Tonight I attended, on a whim, a local chamber of commerce event at the beautiful Waterview in Monroe. I’ve often seen this venue from the boat on Lake Zoar, so it was a nice opportunity to see it from the inside out.
The event was the Chili Cook Off & Wing Fling. This means, of course, that there were wings and chili as well as lots of beer tastings and at least one liqueur table. I went to the liqueur table as I don’t drink beer. I’ll touch on that too.
- “Smoked Brisket” from Butcher’s Best in Newtown, CT – This is my favorite of the night. Lots of layers of flavor. Really tender brisket – about what you’d expect from a locally sourced outfit – it did NOT disappoint.
- “Chili Con Tankerous” from Firehouse Grill – generous helping, which must have been why there was such a long line. But that was the only thing good about this chili. OMG did it taste of vinegar. I tried giving it a second bite – but sadly, this went into the bin. A chili fling – but I don’t think that was the point, guys.
- “Fall Harvest Chili” from the Foundry in Sandy Hook, CT – really nice flavor. I would almost be predisposed to not liking a chili that had butternut squash in it (don’t cry, Texans). But it was good. Hard to call it chili. But I might order this when I go there next.
- “Snake Bite” from Sal e Pepe in Newtown, CT – almost knocked out the one from Butcher’s Best. It was very close. Delicious, and they added a dash of presentation, with crumbled Frito-like topping and piped creme sauce on top which I think had horseradish in it. I would definitely order this. And they were kind enough to give out a card for a free appetizer. Done. Well, soon.
- “Turkey Chili” from Tambascio’s of Newtown, CT – a turkey. Sorry, folks.
- “Tavern Chili” from the Tavern of Monroe, CT – It was passable. Nothing special. It tasted like a huge amount of liquid smoke had been added to it. Sad.
- “Tres Amigos” from Vazzy’s Osteria in Monroe, CT – didn’t even see this table. Were they there?
- “Spicy Balsamic” from Butcher’s Best in Newtown, CT – Just meh. Surprised at that since the chili was ahhhmazing. It actually tasted a little undercooked. And yes, I flinged it, into the bin. Once again, NOT the idea.
- “Hot Honey Tamale” from Firehouse Grill – generous helping, but it looked so MESSY that I passed after the terrible chili. I had enough to balance without getting that all over me.
- “Truffle Parmesan” from Tavern 1757 in Seymour, CT. Wing ecstasy. A gourmet delight. Who knew you could actually elevate a chicken wing. Bravo!
- “Wing in the Road” from The Meeting House in Bethel, CT. I wish it was better. I heard Chef describing it with raspberry and parsley and… sadly I didn’t taste any of that. It was tiny and sticky and one note of bland flavor. I’ve heard good things about this chef. Sadly it did not make any impression at all.
- “Honey Blues” from Wing It On of Waterbury and Bridgeport (coming soon). Your standard fare of a buffalo-style chicken wing. I have to say it was very good. I could have a plate of these and not be unhappy at all.
- Wild Moon Liqueurs from Hartford Flavor Company of Hartford, CT. What a refreshing delight. I could see myself having a warmed snifter of the Cranberry and/or Chai Spice liqueurs by the firelight. I think the concept of botanically-infused liqueurs is very intriguing. Here is an article about the company if you want more information: http://www.courant.com/features/food/hc-hartford-flavor-company-0924-20150918-story.html.
And that’s it! I thought there was supposed to be another liqueur vendor there – but either I missed them or they skipped the event.
All in all it was a pleasant evening. I would have liked it even more if it was sponsoring a charity of some sort, such as the Wild Wine Safari at the Beardsley Zoo – but I guess the Chamber was the recipient here. P.S. Hey, Newtown – Monroe was the only name on the signs inside the building. Somebody was taking all the credit. Bwah Ha Ha. Next year, I’m hoping my husband isn’t in Dubai UAE on the night in question so I’d have a date! But then again, you probably wouldn’t get such a detailed review from me either.