Tag Archives: max oyster bar

Marvelous Thanksgiving at Home!

I have to start this post with a quick Cyber Monday plug for 90+ Cellars! We are doing FREE SHIPPING on everything in our online store, so head on over and check out our wine selection! We ship to over 35 states, so click here to find out if yours is one of them!

It’s been quite awhile since I did a Marvelous In My Monday (MIMM) post! It’s been quite a weekend away from Boston, back in Connecticut to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. I certainly ate and drank plenty, but I also didn’t let any bad feelings get me down and keep me from continuing to enjoy myself. Though I weigh more right now than I ever have in the last few years, I also felt happier and more fulfilled over the course of this long holiday weekend than any Thanksgiving I can remember in “recent” history. And that’s certainly marvelous!

Link up with Katie today if you too are sharing the marvelous!

Marvelous is…being able to drive home Tuesday night. Especially given the snow we got on Wednesday! I worked from home that day so was able to beat (a little) traffic by heading out of Boston around 8PM on Tuesday. Plus I had a car buddy – I gave my neighbor Molly a ride too. The 1.5 hour ride took 3 hours, but according to her that wasn’t nearly as much of a delay as she experienced last year. And I was home in time to accompany my dad and Nana Connie (yes she was back!) to get my sister from t he airport at midnight.

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Farm to Shaker: CT Bartender’s Challenge

You can check out parts one and two of my weekend with Heather visiting in case you missed them!

You may remember when I announced that I had been chosen to serve alongside the founders of Ripe (JD Altobello) and Onyx Moonshine (Adam von Gootkin) as a judge at the first Coventry Regional Farmers’ Market Farm-to-Shaker CT Bartender’s Challenge. There are really too many good things about this opportunity for me to gush about. The moment I was asked to take part in the event, I felt officially recognized as a knowledgeable source of information about my local area – and a source with good taste at that! It really validated all the hard work I’ve put into this blog, and also assured me that I am portraying an accurate version of myself each time I post. I am so enthusiastic and passionate about sampling interesting craft cocktails, and the fact that JD of Ripe knew this after only meeting me once (at Taste of the Nation) means my blog has been speaking the truth to its readers!

I’m also so happy that my parents and Heather were able to be present at an event that was so special to me! And every time I looked over at Heather chatting with my parents, I couldn’t help but smile. I just love seeing people I love getting along #sap. It particularly meant a lot to me that Heather came to the event and stuck it out the entire time, because while cocktails may be my thing and while she and I may get along famously, they certainly aren’t her thing as well and the food being served (by Morton’s!) was mostly not vegan-friendly!

Thanks BB!

Love ya, ‘rents!

I met up with my fellow judges before things got going, and was so happy to find that I’d ALSO be judging alongside a pretty amazing individual I met at the Mohegan Sun Wine FestSignature David, master mixologist! He frequently appears on FOX61 showing off his crazy concoctions.

David’s repping Onyx!

I’ve met Adam of Onyx at several events in the past! It was great to see him again and get to drink so many different cocktails with his wonderful, smooth moonshine.

He mixed up a very special blend for all the guests – Apple Cider Onyx Moonshine! Holy crap this was SO GOOD. And unlimited!

Heather and I were chatting with JD of Ripe and found out that he is a vegan! So when the watermelon, beet, and goat cheese salads over arugula came out, he was able to secure a cheeseless version for himself and Heather.

Vegan power – cheeseless salads! 😛

I also had the chance to work with the event’s emcee, Chion Wolf, of WNPR!I am a total NPR nerd – my addiction began after I graduated from college and started a job with a semi-lengthy commute. Now I listen even when I’m not in the car! In fact, playing NPR’s app on my iPhone and coloring in my bed are two activities that, combined, equal a number-one stress reliever for me. I was so happy to be able to share that with Chion at the event.

You can just tell from looking at her that she’s extremely cool.

And I’m so glad I did, because she was visibly touched to hear that fact and added that she doesn’t often get a chance to meet listeners and even sometimes forgets when in the studio that there are people out there listening. Well Chion, I know that I and many others are listening with great attention!

