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Small Bites: Dining News & Events

Small Bites

>>In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Costa del Sol, 901 Wethersfield Ave., Hartford, offers several varieties of paellas throughout October. Featured dishes include lobster paella; “midnight” paella cooked with squid ink; Valencia-style paella with rabbit, pork, chorizo and artichokes; and fideua, a noodle-based paella with chicken, sausage and shrimp. All to-go orders of paella are 20 percent off throughout the month. 860-296-1714,

>>Greenhouse Cafe & Frozen Gnome owners Christian Gombos and Glen Staubley will soon be expanding their Burlington operations to include a full-service restaurant called Tavern at the Greenhouse, with a planned early November opening. They’ll be assisted by chef Ross Martin and manager Robert Parker. 860-673-8111,

>>World of Beer, with locations in Stamford and West Hartford, has introduced a “fall plates and pints” menu, featuring seasonal flavors. Items include habanero pumpkin spice wings, meatloaf sliders with Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale gravy, Southwest skillet cornbread, Colorado chili and pimiento cheese board. All plates are designed to pair with beer. Information:

>>Max Downtown, 185 Asylum St., Hartford, hosts a Donelan wine dinner Oct. 21 at 6 p.m. with special guest Joe Donelan, founder of the Sonoma County winery. The meal includes courses of smoked Long Island duck and sage waffles, grilled lamb sausage and Tasmanian pepper-crusted veal loin. Cost is $165, plus tax and gratuity. 860-522-2530,

>>Hopkins Vineyard, 25 Hopkins Road, New Preston, hosts its 6th annual wine and cheese festival Oct. 24 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event features locally made artisan and farmstead cheeses, local wines and hard ciders, crafts, food trucks and live music. Tickets are $20 in advance; $23 at the door. 860-868-7954,

>>Stony Creek Brewery, 5 Indian Neck Ave., Branford, hosts a Dia de Reposado party Oct. 30 for its newest release Reposado Negro, a tequila barrel-aged black wheat beer. Tickets are $30 and include one beer, food from Guachos Tacos and a treat from NoRA Cupcake Company. The party, which starts at 7 p.m., features live music. Information and tickets: 203-433-4545,

>>Besito, 46 S. Main St., West Hartford, celebrates Day of the Dead Nov. 1 and 2 with holiday-themed dining specials, décor and “ofrendas,” or traditional offerings, to mark the occasion. Specials include shrimp quesadillas ($14.95) at lunch and jumbo shrimp with grilled strip steak and mashed sweet plantains ($28) at dinner. Guests will be treated to a Patron aperitif and artisan Mayan chocolates at the end of the meal. Information and reservations: 860-233-2500,

>>Baci Grill, 134 Berlin Road, Cromwell, hosts its annual Fall Wine Fest Nov. 6 at 7 p.m., with wine tastings and several dining stations. Food offerings include brandy and cream-glazed sirloin meatballs, cider-glazed chicken with braised cabbage and roasted squash and garlic and herb pulled pork sliders with house-made pickles and Dijon sauce, along with pasta and dessert stations. Tickets are $46, including tax and gratuity. 860-613-2224,

>>Bill Rizzuto of Rizzuto's Restaurant & Bar partners with the Noah Webster House in West Hartford for a hearth dinner Nov. 19 at 7 p.m., creating a three-course traditional colonial meal using contemporary ingredients. The menu will be paired with beer and wine. Tickets are $75. Information:

>>Connecticut Restaurant Week, sponsored by the Connecticut Restaurant Association, runs Oct. 12-18 with special menus and deals at eateries throughout the state. Restaurants will offer promotions for $20.15 or $30.15, including prix-fixe meals, two-for-one options or specially priced wines. Information and menus:

>>Arugula, 953 Farmington Ave., West Hartford, reopens for dinner on Sunday nights at 5 p.m. New menu items include a white clam flatbread and sauteed scallops served with a cauliflower and chickpea patty and curried coconut sauce. Reservations are accepted. 860-561-4888 and

>>Hartford's annual Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry/Share Our Strength returns Oct. 29 with a new format, a multi-course dinner prepared tableside by more than two dozen top chefs from Connecticut and the Northeast. The event at the Riverview in Simsbury begins at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception, followed by the seated dinner and chefs' dessert reception. Tickets are $150 for individuals or $3,000 for choice of chef table buyout (12 guests.) Information:

>>Mohegan Sun's restaurants offer several Halloween dining specials, including a $79 three-course dinner at Michael Jordan's Steak House, featured Halloween-themed cocktails at Michael Jordan's 23.sportcafe and SolToro Tequila Grill, children's treats and a giant pumpkin flapjack at Hash House A Go Go, pumpkin and apple dishes at Pasta Vita and free candy bar or cookie with entrée purchase at Geno's Fast Break.

