CRA News

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  • 09 Mar 2016 4:18 PM | CRA Staff (Administrator)

    Click Here for the Link

    Hartford is attacking restaurants...again!  This time, they want to eliminate the tip credit.

    Recently, legislation was introduced that will significantly change the way your restaurant operates. SB 39, an "Act concerning the Minimum Fair Wage and Employees Who Customarily and Regularly Receive Gratuities" will eliminate the state's tip credit - a major benefit for employees who recieve a portion of their wages through tips.

    Connecticut is already a difficult place to operate a restaurant.  Eliminating the tip credit will not only hurt restaurants, but also the employees that work. 

  • 17 Feb 2016 9:35 AM | CRA Staff (Administrator)

    Link for Video!

    Chef Franco from Shell and Bones in New Haven, joined FOX 61 Good Day Connecticut to talk about Valentine’s Day dining, dinner reservations and share this delicious recipe.

    Thai Spice

    1 ea Cinnamon S

    1 tbsp Star Anise

    2 tbsp Green Thai Curry

    3 tbsp Fresh Ginger Chopped

    2 tbsp Fresh Garlic Chopped

    4 tbsp Fresh Thai Basil Chopped

    2 tbsp chopped mint

    4 tssp chopped cilantro

    Celery Root Puree

    4 lb celery root, peeled and cut into cubs

    2 tbsp Salt


    ¾ cup unsalted butter

    1 tbsp salt

    1 tbsp roasted garlic

    Short Ribs

    4 lb beef Short Ribs

    4 tbsp canola oil

    1 cup chopped onions

    1 cup chopped leeks

    ½ cup diced carrots

    1 cup soy Sauce

    3 cups veal stock (or beef broth)

    2 cups shitake mushrooms

    1 cup heirloom baby tomatoes

    For the Thai Spiced

    Toast the spices in a small pan over high heat for one minute.

    Place into a spiced grinder and pulse until puree

    For the Celery Root Puree

    In a large pot, add celery root, salt and cover with water

    Place over medium heat and cook for 35 minutes. Celery root should split when pierced with a knife or fork

    Transfer he celery root to a colander and drain

    Place a food mill with the smallest screen over the pot you cooked the celery root in. Work the celery root through the food mill.

    Stir the butter cubs until melted. The celery root should have a velvety consistency. Add the roasted garlic puree

    Season with salt and pepper, incorporate evenly. Adjust seasoning if needed.

    Keep the celery root in a warm area. If you have a lid, use it or wrap tightly with food film

    For the Short Ribs

    Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

    Season ribs with Thai spice

    Place a pot or roasting pan large enough to hold the short ribs over medium-high heat and add the oil. Let the oil get hot.

    Add the short ribs to the pan and sear for 5 minutes. Meat will have a crispy crust. Flip and sear opposite side for 5 minutes. Carefully remove the short ribs from the pan and pour off excess fat.

    Add the onion, leeks, carrots celery, the rest of the spices. Add the soy sauce stock and water.

    Cover pot. Place in the oven and cook for 5 hours.

    When the ribs are done, remove from the oven and allow them to cool in the pan. When cool refrigerate for at least one day

    Place pan over the stove over medium heat and bring it to a simmer. When sauce has returned to a liquid state, strain and discard the vegetables.

    Place the pan back over heat and reduce t 2/3. Skim the fat, adjust seasoning

    Place a saute pan over medium high heat add canola oil and some unsalted butter. Add shitake mushroom and Asparagus and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper

    Cook Shrimp with a classical BBQ sauce on a low fire foe 5 minutes

    On a 4 serving plates, place the celery root puree in the center, place ribs on the top.

    Place the sauce over short ribs. Add the shrimp and garnish with the asparagus mushrooms and baby tomatoes.

    Yields 4 servings

  • 09 Feb 2016 1:17 PM | CRA Staff (Administrator)

    Link for Video!

    Planning on taking someone special out to dinner for Valentine's Day?

    Sarah Maloney, Executive Director of the Connecticut Restaurant Association joined FOX 61 Good Day Connecticut to talk about how to make sure you have a great time and get a great deal.

