Guests at the inaugural event sampled delicious fare from 14 Blue Back Square and West Hartford Center restaurants, and also enjoyed jazz music, massages, and discounted merchandise at several area specialty shops.
By Ronni Newton
Many of West Hartford’s premier restaurants showcased their signature dishes at the inaugural Taste of Blue Back Square & The Center, held Wednesday in the REI parking lot in Blue Back Square.
Savory fare for the summer evening included a variety of sliders/sandwiches – pulled pork, crab cakes, brats, steak – as well as pastas, bruschetta and meatballs. NoRA’s rainbow collection of cupcakes were devoured before the evening ended.
Many guests were excited for a preview of the Cook and the Bear’s menu, which was prepared and served by Ed Jones, who has been hired as executive chef for the restaurant that will open in September. The barbecue received a resounding thumbs-up from those who got a taste before hungry guests coming back for seconds devoured it.
The event was about more than just eating, with several specialty shops – Ooh La La Boutique, Eyeglasses.com, Ten Thousand Villages, The Green Teahouse, West Elm, Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming, and BK&Co. offering discounts on merchandise to shoppers with “Taste of” wristbands.
Those wristband privileges didn’t end with the event! Blue Back Square is offering free valet parking throughout the weekend for those who present their taste of Blue Back Square & The Center wristbands.
A portion of the proceeds from the event were donated to the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society. Donations made at the very popular Jean Machine van – where $10 got you a pair of trendy jeans (or six pair for a $50 donation) all went to the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society, too.
A jazz trio – Ross Tucker and the Hot Cat Jazz Band – provided the perfect ambiance for a warm summer night. Guests also kept entertained at a huge Scrabble game that Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society volunteers brought.
Many took advantage of facials and chair massages courtesy of Spa Soli, or posed for easily-sharable photos in SnapSeat’s state-of-the-art photo booth in front of a specially-made step and repeat banner.
Guests also received swag bags, and had a chance to win raffle prizes that included a night on the town with Premier Limousine and gift cards from West Hartford Center and Blue Back Square merchants and restaurants.
Taste of Blue Back Square and The Center was sponsored by BNY Mellon; Becker’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry; Eagan, Donohue, Van Dyke & Falsey ; and Robert Levine for State Rep. – who was in attendance handing out water.
Special thanks also go to Merchant Solutions, Taylor Rental Party Plus, First Church West Hartford, Spa Soli, Town of West Hartford, and the West Hartford Chamber of Commerce.
Media Sponsors include Connecticut Jewish Ledger, Eat in Connecticut, iHeartRadio, Turl
A special shout out also goes to Sebby and the Blue Back Square maintenance crew for preparing the area and keeping it clean!
Taste of Blue Back Square & The Center was the third “Taste of” this year (Elmwood was in February and Bishops Corner was in April) – and the cycle of West Hartford neighborhoods will be completed with Taste of Park Road this September. Look for details coming very soon.
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