"Now listen up," insists Connecticut Magazine. "Matthew?s tableside Caesar salad has to be the best in the state, if not the country." It's hard to argue with that claim. Starting with torn hearts of romaine lettuce, the salad is made right next to your table, which gives you the chance to catch the distinct aromas of garlic croutons and parmesan cheese before each is thrown into the mix.
Executive Chef Greg Marcuson's culinary talents, of course, extend beyond salad. In fact, they're visible throughout Matthew's menu, in the Berkshire lamb shanks he braises for eight hours and in the cheddar grits he pairs with jumbo shrimp tossed in a barbecue dry rub.
But even the food can't claim sole responsibility for Matthew's popularity. Credit is also due to the restaurant's idyllic location, which includes a spacious outdoor patio with a stunning view of the Farmington River and its kindly fish god.
Chairs aplenty host guests during manicures, pedicures, and chair massages inside Noella Spa & Nails. Rows of cozy seating face a mounted TV in the manicure section, and the salon's big enough to host birthday and bachelorette parties. Technicians apply lemon sugar scrub to hands and cover nails with chip-resistant CND Shellac or OPI, Essie, or Gelish polish. Staffers also wax off unwanted leg and eyebrow hairs and saturate the skin with vitamin C during anti-aging facials, using Dermalogica skincare products instead of just dumping a carton of OJ on faces.
The extracts in the facial masks at Dolce Vita Day Spa come straight from the herb garden—ginseng, lavender, rosemary, and olive leaf. These botanical ingredients are used to enhance the anti-aging and cleansing effects of specialized skin treatments, including microdermabrasion that polishes pores with fine pumice crystals. Throughout the spa, such add-ons infuse procedures with a personal touch. Nail technicians top off mani-pedis with a soothing paraffin dip, and massage modalities ranging from Swedish to prenatal and postnatal can incorporate cold-stone therapy to ward off headaches.
Owner Annamaria Morello drafted her treatment menus after years spent working in upscale spas and salons. She and her staff of aestheticians keep abreast of cosmetic trends with a commitment to ongoing education, and they relish the opportunity to combine their services into luxurious packages or group parties. Guests of all kinds enjoy complimentary beverages, snacks, and calming music that isn’t just their waxer gently drumming on their belly in a spa space whose light marble counters, big mirrors, and wooden floors evoke an airy seaside cottage.
Shahla Day Spa & Threading’s therapists and aestheticians continue to add to their 35 combined years of industry experience, pampering clients with mani-pedis, threading and waxing services, and rejuvenating massages and facials. Just as the aestheticians use the natural sunlight that floods the spa’s interior to thread eyebrows with precision, the nail technicians reference the polished wooden floors to add the appropriate level of gloss to freshly trimmed toenails. The spa’s private room seems a world away from the bustle of the main floor, and its peaceful atmosphere only enhances the soothing strokes of Swedish massages. This room also hosts waxing services and custom facials that remove dirt and oil from skin or smooth out the wrinkles on a favorite Richard Nixon mask.
The little things are what make trips to Lavender Fields Day Spa feel extra special. Complimentary refreshments greet clients as they walk through the door: fruit spritzers, aromatic cups of herbal tea, and ionized water that wouldn't even melt the wickedest of witches. And the surroundings promise luxurious relaxation, too, as guests enjoy access to a spa lounge, sauna, and steam shower with their treatments.
It's no wonder, then, that Lavender Fields Day Spa is regularly named one of the best day spas in Connecticut by outlets such as Made Man and CBS. But of course, all of those extras are only icing on a non-edible cake filled with face and body treatments and spa packages for men, women, and couples.