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New Britain Museum of American Art – The Art of Wine & Food

img_2344We recently were fortunate enough to attend the Art of Wine & Food fund raising event at the New Britain Museum of American Art, held this past October in New Britain, CT.  When I say we I mean myself and our son Alex, who stopped in on his way home from work.  Alex is a curator at a historical society museum, so he knows what he is talking about.  He had nothing but great things to say about this particular venue, and I have to agree.  It is modern and elegant while at the same time comfortable and soothing.  The art collection is insane and you can see things here no other museum will ever have.  This is worth the trip from anywhere.

But this was more than just the museum, as there was wine and food!  As we’ve indicated in the past we tend to like wine and food, especially in a great setting.  There were 23 chefs and restaurants represented, as well as 24 wine and spirit producers/distributors.  They were all spaced throughout the museum, as well as in a tent outside, in a way that avoided overcrowding throughout the evening.  This was clearly well thought out and planned to perfection.

We’ll highlight a few of our favorites.  On the food side the sushi rolls from img_2351 img_2352Toshi Izakaya were great.  They gave you samples of both their Toshi and California rolls, accompanied by the usual pickled ginger and wasabi.  The rolls were fresh, crisp and delicious, as good as you would expect in the restaurant.  That’s no small feat when your serving hundreds of people in a short time.  There were other good dishes everywhere, and we sampled most of them.  Another highlight was the Plan B Burger Bar serving their scrumptious, juicy and perfectly cooked mini burgers.  These things are addictive.  They have served these the past two years at Savor and we have basically lived on them during the Grand Tastings.  Wonderful, small and tasty.

Mini Burgers!

Mini Burgers!

For dessert the Grass Roots Creamery was serving up their specialty ice creams, which are always a treat.  The

Great Ice Cream Here!

Great Ice Cream Here!

only issue we have here is that they didn’t bring the Biscoff flavored ice cream, which is one of our all time favorites.  Maybe next time.

And then there was wine, and lots of it.  We also squeezed in a bourbon or two along the way.  Some wines that stood out were the 2013 Martin Ray Stag’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon, which is luxuriously rich and dense, but still fresh.  Also the Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Artemis Cab from 2013 was excellent.  Really though, this evening was all about the wonderfully fruity and rich Pinot Noirs from California.  We’ll highlight three of these, and they include The Calling 2013 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir (my favorite wine of the evening), the 2014 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir from Patz and Hall, and finally the 2013 Estate Pinot Noir from Chalone.  All excellent and worth looking for if you like top notch Pinot Noir.

Wine of the night!

Wine of the night!

The true star of the night was, however, the museum.  The New Britain Museum of American Art was founded

But this was pretty exceptional too.

But this was pretty exceptional too.

in 1903, making it the oldest museum in the country solely featuring American art.  Over the decades the museum expanded slowly but steadily, and the collection grew.  The new Chase building opened in 2006 with 43,000 square feet and ten stunning, new galleries.  They are still building, and the museum has become one of the largest in New England.  This is a serious museum with an impressive collection.

Cheri and I will be coming back just to spend the day in the museum and to see the collections on display.  We suggest you do the same, as this is a gem that most people probably don’t even know exists.  Here are the particulars:

New Britain Museum of American Art
56 Lexington Street
New Britain, CT 06052

website: http://www.nbmaa.org/

This was an enjoyable evening which raised funds for a great museum.  To top it off I brought home the three pack of Trifecta Pinot Noir from the silent auction.  Speaking of the auction, there was a wide assortment of great wine up for sale to the highest bidder, and it is almost worth coming just for that.  Overall this is a wonderful event in an equally wonderful setting, not too surprising since Vicky Cirilli of Cirilli Associates organizes the whole thing.  We highly recommend you attend next October if you’re in the area and appreciate a night in a museum.

A votre santé!

 

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