Wine Tasting in Connecticut

Select Local Merchants

Despite having cooked for distinguished clients such as the Clintons and Leon Panetta, and at prestigious culinary institutions such as Chicago's Palmer House, chef Jason Milanese felt restless. That is, until he opened his own restaurant: Bistro B. As the owner and executive chef, he specializes in crafting gourmet twists on classic American dishes, from small plates like sauce-drizzled chicken lollipops to entrees such as potato-and-onion-crusted halibut and a double-cut pork chop with sweet potato pur?e. A minimal, yet rustic decor featuring earth tones, framed mirrors, and dark-wood furnishings contributes to the restaurant's grassroots American feel.

1006 Broad St.
Bridgeport,
CT
US

A fountain's mists drift over a cool, quiet water outside the windows of Vito's By the Water, where chefs have been cooking up traditional Italian food for many years. Following recipes that have been in the owner's family for years, they craft traditional entrees such as New York strip steak with demi-glace or lobster ravioli with vodka-cream sauce. They also adorn thin and Chicago-style deep-dish stuffed crusts with quality toppings such as baby clams, breaded eggplant, and seasoned ricotta.

Vito?s chef-owner, Rob Maffucci, has also earned culinary fame with an October 2014 appearance on Food Network's, "Beat Bobby Flay". Here, he grappled with the ingredients of pumpkin puree and fresh pasta during a Halloween special that showcased the chef's talents, pitting them against culinary powerhouse, Bobby Flay.

26 Trumbull St.
Hartford,
CT
US

Alex Rubeo wants to take you on a journey. Crossing the threshold into Mariela's Wine Bar, rich hardwoods and a humble atmosphere aim to transport the senses to a faraway place—to France, or maybe Italy—where visitors sip glasses of wine, share intimate conversation, and snack on shareable plates. Alongside pours from the rotating selection of wines by the glass, live music and tastings add to the relaxed atmosphere of cozy tables, a well-stocked bar, and the occasional Snuggie-clad bartender.

71 Westchester Ave
Pound Ridge,
NY
US

The chefs and wine experts of 1249 Wine Bar teamed up to present a modern take on the age-old European concept of gathering around a table of good food and drinking great wine. The result was a bistro-style dinner menu that catalogs such upscale cuisine as duck confit and seared, tuna-grade yellowfin tuna. The wine list allows visitors to swill a taste of many varietals before ordering a glass, bottle, or vineyard. Large windows surround the dark, wooden dining room, and an ample outdoor patio offers diners the option of eating al-fresco during warmer months.

1249 W Main St
Waterbury,
CT
US

Upon graduating from the New York French Culinary Institute, Chef Pasquale Pascarella continued his education under two of contemporary Italian cuisine's most famous chefs: Mario Batali and Scott Conant. He learned well—today, Chef Pascarella serves up his own take on Italian cuisine at Bar Sugo, a critically acclaimed eatery known for its cozy atmosphere and classic food.

For edible evidence of Pascarella's Italian mastery, look no further than his meatballs prepared six ways—some with duck and foie gras, others with beef, melted gouda, and red onion jam. But those who do look further will discover brick-oven pizzas topped with pulled pork and 12-year-old balsamic, as well as house-made pastas such as mint tagliatelle with lamb ragu. That same tasteful touch is extended to the beverage selection, which encompasses wine, Italian beers, and cocktails made with liquors aged and awarded their diplomas in a barrel. But no matter what guests select from the menu, Bar Sugo's laid-back decor—featuring brick walls, a red-and-white checkered floor, and a copper-topped bar—invites them to sit back and savor every bite.

102 Wall Street
Norwalk,
CT
US

Voted the area's best place for tapas in 2012 by readers of the Valley Advocate, Ibiza Tapas Wine Bar swells with the aroma of Spanish small plates crafted by owner Sonia Blanco's culinary team. They craft traditional dishes with ingredients sourced from local farmers when available, serving up fried spiced potatoes and spanish veal and pork meatballs alongside modern creations such as tempura zucchini served with romesco sauce. Their menu also includes paellas, fideuas, and gluten-free, Catalan-style cr?me br?l?e, which guests can wash down with beer, sangria, or a wealth of white and red wine options from the dramatically lit stone bar. Orange and burgundy walls enliven Ibiza's lounge-like dining room, adding a celebratory spark to dinners, birthday get-togethers, and peace conferences between rival roller-skating crews.

93 Mill Plain Rd
Danbury,
CT
US