Sneaky shot – I love her style!

To hear her introducing me as a judge – and reading out loud my blog’s “sidebar” description, felt so epic!


Each competitor from an area CT restaurant would need to use in his/her cocktail the Onyx Moonshine, Ripe juice mix, and two of the many secret ingredients from the day’s farmers’ market that JD had picked out.

Everyone’s favorite ingredients!

The ingredients spread!

Some were pretty typical (strawberries), and some were downright weird(brown cucumbers? tomatoes that looked like plums?)

That orange/tan thing is a cucumber!

Local honey…bitter melon…hot peppers…oh, and apples.

The winner was to receive this shaker trophy!

The competition got rolling so that we could find out who that winner would be! The competitors were listed for the event attendees, who were to submit their favorite drink at the end on a ballot so that we judges could take the Peoples’ Choice vote into consideration.

Competitors from the following restaurants (in order of above list): Morton’s, Max’s Oyster Bar, Zula, Firebox, Pond House Grille. I’ve been to every one!

First up, we had Suzanne of Morton’s (Hartford, CT) mixing up a cocktail of raspberry, peaches, and sugar muddled into a combo of Onyx and Ripe’s Pure-Squeezed Agave Punch. She shook it all up and added a splash of club soda.

I could tell just from the ingredient list that the drink would likely be too sweet for my sugar-sensitive taste buds, and I was right. While my mom enjoyed it (she doesn’t like any kick in her cocktails), I craved something more unique and was disappointed that Suzanne chose two very “normal” secret ingredients – raspberries and peaches. However, I still love that she incorporated muddled fresh fruit into her beverage and the presentation of the full-size version was flawless!

While Suzanne’s away, her drink will stay! 🙂

I totally loved the next cocktail, and that’s not just because it was prepared by Chef Scott Miller, Exec Chef of Max’s Oyster Bar and the maestro that prepared a gorgeous meal for Jeff, me, and many others at the Max Chef to Farm Tomato, Tomato dinner a couple of weeks ago.

Scott mixing it up.

A mason jar was an appropriate choice in which to display the full-size version of Millers’ Muddle Maple Moonshine cocktail, which consisted of maple syrup, Onyx, Ripe’s Agave Lemon Sour, blueberries, lemon, club soda, and a splash of beet juice!

Scott and his creation.

I’ve gotta give Scott props for not sacrificing taste for convenience. He was muddling blueberries into EACH sampler cup for each audience member, instead of muddling them and the syrup together in a big batch and pouring the results into all the cups. That’s dedication!

Syrup waiting to be joined by blueberries in sampler cups.

The drink was pretty incredible. I was worried that the syrup would make the drink too sweet for me again, but the use of a sour Ripe mix balanced out the syrup’s sweetness perfectly. I also like the sour added by the fresh lemon. And of course, the unexpected choice of beet juice as an ingredient totally impressed me. It was meant to add color to the cocktail, but also added a special something in the flavor department.

 Next up we had Albana of Zula, whose current cold inspired her to choose the soothing ingredients honey and cinnamon cloves to her cocktail, as well as fresh lemon! Mixed with the Onyx and Ripe’s Agave Margarita mix, and combined with a very careful presentation, Albana’s cold certainly ended up leading to a great drink.

Another participant who wasn’t going to let hard work get in the way of presenting a pretty drink!

Mmm. Calming and the cinnamon added a hint of autumn! The other judges loved it too. This was gonna be tough…

Albana and her creation! You can’t tell she has a cold!

The judges before taking their first sips of a drink!

I was way excited to see what Samantha of Firebox would have up her sleeve because I once had one of the best Manhattans EVER there! It’s a farm-to-table restaurant and its chefs and bartenders are very used to working with only the most local, fresh ingredients.

Strikin’ a pose!

Though simply presented, Samantha’s beverage tasted great enough to stand out among the competitors! True to Firebox form, she didn’t need many ingredients to make something great – just Onyx, Ripe’s Mojito Mix, and fresh ginger-peach iced tea. I commend her for the way she used her chosen local ingredients!

