The Sound of Light
Think there’s no such thing? Well, just up the road in New Hartford is The Autumn Light Studio and Gallery, featuring stained glass by Christopher Hayes and other gifted regional and national artists. And if you go, stand quietly, and listen, you’ll hear it. The soft “ahhhhhhhhh” whispered at the beauty of a particular piece — or the gentle gasp of air as someone’s breathe is literally taken away by another. Indeed, the boxes and panels and lamps on display are so stunning, they make light itself sing. And if stained glass isn’t your thing, go anyway, because also on display are the works of other fine artisans, including metal and wood craft, jewelry, blown and fused glass, pottery, and fabric art – and they elicit their own murmurs of appreciation. Classes and workshops are a bonus. — J.H.
The Autumn Light
Studio & Gallery
37 Greenwoods Rd., New Hartford

Saluting Sumptuous Salubriousness
Yeah. I know. That’s quite a mouthful. But “sumptuously salubrious” are the only words inspired enough to adequately describe the soups, salads, sandwiches, juices and desserts at The Sweet Beet — where every bite isn’t simply delicious but 100% vegan, gluten free, organic/non GMO, soy- and peanut-free every day. Indeed, these may well be the healthiest delectables you’ll ever taste. And that’s not all. This little gem also features “prepared eats,” which they are happy to heat so you can take them with you ready to enjoy...a mini cupcake they call “Sweeties” that’s just right for dessert or a snack…as well as full-size cupcakes and cakes you can order ahead for special occasions — and you can’t beet that.
— J.H.
The Sweet Beet
498 Salmon Brook St., Granby
860-653-BEET (2338)

Our Miracle in
the Field

Years ago, I had a little dog who was spoiled, (OK, very spoiled), and one day, he began limping about, looking as pitiful as he could manage. Not entirely convinced that anything major was wrong, I thought I’d see how things were the next day — but when morning came and he was still limping, his pitiful countenance having progressed to pathetic, I called our vet and off we went. Delighted to be on some sort of adventure, he perked right up — and when we arrived, he headed right off toward the field nearby for his normal piddle. But you know, somewhere along the way, he worked out not only where we were but why, and by the time we returned from that field, a miracle had occurred. His limp was gone. Indeed, after a reassuring once over by our wonderful vet, home we went. The point of this little “tail?” Pets need more than a loving owner. They need a great vet who knows and cares about them both, and around here, Dr. Dan, the new owner of Farmington Animal Hospital, is a good bet. In addition to having great client services that include wellness visits, emergency care, on-site ultrasound and lab facilities, boarding, daycare, and professional grooming, he is “Fear Free” certified — a credential you’ll appreciate almost as much as his years of training and experience. And he plans for the whole hospital to become certified, too — and that’s better than a good belly scratch. — J.H.
Farmington Animal Hospital
204 Farmington Ave., Farmington

Sure. You think you know the drill.
Then along comes a dental practice with all sorts of new-fangled options for making you look and feel awesome, and it’s time to take a good long look in the mirror. Literally. Well, Salmon Brook Dental Associates is just that kind of practice. With a dual emphasis on offering exceptional oral care, as well as restoring and enhancing the natural beauty of every smile, they offer both the excellence you’d expect — and a diversity of conservative, state-of-the-art procedures you’ll appreciate. From simple cleanings, preventive care, root canals, and periodontal treatments to teeth whitening, porcelain crowns, fixed bridges, and veneers, Salmon Brook is prepared to make your teeth look as good as they feel. And to get you started, they offer a free, no-obligation office consultation, where you can learn what you need, discuss what you want, and take the first steps back to being the one with the big, mischievous grin in all the family pictures. You know, the grin that keeps everyone guessing. — J.H.
Salmon Brook Dental
Associates, LLC
35 Hartford Ave., Granby

