A New Haven Sleepover
After 19 years of child-rearing, my husband and I are just waking up to the fact that we can actually GO places and DO things on the spur of the moment. While we’re both a bit heartbroken about our baby fleeing the nest, we’ve decided to make the best of it by planning teeny getaways. And our first was an overnight in New Haven. Yes, it’s only forty minutes away, but what’s better than an instant vacation? And sometimes you just have to get out of dodge.
First stop, The Study. I’ve rhapsodized about The Study before (I checked in for an overnight when they opened), but it was delightful to be back. And lucky for us, we were upgraded to a king suite. I’m up early and raring to go, so while Joe snoozed I crunched away in the cozy “library” and gazed out over the slate rooftops of Yale. We’ve enjoyed Heirloom, the in-house restaurant many times, so we skipped it this trip to try some new spots, but you shouldn’t. Chef Carey Savona’s locally-sourced cuisine is consistently innovative and excellent. Read what I had to say about Heirloom here and see some Heirloom food porn (plus recipes) here.
We snagged an early reservation at Tarry Lodge, Mario Batali’s new pizza and pasta place on Park Street. And lucky we did, because the room was packed, with a line out the door by 6pm. Pizza is a big draw here – a wood fired oven churns out fresh pies in 90 second intervals, and yes, they are awesomely good. But what won me over was a simple plate of whole branzino, filleted (nary a bone) and offered up with grilled fennel and lemon jam. A mountain of shaved kale studded with pomegranate seeds and tossed with pistachio vinaigrette was an inspired combo, but be forewarned, it’s plenty for two. And who can resist a sausage, pepper and onion sub, elevated here with entirely housemade ingredients? Not us. We did not save room for dessert but ordered it anyhow, and you must, too. Do NOT miss the ice cream sundae: soft custard in a Valrhona chocolate and olive oil twist topped with amarena cherries and syrup. On week one, we were charmed by the astonishingly good service and well-trained team, and a general feeling of abbondanza. Make reservations. www.tarrylodge.com
Breakfast doesn’t give a restaurant a fair shake but I’ve been dying to eat at Roia, so we headed over on Sunday morning. We ogled the glamorous room over cappuccino, homemade granola, turkey sausages and crispy rosti potatoes. Once the ballroom of the old Taft Hotel, the space is downright gorgeous, with original marble floors and elaborate moldings preserved. We’ll be back for dinner to try their fresh take on Mediterranean cuisine. roiarestaurant.com
If you’re feeling peckish in the afternoon, stop by The Ordinary. The brothers behind Caseus rescued this landmark (once the saloon at The Taft) and retained the original Gothic bar and wood panelling. It was a cozy spot on a chilly afternoon and we cheered ourselves with gooey grilled cheese and hard cider. Hipsters, prepsters and professors were happily noshing on charcuterie and cheese plates or sandwiches piled high with pulled pork or grass fed brisket. ordinarynewhaven.com
This Belgian hangout is a good stop for a pick-me-up after shopping Broadway. I tried but failed to coerce my husband into a Belgian waffle (after grilled cheese? Okay, next time). Along with baguette sandwiches, croques, salads and plenty of vegan options, you can treat yourself to a teeny frangipani tart or mini eclair. You know me and my fondness for miniature foodstuffs! www.mm-yale.com
Sometimes a girl just needs a piece of chocolate (and perhaps a glass of wine). If that’s the case, head straight to Chocolat Maya, a chocolate and wine bar on High Street and sample a rosemary caramel, tangerine ancho chili or strawberry balsamic heart, from the selection of Knipschildt Chocolatier’s award-winning treats (considered one of the best chocolatier’s in the world!). Half-price prohibition-era inspired cocktails from 5 – 7pm. Talk about happy hour! Find Chocolat Maya on Facebook.
Still hungry? Insomnia Cookies will deliver a dozen chocolate chips (or any other variety) to your hotel room.
Next time: We ran out of steam and appetite but…over 24 wines are offered by the glass along with small plates at the new Harvest Wine Bar on Chapel Street. And fans of Ibiza will love Olea, a chic new Spanish spot with chef Manuel Romero at the helm.