Finally, Michael of Pond House Grille added a touch of science to his cocktail submission! Pond House uses liquid nitrogen in its restaurant as part of the presentation of some menu items. They view food and drink as works of art – hey, me too!

Michael and his smokin’ drink.

He muddled cilantro, Anaheim peppers, and fresh lemon into Onyx and Ripe’s San Marzano Bloody Mary Mix. Oh, and a splash of liquid nitrogen – NBD.

We judges were fearful of taking our first sips because we didn’t want to get “burned” by the liquid nitrogen’s extremely cold temperature!

Adam illustrates his fear.

Intense discussion.

I ended up enjoying the Bloody Mary and its pepper-y kick. I also appreciated the addition of the lemon juice. However other than the presentation, it wasn’t set apart from other Bloody Marys I’ve had in the past.

Whooooo will win?

The judges huddled outside to deliberate while the crowd submitted its votes for Peoples’ Choice.

A clearly intense conversation.

The crowd inside the beautiful new barn which served as the competition’s location.

Don’t worry, the judges and the members of the crowd were still coherent enough to accurately critique the cocktails, since they’d paired them with food from Morton’s!

The previously mentioned watermelon, beet, goat cheese salads. My mom’s favorite part!

Oh. Em. Gee. Melt-in-your-mouth filets read for assembly onto sliders.

Morton’s Executive Chef himself did the grilling!

My dad practically dive-bombed the filet slider platter!

Chocolate mousse cups – didn’t have a chance to grab one!

After hearing the Peoples’ Choice pick and considering our own opinions, the judges arrived at a decision on the winner. But he was MIA! JD and I knew where he was though, and nabbed a golf cart to go grab him.

It’d been forever since I’d taken a ride in a golf cart!

Our winner was actually across the way cooking up a dinner for over 100 people. Yup, it was Chef Scott Miller, and he was working on the Nathan Hale Homestead Chef to Farm dinner! Luckily we were able to “drag” him back over to the barn to accept his shaker trophy.

Scott and the event sponsors JD and Adam.

A well-deserved win for Chef Miller! And you can re-create his winning cocktail at home using the recipe below – or order it up yourself at Max’s Oyster Bar, because it’s going to be added to the cocktail menu! I hope it’s still served in the mason jar!

Miller’s Muddled Maple Moonshine (thanks Max Restaurant Group for the recipe!)


  • 1 Tbsp Connecticut Maple Syrup
  • 1 oz Native Blueberries
  • ½ Lemon, Squeezed
  • 1.5 oz Onyx Moonshine
  • .5 oz Ripe Agave Lemon Sour
  • .5  oz Club Soda
  • Splash of Beet Juice


  1. Muddle blueberries with maple syrup and freshly-squeezed lemon juice in a pint glass.
  2. Add Onyx Moonshine and Ripe Agave Lemon Sour mix.
  3. Add ice cubes and shake well.
  4. Pour into mason jar, splash with club soda and beet juice.
  5. Garnish with 4 blueberries on a pick and a lemon wedge. Drink up!

The 1st Coventry Farmers’ Market Farm-to-Shaker CT Bartender’s Challenge was a great success, and all in attendance seemed to have an enjoyable time. Adam was even joking that we should call this contest a summer edition so that the wait before the next edition wouldn’t be too long! I’m all in favor – especially if I can judge again!

Thank you to the Coventry Farmers’ Market, Ripe, and Onyx Spirits for involving me in such a unique event. It was right up the Cait Plus Ate alley!

Have you ever been to a cocktail competition?

Which cocktail would you most want to try?

Has your blog ever brought you any exciting local opportunities?

Fashion Friday Gets Fab!

Awhile back, I was featured by fellow Fitfluential Ambassador Rachel of Running Rachel on her blog’s Fitspiration Friday feature! Thank you for selecting me, Rachel!

Okay, so regarding the title…Fashion Friday is ALWAYS fab. I know. But a) it’s been awhile since I’ve done a Fashion Friday, and b) last night I felt so very fabulous and have extra fabulous professionally taken photos to include in today’s post! Let me explain.

