After serving as a Methodist church for more than a century, Trinity-on-Main was set for the wrecking ball. Despite the grandeur of its 108-foot granite tower, its intricate stained glass windows, and its neck-straining ceilings, it seemed that the historic structure would be reclaimed. That is, however, until the New Britain community stepped in to save it. With their support and direction, the church became a haven for the town's cultural scene, and today hosts events ranging from theater productions to poetry readings.
LaRosa Marketplace's enthralling story chronicles the restaurant's growth over four generations from a garage-based sausage shop to a purveyor of delectable sandwiches, wraps, fresh salads, and house-prepared meats. Sate midday pangs with a panini sandwich such as the panino parma, an assemblage of parma prosciutto, veggies, fresh mozzarella, basil, and olive oil packed and grilled into crusty diamonds of flavor perfect for winning a stomach's love ($7.50). A roster of grinders challenges chompers with mounds of savory ingredients such as veal cutlet, sweet or spicy soppressata, marinated beef, and eggplant ($7.50–$9 for a half). Weekly specialties incorporate LaRosa's homemade sausages, made from lean meat with no additives, into dishes such as Thursday's roasted Italian sausage with orrechiette pasta and broccoli rabe ($8.99). Meat eschewers and veggie chewers frolic through a salad menu that includes the antipasto salad, which opens taste buds and pollinates tooth flowers with marinated mushrooms, artichokes, olives, and roasted peppers in a meadow of romaine lettuce ($7.50).
Riverfront Recapture boasts 22 years of sending aqua adventurers of all ages down the Connecticut River. With the introduction to rowing class, river riders meet at the recently renovated Greater Hartford Jaycees Community Boathouse to learn sweep rowing, which includes oar operation, leg positions, and attaining an wistful far-away gaze to recollect on their old lives on land. No previous experience is needed to man the 12-foot oars, as seven co-captains collectively steer the vessel through the lush green banks of Hartford. Arms and legs operate in harmony, accompanied by the calming splish-splash of water propelling the group down the river, yielding views of a city framed with trees.
Anyone who doubts the authenticity of Dino Cialfi's Italian cooking is welcome to visit his first restaurant, Piccolo Arancio. They'd have to fly to Rome first, though. Dino and his brother Sal opened Piccolo Arancio after training under their uncle, and quickly honed their management skills while crafting recipes near the Trevi Fountain. When they headed back to America, they left the kitchen in the hands of their cousins. They now work with their sisters Tina and Rosa at Peppercorn's Grill, recalling their experience in Italy?and the tips that Chef Dino learned from his mother?as they prep housemade pastas, artfully grilled meats, and gelato flavors such as hazelnut praline.
Dinners here tend to be unpredictable because Dino whips up a new gnocchi and risotto plate each night, rather than just serving the same ones under different spellings. He mixes his ravioli and fettucine with lobster in seafood pasta dishes, and tosses rigatoni with housemade sausage. When it comes to meat, diners can keep it simple by ordering their salmon, ribeye, veal chop, or free-range chicken breast "simply grilled," or opt for a specialty entree. These range from char-grilled filet mignon in an aged-balsamic glaze to grilled Norwegian salmon in a brunello red-wine reduction. Wine by itself also flows from imported and domestic bottles.
Black-eyed Sally's owner James Varano opened this BBQ-and-blues southern juke joint after an inspiring trip to Memphis in 1995. His re-creation of a southern blues club, complete with New Orleans-style dishes and country barbecue, caught the approving attention of The New York Times, which praised the "blackened catfish ... with its tasty sides of oven-roasted sweet potatoes, collard greens and a cilantro-lime cream saucing."
Lunch at Black-eyed Sally's can be a quick affair, with a po'boy sandwich, cajun burger, or a big plate of crispy cornmeal catfish (complete with salt-n-vinegar fries and slaw). But dinner is the time to linger. After eating a rack of ribs—which are dusted with a dry rub for 24 hours, slow-smoked over hickory wood, and finished with a touch of BBQ sauce—you can settle in and wait for the show to start.
The restaurant also started attracting some of music's biggest stars. Over the years, Graham Nash, Dave Matthews, Clarence Clemons, and other rockers have dropped in to jam (or just get their barbecue fix). Live music starts at 8 p.m. most nights, with a mix of jazz, blues, and rock acts. Check out the music schedule here.
Since 1988, City Fare Catering has proudly served our clients. We are a woman owned professional “scratch” kitchen located in Hartford, Connecticut. We specialize in private and corporate catering, intimate dinner parties, and themed events. We also have monthly events... check us out!