Partially situated in the towns of Groton and Stonington, this charming coastal village is located on the Mystic River, which flows into the Long Island Sound. Lined with shops, cafes and galleries, and home to the country’s largest maritime museum, this small town will take you back in time with its interpretation of a 19th century seafaring village.
|There really is a Mystic Pizza.--credit|
Walk over the Mystic River Bascule Bridge in the center of the village before lunching at the well-loved Mystic Pizza, inspiration for the 1988film by the same name. If upscale and local are more your thing, be sure to try the Oyster Club, known for farm-to-table seasonal cuisine and of course, oysters. Spend the night in the Whaler’s Inn or the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic, just 20 minutes from downtown Mystic.
While in the village, hit Bank Square Books, an indie book store, pick up that extra-special piece of jewelry for a birthday or anniversary at Mallove’s, don’t miss the Black Dog General Store, with clothing items for dog-loving humans and accessories for man’s best friend. Other shops worth a browse include PepperGrass & Tulip, Comina, and Courtyard Art Gallery.
|The First Baptist Church in Essex–credit|
|Foxwoods Resort Casino is a destination in itself.–credit|
Unexpected, and just a 20-minute drive north of Mystic on CT-27, Foxwoods Resort Casino is located on the Mashantucket Pequot Indian Reservation in Ledyard. Complete with slot machines, game tables like blackjack, craps, and baccarat, spas, comedy shows, musical concerts, and dining options from casual
to upscale, Foxwoods is an ideal weekend escape in the Northeast for those who love to gamble, shop, pamper, party, and eat. In fact, Foxwoods is without a doubt, a foodie destination. With restaurants like Al Dente, Craftsteak, David Burke’s Prime, and the notable Four Diamond French-influenced Paragon, the culinary scene at Foxwoods is diverse.
was aligned with a vast window wall, affording thebreathtaking view. I can’t think of a more lovely setting to spend an evening.
The Hors D’oeuvres included:
Sepe Farm Lamb Tartare, Noritamago, White Harissa, Papadum
Rowland Farm Pork Belly Shaomai, Black Vinegar, Chili Oil, Micro Cilantro
Corn Madeleine, Creme Fraîche, Ratatouille
Beltane Farm Goat Cheese Croquette, Roasted Beets
Raw Stonington Summer Flounder, Chile Citrus Dredge, Green Apple & Radish
|Bomster Fleet Scallop Crudo, EVOO, Kabosu, Ahi Amarillo paired with Martin Códax Albariño, Spain, 2011|
|Confit Rillettes, Pickled Onion, Arethusa Farm Camembert, Mâche, paired with William Hill Chardonnay, Central Coast, 2011|
|New England Grass Fed Veal Meatball & Bacon, Amatriciana, paired with|
Don Miguel Gascon Malbec, Mendoza, 2010
|Mishima Wagyu Ribeye Cap Sunomono, Connecticut Summer Harvest, Aged Maitake Demi, paired with Louis M. Martini Cabernet, Alexander Valley, 2009 (this was one of the best Cabs I’ve ever tasted)|
|Lemongrass-Mint Granita, Sencha Lemon Tea Pool, Candied Angelica|
|Goat Cheese Feta Brulée, Olive Oil Sponge, Peach Sorbet, Lemon Verbena Gelée, Summer Couscous, paired with La Marca Prosecco, Italy|
|Petits Fours: Lemon Basil Bonbon, Peach Saffron Macaroon, Madeline, Apricot Financier|
While I enjoyed several hours of beautiful plates at Paragon, Michael indulged in the Kobe Red, a bacon-crusted burger with a sunny-side up egg, sweet soy mayo and a waffle bun at High Rollers, which also happens to be the nicest bowling alley he’s ever seen. He couldn’t stop talking about the burger waffle combo, either. Afterward, he joined me in the restaurant for a glass of wine, and from there, we headed straight for the casino!
I moved from slot to slot, but sadly, my gambling luck wasn’t with me on this trip. However, Mike
played blackjack and knew exactly when to walk away. (That’s my man!) All in all, we ended up
winning about $80 with my losses, which wasn’t too bad considering the entertainment involved. We relaxed by the bar for one last cocktail before calling it a night.
|Michael and I in Paragon|
Mike and I both noticed how incredibly friendly and accommodating the Foxwoods’ staff was, which isn’t always the case in a resort of this scale. From the front desk to the housekeeping staff to the dealers in the casino to the bartenders, to the chefs and the entire crew at Paragon, they made us feel
welcome every moment of our stay. Thank you, Foxwoods!
is one more fond memory of Connecticut.
Until next time…
|Farewell, Foxwoods!--via Foxwoods|
The James Beard preview dinner at Paragon and the room at Grand Pequot Tower were provided by Foxwoods Resort Casino.