Photo credit to Sean Fowler of CT.com!

My Dress, Ring: Forever 21

My Watch: Michael Kors

Kelly’s Dress: Marshall’s!

Last night was the 3rd Anniversary Party for one of my favorite places in CT to get a unique cocktail – Cuvee, located in West Hartford’s Blueback Square. I mentioned the party and their contest to win access to its VIP portion in previous posts. And my friend Kat was able to score me a guest pass for my friend Kelly and I to attend that VIP portion – papa-razziiii!

See all that? FREE.

We sipped complimentary chutes of both Chardonnay and Rose champagnes, and munched on delicious passed apps like Pulled Pork Crostini, Thai Shrimp Skewers, Veggies & Homemade Hummus, CHEESE A-PLENTY, and Mozz-Stuffed Meatballs! The latter were, to put it simply, mind-boggling good.

My drink at left (Sailor Over a Barrel – Max’s Own Cask Aged with Sailor Jerry’s Rum, Domaine de Canton, Sweet Vermouth) and Kelly’s Peach Kicker (Ciroc Peach, Jeramiah Weed Sweet Tea Vodka, Jalapeno, Lime, Agave, Lemonade) in the mason jar!

After a little over an hour at Cuvee we decided we needed to do what we do best – restaurant hop – since it was our last night together before Kelly moves to MA! We tried to hit up Bartaco but unfortunately it was too packed, so we opted to sit outside at a Max Restaurant Group establishment I’ve been dying to try, Max’s Oyster Bar (also home of Chef Scott Miller from my recent Chef to Farm experience!). The above cocktails did not disappoint! My drink may have been small and it may have been simple (and $13), but it was also extremely delicious and smooth. I love me some high-quality liquor. When it’s the good stuff, the extra additions are not needed!

A warm, crusty wheat roll and my salad of greens, goat cheese, Brussels sprouts, apple, and pancetta!

I only wish I’d been more hungry so I could’ve ordered a fabulous dinner entree! Next time…because Max’s Oyster Bar has certainly now moved higher up on my to-do list, even after I’ve already “done” it. That says a lot right?! But the above salad was mind-blowingly wonderful and Kelly’s Blackened Tuna Tacos were so fresh I could taste it. I’m very grateful to her for letting me steal one 😀 What a fun last night of activities to spend together!

Photo credit to Sean Fowler of CT.com!

Shoes: DSW

And now onto the remainder of your regular Fashion Friday programming…

Cardigan, Pants: Urban Outfitters

Top: Hollister

Shoes: PacSun Outlet

Selfies FTW.

Watch: NYC flea market

Headband: H&M

Cardigan: Forever 21

Top: Express

Watch: NYC flea market

Jeggings: American Eagle

Shoes: Steve Madden

Before dinner with my grandma at J. Gilbert’s!

Dress, Bracelet: Forever 21

Watch: gift from grandpa

Shoes: Steve Madden

Have a great long weekend, everyone!

Which outfit is your favorite?

Have you ever gotten to be “VIP” at an event?

Max Chef to Farm: Tomato, Tomato at Rosedale Farms

Don’t forget to enter the Love With Food giveaway if you haven’t already – it ends tonight at 11:59PM EST!

The Max Restaurant Group of CT and MA is no stranger to putting on fabulous foodie events. I myself have attended a couple different ones at Max Fish in Glastonbury, CT. They’ve certainly outdone themselves with their Chef to Farm dinner series, though. Fodor’s Travel even declared the series to be one of the top five chef-to-farm dinner programs in the country.

This past Friday night, Jeff (he also accompanied me to the other two Max events I’ve been to) and I attended the Tomato, Tomato dinner, one of several that have been and will be held at Rosedale Farms & Vineyards in Simsbury, CT.

I was extra excited to go because I have been wanting to visit Rosedale Farms for awhile now since I’m a total wino. They are part of the CT Wine Trail and I even have a tasting Groupon that I still need to redeem.

