Experience Local Agriculture

Wine, Dine and Cuddle

buyCTgrowns Valentine's Guide

buyCTgrown's Guide to keeping the LOVE local! Looking for ideas for places to eat, or places to find wine, flowers or sweets for your sweetie this Valentine's Day?  We're here to help! 

Chocolate


Thorncrest Farm & Milk House Chocolate - Goshen, CT

You might have heard of CT's Chocolate Trail, but one stop not to miss is Thorncrest Farm and Milk House Chocolates.  Located in northwest, CT in the picturesque town of Goshen, Thorncrest Farm and Milk House Chocolate uses milk from their own small-breed Jersey cows in the decadent chocolate that they produce.  Get out for a drive this weekend and visit Milk House Chocolate Shoppe and enjoy everything from Butter and Sea Salt Caramels to Truffles.  The Shoppe, that normally operates from Friday - Sunday, is open everyday the week leading up to Valentines Day (Feb. 10th-16th).  If you can't make it out for the experience, you can always give these mouthwatering chocolates a try by ordering them online.  

For more on Thorncrest Farm and Milk House Chocolates check out our feature on them this month in our Food and Goods section.

 

Flowers


Roses for Autism - Guilford, CT

Why buy anything other than local when it also supports an organization that works to employ young individuals with Autism? Roses for Autism is an award winning non-profit based in Guilford that grows and sell roses and other fresh cut flowers.   Visitors can pull up to the farm retail store 6 days a week and watch their operation in action.  Arrangements can be custom made based on the customers' needs and desire.  A suggested ordering date of Feb. 5th is recommended for red roses.  But don't fret, even if you procrastinate, Roses for Autism always has beautiful arrangements for their customers.

 

Wine

The team here at buyCTgrown agrees cozying near a fireplace with your CT Wool Blanket, glass of wine and chocolates equates to a  romantic wintry night.  That's why we asked a few local wineries about their wines fit for the occasion!  Although some of the wineries we spoke to are closed for the season, many across the state are open to celebrate and are offering Valentine's Wine Tastings.

Taylor Brook Winery - Woodstock, CT

Tucked away in the scenic rolling hills of northeastern Connecticut, Taylor Brook Winery, although closed for the season, will be open for wine tastings the weekend of and prior to Valentines Day.  You can also find their wine at one of these stores.

Wines Fit for Cuddling - Taylor Brook Ports
Chocolate Essence - Chocolate infused merlot port! The strong chocolate on the nose, the fruity complexity (raspberries and cherries) of the merlot port and a long, chocolate finish is everything you want after a lovely dinner or just sitting in the hot tub. This truly special wine is "dessert in a glass."

Raspberry Rendezvous - Intensely aromatic, this 100% Raspberry port-style dessert explodes with fresh fruit and will warm you to the tips of your toes. Pairs well with anything chocolate or your favorite cheesecake.

Not to be missed
Taylor Brook Winery teamed up with Taylors Corner B&B for their Vintage Valentine Package. The package includes a weekend by the fire with food, wine and chocolate.  Dinner is prepared by Working Girl Catering and co-hosted by Taylor Brooke Winery.

 

Bishop's Orchard - Guilford, CT

Bishop's Orchards Winery is part of the CT Coast & Country Winter Wine Trail and is open for wine tasting 7 days a week.  If you can't make it out to Bishops Orchards, Stew Leonards in Newington also carries their wine.

Wines Fit for Cuddling - Bishop Orchards Sparkling and Ice-style wine
Rubus Nightfall - A sparkling raspberry wine with unbelievable flavor and vibrant red color. Scintillating, sparkling stars, close friends and petite bubbles combine for a perfect evening of sharing. An excellent alternative to champagne. Gold Medal at 2013 Grand Harvest Awards

Adam's Apple - An ice-style wine, the apple cider base was frozen cyro-extracted to concentrate the amazing apple flavors. This extract was used to make one of most elegant and sophisticated wines. Adam's Apple is a rich and complex, bursting with apple flavors and sweetness.

