Pearls & Plaid of Old Saybrook Sip & Shop

Pearls and Plaid in Old Saybrook is a hidden gem! CT Blogger Babes were invited to small bites, sips and shopping for the CT Blogger Babes Sip & Shop!  Sounds like a match made in blogger heaven. And it was!

It was my first visit to Pearls & Plaid https://www.shoppearlsandplaid.com/but I know I have driven by the store several times saying.. I gotta get in there! Store owner Caroline gifted us with 20% off anything in the store so you know that was not going unused! I bought a very cute mantra band and a much-needed beanie for those cold Connecticut winters that are approaching quickly. The store has dresses, shirts, sweaters, gift items and jewelry!

Besides shopping we were treated to some fantastic food by Primrose Party Planning and beautiful decor and flowers  by Mar Floral. I had not met any of the bloggers that attended before, but knew them from social media so it was so awesome to meet face to face, exchange cards and strengthen the blogging community.

Pearls & Plaid is all decked out for the holidays so stop in and get that special gift for that special someone! Pearls and Plaid is located at 1330 Boston Post Road Old Saybrook, CT 06475.

Special thanks to Caroline at Pearls & Plaid and Nonne of @noneesworld &  CT Blogger Collective for organizing this event.

 

 

Old Sturbridge Village offers FREE admission in November!

Fall is moving fast! Connecticut leaves have not been that impressive this year with the warmer than normal and recent rainfall giving way to leaves falling faster than expected.

Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, MA, 1800's, History, New England, FamilyI decided to try to push in some last minute fall fun and visit Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Massachussets. As a Connecticut resident, you can enjoy this historical place FREE every Saturday in November. Yes, wiith ID you and your family can enjoy Old Sturbridge Village free thanks to the generosity of The Knowlton Family generosity. Click to read more here. Knowlton Family Free Days

Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, MA, New England, Connecticut, CT

Printing House, Tin House and General Store!

Old Sturbridge Village always brings me back to my elementary school days. It was everyone’s field trip experience for social studies at some point. I am sad that more field trips do not take place farther from our schools. With budget cuts and not wanting families to have to put out much money, it is understandable why. I just feel sometimes right over the boarder there are some many enriching places to see! By all means, take your family before the weather gets too cold.

We enjoyed the Printing House, demonstrations in the Tin House and Blacksmith House. Clydesdales were bringing visitors all around the venue as a tour guide gave historical information about each area. Of course my son found the general store and old fashioned candy pretty fast! We also saw a wedding party and the tavern was getting ready for their reception. Plenty of boy and girl scouts groups were their and families learning about life in the 1800’s.

Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, MA, New England, CT, Connecticut, Family

The Mill and Tin House Demo

The one demonstration they did have ( they posted it several places so visitors were aware if they did not want to view it) and we missed was the slaughtering of a sheep. Kinda glad we missed it! We were able to join in afterwards in the kitchen and hear how the women during this era prepared and utilized every inch of the carcass. All the animals and food grown in the gardens on the property are used for hearth cooking demonstrations and classes so nothing goes to waste and it is all done in a humane manner.

I wanted my son to be able to visit while he is still young and would be interested. He enjoyed watching the demonstrations and exploring the property. So you have 3 more Saturday’s to take advantage of the free admission. Just be sure you have ID that proves you are a Connecticut resident.  Enjoy!

MUSEUM ADDRESS

1 Old Sturbridge Village Road
Sturbridge, MA 01566
(800) 733-1830

MUSEUM HOURS

October 29 – November 26
CLOSED Mondays & Tuesdays

Open Wednesdays – Sundays
9:30 am – 4:00 pm

November 27 – December 1
CLOSED

December 2 – 23
Open evenings for Christmas by Candlelight only:
December 2 & 3, 8 – 10, 15 – 17, 21- 23 | 3:00 – 8:00 pm

Hours Vary Seasonally

 

Say Yes to the Dress… Maybe?

The quest for a bridal dress is the pinnacle experience for a bride. I should know. I just experienced it. And I learned a lot.

I had the biggest Pinterest board with all the dresses and styles that I thought I would want to look for. When I actually got to the bridal shops, it all went out the window. The 3 things I that did not change was the style/fit I knew would look best on my figure, what I believe my fiance would like and what I believe would be appropriate for the kind of event we were planning. In keeping those things in mind, I believe I made a great choice. If I just kept in mind what I had thought I wanted to wear, I would have spent much more than I wanted and I do not think it would be what my fiance envisioned or what would be appropriate for the style of our wedding.

