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Bella Gusta (West Hartford Center - CT): Olive Oil & Vinegar Store/"tasting room"

I have not been there. Too bad their website is not well developed to show the varieties they carry, as I'm looking for some Herb de Provence oil. I'd be annoyed to drive all the way over there and find that they don't have it. (So far, it seems only the Newport store had that flavor.)

Jul 26, 2011
Quint41 in Southern New England

New Flat Top Electric Stove

JB - I am very interested to know how the oven relay switch sounds on your new GE. I am not sure if that's the same model GE that I returned to the store. I found the relay switch clicking to be obnoxiously loud, and the warmer the oven got, the more frequently the click (talking like every 30 seconds or so), to the point where it was audible over the TV. The salesman though I was nuts (maybe I am!), but it was something that I just could not tolerate hearing for several years. I always wondered if it was just that particular range that had an issue, or the model, or the brand. (The store was unwilling to explore those questions.) Thanks!

Jan 24, 2011
Quint41 in Cookware

CWs Chops n' Catch!

Good to hear. I'm w/ you ... I avoid the chains whenever possible. Nice to hear the bar is nice, as that's always a nice option.

Jan 24, 2011
Quint41 in Southern New England

John Harvard's - Manchester, CT

Maybe it's just THEM, maybe the town doesn't want motorists to be distracted by the waitstaff out on a patio. Enough traffic accidents in that area. <Giggle>
Sorry .. disgressing from the subject matter of the board.

Jan 20, 2011
Quint41 in Southern New England

John Harvard's - Manchester, CT

I thought maybe you were onto something, but I consulted a map and the Boston's Pizza website, and it just this side of the Manchester line.

Jan 20, 2011
Quint41 in Southern New England

2 Thumbs Down for Dish, Hartford CT

No kidding. I felt like I deserved a discount for my frustration. I mean, it's Restaurant Week. There are 6' piles of snow all over the streets, and in parking lots. And they have ONE valet on duty? He wasn't too busy to jump for the girls behind me. And for the hostess to say "We're very busy." It's 8:25 pm, and I'm just now getting around to having dinner ... I'm not busy? I'm sitting outside your establishment being ignored! No, I don't care to hand my hard-earned money to an establishment like that. There are plenty of excellent restaurants in Hartford that would love my business.

Jan 20, 2011
Quint41 in Southern New England

John Harvard's - Manchester, CT

You're kidding me. No, wait, I live there. I live the stupid politics. If Mickey Mouse ran for office in Manchester, he'd get voted in. I am sure you are not kidding. Two restaurants surrounded by a commuter parking lot, highway entrance ramp, and JC Penny Distribution center. What the heck could the problem be with a patio?! I think Boston Pizza has a patio right across the street. ARGH!

Jan 20, 2011
Quint41 in Southern New England

Two More Restaurants Closing in Manchester, CT

Frankly, I've had it a couple of times (Manchester location only), and it's good pizza, but you are right, it's not "special." It's pizza. But for me it's not "memorable." There used to be a place on Spencer Street about 10 years ago that made the most insanely good pizza. Oh, my mouth waters! But, they closed.