Yale Art Gallery
It would be a cinch to spend the entire day wandering the renovated Yale Art Gallery, but we had only a couple of hours to eyeball works by LeWitt, Warhol, Rothko, Picasso, Miro, Kandinsky, Kline and many, many more in the Modern and Contemporary Galleries. What a gem of a museum to have in our midst and best of all, it’s FREE. Save the date for a family program on 12/14: Stories and Art.
New Haven is our go-to for mother/daughter shopping. Urban Outfitters, American Apparel and J. Crew can keep my daughter entertained for hours, while the independent boutiques on Chapel Street have plenty of goodies for me. And we both love Atticus Books and the Apple store! Even my shopping-averse husband was distracted by the unusual assortment of American and European designers at Raggs, a modern men’s haberdashery with old-school service. Celebrate Raggs 30th anniversary on November 22nd and take 19.84% off full-priced items. raggsnewhaven.com
A Rundown of Chapel Street
Idiom has been a mainstay on the New Haven fashion scene for nine years now, but it gets better and better. Owner Kimberly Pedrick continually seeks out new designers to augment staple collections like Eileen Fischer, Lisette, Ella Moss and Yoga Jeans. The Brooklyn-made Karina dresses are a find, in stretchy prints and smartly styled to fit (as Karina’s tag line says) Every-Body at $158. For the holidays, Kimberly’s gem of a jewelry store-next-door is stocked up with a carefully edited but large selection of jewelry designers including these well-priced goodies from Sonia Renee at $68. It’s a fabulous one stop holiday shop. Shop online here.
Hello Boutique’s unusual European lines and architectural shapes please the woman who wants to stand out from the crowd and the staff here is well versed in the nuances of the collections. Standouts for me are Margaret O’Leary sweaters, super stretchy Stella Carakasi leggings and Catherine Andre’s proprietary prints. A stunning selection of scarves rounds out the mix. Visit Hello Boutique’s online shop here.
Derek Simpson Goldsmith’s elegant jewelry shop belies the prices to be found there. I was surprised to discover that most of the handmade earrings and necklaces of semi-precious stones, sterling and natural pearl are well under $200. Good to know: it’s the New Haven destination for handcrafted engagement and wedding rings. Find Derek Simpson on Facebook.
Wave Gallery is always a good holiday stop, with a strong selection of American crafted glass and ceramics, designer and artisan jewelry, and lots and lots of chocolate. www.wave-gallery-gifts.com
Looking forward to checking out these new shops opening in November: Barbour – 27 Broadway; Emporium DNA – 1 Broadway; Extra Virgin Oil Store – 1020 Chapel Street; Kiko Milano – 11 Broadway; and Lou Lou – 23 Broadway;
Upcoming New Haven Holiday Events:
I already snagged tickets to Angelique Kidjo at Woolsey Hall on 12/6/14. CANNOT wait!
A Christmas Carol and The Nutcracker at The Shubert
Celebration of American Crafts at The Creative Arts Workshop thru December 24, 2014
Holiday Haven – A Handmade and Vintage Holiday Market
New Haven Symphony’s Messiah on December 18th.
Holiday Bazaar at Trinity Church, 11/20 – 11/23/14
From Clocks to Lollipops: Made in New Haven at The New Haven Museum
City Seed’s Worcester Square and Edgewood Farmers’ Markets continue through December. Click here for info.
Taste of New Haven presents Food and Drink Tours throughout the holiday season.
Yale Peabody Museum Holiday Shopping Event on 12/5/14. 10% off (20% with coupon) and free gift wrapping.
The Shops at Yale sponsor Santa Visits, The Connecticut Yuletide Carolers, a Holiday Gift Wrapping Lounge and more. Click here for info.
We also like: Zinc, Union League, Caseus, 116 Crown, Shake Shack, Claire’s cornercopia, the Cafe at Atticus Bookstore
Next time: Olea, the Harvest Wine Bar