Thanks for voting, and the winners of the 2018 Best of West Hartford are … please come to the Fourth Annual Awards event to find out!
By Joy Taylor
Updated, Nov. 1, 2018
The menu has been announced:
Partial menu, according to the presenting sponsor, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse-W. Hartford:
-Prime rib station
-Lamb chop lollipops
-Bacon wrapped scallops
-Sweet & sour eggplant crostinis
-Apple & blue cheese flatbread
With #bestofweha Crudite by The Crown Market
Original Story, Oct. 26, 2018
After overwhelming response to the voting for best pizza, coffee, hair salon, home improvement, and much more, the 2018 winners of The Best of West Hartford will be revealed on Nov. 5, 2018 at Flemings in Blue Back Square.
This wouldn’t be possible without the support of the community. “An unprecedented almost 400 percent increase in voting is something we never expected,” stated Tom Hickey of WHMedia, an organizer of the Best of West Hartford (BOWH) event.
“We assume it is because our fellow publishing companies worked along side us on a media blitz unlike anything West Hartford has ever seen. Along with West Hartford Magazine, We-Ha.com, and Experience We-Ha, we also had the Connecticut Jewish Ledger, West Hartford Life, and West Hartford Press (the latter two both Turley Publications) which all boosted the vote by including the fourth annual BOWH in all their traditional, digital, and social media products,” Hickey said.
The businesses were also very engaged via social media this year helping generate interest. Only 20 percent of the total vote was repeat. This was the first year that votes could be cast more then once (awaiting a next day requirement) and you did not have to vote for all 44 categories. Many of the races were very close and we even have a few ties.
Hillary Pasternak (Connecticut Jewish Ledger) and Jeff Lovanio (Experience We-Ha) were the masterminds behind the scenes who simplified the entire voting process via Google, which was new this year.
Awards Show is on November 5, 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Flemings, and is part of the #wehaevents, produced by WHMedia
Fleming’s is the 2018 presenting sponsor for the fourth annual Best of West Hartford awards night. Liz Kiyak and Bentley Torres from Fleming’s promise to make it a night to remember. All food and beverages will be prepared by Flemings, according to Kiyak. Torres said that the Fleming’s bar will be a cash bar but with a happy hour theme.
Wait until you see how the restaurant is transformed with a dazzling ice sculpture sponsored by Uber Dog, setting the mood for the awards to be handed out. Cheese board and vegetables are being provided by Crown Market and dessert is from Hartford Baking Company.
Parking is free for the night of the event via the Blue Back Square valet parking at 51 Isham Rd., (across from Barnes & Noble).
Event tickets should be purchased in advance as space is limited. Use this Eventbrite link. Ticket purchasing and the registration process has been streamlined by sponsor Andrew Moran, Merchant Solutions. There is also an option to buy raffle tickets in advance.
Experience We-Ha, KAOUD and Keating Insurance are introducing an innovative photo booth concept – “Mirror Mirror” – to the area.
As always, the BOWH event committee is keeping the winners a secret until the night of November 5th. (A complete list of finalists is included at the end of this article). Another big draw promises to be the raffle (to date valued at more than $3,000), with special thanks to committee chairs Charles Hilborn from Sheehan-Hilborn-Breen Funeral Home and Karen Fillian from EDENS. Some of the items already announced are:
- Home Design District, Various Home Improvement items, valued at $500 .
- Harvey and Lewis, Ray Ban Sunglasses, valued at $250.
- Jerry’s Artarama, $250 gift certificate.
- Artisan at Delamar, dinner for two, $100 value.
- Fifth Annual Best of West Hartford, 2019, Two (2) Tickets, $96.
- French Cleaners, $50 gift certificate.
- WeHaHA! Comedy Night, two (2) tickets, $40, Tuesday, Dec. 18, “Ugly Sweater” theme. At WOB, Blue Back Square.
- Taste of Bishops Corner, 2019: two (2) tickets, $50 value.
- Taste of Elmwood, two (2) tickets, $50 value.
- Taste of Blue Back Square & The Center 2019: two (2) tickets, $50.
- and much more…
A big surprise raffle item, courtesy of Elmwood Community Center, will be announced at the event. Beneficiaries of the raffle include all of the local business and neighborhood associations, including Bishops Corner Neighborhood Association, Elmwood Business Association, Park Road Association, Home Design District, West Hartford Center Business Association, and Blue Back Square.
The Fourth Annual BOWH host sponsors have many surprises for the guests. Thank you to Direct Line Media Productions and EDENS for the video presentation.
The Fourth Annual BOWH committee members include Matt Banever, Cheyney Barrieau, David Chmielewski, Amy Cholawa, Donna Edelstein, Todd Fairchild, Karen Fillian, Mark Hatch, Tom Hickey, Charles Hilborn, Leslie Iarusso, Ryan Keating, Liz Kiyak, Barbara Lerner, Jeff Lovanio, Renee McCue, Andrew Moran, Ronni Newton, Lisa Oster, Robyn Rifkin, Joy Taylor, and Bentley Torres.
#wehaevents sponsors are Blue Back Square, CCSU, Eagan Donohue Van Dyke & Falsey, French Cleaners, Robin Gebrian (Wm Raveis Real Estate), Marcum (formerly Filomeno CPA), Lux Bond & Green, Mercy Community Health and Sheehan Hilborn Breen Funeral Home. Other partners include: Jewish Ledger, Direct Line Media, Eat in CT, FLOW, Merchant Solutions, Roy Web Design, SnapSeat Photo Booths, T&T Sound, Taylor Rental Party Plus, Todd Fairchild/Shutter Bug CT, West Hartford Chamber of Commerce, West Hartford Press, West Hartford LIFE, West Hartford Magazine, Town of West Hartford, and Experience We-Ha.
