Best of connecticut 2014

Welcome to the 17th edition of Best of Connecticut, our annual compilation of all of what we think makes our state such a special place. This year we’ve narrowed our focus over years past, trying to concentrate more on categories that merit a debate while expanding our coverage over the entire state.

As always, we invite you to share your thoughts and tell us about places we may have missed. Best of Connecticut is a project we research and  work on year-round. Send suggestions for next year's winners, and even new categories, to Content Manager Ray Bendici or Verticals Editor Doug Clement.

Like you, we're interested in exploring where we live and finding the best it has to offer. Enjoy!

Food & Drink: From beer and burgers to cake and cannolis, and everything in between.

Fun & Leisure: Nightlife, casinos, family activites, overnights and more.

Shopping: Home decor, fashion, jewelry, books, music and more.

 

Connecticut Today

Connecticut Opposes Native American Tribes Law Change; 3 New Casinos?

Connecticut Opposes Native American Tribes Law Change; 3 New Casinos?

New proposed reforms in Washington, D.C., may be easing the standards for recognition of Native American tribes, opening the possibility for more casinos in Connecticut. But is that a good thing?

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Community Plates Fights Food Insecurity with Generosity and Technology

Community Plates Fights Food Insecurity with Generosity and Technology

Community Plates, a technology-fueled, direct-transfer food rescue organization based in Fairfield County, is working to fight food insecurity in Connecticut and around the country.

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The Connecticut Table

An insider's view of the Connecticut dining scene
Mario Lopez of Stamford’s Gastro Bar Not From ‘Dancing With the Stars’

Mario Lopez of Stamford’s Gastro Bar Not From ‘Dancing With the Stars’

This Stamford restaurant and wine bar is so sleek and fun a visit will make you forget all about that other Mario Lopez.

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6 Upcoming Connecticut Beer Fests You Don't Want to Miss

6 Upcoming Connecticut Beer Fests You Don't Want to Miss

Almost every weekend for the next month Connecticut has a major beer festival coming up.

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Connecticut Politics

by Jennifer Swift
Gov. Malloy, Tom Foley Debate Jobs, Taxes in Connecticut Governor's Race Forum

Gov. Malloy, Tom Foley Debate Jobs, Taxes in Connecticut Governor's Race Forum

The big discrepancy in the amount of federal income taxes paid by the gubernatorial candidates left one of them wide open Tuesday when the moderator at their second debate asked if any taxes were too low.

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Democrats Claim Tom Foley's Use of Think Tank's Work Violates Election Laws

Democrats Claim Tom Foley's Use of Think Tank's Work Violates Election Laws

Democrats are claiming Tom Foley’s use of material researched by the Connecticut Policy Institute, which the candidate founded as a business entity, is a violation of state election laws.

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Arts & Entertainment

Connecticut Halloween 2014: Haunted Attractions & Cemetery Tours

Connecticut Halloween 2014: Haunted Attractions & Cemetery Tours

Tis the season for screams, chills and frights. Some of the best that October has to offer:

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Autumn Glows in Show of New Paintings by Connecticut Landscape Master

Autumn Glows in Show of New Paintings by Connecticut Landscape Master

The title of Tom Adkins' new show at the Gregory James Gallery in New Milford, “Pastoral Solitudes,” suggests the state of being that the contemporary realist from Southbury captures in paintings typically begun en plein air and finished in the studio.

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Style & Shopping

Vintage and Funky Style at New Rising Sun Boutique in Litchfield

Vintage and Funky Style at New Rising Sun Boutique in Litchfield

Walking into Rising Sun Boutique is like cracking open a treasure chest.

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Katie Couric, Vogue Paris Like Connecticut Jewelry From Évocateur

Katie Couric, Vogue Paris Like Connecticut Jewelry From Évocateur

"Each piece conjures a story that’s yours to tell … tales of ancient times and memories of favorite places … the magic of new love … the glimmer of dreams just begun.”

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Health & Wellness

Guilford Art Center Creates Clay Hearts for Terminally Ill Patients at Yale-New Haven Hospital

Guilford Art Center Creates Clay Hearts for Terminally Ill Patients at Yale-New Haven Hospital

Now, the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Yale-New Haven Hospital has partnered with the Guilford Art Center to create small clay hearts that are put in the memory boxes, given to all families of terminally ill patients.

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Connecticut's Rate of Breast Cancer is Among the Highest in the Nation

Connecticut's Rate of Breast Cancer is Among the Highest in the Nation

Connecticut is one of the nation’s leaders in per capita rate of breast cancer—why?

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History

Castle Craig Offers Towering Views of Fall Foliage

Castle Craig Offers Towering Views of Fall Foliage

The latest feature in our ongoing series on Connecticut castles is a state landmark and perfect fall destination.

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Go Inside, Even Fly In, World War II Bombers at Bradley Airport Event

Go Inside, Even Fly In, World War II Bombers at Bradley Airport Event

The amazing history and punishing force of American air power during World War II will come to life in hands-on fashion in Connecticut once again Sept. 22 to 24 at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks.