So.. I  invited my best friend, mother and soon to be mother in law to come look at dresses. We started with a chain bridal store. Davids Bridal. I have to say. The nicest staff, no pressure and beautiful selection of dresses. I think they had a lot to choose from for variety of price points as well. Some of the dresses I did not think were the nicest material or quality but like anything, it depends on the designer. I have at least one dress there that I thought I would try on again.

My second stop was a small boutique bridal shop. Much smaller with much smaller selection. The quality ( and price tag) much higher. Gorgeous dresses to choose from. Staff was very kind but I definitely felt the pressure as I was asked if I wanted to “Say Yes to the Dress” and that if I wanted this dress it would have to be ordered in the next day to come in on time. The $1550 lace sleeved to die for dress for a winter wedding. So I felt the pressure, but did not buckle and said maybe? Yes. Maybe. Maybe I can take 2 days to marinate in all the dresses I tried on that day. It is not like the dress could not be ordered 2 days later right? So, I left with a maybe and looked forward to reviewing all the cell phone pictures that we took.

Now money was not the issue. My loving  and generous parents decided to give me any dress I wanted. But, I knew I needed to look at both dresses and sit on it.  I mean, you also wear this dress once. Once! Then it sits in your closet aging like the creases around your eyes. It bothered me. I went over  in my head the venue of our wedding, what my fiance would be expecting and what I felt I would be most comfortable in as a bride.

After the weekend passed, I decided I needed one more store. The Savvy Bride in Stratford. After a simple Google search, I found the small boutique that opened in February. The premise of the experience is that you are buying a designer never worn sample dress from all the larger, big bridal stores at a fraction of the price. In fact, all the dresses are under $2000 and 30-60% off retail!  I thought interesting. I guess I did not care if I waited 6-8 months for my dress or walked away with it that day.  One benefit is that I could start looking for shoes right away and see the seamstress for any alterations now. And if I found what I wanted at a fraction of the price, score!

wedding dresses, savvy bride, ct bride, weddingsavvy bride, wedding dresses, ct bride, wedding, bridal salon

Once I got to the store I just had that feeling. Meeting Erica Laferlita the owner and having the store to ourselves was very special.  She was easy-going, fun and very helpful in giving an objective opinion. Plus the selection of gowns was amazing!  All so different in an a huge array of sizes. I believe I picked at least 12 to try on. Some I put on and did not have to even leave the dressing room because I knew it was a no. Some I had to turn in, walk around the salon and get my mom’s opinion. All in all I had two very different dresses that I just loved. One stood out and one was the winner! Erica gave us a great deal and a fantastic experience.

Aside from dresses, Erika has veils, antique jewelry and hair accessories for all your bridal needs. If you have gone to the big box stores or even small bridal boutiques, instead of saying Yes to the Dress right away, do yourself a favor and say Maybe and make an appointment with Erica.

 

 

And yes, we said YES TO THE DRESS! If you do, Erica will take your picture on the Love Couch and post on social media. Fun!

New Summer Menu Debuts at Fresh Salt in Old Saybrook

OLD SAYBROOK, Conn., (June 28, 2017) – The Fresh Salt restaurant at Saybrook Point has introduced a new summer menu that features seasonal dishes inspired by the bountiful harvests of local farmers and fisheries. Named Best Upscale Dining in Connecticut by the state’s restaurant industry association, Fresh Salt works closely with its local farmers and day boats to ensure the highest quality of locally grown ingredients from land and sea go into its creative delights. Local partnerships include Medlyn’s Farm of Branford, Belltown Hill Orchard of South Glastonbury, Fair Weather Acres of Rocky Hill, Baggott Family Farms of East Windsor, and Rose’s Berry Farm of South Glastonbury, and Fresh Salt’s commitment to its cool native waters features oysters within a 99-mile radius. A catch-of-the-day from local day boats provides clams, oysters, mussels, shrimp, tuna, cod, swordfish, and salmon for the Fresh Salt menu. Herbs including basil, thyme, mint and tarragon are planted and picked by the Fresh Salt culinary staff in Saybrook Point’s custom herb garden. 

At Fresh Salt, guests will savor fresh, seasonal and local cuisine served in Old Saybrook’s most spectacular setting – the spot where the fresh waters of the Connecticut River meet the salt of Long Island Sound. It’s a treasured and historic place, rich in life, and the restaurant reflects that lively diversity. The new summer menu features the bounty of the season through unique pasta and vegan dishes such as Rotelle Pasta, which includes pine nuts, fava beans, radicchio, roasted cauliflower and Pecorino cheese served in a white wine sauce; and Cauliflower Steak, which is pan-roasted cauliflower served in a ratatouille sauce with sautéed escarole. Entrée prices range from $20.95. 