Without further ado, here are the finalists in alphabetical order, for the 2018 Best of West Hartford. Winners will be revealed on Nov. 5!
|Preschool/Daycare||Lollipop Tree Nursery School|
|Preschool/Daycare||Mandell JCC, Beatrice Fox Auerbach Early Childhood Center|
|Preschool/Daycare||Saint Joseph School for Young Children|
|Camp||Renbrook School Summer Adventure|
|Bakery||Elmwood Pastry Shop|
|Bakery||Hartford Baking Co.|
|Breakfast Restaurant||Blue Plate Kitchen|
|Breakfast Restaurant||Effie’s Place Family Restaurant|
|Breakfast Restaurant||Quaker Diner|
|Coffee||J. René Coffee Roasters|
|Family Restaurant||A.C. Petersen Farms|
|Family Restaurant||Corner Pug|
|Family Restaurant||Effie’s Place|
|Fine Dining||Fleming’s Prime|
|Fine Dining||Max’s Oyster Bar|
|Grocery Store||A Dong|
|Grocery Store||Crown Market|
|Grocery Store||Hall’s Market|
|Ice Cream||A.C. Petersen Farms|
|Ice Cream||Abby Dabby TIED Milkcraft|
|Ice Cream||Ben & Jerry’s|
|Pizza||Harry’s Bishops Corner|
|Business Lunch||Max Oyster Bar|
|Business Lunch||Park & Oak Restaurant|
|Business Lunch||Restaurant Bricco|
|Wine Shop||Harvest Wine & Spirits|
|Wine Shop||Harvey’s Wine & Liquors|
|Wine Shop||The Wise Old Dog|
|Burger Restaurant||Corner Pug|
|Burger Restaurant||Max Burger|
|Burger Restaurant||Plan B|
|Ethnic Restaurant||Black Bamboo Chinese|
|Ethnic Restaurant||Bombay Olive|
|Exercise/Fitness||Mandell JCC Greater Hartford|
|Exercise/Fitness||Orange Theory Fitness|
|Hair Salon||Matthew Phillips|
|Hair Salon||Off Center Salon|
|Hair Salon||Salon Medusa|
|Barber Shop||Bristle & Blade|
|Barber Shop||Final Cuts Sports Barber|
|Spas||Body and Sole|
|Spas||Touch of Bliss|
|Yoga||West Hartford Yoga|
|Home Health Care||Companions for Living|
|Home Health Care||Jewish Family Services (JFS Care at Home)|
|Home Health Care||Juniper Homecare|
|Best Assisted Living||Court of St. James|
|Best Assisted Living||Hoffman Summerwood TIED Chatfield|
|Best Assisted Living||The McAuley|
|Lawn/Landscaping Contractor||Chenail Lawn Care|
|Lawn/Landscaping Contractor||Eco Turf|
|Lawn/Landscaping Contractor||Trout Brook Landscaping|
|Pet Services||Pet Supplies Plus|
|Pet Services||Woof Gang TIED Dogology|
|Pet Vets||CT Veterinary Center|
|Pet Vets||Petcare Vet Specialists|
|Pet Vets||Vet Specialists of CT|
|Real Estate Company||Coldwell Banker|
|Real Estate Company||HART Real Estate|
|Real Estate Company||William Raveis Real Estate|
|Wealth Management/Financial Planning||Charles Schwab|
|Wealth Management/Financial Planning||Northstar Wealth Management|
|Wealth Management/Financial Planning||Valerie Thomas TIED GYL Financial Synergies|
|Home Improvement Contractor||Bartlett Brainard|
|Home Improvement Contractor||Magee Companies|
|Home Improvement Contractor||McNally Home Improvement|
|Bank/Financial Institution||Farmington Bank|
|Bank/Financial Institution||KEY Bank|
|Bank/Financial Institution||Simsbury Bank|
|Garden/Florist||Lane & Lenge Florist|
|Garden/Florist||Moscarillo’s Garden Shoppe|
|Law Firm||Eagan, Donohue, Van Dyke & Falsey|
|Law Firm||Stanger Stanfield|
|Law Firm||Weinstein & Wisser|
|Entertainment||Playhouse on Park|
|Entertainment||West Hartford Symphony Orchestra|
|Happy Hour||Ocho Café|
|Happy Hour||World of Beer|
|Late Night Spot||Barcelona West Hartford|
|Late Night Spot||Grants|
|Late Night Spot||Vinted Wine Bar & Kitchen|
|Eye Wear||Dr. Neil W. Kemp|
|Eye Wear||Harvey & Lewis TIED Central Optica|
|Specialty Retail||Cookshop Plus|
|Specialty Retail||Penzeys Spices|
|Specialty Retail||Toy Chest|
|Gala (local event)||Children’s Charity Ball|
|Gala (local event)||Ron Foley Ron’s Run TIED Visions/Voice|
|Gala (local event)||The Children’s Museum “A Child’s World”|
|Fine Jewelry||Lux Bond & Green|
|Sports Retail||Fleet Feet|
|Sports Retail||Play it Again Sports|
|Men’s Local Retail||CT Custom Clothing|
|Men’s Local Retail||Daswani Clothiers|
|Men’s Local Retail||Jos A. Bank Clothiers|
|Women’s Local Retail||BK&Co.|
|Women’s Local Retail||Kimberly Boutique|
|Women’s Local Retail||Ooh La La Boutique|
|Home Décor||John Boyle Home Décor|
|Home Décor||Kaoud Oriental Rugs|
|Home Décor||Larsen ACE Hardware|
|Write In||Black Diamond Body Piercing/Tattoo|
|Write In||The Children’s Museum|
|Write In||White Rabbit|
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