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July 23, 2019  |  

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Photograph courtesy of Artisan

Photograph courtesy of Artisan )

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Artisan’s hand-crafted menu is available year-round. Photograph courtesy of Artisan.

Artisan’s hand-crafted menu is available year-round. Photograph courtesy of Artisan. )

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Artisan’s hand-crafted menu is available year-round. Photograph courtesy of Artisan.

Artisan’s hand-crafted menu is available year-round. Photograph courtesy of Artisan. )

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In summer, the West Hartford restaurant boats an outdoor space where guests can dine among gardens and enjoy a glass of rosé. Photograph courtesy of Artisan.

In summer, the West Hartford restaurant boats an outdoor space where guests can dine among gardens and enjoy a glass of rosé. Photograph courtesy of Artisan. )

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In summer, the West Hartford restaurant boats an outdoor space where guests can dine among gardens and enjoy a glass of rosé. Photograph courtesy of Artisan.

In summer, the West Hartford restaurant boats an outdoor space where guests can dine among gardens and enjoy a glass of rosé. Photograph courtesy of Artisan. )

It’s All Coming Up Rosés

Published Jun 19, 2019 • Last Updated 02:02 pm, June 19, 2019

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When it comes to choosing the perfect wine to enjoy outdoors on a summer day, there's not much better than a chilled glass of rosé...except where you are enjoying it. There are several places in the area where you can not only enjoy this summer staple but be transported to a fairytale like setting.

Artisan

1 Memorial Road
West Hartford
artisanwesthartford.com
860-937-2525

Guests can enjoy Artisan's hand-crafted menu all year long, but in the summer, guests can be transported to what seems like another world.  The West Hartford restaurant boasts an outdoor space where guests can dine among gardens and enjoy a glass of rosé or a craft cocktail at the outdoor bar.

The outdoor space begins just off the restaurant with a 1,500 square-foot shaded pergola is lit by mason jar pendant lights. During the warmer months, ceiling fans offer guests a cooling breeze and table lanterns add to the ambiance.

Beyond the pergola is the patio, which is surrounded by raised bed gardens full of colorful flowers, herbs, fruits, and vegetables where many of the menu's ingredients are sourced from. Globe lanterns crafted from natural willow branches adorn the branches of the trees.

"Garden parties are an Artisan summer tradition," says Hicham Ammaou, director of operations at Artisan. "The bubbling fountain and well-curated summer playlist or live music beckon patrons to the garden-enclosed patio. Bees drunk from nectar and butterflies float among the flowers that serve as the backdrop to the outdoor bar. Light fare and casual conversation weave their way through our lounging couches. Our garden parties are an open invitation to celebrate all that the season has to offer."

The menu at Artisan focuses on farm-fresh ingredients, as well as those sourced from the on-site raised bed copper gardens. Chef Frederic Kieffer builds his menu around items sourced from environmentally sound practices and with a focus on farm-fresh, in-season ingredients.

When it came to putting a rosé on the menu, Artisan worked with a boutique wine company to source a rosé from the Côtes de Provence region of France, crafting a dry rosé primarily comprised of Grenache and finished with 30 percent Cinsault and 10 percent Syrah.

"Artisan offers quite a few dishes that have a Mediterranean flair, which perfectly complements our new rosé," Olivier Bermond, the restaurant's resident wine expert, says. "We are excited to enhance the dining experience of all of our guests. It is representative of the Artisan aesthetic in color and consistency."

This summer, guests can enjoy rosé specials on Saturday afternoons when rosé is featured along with a special. There are also plans for Rosé and Croquet afternoon event. Ammaou is especially excited about pairing Artisan's rosé with summer menu items such as chilled shrimp cocktail, tuna crudo, or the cioppino.

"The fresh, almost effervescent pale, salmon pink blend from La Cave du Luc is extremely versatile, making it a perfect fit for Artisan and its offerings from land, sea, and mill," says Ammaou. "This wine is a perfect complement to our summer menu and our garden atmosphere."

Bee & Thistle Inn & Lounge

100 Lyme St., Old Lyme
beeandthistleinn.com
860-434-1667

While the Bee & Thistle Inn is open year-round, the experience is taken to another level in the summer months as the inn's 5 1/2 acres of grounds are open to those dining at the restaurant. Throughout the grounds, which face the Lieutenant River, visitors are invited to meander along pathways under black walnut and chestnut trees, past an herb garden or butterfly garden, and see the sculptures throughout the grounds. Guests are welcome to stop by the bar for a glass of rosé or cocktail to take along while strolling the grounds.

"As long as we're open, every inch of our grounds is open to the public and the whole place has a romantic feel to it," says Amanda Sullivan, marketing coordinator. "Our grounds are very green, and there's a swing that faces the river hanging from the walnut tree. People who are here for dinner really enjoy the space outside. During sunset and dusk, it's absolutely gorgeous out there."

In addition to enjoying the picturesque grounds, guests can compete in a game of boules, a French yard game similar to bocce. The innkeeper, David Rufo, and his fiancee, Sheila Blomquist, are avid boules players and are part of a league. The boules court is open for public enjoyment.

"We have a regulation boules court on the back property where guests can stop by and play anytime," says Tosh Urbowicz, the general manager at the Bee and Thistle Inn. "If guests want to play boules, please call in advance so we have the boules and cochenet ready for you."

What was once another boules court has been transformed into a sunken English garden that is entered by walking through a gate, down a pathway lined with shrubs, flowers, and other plants, and under an archway blooming with seasonal flowers. Down the steps, dining tables and lounge furniture are surrounded by plants and flowers with bistro lighting hanging overhead. The tables are illuminated by candles and lanterns.

During the summer months, guests can dine outdoors in the garden from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday night. On Wednesdays and Sundays, live acoustic music adds to the ambiance. While sitting in the sunken English garden, guests can enjoy a glass of one of the Bee & Thistle Inn's two rosé selections.

"Opposite of red, rosé wines are best to be drunk within two years of vintage," says Jackie Appleby, the bar manager at the inn. "Rosé wines are easy to drink. They should be light in body for summer air can be heavy on its own."

Rosé selections at the Bee & Thistle Inn include Louis Jadot 2017 from Burgundy, France, which uses a variety of Gamay grapes from Beaujolais, and Diamarine 2018 from Provence, France, consisting of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah grapes.

"With the Louis Jadot, you cannot help and notice its brilliant and shiny pink tone," Appleby says. "At first taste, you reap all the fruity flavors and raspberry character while maintaining a semi to dry taste. This wine drinks with ease and does not disturb your mouths pallet allowing you to enjoy all the tastes of summer foods. This wine has a long but pleasant finish.

"The Diamarine is a fascinating salmon pink and the taste is crisp, citrus, and smooth melon swirls on your pallet," adds Appleby. "This wine is very easy to drink, very light, as well as thirst-quenching for hot summer days."

 





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