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Savor the Flavor
of the East

Can’t decide if your taste buds are calling for Thai, Chinese, or Japanese? No matter, because at Han Asian Cuisine, you can enjoy them all — including a cutting-edge Sushi Bar Menu with all of the favorites and a few surprises. And variety isn’t the only thing at which this restaurant excels. Many entrees are gluten free. A full-service bar featuring all the expected wines, beers, and cocktails, as well as sake flights, is a fun place to gather with friends. Their seasonal patio makes actually dining out a delightful option. Lunch specials and take out are always offered. They are open every day. And, in keeping with Asian tradition, guests receive the kind of warm welcome that is second to none. Treat yourself soon. — J.H.
Han Asian Cuisine
10 Hartford Ave., Granby
860-413-9756
www.hangranby.com


This place is for
the birds.

And we mean that, literally — which is why bird lovers find Wild Birds Unlimited absolutely irresistible. From the foods that draw and nourish a delightful variety of feathered friends to one’s yard to the shelters and fountains and houses and baths they need for feeding and drinking and nesting and washing, Wild Birds Unlimited has it all. You’ll even find bat houses. (Hey. They might not be as pretty as birds, but they need a place to hang out, too!) And mindful of how much bird lovers like everything related to birds, they even offer a wonderful selection of flags and jewelry and clocks and knick knacks and puzzles and wind chimes and books ideal for any gift giving occasion. Love birds? Love someone who does? Then this is the place to land for some serious shopping. — J.H.
Wild Birds Unlimited
320 West Main St.
The Westridge Shops, Avon
860-677-0181
www.wbu.com/avonct




Yum’s the Word
When a guy named Reno, who just happens to be both an experienced restaurateur and one heck of a chef, opens a diner called Reno’s Drive-In on Route 44, which just happens to be decorated in true ‘50s style and serves an astoundingly affordable and amazingly awesome menu of great burgers and wings and sandwiches, fries and shakes (including the all-American hotdog in no less than four different ways), well…what else is there to say but “Yum.” And that makes Reno’s a perfect spot for an easy lunch, dinner with the kids, that afternoon snack, a bite before a movie, something filling after the game — even a children’s birthday party. And with grab & go and catering always available, Reno’s is a Valley favorite. Check it out. — J.H.
Reno’s Drive-In
228 Albany Tpke. (Route 44) Canton
860-693-0701
www.renosdrivein.com


Feets of Daring Do
OK, maybe that description is a little over the top. But repairing leather footwear isn’t as easy as it sounds or as easy as Avon Shoe Repair makes it look, what with all those soles to save every day. And that’s to say nothing of missing heels, popped stiches — and holes here, there, and everywhere. And footwear isn’t their only specialty. They also repair leather items of all kinds, including handbags and wallets, brief cases, belts, valises of all sorts and sizes — and yes, even leather coats and hats. Got a favorite leather whatever in need of some wear-and-tear care? This is the place to go. — J.H.
Avon Shoe Repair
37 E Main St., Avon
860-678-1978




The past is such a present.
A gift from years gone by — and in some cases centuries gone by. Well, such is the case with the Simsbury Historical Society, keeper of the town’s legacy for over 100 years itself. The Society’s historical buildings and sites, each of which are open to the public through guided tours offered at 1:00 and 2:30 p.m. every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, provide richly authentic glimpse into the region’s heritage. And with the Ellsworth Visitor Center and Museum Store welcoming visitors those same days from noon to 4:00 p.m., a visit there is an afternoon well spent. The archives are available by appointment, while special events, routinely offered, are listed on the Society’s website. Go back in time soon. — J.H.
Simsbury Historical Society
800 Hopmeadow St., Simsbury
860-658-2500
info@simsburyhistory.org




 

 

 

 


Talk About Painting the Town…
Set in one of Unionville’s historic factories, where the brick and glass and ceilings that soar have a way of inspiring, Scene Art Bar has not only introduced social painting to the Farmington Valley but the Farmington Valley to its own hidden talents. Of course, facing an empty canvas with a glass of wine or beer in one hand and a brush in the other might well be one of the least stressful creative challenges of all time, especially when you’re among friends — and being guided on by an art instructor adept at blending fun with cadmium red or cerulean blue. But that’s exactly as it should be for the first dates, girls-night-outers, baby shower guests, club crowds, and fundraising groups who arrive at Scene Art Bar looking for something new and fun to do. They even have special painting parties for kids — and their own summer Kidz Art Camp. Give it a try. — J.H.
Scene Art Bar
Upson Market Place
29 Mill St., Unionville
860-856-5880
www.sceneartbar.com

Putting the “Din” in Dinner
There’s only one place we know of where you are guaranteed actual sizzle with your meal, and that’s Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Fact is, Ruth’s Chris Steak House learned a long time ago that broiling the finest cuts of beef to perfection, topping them with a buttery mix of freshly chopped parsley, then serving them on a 500-degree plate so customers can actually hear the savory flavor isn’t simply the way to a man’s (or woman’s) heart. It’s the shortest route. And when they discovered that they could make chicken and chops and seafood deafeningly delectable, it sort of lit a fire under them — and before you knew it, Ruth’s became an international favorite. The good news is there’s one close by in Newington. Where? Just follow your ears. — J.H.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House
2513 Berlin Tpke., Newington
860-666-2202, www.ruthschris.com


There’s an old saying.

A good hostess knows when she is needed to cook — and when she is needed to do other stuff. OK. I made that up. But the truth is, if you are going to be entertaining more than a few family and friends for more than a small gathering, you might want to hand over that oven mitt to someone else so that you can tend to your guests. And when you do, you should make a beeline to The Bee’s Knees Catering. The Bee’s Knees has been handling wedding and special private events since 2004 — their signature style including tasting menus, tapas style meals, and stations all the way up to formal sit-down dinners, with everything fresh, cooked in-house, and served with flair. Want to taste a sliver before buying the cake? Visit the Bees Knees Café for lunch or brunch Monday through Saturday and see for yourself. — J.H.
The Bee’s Knees
29 Waterville Rd., Avon
860-470-5955
www.bzknees.com

….aaaaaand action!
Long established as one of the “Top 10 Coolest Small Towns in America,” Collinsville gets just a little cooler when the Collinsville Film Festival welcomes independent filmmakers for its annual three-day celebration of “cinematic visions, approaches and perspectives” — as well as those for whom the multimedia arts is a passion. Generously sponsored by a host of local artists and shops, eateries and bistros, as well as many other local businesses — large and small, the film festival gives residents of the Farmington Valley and beyond something uniquely special to look forward to even before the Spring begins her virtuoso performance. And this year’s curtain goes up on March 31st and down on April 1st, so plan ahead. This is not an event to be missed. — J.H.
The Collinsville Film Festival
www.collinsvillefilmfestival.com




 

 

 

 

 

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