The Basque Beignet

Sonhos, beignets, pet de nonne — whatever you want to call them, well-made they are ethereally light, and addictive to eat. The batter is a pȃte à choux — a versatile egg and flour preparation that takes very little effort and can also be baked into an éclair, a cream puff or a savory gougère.  My first experience making choux was from a ragged copy of Larousse Gatronomique in a tiny shotgun kitchen in Hoboken in the early 1980s. At the time, Larousse was like an invitation into another world, that I had only glimpsed as a child in New York

More

UConn Prof Crunches Numbers, Pitches Plan to Fix Racial Disparities in Education

Greenwich Public Schools spent $22,370 on each student in the district in the 2019-20 school year, but Danbury spent only $13,521. That same year, Madison spent $21,098 on each of its students, but if you went west to New Haven, that number dropped to $16,751.  This discrepancy is a statewide phenomenon. According to the non-partisan School and State Finance Project, in 2018-19, Connecticut schools in which 75 percent or more of the students are students of color spent an average of $2,300 less per pupil when compared with districts in which more than 75 percent of the student population is

More

The True Ease of Making Soufflé

When you get down to basics, soufflés really are a very straight-forward preparation. A simple béchamel, the addition of savory or sweet ingredients to the base and stiffly-beaten egg whites — and Jacques Pepin subverts even that notion with his Maman’s  Soufflé , which simply beats whole eggs into the mix. The recipes and techniques are endless and a bit overwhelming when trying to choose, and that, ultimately, is a great thing.  Back in 2000, New York Times Food editor, Amanda Hesser, wrote a wonderfully comprehensive article, The Modern Soufflé: Bastion of Strength. She goes into terrific detail demystifying the

More

Lessons of Geese and Men in a Morning Field

NORTH FRANKLIN – The pre-dawn sky is just starting to brighten above the mowed hayfield where five camouflaged men go about their silent business. Some guided by headlamps, they plant perhaps a hundred Canada Goose decoys in the soft ground, hoping they’ll be an irresistible lure for live members of the species to fill the skies above their cornstalk hunting blind.  By the time the first deep orange sun rays spread across the bright green cover crop of rye, the men have taken their stations in the blind, eyes to the sky and shotguns at the ready.  The array of

More

Deep River Bookstore Offers Free Books to Children from Low-income Families

DEEP RIVER — Community bookstore Bennett’s Books is piloting a program that will allow students from low-income families to take home a free book every week until the end of the year.  Colin Bennett, the owner of the bookstore, said he wanted to make books available to children and families who might struggle to afford them, as a way of benefiting the community.  “We really want to just make sure that as many people are reading as possible, because it’s so important,” said Bennett.  The program will be open for children ages 15 and younger, Bennett said. Parents or children

More

Spacecat Brewing Opens in SoNo

NORWALK – There’s a new microbrewery in town. Spacecat Brewing, which had its grand opening on Friday, is now serving craft beer made in-house at its Chestnut St. location, by owner James Bloom, operations manager Jeff Dunn and head brewer Roger Krackow, formerly of Two Roads Brewing in Stratford. High vaulted ceilings and many-windowed walls – all throwbacks to when the space was the main factory of the J. & J. mill – punctuate the newly-renovated space. Brewing tanks and kettles visually star, set up behind the bar where visitors can watch staff work their magic while  they sip on

More

Monday Celebration of the Nehantic Tribe at McCook Point Park

The Nehantic Native Nation and various departments in East Lyme are sponsoring a celebration of the Nehantic Tribe at McCook Point Park in recognition of Indigenous People’s Day.  Dr. John Pfeiffer, historian for the Town of East Lyme and official historian for the Nehantic Nation, said that he’ll be speaking about the tribe’s history and the diaspora at the event on Monday, October 11.  The Nehantic Nation originally resided in portions of southeastern Connecticut and Rhode Island, living on the shoreline in the summer and retreating inland in the winter months, according to a document compiled by Elsbeth Dowd, a

More

The Essex moves to Old Saybrook, as Colt Taylor Looks Ahead

//

OLD SAYBROOK — Chef Colt Taylor received approval from the Zoning Commission on Monday to relocate his flagship restaurant, The Essex, to 247 Main St. in Old Saybrook, the site of a former bakery.  The Zoning Commission unanimously approved a special exception for a restaurant with 42 indoor seats in the building’s 1,500-square foot first-floor space, as well as up to 20 outdoor seats. The commission approved the conversion of the building’s second floor from office space to two 700-square-foot accessory apartments on March 15.  Taylor said he “fell in love” with moving the restaurant across from the Katharine Hepburn Cultural