A tent was set up with a tasting table underneath, and Jeff and I wasted no time in grabbing a glass of vino. Jeff chose the white, 2011 Simsbury Celebration (100% estate-grown Seyval Blanc), and I chose the Farmington River Red (California Petite Sirah). We are very predictable.

The Farmington River Red was wonderful! I love Petite Sirah. Jeff is still getting “used” to red wines and he really liked how smoothly it went down. I in turn am learning to enjoy whites and I was skeptical of the Seyval Blanc since I sometimes don’t enjoy other whites like Sauvignon Blanc, but I was actually pleasantly surprised. It seemed to me to be a refreshing balance between a Pinot Grigio and a Chardonnay.

HAD to get a John Deere pic!

Rosedale is truly a beautiful place. The evening sun cast a calming aura as it slowly set over the vineyard vines, flowers sprouted out of the ground almost everywhere I looked, and the barns’ exteriors displayed whimsical artwork (as seen in photos above).

While some patrons sipped their wine and enjoyed passed appetizers at tables adjacent to the wine tasting tent, others took rides around the farm in a tractor-pulled wagon with their glasses and snacks.

There were not quite enough tables set up for the pre-dinner fare, but Jeff and I made do and ended up sitting down with a really nice couple that so happened to be at our assigned dinner table later – funny how that works out! It also seemed that there was an abundance of certain appetizers (I must have been offered an oyster about a thousand times) being walked around by waitstaff, yet not enough of others (I had to eventually seek out waitresses carrying a couple of items and ask that they come by our table so that we could try those apps).

Stonington Red Shrimp Ceviche: Prudens Purple Tomato, Lemon Verbena

However no one went hungry (far from it) and the waitresses were friendly and responsive! Jeff and I did end up getting to sample each small taste during the reception. The presentations on some of the dishes, particularly the oysters, were beautiful.

Noank Oysters with Cherokee Tomato Black Pepper Mignonette

I am still stuck off-board the oyster train. I have tasted pretty much only expertly-prepared varieties, yet have never really enjoyed any of them! I give credit to myself for continuously trying but I don’t think I’m an oyster girl.

And I clearly can’t “smoothly” take an oyster shot.

Other appetizers were not as gallantly presented, but their tastes spoke for them plenty, like the below mini-BLTs. Crusty bread and juicy tomato made for a dynamite combination. The tomatoes were so very flavorful that I could’ve eaten these without the bacon. But of course, bacon makes everything better.

BLT with House Bacon, Hydro-Bibb Lettuce, and Heirloom Tomatoes

I was trying not to taste more than one of each appetizer since I wanted to save plenty of room for the upcoming multi-course dinner, but the one bite I made an exception for was the below grilled flatbread. After all, pizza is my favorite food.

Grilled Flatbread with Housemade Ricotta, Pesto, Basil, Confit Tomato

The ricotta, made in-house at Max’s Oyster Bar, was some of the freshest and most flavorful I’ve ever sampled. It was actually made WITH basil, which was subsequently strained out of the finished-product, explaining how strongly basil-flavored the flatbread was. To the naked eye it appeared to only have a few shaved pieces of basil providing that flavor, perched atop the rest of the fantastic ingredients. I happily had two slices.

Cato Corners Veal & Cheese Meatballs with Sungold Tomato Nage

I adored the presentation of the above veal meatballs, and adored their taste even MORE, thanks to the decision by Chef Scott Miller (Max Oyster Bar’s Exec Chef and the chef behind this dinner) to use both lamb and cheese fresh from Cato Corner Farm in Colchester, CT. The sungold tomato nage was not only made with tomatoes straight from Rosedale Farms, but with their white wine as well! As soon as I learned that, I knew I really wasn’t going to get a meal more local than this unless I literally went out to farms, purchased the ingredients, and prepared the dishes myself.

The jar on the left contains what I’ll call a Tomato Aioli.

The veggie crudites had been set up self-serve style on a beautifully decorated garden-themed table. The tomato aioli paired with them was fantastic! I grabbed one veg plate and one aioli plate for Jeff and I to share.

