March Farms's hospitable agriculturists welcome families to a third-generation farm for autumnal activities as well as just-picked produce and fresh-baked treats. Admission grants visitors unlimited meandering through the sky-high stalks of a 5-acre corn maze. After picking a duo of gorgeous gourds, set up a picnic beside the hayloft playscape—a farm fantasy land complete with a miniature hayloft, schoolhouse, and playhouse, as well as a 450-foot tricycle track on which kids can pedal recklessly without worrying about state speed limits. Autumn adventurers can visit 11 a.m.–5 p.m. on weekends. Alternatively, treat noses to the aroma of the centrally located market and bakery, stocked with vegetables and fruits, such as a 4-quart basket of apples, fresh from Mother Earth's renewable cupboard. Baked treats are available daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with delicacies including a six-pack of cider donuts or a three-pack of large cookies.
1 Fish Market's Bobby McNeil always had a deep affinity for seafood. He spent his childhood perusing Gambardella's Fish Market with his Sicilian mother, and his young adulthood hauling cumbersome fish as a wholesale seafood trucker. “There was something I liked about handling raw fish, handling nature,” McNeil told the Yale Daily News. “I sort of found my calling.” When he opened a fish market of his own, McNeil honored New Haven's maritime heritage by offering a spread of live lobsters and blue crabs, local Connecticut river-boned shad, wild salmon, and an ample assortment of steamers, mussels, and cockels. And while many modern-day fishmongers rely on direct-order flights to fill their display cases, McNeil gets his stock the old-fashioned way: through twice-weekly trips to New York's Fulton Market—a bustling hub of activity filled with professional fisherfolk, wholesalers, and seafood plucked fresh from local waters.
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.
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.
Hundreds of frames line Oronoque Eye Care's elegant wooden cases, ready to perfect vision with style. Connecticut native Dr. Kurt Tichy diagnoses blurry vision and helps to fit contact lenses. His crack team of opticians prize warmth and personality as they repair busted specs and help to pick out the perfect frames for each individual's lifestyle, aesthetic, and need to accentuate one-liners with dramatic removal.
Juicy tidbits of chocolate-dunked fruit arrive on the doorsteps of family and friends, done up in colorful bouquets and candy boxes by the skilled fruit arrangers at Edible Arrangements' more than 1,100 franchises worldwide. The company's in-house chocolatiers drizzle albion strawberries and daisy pineapples in a trio of chocolate flavors. Once properly chocolated, the workers organize the preservative-free sweets into lush arrangements that resemble flowers in bloom. Customers can choose to plop their bouquets in a variety of vessels, including vases, mugs, and sports- or holiday-themed containers that add a personal touch to the edible gifts. Alternatively, customers can opt to adorn gifts with the cheery, red lids of candy boxes, nestling 12 chocolate-dipped morsels inside to build anticipation and determine if loved ones have x-ray vision as they guess whether fruit will come dusted in shredded coconut or drizzled in white chocolate.
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.