More

David Spencer Pitches Beaujolais

It’s a cool fall day in Mystic, it’s raining, and I am sitting across a table from David Spencer – half of the husband-and-wife partnership, with Pamela Lynn, that opened Spencer & Lynn about a year ago.  I’m here to talk about fall wine, but more often than not it seems that our conversation pivots instead around people. “So, what we do is something that I think is a trend in New York, and a trend in the wine world right now — but it’s not a trend for us, it’s what we are passionate about – is sell wine

More

Jazz Singer Judy Wexler to Perform at the Side Door on Saturday

The genesis for jazz singer Judy Wexler’s sixth and latest album, “Back to the Garden,” goes back to 2010, when she hosted a show in Los Angeles featuring a selection of hits from the 1960s. Although she called the performance “Talking to my Generation,” the title wasn’t quite accurate. “I’m really a child of the 70s,” Wexler told CT Examiner. “I’m not that old.”  But she loved the music, and Wexler said she had a lot of fun performing it. “I passed out fake hash brownies, you know – tried to make it an event,” she said. It was only

More

A Roll, a Roll, a Sausage Roll!

Set in 1750, in the fictitious German Grand Duchy of Pfennig-Halbpfennig, Gilbert and Sullivan’s conspirators in the comic opera The Grand Duke, ate sausage rolls as a secret sign of their collusion against the parsimonious Duke Rudolph.   You must eat a sausage-roll, a sausage roll, A roll, a roll, a roll, a roll, a roll, a sausage roll!A roll, a roll, a sausage roll! A sausage roll! And you must! For that extra sheet of puff pastry, on a busy weekday, Gilbert and Sullivan conspirator or not, these are perfect. A 30 minute stove top sauté — a mirepoix of

More

Richard Ziemann’s Intricate Landscapes Open at Chester Gallery Tonight

/

CHESTER — A luminous field of dandelions drawn in pale silvery gray graphite, rendered with breathtaking precision and delicacy, hangs above the fireplace in the front room of the Chester Gallery. “I can work on a drawing for a long time. I’m working on a drawing now — it’s on my dining room table  — that I started probably six months ago,” said artist Richard Ziemann, who is showing about 70 of his drawings, etchings and engravings at the gallery from Oct.1 to Nov. 20, along with works by his sons, Eric, Jeremy and Kurt Ziemann.  Ziemann, who has lived

More

New Haven Symphony Orchestra Returns to Live Performances on October 3

The New Haven Symphony Orchestra returns to live performances at the Shubert Theatre for the fall season beginning October 3, led by Alasdair Neale. Neale, who joined as musical director in 2019, recently renewed his contract for an additional three years, before an expected move to Paris. The Connecticut Examiner spoke with Neale about his hopes for the fall season, reflections on his tenure at the symphony so far, and his decision to move to Europe.  This interview has been edited for clarity. Your fall season starts on October 3. How long has it been since the full orchestra performed

More

‘I’ve … Started to See This Very, Very Dark Side of the Regime’

In 25 years of writing about Africa, journalist Michela Wrong said that her latest book is the one that has given her nightmares.  “I think this has been the most intimidating of the books I’ve written,” said Wrong. “It has literally made me wake up screaming in the night.” Her latest book, Do Not Disturb, recounts the brutal murder of Patrick Karegeya, Rwanda’s former head of external intelligence, who was strangled in a hotel room in Johannesburg, South Africa, on New Year’s Eve 2014. She uses the murder to challenge a storyline espoused by current Rwandan President Paul Karagame and

More

Start Your Christmas Cake Now!

