West Hartford chef Lindsay Perkins is Connecticut through and through. Having honed her baking skills at Truffles Bakery and Kitchen in Farmington, the Wethersfield native now teaches children and adults how to cook through her Hartford-based Lindsay Culinary, LLC. Here, she shares her go-to spots for breakfast, dessert and more.
Breakfast at Heirloom Market at Comstock Ferre in Old Wethersfield, CT
My order is always the bacon, egg and cheese on a homemade buttermilk biscuit with maple sriracha; a freshly baked pastry of the day; a “Red Juice” (freshly pressed beets, citrus, fresh ginger, carrot and apple); and a nonfat latte with two raw sugars. Eat outside in the warmer months, or inside in the wonderfully rustic Comstock Ferre building, the oldest, continually run retail seed store in the country. End your excursion by taking a picturesque walk down Main Street and get transported back into colonial times as you stroll by the beautiful period homes, museums and shops.
Lunch at ARTISAN Restaurant in West Hartford, CT
The newly opened restaurant is located in the boutique Delamar Hotel in West Hartford’s Blue Back Square entertainment district, with a sister location in Southport, CT. Go for a leisurely lunch and sit outside amid the lovely garden; the freshly picked herbs and veggies will no doubt end up on your plate.
Cocktails at Max Downtown in Hartford, CT
Our capital city’s crown jewel, Max Downtown, is the place to “see and be seen” before an evening at The Bushnell Center for Performing Arts (Hamilton is coming in December), the XL Center before a concert or a UConn basketball game. Sip on a Mulberry Basil Collins in the newly redesigned whiskey bar as you gaze up at the wine mezzanine that stores their expansive wine collection. The steaks and seafood are legendary, but be sure to save room for dessert—my favorite is the individual baked Alaska, a delicious classic.
Fine Dining at Eleven Madison Park in NYC
I have had the pleasure of eating at Eleven Madison Park two times, including a tasting menu in 2016 (before the redesign) that lasted four wonderful hours. The food was innovative, delicate, personal; the service was impeccable, warm, and not stuffy in the least. If you choose to pair your meal with wines, prepare for questions from the sommelier like, “Would you like to explore traditional Italian varietals or be surprised with wines from off-the-beaten path?” Say “off-the-beaten-path.”
Dessert at Mozzicato’s Bakery & Pastry Shop in Hartford, CT
My absolute favorite, favorite, place to go for dessert! I get a big box of pastries that I pick out from their impressive wall of bakery cases packed with Italian favorites like tiramisu, cannoli, cream puffs, éclairs, beautiful individual sized cakes and sweets filled with ricotta, vanilla, or chocolate cream. The Nutella ricotta pie is served by the slice; I always get a full-size one for Easter. Get a loaf of Italian bread or slice of pizza, or sip on espresso in The Caffe attached.
Shopping at Cookshop Plus in West Hartford, CT
Located in West Hartford Center, Cookshop Plus is a family-owned culinary gold mine for the professional or home cook. With a tremendous inventory of appliances, cookware and chefs tools and the largest assortment of sprinkles, cake pans, cookie cutters and decorating supplies I have ever seen! They offer cooking classes, on-site knife sharpening, and in-store tastings on the weekends featuring locally made products. It’s my go-to when I’m looking for the perfect hostess gift, cake supplies, or when I just want to poke around and be inspired.