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Small Bites: Dining News & Events

 The annual Shakesbeer Festival returns Aug. 27 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the American Shakespeare Theater, 1850 Elm St., Stratford. This event features local food and music and beers from dozens of local and regional breweries. Tickets are $40 in advance, $50 at door. shakesbeerfestival.com.

Bull & Swine, 969 State St., New Haven, hosts a “Scales & Tails” event Aug. 27 from 5 to 8 p.m., offering eight Ballast Point beers on draft paired with smoked meats. 203-915-6806, bullswine.com.

Mystic Eats: A Riverside Food Festival returns Sept 9 to 11 to Cottrell Street in downtown Mystic. The event features more than 25 vendors, including Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough, Oyster Club, Engine Room, Sift Bake Shop, Sea Swirl, Octagon, Kitchen Little and Mystic Pizza. Admission is free; food and drink are bought with tickets which can be purchased at booths on site. The festival runs Friday from 5 to 9:45 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. mysticeats.com.

The Norwalk Oyster Festival returns Sept. 10 and 11 at Veteran's Park, Fort Point Street and Seaview Avenue, East Norwalk. Arts and crafts from more than 100 vendors, New England Seaport Village, environmental demonstrations and displays, harbor cruises, tour working vessels, kids rides and activities, an international food court, oyster history and artifacts and more. Tickets are $5 to $12. 203-838-9444, seaport.org.

Onyx Moonshine hosts a Secret Stash Beer Bash Aug. 27 at 4 p.m. at Goodwin College in East Hartford, a beer-tasting event featuring local Connecticut brews that have been aged in spent Onyx Moonshine whiskey barrels. More than 20 participating state breweries have received Onyx barrels to produce their specialty beer, and the beers will be judged by event guests. Tickets are $42; designated driver tickets are $15 and include soft drinks. Proceeds will benefit Goodwin College scholarship programs. Information and tickets: goodwin.edu/giving/secret-stash.asp.

Stony Creek Brewery, 5 Indian Neck Ave., Branford, hosts its annual Sun Juice Fest Aug. 26 from 4 to 10 p.m., in celebration of its seasonal Belgian summer ale. Tickets are $45 and include two pints of the beer, food from Nellie Green’s and The Stand and live music. A cornhole tournament kicks off at 6 p.m. 203-433-4545, stonycreekbeer.com/events/sun-juice-fest.

Black Hog Brewing, 115 Hurley Road Building 9A, Oxford, hosts its two-year anniversary party Aug. 28 from 1 to 7 p.m. The event features specialty Disco Pig and Bush Pig beers, food from Caseus Cheese Truck and Chief Brody’s Banh Mi, a prize piñata and outdoor games. A pint glass is $6, with $5 refills. 203-262-6075, blackhogbrewing.com.

Rizzuto’s, 540 Riverside Ave., Westport, has opened its Lobster Shack, a takeout-only seafood spot. The menu features hot and cold lobster rolls, whole Maine lobster dinners, sandwiches, fried seafood boxes with fries or slaw, chowder, salads and pies. It’s open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. 203-226-CLAW, ctlobstershack.com.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, 44 S. Main St., West Hartford, hosts a New Orleans-themed cocktail brunch Aug. 28 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Courses include crawfish beignets, grilled peach and burrata salad, shrimp etouffee, New Orleans-style filet mignon benedict and funnel cake, all paired with complementing drinks. Cost iss $65, plus tax and gratuity. 860-676-9463, flemingssteakhouse.com.

The Bear’s Smokehouse New England BBQ Championships, a barbecue competition sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society, returns for a second year Sept. 3 at 6 p.m. at Hartford’s Greater Hartford Jaycees Community Boathouse. General admission tickets are $65 and include beer and cook team samples, all-you-can-eat Bear’s Smokehouse barbecue, sweets and live music. VIP tickets are $100 and include early entry at 4 p.m. and additional sampling, demonstrations and specialty cocktails. Information: riverfront.org.

The New England Food Truck Fest at Mohegan Sun runs Sept. 3 from noon to 10 p.m. and Sept. 4 from noon to 6 p.m. in the casino’s Winter Parking Lot, with more than 30 trucks, kids’ activities, live bands and fireworks. Admission is $5; children under 12 are free. Food is purchased separately. Information: nefoodtruckfestmohegansun.com.