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Education

Daughter of Bridgewater Chocolate Founder a Crimson Tide Golf Phenom

Daughter of Bridgewater Chocolate Founder a Crimson Tide Golf Phenom

Mia Landegren, a graduate of Shepaug Valley High School in Washington, Conn., didn’t pout or become down when her freshman season with the University of Alabama women’s golf team began slowly.

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Yale's Tax Exempt New Haven Property Assessed at $2.5 Billion

Yale's Tax Exempt New Haven Property Assessed at $2.5 Billion

Yale University, a premier, world-renowned research institution, takes up large portions of downtown, and doesn’t pay taxes on its dorms, classrooms, libraries, research labs or the grassy oases inside the residential quads.

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Calendar

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Connecticut Magazine

WCSU Faculty Jazz Ensemble

Oct 2, 2014

The WCSU Faculty Jazz Ensemble, featuring Jimmy Greene, will perform at 8 p.m. in the Concert Hall of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university's Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury. The event will be free and open to the public. Donations to support the Department of Music will be accepted. For a complete list of similar SVPA events, visit...

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Boston Native and Refreshingly Vulnerable Robert Kelly Headlines Comix at Foxwoods

Oct 2, 2014 - Oct 4, 2014

This event occurs daily, every 1 day(s).

Comix at Foxwoods presents Boston native and stand-up comedy sensation Robert Kelly for a three-night, four-show performance kicking off on Thursday, October 2 at 9 p.m. Kelly has overcome many hardships in his life, all of which have made him the actor/comedian he is today. From his early days as a kid growing up in Boston, in and out of Juvenile Hall, Kelly's unique, honest take on his...

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New England Landscape Invitational

Oct 2, 2014 - Nov 8, 2014

This event occurs daily, every 1 day(s).

Lyme Art Association member artists and select invited artists will be featured in this annual exhibition of landscape paintings from around New England. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm, Sunday 1 to 5pm. For more information on exhibitions, purchase of art, art classes, or becoming a member, call 860-434-7802 or visit www.lymeartassociation.org.

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Host Homes Needed for Playhouse on Park’s NYC Actors

Oct 2, 2014 - Aug 1, 2015

This event occurs daily, every 1 day(s).

WEST HARTFORD, CT – Playhouse on Park is seeking families to host actors from New York during its 2014-15 Season. Length of time varies: a stay is 6 weeks on average, but can range from several days to 10 weeks. Actors require a private bedroom and access to a bathroom and kitchen. Hosts may volunteer yearly or as often as they desire. To learn more about this enriching experience,...

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Connecticut Renaissance Fair

Oct 2, 2014 - Oct 26, 2014

This event occurs daily, every 1 day(s).

Shop in one of New England’s largest olde-world marketplaces selling everything from clothing, jewelry, and housewares to swords, toys, and collectibles.  All the Faire is a stage with jousting knights, armored combat, belly dancers, fire eaters, acrobats, musicians, and many other shows all included with your admission. Please visit the ctfaire.com for more information.  

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Signs of Life at Kehler Liddell Gallery

Oct 2, 2014 - Oct 12, 2014

This event occurs daily, every 1 day(s).

  Kehler Liddell Gallery presents Signs of Life, featuring multimedia artist Julie Fraenkel and photographer Matthew Garrett, from Thursday, September 11 - Sunday, October 12, with an Opening Reception on Sunday, September 14, 3pm - 6pm.   Signs of Life is a reflection of the nature of people – both real and imagined. Take, for example, the characters in...

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“Faces of Music Haven” Photography Exhibit

Oct 2, 2014 - Oct 31, 2014

This event occurs daily, every 1 day(s).

Enjoy Claire’s fabulous vegetarian fare as you view inspiring images of our musicians taken by Music Haven’s Communications Manager, Kathleen Cei.    Claire’s Corner Copia   1000 Chapel St., New Haven, CT   Admission: Free  

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Comedy Is Hard!

Oct 2, 2014 - Oct 12, 2014

This event occurs daily, every 1 day(s).

Comedy Is Hard! opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on September 24th and runs through October 12th. Show times are Weds. & Sun. 2 p.m.; Weds. & Thurs. 7:30 p.m.; Fri. & Sat. 8 p.m. Tickets are available by calling the Playhouse at 860-767-7318 or on the website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org Comedy Is Hard! is a brand new play by Mike Reiss, the critically acclaimed writer of...

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“A World of Dreams—New Landscape Paintings by Tula Telfair”

Oct 2, 2014 - Dec 7, 2014

This event occurs daily, every 1 day(s).

The exhibition “A World of Dreams” includes new large-scale paintings in which Professor of Art Tula Telfair presents monumental landscapes and epic-scale vistas that are simultaneously awe-inspiring and intimate. She combines stillness with motion, solitude with universality, and definition with suggestion in her bold and quiet works. Ms. Telfair’s paintings are fully...

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New Media: John O'Donnell

Oct 2, 2014 - Feb 8, 2015

This event occurs daily, every 1 day(s).

Psychedelic Pantry, a new media installation created by John O’Donnell, points to moments of everyday life while highlighting the bazaar and mysterious moments we often overlook while shuffling to the toaster or coffee maker in the morning. Appearing as a simple representation of a kitchen area or pantry, further inspection reveals there is more happening than food...

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