In addition, guests will enjoy Fresh Salt’s fresh seafood and day boats including Pan-seared Black Pearl Scottish Salmonserved with Roasted Cherry Tomato-and Sweet Pea ($29.95), Bacon-wrapped Monkfish served with Sugar Pea Risotto and Red Cabbage Coulis ($29,95), and Grilled Swordfish Loin served with Quinoa, Barley, and Spinach in a Passion Fruit-Ginger Sauce ($29,95). 

From the grill and oven, guests will experience Fresh Salt’s Free-range Natural Stuffed Chicken Breast with a Sundried Tomato-Spinach Risotto Filling, Pancetta Whole Grain Mustard-Morel Mushroom Cream Sauce ($28.95), as well as the 12 Oz. USDA Choice N.Y. Sirloin served with Sautéed Mushrooms, Pomme Frites in a Garnish Port Wine Demi-glaze ($39.95). 

And shoreline favorites include the Seaside Tempura Platter with Golden Brown Scallops, Oysters, Calamari Zucchini, Peppers, Fresh Salt Kettle Chips ($21.95), Custom-blend Hamburger on a Potato Roll, made with a half-pound outstanding combination of Short Rib Chuck and Brisket, topped with Lettuce, Tomato and Cole Slaw ($13.95) and Connecticut Lobster Roll made with warm buttered lobster on a grilled New England style roll and served with and Fresh Salt Kettle Chips ($29.95).

Fresh Salt is more than just a restaurant; it is a place to enjoy another’s company and experience the breathtaking views of the Long Island Sound – quietly intertwined with the Connecticut River. The venue’s fresh ingredients and vibrant tastes are available daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And if guests are searching for an intimate evening, Fresh Salt offers light bites and handcrafted cocktails made to perfectly enhance an evening away. Reservations are recommended, and may be made by calling 860. 388.1111

About Saybrook Point

Situated along the picturesque shores of historic Old Saybrook, Connecticut, Saybrook Point features a collection of 100 elegantly-appointed guestrooms, a rejuvenating full-service SANNO spa, and casual fine dining restaurant Fresh Salt, as well as a unique waterside Lighthouse Suite. In addition, the historic Three Stories and Tall Tales luxury guesthouses offer exquisite rooms that convey the story of famous local residents. The pristine Saybrook Point Marina, a landmark boating destination conveniently located at the mouth of the Connecticut River, serves as a focal point for the Inn. More information is available at www.saybrook.com.

Vermont’s Kingdom Trails is Natures Playground

Biking on the roads in CT is nothing compared to some Vermont scenery and nicely groomed bike trails. That is all you will get in East Burke Vermont at Kingdom Trails.

The trails is a 501c3 non-profit ran by volunteers and a board of directors composed of local businesses and residents looking to preserve the ecologically sensitive landscape while encouraging the recreational use. Founded in 1994, the trails are used year round with winter fat biking, cross-country skiing and mountain biking.

If you are looking for breakfast, you might be looking for a while. It was not obvious where to get some fresh breakfast and coffee other than the gas station or leaving town. I was a bit surprised the staff at the resort did not have many suggestions either! We stumbled across East Burke County Store luckily and I am glad we did! They had breakfast made fresh from muffins and homemade bread to eggs and breakfast sandwiches along with local organic coffee.

After breakfast your first stop is to visit the Welcome Center to get your pass. The staff was super helpful and will map out a trail path for you based on your skill level, distance preference and landscape. This was great because if you are unfamiliar with the trails, you could easily find yourself on the black more difficult and steep trails fast. But not to worry. There are plenty of beginner and intermediate trails to be had if the faster and more difficult trails are not your thing.

When we arrived to get our bikes out of the car and gear up, we could not help but notice how many french Canadians were visiting from Canada all making the trek for this breathtaking bike mecca. We knew this most be a most special place if people came from another country just to ride!

We also saw a lot of families with kids just showing how diverse the terrain is and how you can find a bike trail at everyone’s skill level.

Vermonts Kingdom Trails, Biking, East BurkeOur first objective was to do a 3/4 mile uphill bike. Not how I wanted to start the trail, but it is the main entrance to start on the trails. Once you are on the top of the hill, you have options as to where you would like to bike next. It was hardest part of the ride for someone like myself that has not worn in my biking legs yet!

We proceeded to stay on mostly blue trails which are flat and hilly. The views along the first parts are of the trails are quintessential Vermont. Cows, silos, big green fields and beautiful ski’s.

