Tag Archives: bourbon

MIMM: Holiday Cheer!

The winner of my giveaway for a Blue Nile Sterling Silver Branch Necklace is actually the first person who submitted any entries – Shawna! I will be contacting you to get your shipping address. Congrats to all who entered and thank you for the enthusiastic participation!

I had plans this past weekend for not one but two holiday parties. Unfortunately Saturday’s snow resulted in one of them getting cancelled but I still managed to make my weekend full of plenty of marvelous holiday (and overall) cheer.

Be sure to link-up with Katie if you’re participating in Marvelous In My Monday today!

Marvelous is…visiting Kaitlin on Friday! She was kind enough to host me for the evening and showed me a wonderful time. We started with a gift exchange…she got me a set of champagne flutes and a bottle of Prosecco, not to be opened until I move out of my parents’ house and get my own place 😉 my kind of motivation! The booze theme proceeded to carry on throughout the evening.

We went to Total Wine in Norwalk (which only made me more pumped for FL this month because there’s one by our condo) and they were having not one but two wine tastings AND a vodka tasting. Thank you Friday night! I’m worse in liquor stores than most girls are in Target so I walked out with two bottles of late harvest dessert wines, a nip of coffee liqueur, and a really nice Cabernet to share with Kaitlin at the holiday party we planned to attend later. I also ran into a fantastic guy named Latif who overheard me asking an employee if Total Wine carried Cesca Vicent, my favorite red to order at Barcelona. We immediately bonded over our love for Cesca and Barcelona! It was classic.

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Warring Whiskies Wednesday: Scotch vs Bourbon

I received complimentary admission to this event from NBMAA. All opinions are my own. 

In conjunction with the opening of the traveling Maurice Sendak exhibit at Connecticut’s New Britain Museum of American Art, a grand event took place this past Friday 11/8. Or as the museum called it (to create a Where the Wild Things Are vibe) – a wild rumpus! Scotch vs Bourbon was the chance to sample high-end scotches and bourbons (for a look at the difference between bourbon and whiskey, check out this cool infographic – thanks Brittany!) along with food from two awesome area restaurants, Plan B Burger Bar and Tisane.


Of the two, Plan B was my fave!


Love the floral pants!

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Scotch, Bourbon, and American Art

The winner of the Albion Fit Petal Pant leggings giveaway is LisaThank you so much to all who entered – so much enthusiasm for this product! 


Remember that from now until 11/3 you can get $20 off your Albion purchase of $100 or more by entering code “caitdiscount20” at checkout.

When one hears “Connecticut”, I’m sure the subject of history comes to mind. But what about art? It just so happens that in New Britain, CT, the art-curious can find the New Britain Museum of American Art. The best art museums aren’t just in the big cities! I’ve visited this museum three times and each visit has me circling back to old favorite exhibits and oohing and ahhing over new pieces that arrived since my last time there. Some exhibitions are permanent, while some come in and stick around for only a little while. NBMAA makes a real effort to promote its art not just to your stereotypical museum goers, but to the youth of the area as well. That’s where their fantastic events come in!

Art is fun - clearly.

Art is fun – clearly.

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My Very Own Burger

I used to take issue with Plan B Burger Bar‘s menu and its lack of good veggie sides or interesting and healthy entrees/burgers. Over this past year as I have made progress in my recovery (though it’s definitely still in progress) and become more open to ordering a bit more “adventurously” at restaurants, I’ve come to realize that the restaurant is actually very good at what it sets out to do – make great burgers, offer delicious beer, and serve tasty bourbon. Plan B is a burger bar and a burger bar does not put focus on vegetable sides – no matter how much I might want them to, it just doesn’t fit their image. I’ve also started noticing that Plan B’s burger specials are very fit for a foodie – I have sampled both the PB&J Burger and the Georgia Peach Burger over the last several months and felt that both were life-changing!



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Chef’s Tasting at Pond House Grille

My guest and I received a complimentary chef’s tasting for the purpose of writing this post. Beverages were not included. All thoughts and opinions about the experience are my own.

