Taste of Hartford (CT) 2010: Mon., 1/18 thru Sun., 1/24
Heard about it on the radio the other day...googled and found info here. What, no Firebox offering? If you click through the photos, you'll see what many of the restaurants will serve.
Not sure I will make it out, but some of the menus look good--esp. for $20.10 (excluding tax and tip) for three-course meals. I always did want to get to bin228 when I worked downtown. La Casona looks interesting, too. Hmmm.
I am interested in Agave Grill, but confused by: "Visit Agave Grill in Hartford for an inclusive meal for $20.10 or individually priced deals. Menu includes:" They then list items and some entrees are almost $20. Does anyone understand this or what you get for $20.10. Gee, I hope I have ten cents.
re: All Dente
Yeah, it looks like you get a drink, a salad, an entree and a sorbet for 20.10. If you got these items individually they would cost 38 or 39 bucks. Not bad. We always go to O'Porto one night and some place else later in the week. Looks like Hot Tomato's got the message. They were such a rip-off last time it turned me off the place.
I always take advantage of The Taste of Hartford and do a little restaurant hopping. Carbone's is always one of my favorites - nothing like fine dining for $20. I just found their "Taste" menu on their blog, if anyone is interested: http://www.carboneshartford.com/
588 Franklin Ave, Hartford, CT 06114
I went to Tisane last night and was really, really impressed by their TofH menu and how well they pulled it off. Unlike most other participating restaurants, at Tisane you have a choice of 2 complete, 3-course menus.
Menu #1, for meat lovers it seems, consists of 2 generous Chinese spare ribs as the appetizer (although to me they were more like really good BBQ ribs), 2 boneless short ribs over a bed of risotto-like rice with shredded, stir-fried veggies, and a brulee of large pearl green-tea tapioca custard. All were more delicious than this meager description would imply.
Menu #2 is for non-meat lovers, consisting of grilled hearts of romaine with gorgonzola dressing & croutons (I never thought to grill lettuce!), shrimp scampi ravioli in a lemony sauce with artichoke & tomatoes (couldn't detect any garlic), and chocolate gelato w/espresso sponge cake (very restained on the coffee flavor) with a espresso cup of industrial-strength hot chocolate (think the hot chocolate equivalent of Turkish coffee). A much lighter choice overall, but just as flavorful and inventive (and you'll be spoiled for every future cup of hot chocolate you'll ever consume).
When you go with a friend, as I did, you have a chance of sampling everything.
The most interesting aspect of this TofH menu is that I couldn't find any of these dishes on the regular menu, which is a bit more restrained, especially for entrees/mains. I'm hoping they're using TofH to try out new menu items on an unsuspecting public (to great success, IMO).
And if you go, try to get the French guy as your waiter. He's exceptionally eager to please, and will bend over backwards to see that you're well taken care of.
One caveat: Please be careful where you park (don't park in the laundromat's spaces or you will be towed). There's a helpful sign on the front door directing you to safe spaces (I ended up parking on South Whitney, a 1/4 block away).