Popular among Yale professors and local seafood connoisseurs, #1 Fish Market satisfies discriminating palates with its fresh shellfish and sushi-grade tuna, while a lineup of pre-prepared dishes, such as Rhode Island clam chowder and homemade lobster bisque, delights visitors with a taste of hearty New England fare. The market's ever-changing stock always features a variety of fresh-caught fish, such as scallops, sole, halibut, and cod, as well as a selection of frozen items that presents guests with more exotic feasts of Chilean sea bass, octopus, and Alaskan crab.
Singled out for having the state's best clam chowder in Connecticut magazine's Best of Connecticut feature, Close Harbour hooks customers with a menu anchored in mouth-watering seafood. Start with crab-and-parmesan-stuffed mushrooms ($7) or pull out your scrimshaw spoon for New England, Manhattan, or Rhode Island clam chowder ($4/cup). Filet of sole stuffed with lump blue-crab meat ($18) reconciles the sea's two most notorious enemies, and swordfish cipolla parries a seasoned swordfish steak with a heaping helping of caramelized onions ($17). Resist flatware hegemony by getting your hands on a toasted roll topped with butter-sautéed lobster (market price), or give in to the powerful lettuce lobby with a pan-seared sea-scallop salad ($14). Any fish in the joint can also be baked, grilled, broiled, fried, or seared and plated with stir-fried veggies for $15.
Bishop's Orchards was established in 1871, when the first of six Bishop generations began filling shoreline bellies with fresh-from-the-farm fruits and vegetables. Today, having withstood 140 years worth of technology changes and weather disasters, the orchard continues to thrive, currently growing crops on more than 320 total acres—313 of which are family-owned. In 2005, the orchard stretched its homegrown empire into potable territories with the birth of a winery, which produces more than 15 wines using the farm's fruit. Not to be outdone, the orchard's market is still a year-round source for fresh produce more than a century after it sprouted into a humble roadside stand from a single appleseed.
The kitchen at Taste & See Gourmet Cupcakes is not only filled with beautifully decorated cupcakes, but also with premium ingredients. Every morning, the bakers make their small-batch cupcakes using splashes of Madagascar bourbon vanilla, liberal sprinklings of Saigon cinnamon, and chunks of premium Callebaut and Ghiradelli chocolate. These quality ingredients, along with the bakers' expert recipes, combine to make decadent cupcakes in flavors that range from gingersnap cake with lemon buttercream to chocolate cake with a cooling peppermint filling. The sale of these cupcakes is made even sweeter by the fact that Taste & See donates 5% of their net profit to local children's orphanages.
At Curds & Whey, gourmet gurus who specialize in hard-to-find European cheeses lead guests through artisanal and imported treats, dishing out samples in the ivory-hued tasting room. Aged manchego ($24/lb.) and vintage gouda ($17.50) complete wine-pairing parties or dairy sculptures of King George, and splashes of olive oil infused with sun-dried tomato, parmesan, and garlic ($18) accent favorite Italian dishes. For a tangy taste, vinegars such as the traditional 18-year-old balsamic ($18) pour over salads. An assortment of crackers ($5.95–$8.95) and fresh breads ($4–$6.50) delivered daily wait eagerly to host sumptuous toppings, and holiday shoppers can purchase wooden boxes stuffed with an assortment of cheeses for their best friends or favorite mirror reflections.
Savory Thymes is a personal catering service that delivers non-processed, health-conscious meals consisting of an entrée and choice of side. Current menu items include cranberry sauced turkey meatballs ($10.95), zippy baked ziti ($16.95), and roasted root vegetables ($5.95). Head Chef Ruth L'Hommedieu will deliver to residences and offices in the Greater Hartford area and orders must be placed by Friday. Unlike fiery stacks of magazines, dishes are delivered cold and will be safe in the refrigerator for up to four days before you follow the heating instructions to bring the flavors to life. Upon request, meals can be created to accommodate dietary considerations.