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

Stamford Museum & Nature Center Facility Use

Oct 2, 2014 - Dec 31, 2014

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

September 1 – December 31, After 5pm For a truly unique and memorable venue, host your event or meeting on the picturesque 118-acre former estate of Henri Bendel. With a working farm, handicapped accessible woodland trails, observatory, interactive art gallery and planetarium, the Stamford Museum & Nature Center is the ideal spot for your next company outing, off-site...

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Photo Show 36 and MAAd Men Opening Reception

Oct 2, 2014

Join us in the MAC galleries on Thursday, October 2, from 5:30pm – 7pm for the opening reception of our 36th Annual Photo Show and MAAd Men, a special exhibition of authentic abstract art. MAAd Men of Mystic features the work of three artists; John Gregoropoulos, Anthony Terenzio, and Paul Zelanski, whose abstract art, while gaining national and international...

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Community Plates Food for All 2014

Oct 2, 2014

FOOD FOR ALL 2014 to Showcase Fairfield County’s Newest Restaurants and Top Bartenders A Benefit to Support the Fight to End Hunger Thursday, October 2, 2014...

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Laurel House Family Seminar Series

Oct 2, 2014 - Oct 30, 2014

This event occurs every 2 week(s) on Thursday.

Thursday evenings, September 18, October 2, 16, 30, 6:30-8:00 pm Join us Thursday evenings for this four part Family Seminar Series as Laurel House staff and guest speakers from the area provide important information on mental health and the available treatment options in our community. Lived experience as well as professional expertise will be shared. Seminar topics vary (e.g.,...

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Angels in America: Part 1: Millenium Approaches

Oct 2, 2014 - Oct 19, 2014

This event occurs weekly on Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

WEST HARTFORD, CT- Resident co-founder/co-artistic director Sean Harris will be directing the American masterpiece Angels in America: Part 1: Millennium Approaches to kick off Playhouse on Park’s sixth season. Winner of the 1993 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award, the first part of Tony Kushner’s epic depicts life in America during the 1980s. Touching upon the provocative topics of...

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United States Coast Guard Saxophone Quartet

Oct 2, 2014

The United States Coast Guard Band Saxophone Quartet is comprised of the saxophone section of the U.S. Coast Guard Band, one of the five premier U.S. military bands. In addition to performing throughout Taiwan in 2009 and 2010, the Quartet performs regularly at conferences held by the World Saxophone Congress and the North American Saxophone Alliance, and has performed at the Midwest Band...

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Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn

Oct 2, 2014 - Dec 4, 2014

This event occurs weekly on Wednesday and Thursday.

Happy holidays! Check into the tuneful world-premiere musical about a Connecticut farmhouse transformed into a jubilant nightspot — but only on holidays. From Valentine's Day to the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving to Christmas, expect a cornucopia of hit songs by Irving Berlin in a dance-dizzy romance based on the classic film that first starred Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby. Raise a...

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Beethoven & the Don

Oct 2, 2014

Richard STRAUSS                            Don Juan, op. 20   Sergei PROKOFIEV                          Violin Concerto No. 1 in D...

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Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn

Oct 2, 2014 - Dec 4, 2014

This event occurs weekly on Wednesday and Thursday.

Happy holidays! Check into the tuneful world-premiere musical about a Connecticut farmhouse transformed into a jubilant nightspot — but only on holidays. From Valentine's Day to the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving to Christmas, expect a cornucopia of hit songs by Irving Berlin in a dance-dizzy romance based on the classic film that first starred Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby. Raise a glass of...

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Irish Comedy Tour

Oct 2, 2014

The Irish Comedy Tour takes the party atmosphere of a Dublin pub and combines it with a boisterous, belly-laugh band of hooligans.

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