Dorjan Puka, chef-owner of the upcoming Zohara Restaurant in West Hartford, presents a Hadley & Occum dinner event with Yardbird & Co. at Farmington’s Sub Edge Farm (199 Town Farm Road) Sept. 8 at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $99, including tax and gratuity. Information: eventbrite.com (Search on “Hadley & Occum”).

The annual Farms to Fork dinner in Windsor’s Northwest Park Sept. 9 at 5:30 p.m. benefits the Windsor Education Foundation. Nat Hayden’s Barbecue caters the menu, and the meal includes beer and wine. Tickets are $50 ($45 for teachers.) Information: windsoreducationfoundation.org.

@ the Barn has introduced a “girlfriends” happy hour Wednesday nights from 7 p.m. to close, available in the bar area and on the patio. Specials include drink specials, small plates and sweets for $5 apiece. 860-413-3888, atthebarngranby.com.

Ricky D’s Rib Shack, which began as a food truck, has opened a new storefront at 302 Winchester Ave. at Science Park in New Haven. The menu features pork ribs in quarter, half and full slabs; pulled pork, brisket, wings, sandwiches and sides. 203-745-4998, rickydsribshack.com


Millwright’s, 77 West St., Simsbury, has introduced a new happy hour, available Tuesday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. in its downstairs tavern. Snacks, priced at $4 to $6, include Nashville hot chicken tacos, a burger, meatball sliders, spring gazpacho, cheeses, root beer float and a lemon tart. Drink specials ($2 to $6) include select beers, wines and cocktails. 860-651-5500, millwrightsrestaurant.com.


Barley Vine, 182 Main St., Bristol, is now open on Mondays and has introduced a new happy hour Monday through Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m. with assorted food and drink specials (beers, shots, wines and cocktails from $2 to $5; cheese pizza and other snacks for $5.) 860-589-0239, barleyvinect.com.


At Dish Bar & Grill, 900 Main St., it’s $5 Burger & Bucket Night and you can get two burgers and two buckets of Miller High Life ponies for just twenty20 bucks. dishbarandgrill.com.

At Infinity Bistro, 32 Front St., join the action during Music Bar Bingo Nights for a chance to win concert tickets and other prizes and grab food and drink specials (like $1 oysters). Infinityhall.com.

At McKinnons, 114 Asylum St., it’s Bar Rated Trivia night with $2.50 Miller High Lifes and $1 tacos. mckinnonsirishpub.com.

At the Russian Lady, 191 Ann Uccello St., buy a $10 mug at the door and you’ll enjoy $1 mixed drinks and $1 domestic drafts all night, plus you can bring the mug back for $1 refills any Thursday after that. therussianladyhartford.com

Juiced Up is now open at 231 Asylum St. in Hartford, serving a variety of fresh fruit and vegetable juices, smoothies and tonics. Other menu items include oatmeal with toppings, fresh salads, wraps with assorted proteins and vegetables and salads. Smoothies and juices are $5.50 to $6.50; wraps are $6.50 to $8 and salads are $5 to 8. Juiced Up is open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. 860-247-2292.

Costa del Sol, a destination for fine Spanish cuisine, has been a fixture on Hartford's Wethersfield Avenue for 30 years now. The Feijoo family celebrates its three decades of success with a special anniversary menu, offering three courses for $30.
The menu features choice of appetizer, entree and dessert. Options include camarones al ajillo (shrimp sauteed with garlic,) green-lipped New Zealand mussels on the half shell with pepper vinaigrette, melon and Serrano ham salad and fabada (white bean stew with chorizo and morcilla) to start. Entrees include paella de la casa, salmon with Spanish orange brandy sauce, roasted house-cured codfish, grilled bavette steak with chimichurri or roasted pork loin with mushroom sherry sauce. Choose flan or arroz con leche (creamy rice pudding) to end the meal.

The anniversary menu is only available Sunday through Thursday (excluding holidays.) Cost does not include tax or gratuity. Costa del Sol is at 901 Wethersfield Ave. 860-296-1714, costadelsolhartford.com.


Send restaurant news at least 10 days before publication to Leeanne Griffin at lgriffin@courant.com. 

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