I’ve dined at Pond House Grille several times before, and enjoyed each experience. But they recently re-did their menu and I’ve been anxious to sample Chef Jordan Stein’s creative dishes for awhile now. Thankfully, Pond House invited me and a guest to come in and do just that via a special chef’s tasting, complete with an explanation of each dish by Jordan himself.

Jordan and I! I love his hat and glasses. They're his trademark!

Jordan and I! I love his hat and glasses. They’re his trademark! Please ignore the McDonald’s sign in the background ruining this photo.

I asked Jill to join me because she is a fellow foodie who will try anything (after all, we have shared worms and scorpions in the past). I knew she’d appreciate this opportunity as much as I did!

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Tasting Tuesday: Whiskey With Dad!

Barcelona Wine Bar in West Hartford, my favorite restaurant for events lately, set my excitement at a whole new level when they added a whiskey tasting class to their calendar for Monday, April 8. I was subsequently devastated when the class was cancelled due to a staffing shortage (I understand the need to staff the bar for all customers above the class) but said devastation lasted but a few seconds because when Exec Chef Alex Feldman informed me of the cancellation, he followed up with an invitation to come in on the same night, sit at the bar, and engage in a private whiskey and tapas tasting with one of the restaurant’s best bartenders, Emily!!! That way she could still work the bar AND I’d still get to do a tasting. Alex is a genius, both culinary and logistical!


The Manhattan which served as the grand finale…but I’ll get there.

My dad had never been to Barcelona (my mom still hasn’t been) believe it or not, and I adore showing my parents new restaurants that I already know I love, so I asked him to join me. I got my love of whiskey (my favorite spirit) from him after all, so he seemed an appropriate dining companion!

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Sun Wine-Fest: It’s On

This Sunday, I will have the chance to attend what is probably Connecticut’s biggest food-and-drink event of the year – the Sun WineFest at Mohegan Sun Casino! The festivities begin tomorrow (Friday), 1/27/12, at 6pm with the Beam Global Spirits & Wine Bourbon Tasting and end Sunday, 1/29/12, at 9pm with some Bubbles & Bon-Bons.

Tickets are a little pricey (and largely sold-out), at $70 for a one-day pass and $120 for a weekend-pass (a $20 savings). However, a portion of the proceeds are benefiting both The American Diabetes Association and the Channel 3 Kids Camp, the latter of which I’m sure many of my local readers have heard of.

Thanks to dutchpoint.org for the image.

The above-mentioned passes are applicable to what I’m going to be attending (AKA the main event), the Grand Tasting in Mohegan Sun’s Convention Center, featuring over a thousand different brands of wine, beer, and spirits. That’s right, a THOUSAND. Good thing the event is from 12-5pm – I’m going to need to spread this out! And hey, if I have to wait it out to achieve my “drive-home-safe” state, no better place than a casino, right?

There will also be food from tons of different restaurants – gotta have something to soak up my wine, right? The Main Culinary Stage will have celebrity chefs doing demos. I’m not talking the chefs I saw at the CT Wine & Food Fest (though don’t get me wrong, they were amazingly talented). I’m talking the likes of Bobby Flay (who unfortunately isn’t taking the stage on the day I’m going…dammit!) and Todd English, creator of one of the best NYC restaurants I’ve ever been to (he also won’t be there the day I’m going, come on)!

Thanks to foodnetwork.com for the image.

A couple of events will also be taking place during the Grand Tastings that have admission included with the Grand Tasting pass. On Saturday, Ciroc’s Grape Stomp will challenge participants to stomp the most juice possible out of a pile of grapes – sounds messy, and fun! The winner will get a HUGE prize: $1,500, an overnight stay at Mohegan, dinner for two at Todd English’s restaurant there, and free pedicures (someone’s wife will be mighty happy if he wins).

Thanks to missmalini.com for the image.

