients in Gourmet Dishes

Poolside Elegance

There are eighteen extraordinary cottages, each with their own style and design as well as the Hadley Suite. Winivan Farm was purchsed in 1948 by the Smith family who have retained ownership to this day. They have a fascinating history which you can read by clicking here.

Don't forget to vote this morning by clicking the link to the USA TODAY page here.

 

In Our Neighborhood: A Visit to Bantam, CT

The Bantam Cinema is Connecticut's oldest continuously operated movie house. Opened in 1927 as 'The Rivoli', it originally showed silent movies accompanied by a Wurlitzer organ. There were several owners since that time but in 1990 it was thoroughly modernized by Lisa Hedley who also co-founded the Mayflower Spa. She started the 'Meet the Filmaker' series in which writers, actors and directors (Mia Farrow, William Styron and Arthur Miller to name a few...) discussed their work with the audience. In 2007, Ms. Hedley sold the cinema to David Koch, Sidney Koch and Elizabeth Merz who continued the series and brought Daniel Day-Lewis, Rebecca Miller and Joan Rivers to the theater.

Coming this January are three unique films:The Imitation Game, a story of war hero Alan Turing who in 1952 is arrested on charges of indecent activity; Foxcatcher which stars Steve Carell and tells of the relationship between a multi-millionare and two wrestlers and lastly, A Most Violent Year which highlights a particularly bloody period in New York City. To read more about the Bantam Cinema and for movie times, click here.

Before or after your visit to the cinema, a great local BBQ is right next door. Woodie, the owner of Wood's Pit BBQ, learned his culinary skills and knowledge of Mexican dishes during a long excursion in and around Arizona. He made another journey to the South including the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida to learn the magic of authentic pit BBQ and how to create the secret 'dry rub' that is still used today. Woodie can be found in the kitchen every morning, six days a week to make sure the tradition of great cooking continues in the restaurant. Some of the local favorites include pulled pork, ribs and fajitas. The maragritas are definitely worth a try and are made frozen, up or on the rocks. To see more menu options, click here.

Another great place to visit in the town is the Bantam Bread Company. This is perfect place to purchase artisanal breads and rustic pastries made fresh every day. The shop also features many local products including honey, maple syrup, cheese, seasonal organic fruit and vegetables as well as the work of local artisans. They also carry a wonderful selection of imported and regional cheeses as well butters. You can also find unique jams and jellies, mustards, oils, vinegars, sauces, tea and coffee. For more details on what is in the store, please click here.

A must stop in Bantam is the Arethusa Farm Dairy Ice Cream store. All the delicious flavors are made locally on the farm with the milk from their own dairy herd. You can also buy a wide range of Arethusa cheeses to take home. Right next door is Al Tavolo, a gourmet bistro run by the owners of the Arethusa, which is the epitome of a farm to table restaurant. The roasted beef tenderloin with a farm fresh cheese crust or the roasted Amish chicken ballantine wrapped with rillette are just some of savory dinner choices on the menu. This is exquisite spot for a dinner with friends or a celebratory meal. See more Al Tavolo menu options by clicking here.

Make it your New Year's resolution to vist Bantam, CT, one of the most charming towns in Litchfield County!