Vermont Kingdom Trails, biking, East Burke

The part I enjoyed the most was when we were in the woods. Lots of small hills, some a bit fast if you do not control your bike and plenty of roots. Watch the roots! I have a hybrid bike so was not putting the pedal to the metal and biking more conservatively. The ideal bike for these trails would be a full suspension mountain bike. You can rent them at the bike shop which is a great option if you do not own or want to spend the money on a high-end bike. Rentals run from $70-150 depending on the model you rent.

One of the nicest spots was Heaven’s Bench. An open part of the trail filled with yellow dandelions and picturesque views of pastures and hills. Worth taking a minute to have a snack, water and take in the moment. Once you get there, you can descend back into the woods and take several different trail options.

Vermont Kingdom Trails, Biking, East Burke

All in all I believe we biked almost 4 miles. It does not sound like a lot, but when you are in the woods and going over small hills, mud and other obstacles, it takes a bit more time than usual to get through. An important thing to consider if you visit is attire. Please, PLEASE do yourself a favor and purchase biking shorts. Yes the ones with the padding. Your bum will thank you for it! Gloves are also essential in helping with grip and avoiding calluses. Lightweight breathable clothing layered is best. Don’t forget the sunscreen an eye wear and of course, a helmet!

Vermont Kingdom Trails, biking, East burkeAfter 3 hours of trail riding we were looking forward to checking out the bike shop and The Hub Trailside for some libations and views. The Hub offers beer, cider, wine and snacks overlooking a beautiful landscape. Grab an Adirondack chair and drink and relax your legs while taking in the scene.

Just up the street from The Hub is a beautiful Chapel. The Chapel is open to the public and offers an outside area for rosary as well as bathrooms for weary bikers. I found a beautiful poem inside offering prayers and safety for bikers on the trails and a breathtaking cross right outside. Worth the ride up the long driveway to take some gorgeous pictures.

Vermont Kingdom Trails, biking, East Burke

After visiting the East Burke bike shop and glass of wine it was time to indulge in some ice cream. It is hard not to stop at Ruby Lee’s. Right at the start of that uphill road to the trails is Ruby Lee’s Ice Cream. All the bike riders seem to end up there for some much deserved treats. Locally made and homemade, this was just what we needed after working so hard and a great way to cool off. But get ready to wait in line for your ice cream. It was packed!

Vermont Kingdom Trails, Biking, East Burke

If you are an avid biker and haven’t experienced Kingdom Trails in East Burke Vermont, it is a must for any adventure seeker. For more information on Kingdom Trails log onto http://kingdomtrails.org/

New and Noteworthy Connecticut Getaways for Spring and Summer

From a New Luxury Hotel to Sky-High Adventures and Coastal Attractions, Connecticut Offers Distinct New England Activities

HARTFORD, Conn., (April 25, 2017) – Connecticut invites visitors and residents alike to kick off the warm weather travel season with new and improved attractions for families and adults, a new centrally located luxury hotel and plenty of arts and foodie events. Whether planning a romantic weekend getaway or family fun vacation, a day of adventure or retreat, travelers can find all the information they need, including suggested trip itineraries and travel packages, at www.CTvisit.com.

This spring and summer, there are even more reasons to visit Connecticut. Here are just a few top seasonal highlights.

connecticut getaway, ctvisit

Connecticut River

New this spring and summer:

  • Experience luxury at the Delamar West Hartford this June, Connecticut’s newest boutique hotel, offering a full-service spa, fine dining and even complimentary bicycle rentals. Other unique lodging experiences, including B&Bs, inns and campgrounds, are featured on www.CTvisit.com along with special travel deals.
  • Get up close and personal with wildlife at the Connecticut Science Center’s new exhibit, “Butterfly Encounter,” opening this June in Hartford; see an exotic array of species at Mystic Aquarium’s “Weird and Wonderful” exhibit, opening Memorial Day Weekend; explore the Maritime Aquarium’s expanded jellyfish exhibit in Norwalk, opening this summer; and, visit Changbai, a female Amur tiger on exhibit now at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport.
  • Reach new heights at Skydive Danielson thanks to its new airplane that allows skydivers to jump from 14,000 feet; visit Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury, where youngsters can experience two new rides this spring; or, try the two new 75-foot-high zip lines at Brownstone Exploration & Discovery Park in Portland, opening Memorial Day Weekend.
  • Pick your own bouquet at Lavender Pond Farm in Killingworth on select dates this summer, to be announced; and, use the new “See & Sip Itineraries,” designed by the Connecticut Wine Trail and Connecticut Art Trail, to pick and pair wine tasting locations with local museums.