The wooden plates on the right fit extremely well with the evening’s farm-fresh theme, and were nice and light for easy carrying.

I was more than ready to chow down by the time the crowd was ushered through the vineyard’s aisles, abundant with perfect purple grapes. By this point Jeff and I had shared another glass of the Simsbury Celebration white wine.

The meal was literally being prepped before our very eyes, and long tables were set up under a white tent, giving attendees gorgeous views of the farm fields at sunset.

Chef Scott Miller and his team at work.

Plates at the ready for assembly.

View from my spot – head of the table! 😀

At each seat, a creative cocktail was already waiting – now that’s my kind of table setting!

The rest of the touches at each setting – linen napkins, mason jar centerpieces – weren’t too shabby either.

The cocktail, dubbed by its creator (Beverage Director Brian Mitchell) to be called the Mojitomato, was actually a twist on one of his favorite classic beverages, the gin and tonic. Yup, those are Rosedale Farm tomatoes floating in that mason jar (MASON JAR LOVE), which also contained herbs like basil and tarragon. And a salt-and-pepper rim was the perfect touch! My only regret is that I didn’t drink that guy faster since by the end of the evening it had become quite watered-down by the ice, but I refused to give it up each time the waitresses came around to collect glasses.

We were seated adjacent to the beverage station…I swear I didn’t plan that! 😛

Beverage Director Brian Mitchell got to work prepping the mini dessert cocktails very early on in the dinner.

Both the owner of Rosedale Farms & Vineyards and Chef Scott Miller welcomed the crowd before the amuse bouche was served. We learned that Rosedale goes back five generations, and produces six different wines. Chef Miller explained how his desire to know where his food comes from, and how much better he feels when he does know, have driven him to design and create these Max Chef to Farm Dinners.

I love when chefs jazz up a classic comfort dish like Chef Miller did with the amuse-bouche!

Brodetto of Heirloom Tomatoes with Cato Corners Farmstead Cheese Panini

Yeah yeah, I know, it’s a grilled cheese and tomato soup. And it was way better than mom used to make #sorrynotsorry

Feelin’ dainty!

See the leaf garnish on the plate? Jeff and I decided that it looked like a tree star from “Land Before Time”. Anybody? Well, it turns out that garnish was not a tree star, but a grape leaf from the vineyard! Straight from vine to Jeff’s palate!

So Little Foot.

The first wine served with the main meal was Rosedale Farms (all the wines were) Three Sisters made from 100% grapes grown in the Rosedale Vineyards (77% Cayuga, 23% Seyval Blanc again). The Cayuga grapes made this a sweeter white than the first we sampled, but I actually liked it more. It seemed closer to the Pinot Grigio end of the spectrum to me, and thanks to Heather, I’ve been becoming Pinot-obsessed.

Each time the waitstaff refilled the cute wooden bread boxes, they did so using a different variety of bread from Hartford Baking Company, the West Hartford cafe and bakery that I visited with Heather and Jenny last month. My carb cravings were in full swing at this dinner. I kept feeling like I needed some starch to absorb the alcohol in my stomach, since the meal’s courses were not very starch-heavy!

Tomato & Watermelon with Sankows Aged Feta, Basil, Olive Oil Powder, Spherical Olives

The above first course actually used both regular AND golden watermelon, which I had no idea even existed! That black olive on the plate isn’t your average olive at all, but an encapsulated version. Chef Scott Miller created something that looked and tasted like an olive, but was not an olive. Instead, he pureed kalamata olives and combined them with a mixture of xanthum gum (a popular smoothie addition in the blog world!) and calcium lactate. Then he bathed it all in a bath of water and sodium alginate. The result? The above encapsulated olive! So. Cool.

And the baby watermelons were cuties too!

The second course starred seafood, so I was so very excited! And not just any seafood…seafood that was harvested TWO days prior from Stonington, CT!

Little Neck Clams, Monkfish Fritter, Calamari with Lobster Broth, Porgi with EVOO

The monkfish fritter was definitely my favorite part of this dish, and the lobster broth was a close second. Mopping it up with thick, white Hartford Baking Co. bread (complete with an asiago cheese crust) was beyond words perfect.