I have to be honest, even if I was going on Saturday, I don’t think I’d participate in that one. A bit too messy for me and my legs haven’t reached their strongest grape-stomping status possible yet. Someday – I guess that’s what squats are for!

Thanks to olafitness.wordpress.com for the image.

The complimentary event taking place on Sunday, when I’ll be at the WineFest, is another event that I’ll be watching instead of doing: The Bud Light Lime 8th Annual Oyster Open. I am vastly uncoordinated, so an event to determine who can shuck the most oysters is probably one that would render me useless. Props to whoever wins though, because he or she will take home $5,000! Chef Jasper White (I met him last weekend) will be at this event, so I am definitely going to be there.

Thanks to delish.com for the image.

As I mentioned before, the Beam Global Spirits & Wine Bourbon Tasting will start things off on Friday in the Leffingwells Martini Lounge (class, class, class, see pic below, and I was there last Saturday!), home of the largest indoor planetarium dome in the entire world. My town’s very own Plan B will be there mixing up inspired cocktails or serving bourbons on the rocks. Trust me, I’ve had their bourbon, and it is AMAZING. Fig-and-vanilla-infused on the rocks, anyone? After sampling drinks, guests can head upstairs and smoke gourmet Avo cigars while listening to jazz music. I LOVE the old-timey feel of this event, despite the fact that it includes smoking (skip it and have more bourbon! ;-)).

Thanks to xerlia of flickr.com for the image.

Something I would have LOVED to attend, if only I were loaded (and if it weren’t sold out), is the Moet & Chandon Celebrity Chef Dine-Around. It’ll be exactly what it sounds like – celebrity chefs (Bobby Flay and Todd English, pictured below, back again!) doing live-demos at cooking stations as guests walk around, sample their creations, and pair them with a wine or beer. $175 is indeed a fair amount of money, especially nowadays. But for the foodie who would cherish the chance to talk with some of the most famous chefs around, I’m sure it’ll be well worth every penny. And seriously…look at all that food.

Thanks to esquire.com for the image.

For $200, the real wine-os can experience the Elite Cru Tasting of some of the highest-quality vintage wines available on the market today, at the Mohegan Sun Cabaret Theatre. The wines will be paired with oysters, shrimp, and specialty cheeses. The participants also get to take home a $50 igourmet.com gift certificate, and the regular Grand Tasting is included with admission too. So I guess you could say you’re only spending about $80 more to be part of this extra tasting!

For those who like to pair more education with their libation, the igourmet.com Seminar Series is a great chance to increase your food-and-drink smarts. Seminars range from $50-$65 each, and take place on both Saturday and Sunday. Which ones would I like to try? How about From Angus to Pinot or Things You Never Knew About Bourbon? Where is my unlimited money tree?

Thanks to peacelovewings.com for the image.

If beer and/or hard liquor isn’t your thing, or if you have plans during the day on Sunday (errands, anyone?), no problem. Perrier-Jouet’s Bubbles & Bon-Bons from 6-9pm will pair champagne with desserts for those wanting to cap off (or start) their evening with, well, bubbles and bon-bons. Attendees will even get to mingle with three amazingly talented chefs, including a Food Network host and Mohegan’s executive pastry chef herself, and talk to them about their amazing creations – as they eat them! I love it when I have the chance to directly compliment a chef on his or her work – it’s a fantastic opportunity.

Thanks to joyofjello.com for the image.

Holy moly – there’s certainly a lot to be seen, smelled, and tasted this coming weekend at Mohegan Sun! I can’t believe I have to wait until Sunday to join in the fun, but I think somehow I’ll survive (got a lot lined up this weekend as per usual ;-)) It’s been a few years since I first heard about the Sun WineFest, and have wanted to attend ever since, so it’s a bit of a dream-come-true for me! I’ll be tweeting during the event with plenty of photos, and I’ll be writing a recap  post afterward for sure! It’s gonna be a big one!

Which of the “sub-events” I mentioned at the Sun WineFest would you most want to attend?

EDIT: You can read about my experience eating, drinking, and event-watching at the Fest on my recap posts!