    Brownstone ziplines

  • Learn something new at Mystic Seaport by visiting the Thompson Exhibition Building, currently showing its inaugural exhibit, “SeaChange;” and, learn all about minerals at Nature’s Art Village’s new state-of-the-art miniature golf course opening this summer, joining the 40 life-sized dinosaurs, pristine nature trails and indoor activity center.

 

Timeless favorites:

  • Explore 216 miles of Connecticut shoreline: soak in the rays at public beaches, including Hammonasset Beach State Park, home to the Meigs Point Nature Center; kayak around the Thimble Islands; take a lighthouse boat tour; and, devour a hot-buttered lobster roll at one of Connecticut’s legendary seafood shacks.
  • Hit the hiking and biking trails that crisscross Connecticut for hundreds of miles, including those in The Last Green Valley, a National Heritage Corridor that runs through 26 towns in Connecticut’s northeast corner.
  • Hunt for treasures along the Connecticut Antiques Trail. Make your first stop the town of Woodbury, the “Antiques Capital of Connecticut,” with more than two dozen shops to discover.
  • Play and stay at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket and Mohegan Sun in Uncasville; enjoy gaming as well as renowned hotels, restaurants, spas, shopping, and live entertainment.

Don’t-miss events:

  • Enjoy the blooms at any one of Connecticut’s major flower festivals, including the Meriden Daffodil Festival (April 29-30) and Dogwood Festival in Fairfield (May 12-14).
  • Cheer on the pros at the Northeast’s only PGA tour event, Travelers Championship, in Cromwell (June 19-25) or the Connecticut Open in New Haven (August 1-4), featuring tennis great Martina Navratilova; and, music fans won’t want to miss the Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz in Hartford (July 14-16), the largest free jazz event in New England, and the Litchfield Jazz Festival in Goshen (August 5-6).
  • Experience the arts at the Greenwich International Film Festival (June 1-4) and take in more than 60 events, screenings, premiers and educational panels; then, enjoy the work of more than 180 nationally recognized craft artists at the Guilford Art Center’s Craft Expo (July 14-16).
  • Indulge in seasonal delights at the Milford Oyster Festival (August 19), featuring the largest variety of oysters at any festival in the United States; and, don’t miss all the special events at breweries along the renowned Connecticut Beer Trail.
  • Try something new on Connecticut Open House Day (June 10), when Connecticut residents enjoy discounted or free admission, giveaways or special offers at 150+ attractions.

 

“Connecticut’s prime New England location makes it the perfect destination for visitors looking for a quick weekend escape from metro areas like New York and Boston, or an extended vacation,” said Randy Fiveash, director of the Connecticut Office of Tourism. “We welcome visitors to come and experience Connecticut for the first time, and encourage those who have visited before to discover what’s new.

To learn more about all there is to see and do in Connecticut, visit www.CTvisit.com. For additional travel inspiration, follow Connecticut onInstagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

 

Spring Menu at Fresh Salt is a Connecticut Must Try

I was invited recently with fellow CT Bloggers to sample Fresh Salt’s new spring menu at Saybrook Point Inn & Spa and it did not disappoint! Nestled on the waterfront of the Long Island Sound in Old Saybrook,  Fresh Salt’s views are beautiful including sunsets and lighthouses. Once the temperatures get warmer, drinks at the Marina Bar are a must before dinner.

fresh salt, saybrook point, old saybrook

spring menu, fresh salt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This menu had something for everyone. From fish and beef to salads and soups for a lighter fare. Full of fresh, artisan,  local ingredients, Chef Rodriguez has a flare for pairing flavors and textures well.

The Sushi Tuna Triangles were generous in size and fun to split with others. These overstuffed sushi pieces were perfect for picking up with your hands. No chopsticks required!

 

fresh salt, saybrook point, old saybrook, spring menu

Tuna Sushi Triangles

Another favorite was the Duck Confit Spring Roll. Beautifully displayed sectioned in half and paired with a Chipotle Cherry Salsa Cruda. These were not your ABC restaurant spring rolls. Fresh, savory and the perfect amount of crunch with fresh veggies and duck.

fresh salt, saybrook point, old saybrook, spring menu

Duck Confit Spring Roll

We were able to choose from a few specials this evening as well. We were told the Chef switches it up daily. The Short Rib was unbelievable and fell right off the bone. Accompanied by a savory sauce, mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts. Yum!

fresh salt, saybrook point, spring menu

Braised Short Rib

fresh salt, saybrook point, old saybrook

Pan-Roasted Cod

My sweetheart had the Pan-Roasted Cod Loin served with Crispy Potato, LIttle Neck Clams and Sweet Pea-Leek Veloute.