>>Restaurants at Foxwoods Resort Casino will offer Oktoberfest food and drink specials throughout the month, including grilled bratwurst, smoked pork loin and apple strudel at Cedars Lounge; grilled kielbasa with peppers and onions at Veranda Café and seasonal draft beers at several locations. Information:

>>Tuscany Grill, 120 College St., Middletown, hosts a Berkshire Brewing Company beer dinner Oct. 13 at 6:30 p.m. The menu includes antipasti, squash almond bisque, beef stroganoff ravioli, poached pear-stuffed pork loin and an apple-pumpkin phyllo duet for dessert. Each course will be paired with a complementing BBC beer. Cost is $45, including tax and gratuity. Reservations and information: 860-346-7096,

>>The third annual WeHa Whiskey Festival returns Oct. 17 at 6 p.m. in the West Hartford Town Hall Auditorium, featuring samples of more than 200 bourbons, whiskeys and Scotches from around the world. Highland Park Market provides a catered spread. Advance tickets are $99 for general admission; $199 for VIP tickets, which includes a private tasting of Pappy Van Winkle, Johnnie Walker Blue Label and other rare finds. Designated driver tickets are $25. 860-761-2541,

>>Artisan Made Northeast and Percy Thomson Meadows Farm in Bethlehem (78 Thompson Road) host the Farmstead Festival on Oct. 17 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., featuring cheeses, wine, meats, condiments, chocolates, baked goods, produce, a pig roast and entertainment. Admission is $15 in advance; $18 at the door. Information:

>>The Capital Grille’s Wagyu and Wine promotion pairs two of its high-end beef burgers with two premium California wines. For $25, guests can choose from the gorgonzola and black truffle burger or the Wagyu cheeseburger with fried egg and crisp onions, accompanied by choice of a glass of two wines typically reserved for bottle purchases only: 2012 Justin Isosceles Cabernet Sauvignon and 2013 Landmark Overlook Pinot Noir. This offer is valid in The Capital Grille’s lounge through Nov. 22; Connecticut locations are in Hartford and Stamford.

>>Coyote Blue, 1960 Saybrook Road, Middletown, offers an Oktoberfest menu through Oct. 22, with specials like sauerbraten with red cabbage and potato pancakes, wiener schnitzel with spätzle, beef rouladen, goulash and German sausages. Entrees range from $17.95 to $20.95. 860-345-2403,

>>Denise Appel, chef/owner of Zinc and Kitchen Zinc restaurants in New Haven, shops at the CitySeed Downtown Farmers Market every Wednesday. Inspired by the farmers and artisans who bring their foods to the market, Appel creates a new market menu each week using fresh produce, meats, cheeses, honey and herbs. Zinc donates $1 to CitySeed for every Market Menu ordered. For a look at the weekly menu, visit Reservations: 203-624-0507.

>>Coming off a successful barbecue-themed dinner at Community Farm, where courses included smoked clam and mussel chowder, Wagyu beef "BLTs" and prized Mangalitsa pork, Millwright's chef-owner Tyler Anderson and Bear's Smokehouse owner Jamie McDonald will partner again for weekly pop-up events at Anderson's Simsbury restaurant.

"The Cook and the Bear," with barbecue-inspired menu items and drink specials, will run Monday nights in Millwright's Tavern space. Anderson said the menu will feature smoked meats (brisket, pork butt, smoked wings, sausage) and meat sandwiches, and farm-fresh sides like smoked beets with cumin yogurt (the first course at the July dinner) and grilled corn with "flavors of a Greek salad." The barbecue nights begin at 5 p.m. Millwright's is at 77 West St. 860-651-5500,

>>Millwright's has announced a series of collaborative farm dinners at Simsbury's Community Farm this summer, as chef-owner Tyler Anderson joins forces with other Connecticut chefs for special themed meals. Proceeds will benefit Gifts of Love, a local non-profit organization that provides basic needs services to the Greater Hartford community. Cost is $95, which includes food, beverage and tax. Information and tickets:

>>Hard Rock Café at Foxwoods Resort Casino offers a limited-edition “World Burger Tour” menu with fan favorites. The list includes a Guatemala-themed Marimba burger with spiced beans and tortilla straws; a sweet and sour burger with fried onion ring, bell peppers and grilled pineapple; a Lancashire lamb burger with caramelized onions, crispy carrots and mint mayonnaise and a Cuban burger with pulled pork, melted Swiss and sweet plantains. All burgers are $16.95. Information:

>>Barcelona Wine Bar, 971 Farmington Ave., West Hartford, has introduced a new Sunday brunch. The menu features a selection of its small Spanish-influenced plates and cheese and charcuterie, in addition to brunch entrees like lobster Benedict, fried chicken and biscuits, biscuits and Serrano gravy with sunny-side duck egg, challah French toast with blackberries and vanilla bean-infused maple syrup and hash with spring vegetables or oxtail. Special brunch cocktails include cava sangria with vodka and St. Germain liqueur, and a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar with choice of ingredients and garnishes.

Brunch entrees are $6.50 to $18.50. The menu is available Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. 860-218-2100,

>> "Worth Tasting," a series of downtown culinary walking tours in New Haven, run through Dec. 5. The four-hour tours, led by food columnist and hospitality professor Stephen Fries, include stops at nine different restaurants and eateries in the Elm City. Tours kick off at 10:45 a.m. from the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale, where guests will receive a goody bag of Connecticut food products.

Remaining tours are on Oct. 24 and Dec. 5. Tickets are $59 apiece, except for the December tour, which is $69. Reservations are required. Call 203-777-8550 or 203-415-3519, or visit

>>Altanaveigh Inn, 957 Storrs Road, Storrs, has introduced a new Sunday brunch, served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The a la carte menu items include creme brulee-style bread pudding French toast, roast beef hash, a farmers' market scrambler egg dish, sirloin steak and "cheezie" eggs and salmon cakes Nicoise. Entrees are $12.50 to $18. Information: 860-429-4490 and

>>Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is offering its Filet & Flights menu – an 8-ounce petite filet and three red wines – in the bar. The choice of rubs includes porcini mushroom, black and white peppercorns and Kona coffee. The pairing is $39.95. 860-233-1116.

 Send restaurant news at least 10 days before publication to Leeanne Griffin at 

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