Last week we unwrapped and cut open a Christmas cake, dark like mahogany, tall as a hat block, one we had tucked away on an upper shelf in a tin since last November, unsure whether a summer of neglect had made a hash of it. For the first six or eight months, each week, we had dutifully peeled back parchment paper, flipped and moistened the cake with a tablespoon or two of brandy – a recipe we adapted from Jane Grigson’s English Food – a chore we abandoned around mid-July. It was perfect. With three months until the end of

More

After 40 Years in the Media Business, on Tuesday Cameron Offers a Bit of Advice

On Tuesday, Sept. 21, Old Lyme’s Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library is hosting a free virtual talk with author Jim Cameron, whose book, Off the Record: Confessions of a Media Consultant, offers a lively behind-the-scenes look at the news business, drawing from 40 years as a news reporter, media trainer and public relations consultant. That’s one day after Cameron debuts his newly-independent syndicated column, “Talking Transportation,” after five years writing a column for Hearst. Cameron’s new column will be appear in CT Examiner, and other media outlets across the state. Cameron promises plenty of time for questions and comments, as well

More

The Rustic Apple Tart

There is little easier, more sophisticated or a delicious than this basic apple tart. And with apple season at hand, here’s a sweet that is nearly foolproof and can be made in 20 minutes, from rolling out thawed frozen dough, slicing apples, sprinkling sugar and dotting butter–it’s in the oven, done. At Scott’s Yankee on the Post Road in East Lyme, I picked up a half peck of Honey Crisp apples, a can’t-miss variety that’s in season in September, but most any other pie apple will do. The great thing about this recipe is that it can be adapted to

More

Nonprofit Hopes to Raise $30,000 for Racial Justice Murals in 4 Towns

The towns of Old Lyme, East Lyme, New London and Norwich will soon be home to four murals highlighting diverse stories from each community’s history.  Public Art for Racial Justice Education, an all-volunteer organization in southeastern Connecticut aiming to combat racial inequity through community art programming, is planning the “Sister Murals” to tell previously overlooked stories from the four cities.  In Norwich, for example, the mural will feature David Ruggles, an abolitionist born in Norwich who helped hundreds of people, including Frederick Douglass, escape slavery via the Underground Railroad. Old Lyme’s mural, which will be painted in Old Lyme Middle

More

Jazz Pianist Larry Fuller to Play The Side Door on Saturday

Jazz pianist Larry Fuller, who plays at The Side Door in Old Lyme on Saturday, chose Stevie Wonder’s 1985 hit song “Overjoyed” — the story of an as-yet unrequited love — as the title song for his new album, which offers of mix of Wonder, Wes Montgomery, George Gershwin, Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown and a few original compositions.  Fuller said the song is emblematic of one of his goals as a musician — to bring joy to the audience.  “What I try to do when I play music is just to bring joy,” said Fuller. “Sometimes music and especially jazz

More

Dutch Designer Ingrid Bergman Awaits Green Light For Return to Essex

//

ESSEX — 8 Main Street has stood empty for nearly two years. “I get a lot of questions about when we’re going to open. All is unknown, as we don’t have a clue when Biden is opening the doors again for travelers from out of Europe,” said Ingrid Bergman, a Dutch-born interior designer, who said she has planned since 2019 to open Eric Kuster Metropolitan Luxury by Ingrid Bergman Interiors at the Main Street location. Bergman, who is a resident of the U.S., holds a five-year E2 visa, known as an investor visa, that is set to expire in November

More

Mystic Seaport offers “End of Summer” free admission to Connecticut children this weekend

/

MYSTIC — Connecticut children will receive free admission at Mystic Seaport this weekend and Labor Day for the museum’s “End of Summer” celebration.  It’s the last free weekend at the museum, which has offered free admission to children and one accompanying adult through Connecticut’s Summer at the Museum since July 1. Admission will include “A Spectacle In Motion: The Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage ‘Round the World,” a 1,275-foot-long painting that depicts the voyage of a whale ship around the globe. Painted in 1848, the work is being shown in sections at the museum’s Collins Gallery in the Thompson

More

Nana’s… a Destination Doughnut

It’s been twenty years, at least, since I’ve had a doughnut as good as the cinnamon sugar sourdough at Nana’s Bakery & Pizza in Mystic. Made to order and served still too hot to eat in cinnamon sugar, chocolate, cardamom-Espresso or cacio e pepe, it might be the perfect way to spend a Sunday morning in Connecticut now that the tourist crowds have slackened off.  The 32 Williams St. waterfront location opens at 7 a.m., except on Wednesdays —  I wouldn’t blame you if you left off here and just drove over and tried one. What makes a doughnut that

More

Farmington Canal Trail Project Linking Temple St. and Long Wharf Kicks Off

After nearly ten years, the fourth phase of the Farmington Canal Greenway project has finally begun. When completed, the trail will connect New Haven all the way up to Massachusetts.  “This is a big moment for anyone who cares about having a robust bicycle pedestrian network in New Haven, and a big moment for anyone invested in making New Haven a vibrant place to live,” said Aaron Goode of New Haven Friends of the Farmington Canal Greenway. The trail currently ends at Temple Street. Phase four will extend the bicycle and pedestrian trail to Long Wharf.  Vincent Federico, vice president of