I am not sure how we were able to fit it in, but we could not pass up the dessert which had its entire own menu! We enjoyed the Dairy-free Coconut Sorbet and Spring Trio which consisted of Chocolate Mousse,  Semifreddo Berry Panna Cotta and Pistachio Macaroon. The sorbet was homemade and was rich with coconut flavor and bits inside and the trio was the perfect sampling of treats. That macaroon though… divine!

fresh salt, saybrook point, Old saybrook

Dessert’s at Fresh Salt

Fresh Salt’s Chef Gese Rodriguez has an eye for detail and fresh, local ingredients. The warm and attentive staff at Fresh Salt make this food experience a memorable one. We will definitely be back! Check out their events page for updated events. To make a reservation, contact Fresh Salt at 860-395-2000 or visit online at http://www.saybrook.com/restaurant/fresh-salt/

We were invited by staff at Fresh Salt to sample their spring menu and stay at the Saybrook Point Inn and Spa in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.

Fresh Salt Cuisine Series at Saybrook Point Inn & Spa

Saybrook Point Inn and Spa

When I was invited to visit Saybrook Point Inn and Spa, as well as to be a guest at their Fresh Salt Cuisine Series for the Macallan Scotch Dinner, I knew I was in for a real treat!

Fresh salt, saybrook inn and spa, old saybrook

Fresh Salt

Nestled in the heart of the Old Saybrook waterfront, Saybrook Point Inn and Spa is rich in history and luxury. The Main Inn has beautiful cozy rooms as well as suites. Need more water views? Stay in the 1 room lighthouse suite surrounded by water! The Main Inn is also a fabulous place to consider for business meetings, private dinner parties or even weddings in their ballroom.

The Main Inn had many amenities including fitness center, spa, indoor pool and it’s award-winning restaurant Fresh Salt which has both indoor and outdoor seating in the spring and summer seasons. If sightseeing and local attractions have you tired, the Sanno Spa has luxurious massage and facial treatments to relax you during your stay. It was interesting to also hear that the entire property including the spa is “green” and they have put an emmense amount of time and effort to ensuring the property is eco-friendly.

Looking for something different? Stay at one of the two guest houses Tall Tales or Three Stories located directly across the street. Tall Tales includes six guest rooms. Each room is fully equipped with beautiful furniture and art and has a small kitchen and dining area on the first floor. Many rooms have decks where you can enjoy a nice cup of coffee watching the sun come up. Three Stories houses 8 guests rooms and beautiful gardens in the outside and decks. to enjoy sunsets and the fresh salty air. Both homes have access to all the amenities at the Inn.

saybrook inn and spa, old saybrook, three stories

Three Stories

Tall Tales

Fresh Salt Macallan Scotch Dinner

The food a Fresh Salt never disappoints. The Fresh Salt Cuisine Series is a pairing of wine or spirits and decadent dishes. During cocktail hours, we dined on hors d’oeurves like Prosciutto-Basil Wrapped Shrimp, Crab Rangoon,  Pork-Chive Sui Mei and Roquetfort-Pear Phyllo all paired with a specialty Macallan Cocktail which was muddled with orange and cranberry. Yum!

We were lucky to sit with Macallan’s Brand Ambassador, Jeremy Fonicello and we were able to ask more questions while we dined. Not being a Scotch drinker, the biggest question I had to ask was “What is the difference between Scotch and Whiskey”? I found out I was not the only one that wondered that! Scotch…well.. has to be made in Scotland. Of course it does!

The amazing staff at Fresh Salt brought out 5 courses that evening starting with Big Eye Tuna Tartar with toasted coconut, dry cranberry and mango salsa. I am not gonna lie, I could have eaten 2 of those. Delicious. It was paired with The Macallan Fine Oak 10 year. Jeremy discussed how the scotch was made and the proper way to taste it. No twirling! Nose it and sip. Add ice or a cap of water if the drink is too strong.

saybrook inn and spa, fresh salt, cuisine series, old saybrook

Big Eye Tuna Tartar

fresh salt, old saybrook, saybrook inn and spa, cuisine series

Scotch Braised Short Rib

Herb Crusted Wild Boar Rack

My favorite course was Scotch Braised Short Rib with smoked potato puree, crispy brussel sprouts and short rib reduction. The meat was so tender and full of flavor. As a result, it was pure perfection! It was paired with The Macallan 12 Year Sherry Cask.