The crowd under the tent later in the evening.

The wine paired with the seafood was appropriately another white, a Riesling called Serendipity. Just a touch sweeter than the Three Sisters, and I loved it. I have been Riesling-crazy this summer!

Grass-fed Beef with Sauce Choron & Torpedo Onion, Fried Green Tomatoes, Charred Corn Relish, Rosedale’s Ratatouille

Don’t worry, the above main course was served with a red wine, a pleasant pairing indeed. This food didn’t need any wine to make it taste good though. The beef was reddish-pink when I cut into it (just how I like it) and that sauce – ah! I could taste the freshness of the Rosedale Farms in the ratatouille and in the torpedo onion, which I would have loved even if it hadn’t been presented in such a cool fashion, with the widest rings on the bottom and gradually building to the thinnest on top. I have also been waiting to try fried green tomatoes for so long, and was glad to do so! However I’d say they were the least memorable part of the dish – I hoped I’d be able to taste the tomato, but the savory (albeit tasty) breading overpowered the veggie.  Maybe I got a thinner pair of tomatoes!

Cato Corners Cheese with Tomato Tarte Tatin

Forgive the photo above – it was taken with an iPhone using the most-hated FLASH! Instead of a cheese plate, Chef Miller took it one step further (though i was hoping for a good old fashioned plate of varied cheeses, I have to admit) and crafted the above small plate. The tomato flavor of the tarte was so very rich and paired excellently with the fresh Cato Corners cheese…and the red wine.

Tequila dessert cocktail!

We were informed of the proper way to drink to above dessert cocktail (El Jimador tequila, Ripe, chartreuse)…bite in the tomato, then sip it down! It was a delicious concoction and I love that Brian Mitchell used what he called a “saltier” tequila, because I love me some salt!

CTomato LN2 Gelato with Dark Chocolate Torte & Encapsulated Basil

Dessert was food science at its best because not only did we get more encapsulation action, but we also got tomato gelato, which was rock-hard when served. So rock-hard in fact that when Jeff tried to slice his scoop in half with his spoon, it squirted right off his plate and into the grass! Luckily he has a good foodie friend like me to split my scoop with him – though Chef Miller was kind enough to offer him a replacement scoop too! I adored the unique taste of the gelato, because its cold ice-cream-like texture screamed “sweet” to me, yet the flavor was shouting “savory”. The ensuing battle between the two made for a food experience that I’m sure cannot be easily replicated. The dark chocolate torte however, though the most traditional component, was certainly my favorite. So rich, so simple. It’s hard to beat chocolate!

Chef Scott Miller and I! What a view behind us!

Chef Scott Miller and Beverage Director Brian Mitchell were both kind enough to pop in at our table throughout the meal and answer any questions I had about what I was trying. I wouldn’t have been able to give you the details on the encapsulated olive, Mojitomato, and other tastes without their input, so thank you!

Breathtaking view from my seat.

At the end of the evening, the crowd applauded for the chef and his team, Rosedale Farms, and the attentive waitstaff. On the way out, each patron got a set of goodies to take home – bibb lettuce and tomatoes also fresh from Rosedale, and a bottle of Ripe Bar Juice‘s San Marzano Bloody Mary Mix! Score – I can see this coming in handy during TN football game parties this season!

Great job, team!

Showing off my goodies once I got home!

What a magical evening. Local food, good friends, fabulous drinks…it was the perfect evening for an everythingarian foodie like myself. Thank you, Max Restaurant Group!

If this post made you hungry for some Max Restaurant fare, you’re in luck – from 8/27-9/2, the Glastonbury locations Max AMore and Max Fish are celebrating Taste of the Suburbs East of the River with prix-fixe $20.12 menus. From 9/3-9/9, Max A Mia will be offering a $20.12 menu for Taste of the Suburbs Farmington Valley!

Have you ever been to a dinner on a farm or vineyard?

What’s the freshest farm-to-table meal you’ve ever had?

Which dish would you have wanted to try the most?