More

“Solace” to Premiere at Hygienic Art Park, Aug. 31 – Sept. 4

NEW LONDON — A phone call to a young woman from her father, absent for 18 years, starts off a series of events, including a murder, in the overlapping lives of characters who call a 10-block area of East St. Louis home.  “‘Solace’ is a play that is about what we think we need and how we evolve in order to understand better what it is we actually need in the world,” explained playwright and New London resident Michael Bradford, whose Emergent Theatre Project will premiere the play at Hygienic Art Park from Aug. 31 through Sept. 4.  “People that

More

Stephen Coan on Science, Whales and Tourism at the Mystic Aquarium

//

CT Examiner’s Cate Hewitt and Gregory Stroud arrived at Mystic Aquarium on Monday afternoon to interview Stephen Coan, the long-time head of what has become Connecticut’s largest tourist attraction.  The aquarium is a genuine marine biology research institution — with a strong faculty connection to UConn and a significant staff of in-residence and affiliated scientists — that also draws crowds and ticket sales with its crowd-pleasing focus on marine mammals including beluga whales, penguins and sea lions. At a time when climate change and melting glaciers are a concern for much of the public, Mystic Aquarium’s Arctic Coast habitat, with

More

Two Decades Later, Coach Curt Miller Still Stands Alone

When Connecticut Sun head coach Curt Miller was a young college assistant basketball coach, there were no openly gay, male coaches in the highest levels of basketball for him to look up to. “As I was moving through the assistant ranks, that was my biggest question: Could I be authentically myself and be hired as a head coach?” Miller said.  For Miller, the answer was “yes.” Since Bowling Green State University hired him as the head coach of its women’s basketball team in 2001, Miller has been successful at every level he’s coached.  But two decades after he became the

More

Joel and Lani Gargano Plan Expansion into Old Saybrook, Table22 Partnership

Joel and Lani Gargano, co-owners of Chester’s Grano Arso, are opening a new Italian marketplace and cafe in Old Saybrook early next year.  Located at 75 Main Street, Gargano Pasta & Italian Market will offer pastries, coffee, cured meats, cheeses, wine, beer, and fresh pasta, along with imported specialty products.  Visitors will be able to watch chefs make pasta from scratch and the restaurant will serve dishes like cacio e pepe, spaghetti pomodoro and bucatini all amatriciana.  “We wanted something that was just a cut above the rest,” Chef Joel Gargano said. “We want guests to be able to purchase

More

Local Cheese and Beer Featured at Farm Dinner

COLCHESTER — A 5-course farm-to-table dinner featuring beer from Hop Culture Farms, cheese from Cato Corner Farm, with dishes using each cheese by Chef Tim Marotto from Vintage in Colchester will be held on August 18.  For each course, diners will sample each cheese on its own — paired with a beer — and then taste a dish that includes that cheese, said Heather Wilson, co-owner of Hop Culture Farms and Brewery, at 144 Cato Corner Road in Colchester. “Cato Corner and I have done collaborations in the past where we’ve paired beer and cheese, but because Tim is such a

More

Clarity Haynes at the Aldrich

An explosion of bright pink hangs in the atrium of the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. This bright light emanates from two hot pink paintings on shaped canvas, a heart and a triangle. Their surfaces are painted with trompe l’oeil objects and photographs, depicting highly personal narratives and deep dives into feminist art history. There is both earnest subtlety and revolution at play here.  Clarity Haynes: Collective Transmission is a show of firsts. It is the first solo museum exhibition by the artist, and it introduces a new series by the Aldrich Museum called Aldrich Projects. This series is slated to

More

Centennial Day Will Include Special Fundraiser for Skylights at Lyme Art Association

OLD LYME — The Lyme Art Association is celebrating its 100th anniversary on Saturday, August 7, with an entire day of activities, including the Centennial Frolic, an evening 1920’s-themed fundraiser for the Second Century Skylight Project.  The skylights are 100 years old — the same age as the building — and in dire need of replacement, said Laurie Pavlos, executive director of Lyme Art Association.  “The skylights are leaking. And, they’re single-pane skylights and have no insulation value. It’s almost like having a giant hole in our roof that all our heat goes up through. And in the summertime, it’s

More
1 2 3 8