Can we talk about dessert? Beautifully plated and included flowers! We were served Tiramisu Entremets with an Amaretto Truffle, caramel espresso and vanilla sauce. If you are a chocolate lover, beware. This one is to die for. Decadent and just how dessert should feel. Sinful!

saybrook inn and spa, old saybrook, fresh salt, cuisine series

Tiramisu Entremets

Our stay was wonderful and we had the pleasure of having a guided tour by John Lombardo the General Manager upon our arrival who told us all about the history of the Inn, the surrounding property and how it has evolved. Most of all it was a truly special day and night.  Living in CT ,we sometimes feel we have to go far away to get away. If you are looking for a getaway, you do not need to look much farther than Saybrook Point Inn & Spa.

 

 

Jack Daniel’s Family of Whiskey Dinner

Upcoming Fresh Salt Cuisine Series includes Jack Daniel’s Family of Whiskey Dinner March 3rd at 6:30pm.  Join them as they pay special tribute to Frank Sinatra who used to frequent the Inn way back when! With each course you will enjoy a whisky drink along side expertly paired cuisine. If you are interested in making a reservation for an upcoming Fresh Salt Cuisine Series, call Fresh Salt at (860) 339-1327.

Special thanks to Stephen Tagliatela and John Lombardo for the excellent hospitality.

( I was invited to stay at the Saybrook Point Inn and Spa and attend the dinner in return for this blog post. All opinions and remarks are my own)

 

Fresh Salt at Saybrook Point To Host Frank Sinatra Jack Daniels Dinner!

Fresh Salt at Saybrook Point To Host Special Tribute to Frank Sinatra
Jack Daniel’s Family of Whisky Dinner to honor iconic performer’s unique relationship with the forerunner location on Saturday, January 21. I am so looking forward to visiting Fresh Salt again!

fresh salt, frank sinatra

(photo credit by Ted Allan at www.sinatra.com )

OLD SAYBROOK, Conn., (December 27, 2016) – Fresh Salt at Saybrook Point is hosting a special tribute dinner in honor of the legendary performer Frank Sinatra. Held in conjunction with Old Saybrook’s Seaside Wine and Spirits on Saturday, January 21, this creative Jack Daniel’s Family of Whiskey Dinner honors the iconic performer’s special relationship with the forerunner location during the property’s 1960s heydays when Sinatra and his “Rat Pack” were regulars at the Terra Mar Hotel & Yacht Basin, where Sinatra kept his boat and entertained friends on a regular basis. According to one newspaper, it was rumored that Sinatra was going to buy the Terra Mar. The hotel was raided twice for illegal gambling and finally shut down in 1980, owing a large tax debt. Louis and Mary Tagliatela then purchased the unoccupied and dilapidated hotel at auction, and nine years later, the Terra Mar was replaced with Saybrook Point Inn.

The Jack Daniel’s Family of Whiskey Dinner will feature a robust selection of single barrel whiskey and rye by one of America’s most iconic distilleries, expertly paired with a hearty selection of fresh seafood, steaks and poultry creatively prepared by Saybrook Point’s talented Private Event and Banquet Chef Bill Titus and Fresh Salt Chef d’ Cuisine Gesé Rodriguez. The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres featuring Crabmeat Salad-Sweet Potato Pancake, Assorted Sushi, and Braised Pork Belly with green tomato jam served with a Jacked-Up Cider Cocktail.

The five-course whiskey dinner begins at 7:00 p.m. featuring Ceviche Tartare Duo with Scallop-Tuna Citrus Sauce paired with Gentleman Jack, followed by Lamb T-Bone with Lentil Croquette, Trumpet Mushrooms and Marsala Glace paired with Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select. The third and fourth course feature Almond-Crusted Black Pearl Salmon with Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion Stack paired with Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select and Roast Loin of Venison with Celery Root-Cauliflower Puree, Pear Chutney and Brussel Sprout Leaves paired with Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Rye. The evening concludes with a Black Jack Cake served with a warm malted barley-dusted pretzel paired with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Sauce.

Seaside Wine and Spirits from Old Saybrook will be in attendance, and guests can place orders for their favorite whiskey of the evening at specially reduced prices.  The Jack Daniel’s Family of Whiskey Dinner at Saybrook Point’s Fresh Salt is $94/person plus tax and service charge.  Reservations are necessary and may be made by calling the Fresh Salt reservations line at 860.339.1318

About Saybrook Point
Situated along the picturesque shores of historic Old Saybrook, Connecticut, Saybrook Point features a collection of 100 elegantly-appointed guestrooms, a rejuvenating full-service SANNO spa, and casual fine dining restaurant Fresh Salt, as well as a unique waterside Lighthouse Suite. In addition, the historic Three Stories and Tall Tales luxury guesthouses offer exquisite rooms that convey the story of famous local residents. The pristine Saybrook Point Marina, a landmark boating destination conveniently located at the mouth of the Connecticut River, serves as a focal point for the Inn. More information is available at www.saybrook.com.