You know that old expression “…everything but the kitchen sink?”
Well, just remember the name Showcase Kitchens, and you can forget it, because this place has it all, from cabinetry, fixtures, and hardware to counter tops, lighting, fine furniture and —yes! — kitchen sinks in every size, shape, style, and material you can imagine. And their quality designs and workmanship haven’t gone unnoticed, because they’ve received numerous awards — including being named “Best of Houzz,” a wildly popular home remodeling web site, not once but four times. Been staring at those old cabinets for way too long? Had about all you can stand of that ‘50s “breakfast nook?” Take a spin through the Showcase Kitchens portfolio of finished projects, featuring dozens of looks and finishes and layouts, each one more beautiful than the last. Then give them a call. No one can live with a swirly orange counter top forever. — J.H.
Showcase Kitchens, LLC
259 Albany Tpke., Canton

A bit inland. And
out of this world.

It’s true. Canton is not very near the Connecticut shoreline. But a meal at Saybrook Fish House makes you pretty sure that when you finish your dinner and walk out the door, you’ll see the tide rolling into the parking lot — seagulls circling above, sand at your feet, and some little kid with a brightly colored pail and shovel digging his way to China. Well, at least for a minute, anyway, and that’s because this place is, as they say, simply fresh fish. And lots of it. Alphabetically: Calamari. Clams. Cod. Crab. Escargot. Mussels. Oysters. Salmon. Scallops. Scrod. Shrimp. Snails. (*See Escargot.) And sole. But landlubbers! Fear not! Their beef and chicken entreés are guaranteed to make hanging out with fish fans tastily tolerable. So if you’re missing the beach, head for Saybrook Fish House. It’s a close second. And you won’t need sunscreen. — J.H.
Saybrook Fish House
460 Albany Ave., Canton

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





Plan to Browse
Tucked tastefully into the heart of Simsbury is In the House and Through the Garden, an engaging shop where New England style and sensibility are celebrated and sold. Offering a wide selection of furniture — some of which is consigned and the rest of which is custom made by renowned Connecticut craftsman Paul Hahn, In the House and Through the Garden is also a purveyor of Annie Sloan’s world famous Chalk Paint®, as well as her brushes, fabrics, books, candles and more. Paintings, photography and handmade jewelry by local artists, along with Lady Pym’s “Monogram Collection” of custom-made stationary, make wonderful gifts. And they are unique in offering a self-service potpourri bar where you can mix and match more than 100 herbs, spices, and oils. Refreshments are always served — and estate clearance is a specialty. Stop by. — J.H.
In the House and
Through the Garden
10 Jim Gallagher Way, Simsbury

Rooms For Improvement
There are lots of reasons to remodel a kitchen or bath. Just to name a few: you’ll add real value to your home. A well-designed project can virtually transform a dated, dysfunctional, dark, dismal, and desperately dead space into an attractive, attainable, alluring, admirable, advanced and actively alive environment. A moldy, bad grout job, an ugly, stained tub, no counter space, colliding family members, busted drawer runners, dirt in unreachable nooks and crannies — stop it… Do yourself a favor and make the move. Islands aren’t just for romance. Awaken the sleeping chef inside of you. Want to spread out and create that healthy meal? Imagine, a home in your new cabinetry for EVERYTHING! Off with your shoes on your new heated tile floor and fire up that new rain-shower head and your personal hand-shower. At Connecticut Kitchen & Bath Studio we find your pain, we create the right elixir at the right price and then we make it all happen. But, if your kitchen and bath are just fine, why not come in and try a custom cooking class in our state-of-the-art, live kitchen with our innovative and informative chef, Celeste Borelli, or our pastry chef, Bonnie Samberg. Presentation is everything, not only when it comes to food, but where and how it is prepared. And your bath should be your sanctuary, a place of peaceful solitude where you begin and end each day.
Connecticut Kitchen
& Bath Studio
3 East Main St.,
Avon Village Marketplace, Avon

Pests are a nuisance.