Not to be missed 
February 14th & 15th Bishop's Orchard will be having our "All you need is love... and CHOCOLATE" themed wine tasting.  Discover delicious chocolate and wine pairings to bring home to your loved ones. Grab some of our Chocolate Covered Strawberries or make some of your own!
 

White Silo Farm and Winery - Sherman, CT

White Silo Winery is a small specialty winery nested in the Litchfield Hills. The Winery is housed in the 19th century dairy barn and has been producing wines for 8 years.  The winery creates both a dry and a semi-sweet version of wines made from their own grown fruit.   White Silo Winery is closed for the season but their wines can be purchased at these stores.

Wines Fit for Cuddling - Sparkling and Black Currant

Red Raspberry   fruity, semi-dry sparkling red raspberry. Made from fresh raspberries. Pairs well with chocolate.
Cassis   A Black Currant wine with a light garnet color, soft with notes of black currant, plum and a hint of raspberry.  Combine with Westford Hills Organic Rime Vodka for a Black Current Martini!

Not to be missed
White Silo is open on February 28th for White Silo Farm's  Annual Hot Chocolate Festival

 

Dine

We thought about it, and we decided, this is top ten list we'd give our best friend if they asked us for CT's most romantic farm to fork restaurants. 

Arethusa Al'tovolio - Bantam, CT

Located in what was the Village General store, Arethusa al tavolo Restaurant prides itself on exclusively using the farm’s dairy products and for procuring only the finest products for its daily menu.

River Tavern - Chester, CT

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Steps away from the CT River and located in the quaint town of Chester, the River Tavern is a 10% partner and home to Chef Jonathan Rapp, creator and co-founder of the acclaimed Dinners at The Farm.  River Tavern is not to be missed for culinary masterpieces inspired by cuisines across the globe.

Copper Beech Inn - Ivoryton, CT

Tucked away in the beautiful Connecticut River Valley, the Copper Beech Inn is a romantic getaway that provides a relaxed, timeless experience and award winning French cuisine.

Winvian - Morris, CT

Valentines Dinner
Touted as one of Connecticut's most acclaimed restaurant, Winvian’s multi-course fine dining menu changes "almost daily; with the seasons, the ever-evolving gardens, even the patterns of the weather."

Basta Trattoria - New Haven, CT

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A sweet little gem in downtown New Haven known for its suburb dishes that use the freshest organic and sustainable ingredients.  We can't think of anything better than a candle lit dinner with all of your favorite Italian comfort food.   Don't miss out on their Valentine's  theme with with handmade, heart-shaped, Lobster Ravioli & Roasted Organic Beet Slices.

Roia - New Haven, CT

Valentine's menu
ROÌA is housed in what was originally the grand restaurant of the historic Taft Hotel built in 1912. The charm and grandeur of this architectural gem have been restored to create a setting where you can enjoy great food and great company. 

La Belle Aurore - Niantic, CT

Valentine's menu
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A chef owned and operated 44 seat American bistro is a Farm to Table just yards away from the CT shoreline.  La Belle Aurore, are 10% partners and true advocates of the buy local movement; their menu changes monthly, reflecting the freshest local ingredients available.

Chestnut Grill at the Bee and Thistle Inn -  Old Lyme, CT

Valentine's Menu
Bee and Thistle sits nestled on five acres bordering the Lieutenant River, in the township of Old Lyme.  With their acclaimed cuisine, two fire places and cozy dining on their enclosed wrap around porch, the Chestnut Grill does not disappoint.

Max's Oyster Bar - West Hartford, CT

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Featuring modern renditions of classic American seafood, Max’s Oyster Bar, one of our 10% partners,  is a perfect choice for a romantic evening close to the city lights.

Le Farm - Westport, CT

Le Farm is a cozy American bistro with a farm house feel known for its seasonal & locally sourced dishes.  They promise a dinner that is meticulously sourced and simply prepared and support farms including 10% Partners such as the Hickories and Sport Hill Farm.