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Nuggets by Judy Henderson


A stirring tale of love and lattés —
with a very happy blending.

Once upon a time, a little boy and a little girl met at church — but it was years later, after having lost touch, that they blended their way back into each others lives only to discover that they not only worked for the same company but were in love, which, as luck would have it, was precisely when both of their jobs were eliminated, thus creating the perfect opportunity to marry, blend families, and open a classy little coffee shop. Well, having shown a pretty obvious knack for blending good things together to create even better things, they named their little café Berkins Blend Café, blending the last three letters of his last name with the last four letters of hers before getting down to business blending lattes, Americanos (hot and iced), and espressos, plus hot chocolate and gourmet hot teas. And when they realized how nicely those blends blended with a little something to eat, they immediately blended muffins, croissants, and some lovely gluten-free confections from their bakery, along with fresh frittatas and quiche, into their menu. And you know what? Just recently, they blended a second classy little location called Berkins on Oak into their business plan. It features a nice blend of dining-in or grab-and-go breakfast and luncheon selections — and, no surprise here — it’s American Fusion cuisine! Try both. (Don’t you just love happy blendings!) — J.H.
Berkins Blend Café
1003 Hebron Ave.
Glastonbury
860-430-5866

Berkins on Oak
21 Oak St., Hartford
860-206-6956
berkinsblendcafe.com

Sea for Yourself

Located just above the borough of Fenwick, Saybrook Point sits at the mouth of the Connecticut River, its vistas of Long Island Sound, historic Saybrook Breakwater Light House, and the river itself splendid — the endless parade of fishing and recreational vessels in every shape and size mesmerizing. So it’s no wonder Saybrook Point Inn, Marina & Spa is one of the best seats in the house for those who love the smell of salt air, the cool touch of a sea breeze on a warm summer afternoon, the sounds of sails luffing when the tide is slack and the air still, the muffled hum of inboards and outboards, and the sound of halyards clanging on the sloops and catboats and daysailers docked nearby. If all of that isn’t enough, this luxurious resort also offers exceptional spa services at Sanno Spa. Superb dining at Fresh Salt or lighter fare in the Marina Bar — both with menus featuring locally sourced, seasonally fresh ingredients and tables with stunning views. The Inn offers stylish accommodations, from cozy rooms to impressively spacious suites, with close proximity to a host of other shoreline attractions you can enjoy right away — or save for your next visit. Or the one after that. Because once you’ve discovered Saybrook Point Inn, Marina & Spa, you’ll be back. — J.H.
Saybrook Point Inn, Marina & Spa
2 Bridge St., Old Saybrook
800-243-0212
saybrook.com

Putting the “Din” in Dinner

There’s only one place we know of where you are guaranteed actual sizzle with your meal, and that’s Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Fact is, Ruth’s Chris Steak House learned a long time ago that broiling the finest cuts of beef to perfection, topping them with a buttery mix of freshly chopped parsley, then serving them on a 500-degree plate so customers can actually hear the savory flavor isn’t simply the way to a man’s (or woman’s) heart. It’s the shortest route. And when they discovered that they could make chicken and chops and seafood deafeningly delectable, it sort of lit a fire under them — and before you knew it, Ruth’s became an international favorite. The good news is there’s one close by in Newington. Where? Just follow your ears.. — J.H.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House
2513 Berlin Tpke.
Newington
860-666-2202
ruthschris.com

Home Sweet Homegrown

OK, here’s the thing: You can book a flight to California, change planes in Chicago, arrive in LA, rent a car, drive to Napa Valley, check into a pricey B&B, and take a nap before finally (FINALLY!) finding your way to some local Napa Valley winery for a glass of very fine vino — or you can stay home, sleep late, savor your morning coffee, do a few errands, then drive to Crystal Ridge Winery in South Glastonbury, where a glass of their fine wine, perhaps accompanied by some live music in their tasting room, will turn an ordinary afternoon or evening into something quite extraordinary without all the bother. And how’s that possible, you ask? Well, family owned and operated for over a decade now, there’s a lot of experience and love growing in that Crystal Ridge vineyard. And when the season is over and the harvest pressed and ready for winter’s fermentation, that same experience and love go right into each barrel with those grapes. So stay home, sleep late, savor your morning coffee, do a few errands — then head for Crystal Ridge Winery in South Glastonbury. The views are “breathtaking.” The sunsets “unforgettable.” And the wines impressive. A votre santé. — J.H.
Crystal Ridge Winery
257 Belltown Rd.
S. Glastonbury
860-657-1004
crystalridgewinery.com

all nuggets copyright Judy Henderson