Press release courtesy of Regan Communications Group, Inc, Regan Communications 106 Union Wharf, Boston, 02109 MA, United States.

I was invited to attend this dinner in return for publishing this press release. All opinions are my own.

 

Wuji Comes to Greenwich!

My first experience with Wuji was when I attended the Westchester Magazine Wine and Food Expo. So I was thrilled to be invited to a tasting of their brand new location in Greenwich!

Wuji Greenwich, Greenwich, CT, Organic

Wuji, CT, Chinese food, organic, Greenwich

Upon entering the parking lot my first impression was “Whoa” very unassuming. I was wrong. The inside of this place is decked out in decor comparable to a Shanghai Supper Club. The decor was glamorous and decadent and full of texture and sheen. I felt like I was in an authentic Chinese restaurant in Hong Cong. I fell for the beautiful lighting and impeccable service by our server Walt and Manager Patrick.

 

Wuji is a term from Taoism, extension of Taiji in the universe:  Unlimited, unsurpassable, sublime. Sublime is right! Everything is certified organic, MSG free and local. They can also make many dishes gluten-free if patrons have allergy concerns.

Wuji’s award-winning Culinary Director is Peter How who has won countless competitions including the Culinary Olympics in Taiwan.

Wuji Greenwich, Chinese food, organic, CT

Sweet White Shrimp

Now let’s talk about the food. Wuji takes authentic Chinese ingredients and recipes and gives them a renewed approach by taking out all the unhealthy and adding in organic free range chicken, organic vegetables, wild caught fish and free range eggs while still keeping to the traditional Chinese cuisine cooking. A rare concept in America for Chinese food.

Wuji Greenwich, Chinese Food, organic, CT

Classic Peking Duck

Wuji Greenwich, organic, Chinese Food, CT

Chilled Peanut Sesame Noodles

I opted for the Sesame Peanut Noodles as an appetizer. I tasted these before at the food and wine expo and wanted to have the full experience now. They did not disappoint! Who can say they have had homemade noodles at a Chinese restaurant in America? I didn’t think so. Besides the noodles, we tried the Sweet White Shrimp which comes with lettuce wraps and they were divine! This was a good gluten-free option for those who have allergies.

Wuji Greenwich, CT, organic, Chinese food

Ginger Pear Ice Tea

I only have tried duck once and it was about 15 years ago. I decided to have this classic Chinese meat once again and see how it is prepared. It was crispy on the outside and very tender inside. It came with a Hoisin sauce for dipping and Chinese pancakes for scooping it up with. Everything in a wrap is better don’t you agree? Of course drinks to accompany our meal was a must have. I tried the Cucumber Martini and the Ginger Pear Iced Tea which was non-alcoholic and came with it’s own caraffe for pouring. Both fresh and light and very satisfying.

 

And then their was dessert. I loved that the dessert menu had no cake, no pie and no over the top cheesecake. It was all light, simple and fresh. I opted for the fruit platter which came with an amazing homemade chocolate sauce for dipping. Seriously good and not overly sweet. Then I tried the Banana Spring Roll which is exactly what it sounds like. Warm banana filling wrapped in a shell and chocolate ice cream made locally. Excellent!

Don’t look for the fortune cookies at the end of your meal at Wuji. If you are not getting dessert, you will still be treated to a heaping serving of cotton candy which tops off every meal when you come. This was making most of the kids screech in amazement when it came out to their table, and a few adults. 🙂 Wuji Greenwich, organic, chinese food, CT

Wuji Greenwich, organic, Chinese food, CT

Fresh Fruit Platter

Wuji Greenwich, CT, organic, Chinese food

Banana Spring Roll

Overall Wuji has got it right. It is no wonder they won the Best of Westchester’s Best New Chinese Restaurant this year!  The place was packed at 6pm on a Sunday evening not to mention a ton of families with kids. I look forward to coming back and bringing friends and maybe checking out their Rye or Scarsdale location.

Check out each location at Wuji Restaurant

Special thanks to Jody, Patrick and Walt for a delicious culinary experience.
(Sponsored: I was invited to Wuji for a tasting in exchange for social media posts and a blog contribution)