But then I suppose that’s why they’re called pests — though that’s a chicken and egg/cart and horse kind of thing, isn’t it? Anyway… If you’re itching (sorry!) to find out what those creepy little crawly things are that you keep seeing here and there inside or out, think Abair Lavery. They’ll either come over to identify your creepy little crawly things. Or you can take a photo of them and upload it, using the form on their web site. Either way, their experts will let you know precisely what sort of bug is bugging you, which kind of rodent’s in residence, or what species of spider is giving you the willies. And because they offer a variety of residential and commercial service plans to match your budget — along with preventive programs, follow-up monitoring, and a Green Pest Control program that not only uses products and application methods safe for you, your kids, and your pets but also offers organic options and other out-of-the-box solutions — your creepy little crawly things will be gone in no time. Be sure to wave goodbye. — J.H.
Abair Lavery Pest Control
32 Brixton Rd., West Hartford

There are a lot of things in life you
can do without.

But a heating and plumbing expert is not one of them. Nope. Not here in New England, where “brrrrrrrrr” is considered an actual word. Not if you’re planning to redo that tired old kitchen or bath. And not if your home has running water. (We’re assuming it does.) So remember this name: Avon Plumbing & Heating. Their staff is experienced at designing and installing plumbing and heating systems, including radiant heat, whether it’s a small residential project or a major commercial build — and if a repair is all you need, just say the word, because they’ve got one of the best selections of parts in these parts. If remodeling your kitchen or bath is in the cards, you’ll want to collect a few of theirs, because their professional showroom consultants will help you select everything from their actual working displays. And they specialize in the roll-in showers, walk-in tubs, and other accommodations that make living at home easier (and sometimes just plain possible) — as well as the systems and services that homes with well water often need or want. They even install gas logs, so the warmth of a fire can be yours at the flip of a switch. Avon Plumbing & Heating. Their experts will be there when you want them — and there when you need them — J.H.
Avon Plumbing & Heating
124 Simsbury Rd., Avon

Think a pizza is a pizza is a pizza?
Wrong. And not just because some are square and some are round — and they all have different toppings. Word has it that Lisa’s Luna Pizza is the only pizza place in the Farmington Valley that uses fresh mozzarella, and on top of that (well, maybe under that) go real Italian plum tomatoes, real Pecorino Romano, and real olive oil. Put all those “reals” together and you’ve got a really good pizza — not some pie-in-the-sky wannabe. What’s that? Not into pizza? Then Lisa’s salads, grinders, calzone, and stromboli should hit the spot, all of them made with the best ingredients, including freshly baked breads delivered daily all the way from the Arthur Avenue Baking Company in the Bronx. (Yes. The Bronx. Wow.) And their large selection of beers and wines is perfect with food this good. Best of all, there’s an actual “Lisa,” so say hi when you go. — J.H.
Lisa’s Luna Pizza
530 Bushy Hill Rd., Simsbury
Delivery Phone: 860-651-6591

Branching Out
Sotil Tree Service
, family-owned and operated since 2007, has long been a good resource for anyone needing a certified arborist to remove a tree (or two or three), growing sick or old — or simply growing in the wrong place. But there’s more to the Sotil story than making trees disappear because this is one tree service that can also make them reappear. Indeed, Rick Sotil’s reverence for trees and the wood they yield has taken an interesting turn, leading him to branch out into custom-designing and building superb tables from beautifully grained woods of all sorts. Kiln dried and burnished to perfection, they begin a whole new life as coffee, side, dining, night, and accent tables, as well as bars, countertops, and islands, thanks to Tables by Lasa, Rick’s newest venture. And according to Rick, when “the next generation” receives his license as a certified arborist, as will happen quite soon, he will become the new head of Sotil Tree Service — and Dad will be turning his full attention to creating more of his extraordinary tables, already in great demand. Check them both out. — J.H.
Tables by Lasa
426 South Grand St., Suffield

Sotil Tree Service
P.O. Box 428, East Granby








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