Jan 20, 2011
Quint41 in Southern New England

2 Thumbs Down for Dish, Hartford CT

A friend and I attempted to eat at DISH last night during Hartford's restaurant week. We knew that we'd be taking our chances w/ parking, what with all the snow, but I had checked the DISH website in advance and it said they offer $7 valet parking, so after 3 swings around the block looking for parking, we pulled up in front of DISH and sat there in the snow with our flashers on and waited. And waited. And waited. Then another car pulled up behind us, and several Pretty Young Things in high heels teetered out of the vehicle. Suddenly, a valet came racing out of the restaurant to help the Pretty Young Things and take their car. I (a 50-something professional woman with, I'm sure, more money burning a hole in my pocket than the car-full of PYT's) stood in the street as the valet drove off. My blood was already boiling. I called the restaurant and asked the hostess if they had valet parking. She said yes, pull up in front and he'll come out. I said, "I HAVE BEEN pulled up in front for almost 10 minutes now, but he ignored me in favor of that car full of girls that pulled up behind me. I'm still waiting." She replied, "Oh, sorry. We're very busy." What does THAT have to do with anything? I was here first, and I'm still waiting! And I continued to wait until I was too angry to enjoy eating there anyway! I called the hostess back, told the hostess to cancel my reservation, and I went to ... Trumbull Kitchen! TK was more than happy to seat us at a great table and feed us a fantastic meal! Trumbull Kitchen must thrive on the foibles of DISH. As a matter of fact, we had a very similar experience to Kris' when planning our holiday lunch this year. DISH was inflexible and unwilling to work with us. Trumbull Kitchen was thrilled to have our group and, when a handful of us stayed after for drinks at the bar, the manager sent us champagne on the house as a thank-you for giving them our business. Trumbull Kitchen KNOWS how to value their customers. Dish does not. Can't believe they are still operating.

Jan 20, 2011
Quint41 in Southern New England

Two More Restaurants Closing in Manchester, CT

Too bad Frank Pepe's can't do something about the parking, though. They need more spaces!

Jan 20, 2011
Quint41 in Southern New England

John Harvard's - Manchester, CT

Well, newspaper reported that they "may" be reopening after Wednesday, but also reported that remodeling would be involved. Hard to know what's going on. I wish they'd put a patio outside. A lot of cycling groups ride out from the plaza across the street, and a patio would increase their business. All of us sweaty cyclists would have a place to go close by for a bite and a beer! :-)

Jan 20, 2011
Quint41 in Southern New England

Any good donuts in the Hartford, CT area?

There are only two places for real old-fashioned homemade donuts ... Gerry's Donuts at 180 Windsorville Road in Ellington. And Luke's Donuts at 395 West Avon Road in Avon. OMG ... TO ... DIE ... FOR!

Jan 19, 2011
Quint41 in Southern New England

New Flat Top Electric Stove

By the way, my first replacement stove was a GE Flat-top. Despite it being highly rated, I hated the oven! The relay switch clicks so loudly and so constantly that it was annoying me to no end. I could hear it over the TV in the next room, I could hear it click from the other end of the house! I returned it and got the Whirlpool. Before buying GE, you should inquire if they have changed that awful noisy relay switch!

Jan 19, 2011
Quint41 in Cookware

New Flat Top Electric Stove

Remodeled my kitchen a year ago and said goodbye to my 42" Frigidaire electric range for a modern Whirlpool flat-top. I really was afraid of the flat-top, too, as I had seen others that were all scratched and gross looking. Was told that as long as I took the time to keep it clean, and used the right tools, it would be fine. It's been a year, and I do like it. It heats up and boils water much faster than my old electric coils. I haven't had a problem w/ low heat. I do find cleaning to be more work than the old coil stove (although, when you think about it, most of the gunk of boil-overs,etc., on a coil stove ends up underneath the coils where you don't see it unless you lift the top, and how many of us do that more than once a year?) A bottle of flat-top cleaner and a pad came with it. I usually just spray and wipe w/ Glass Plus, but if something gets stuck on, I use the recommended cleaner and pad, or also a flat plastic scraper-thing that I got from Pampered Chef. The trick is to not use tools that will scratch the surface. So far, so good. Still shiny!

Jan 19, 2011
Quint41 in Cookware

John Harvard's - Manchester, CT

I just read in the paper that John Harvard's closed last weekend, has been purchased "by a single owner" and will be remodeled and reopen as a "standalone brew pub and tavern with a new name, new logo, and new opportunities." If anyone has the inside scoop, please let the rest of us know. Thanks!

Jan 19, 2011
Quint41 in Southern New England

CWs Chops n' Catch!

I haven't been, but a friend went to the soft opening and said it was excellent. Catsup and Mustard is a must. Great menu.

Jan 19, 2011
Quint41 in Southern New England