  • 05 Jan 2016 2:58 PM | CRA Staff (Administrator)

    On January 1, 2016, Connecticut’s minimum, server and bartender wages will increase per Public Act 14-1.  The table below explains the current wages, tip credit for servers and bartenders, and the scheduled increases.  Please feel free to reach out to Nicole Griffin at with any questions. Click here for details on the 2016 Wage Increases.pdf

  • 28 Dec 2015 2:18 PM | CRA Staff (Administrator)

    Join the CRA at the Taste of Connecticut on Sunday, February 28 in Bridgeport!  Discounts available for CRA members to this restaurant expo and Sound Tigers hockey game. Click here for more details.

  • 04 Dec 2015 12:21 PM | CRA Staff (Administrator)

    Full Article 

    Subway co-founder Fred DeLuca has been honored posthumously with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Connecticut Restaurant Association.

    The award was announced at the association’s annual “Salute to Excellence’’ Awards Dinner on Tuesday night at the Mohegan Sun Casino.

    DeLuca died on Sept. 14 after a long battle with leukemia and just weeks after the global chain of sandwich shops marked the 50-year anniversary of that first Bridgeport location.

    Subway is the world’s largest fast-food chain by number of stores, with more than 44,000 locations in 110 countries, according to its web site.

    DeLuca, 67, had been the CEO of the Milford-based company until he promoted his younger sister, Suzanne Greco, to lead the company’s day-to-day operations in June because of his health problems.

    The business began when DeLuca, who grew up in Bridgeport, opened his first sandwich shop in the city with a $1,000 loan from Dr. Peter Buck, a family friend, in 1965. Pete’s Super Submarines sold 312 sandwiches that first day, and they set a goal of opening 32 stores within 10 years.

    Buck, of Danbury, who became his business partner, and DeLuca, who lived in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., each amassed fortunes of $2.8 billion, according to Forbes.

    The shop was originally a way to help pay for DeLuca’s education, but ended up becoming a global phenomenon.

  • 03 Dec 2015 10:29 AM | CRA Staff (Administrator)
    Full Story

    Connecticut Restaurant Association Honors Local Businesses At Awards Dinner

    A fast-expanding Kansas City-style barbecue restaurant, a farm-to-table catering operation and a posh waterfront hotel eatery were among the honorees at theConnecticut Restaurant Association's (CRA) annual "Salute to Excellence" awards dinner Tuesday at Mohegan Sun.

    Bear's Smokehouse of Hartford and Windsor took home the prize for Casual Restaurant of the Year, while Max Restaurant Group's Max Catering earned honors for Caterer of the Year. Saybrook Point Inn's Fresh Salt was named Upscale Restaurant of the Year, and Dish Restaurant Group (Dish Bar & Grill and Sorella in Hartford; Dish n'Dat in Canton) was recognized as Restaurateur of the Year. 

    Individual award winners included Chef of the Year Billy Grant of Grants Restaurant, Restaurant Bricco and Bricco Trattoria in Glastonbury and West Hartford; Server of the Year Kristy Mahler of Agave Grill in Hartford and Mixologist of the Year Dimitrios Zahariadis of Highland Brass Company in Waterbury.

    The CRA also honored Ecolab as Vendor of the Year and state representative David Rutigliano of Trumbull as Friend of the Industry. A posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award went to Frederick A. DeLuca, the founder of Connecticut-based Subway. Two businesses were also inducted into the Connecticut Hospitality Hall of Fame: Flanders Fish Market & Restaurant of East Lyme and Marcia Selden Catering & Event Planning of Stamford.

    The awards were results from open voting, the CRA said in a news release. "I am thrilled to honor these superb restaurants, caterers, chefs, servers and mixologists who have demonstrated a passion for offering outstanding food and beverages," said Nicole Griffin, the association's executive director.

  • 13 Oct 2015 1:33 PM | CRA Staff (Administrator)

    Full Story

    You can get three-course meal for $20.15 during Connecticut Restaurant week

    Starting today, more than 75 restaurants will offer three-course meals off a set menu for the price of $20.15 as part of Connecticut Restaurant Week.

    “It not only brings in business, but also brings in new customers,” said Barry DePaolo, owner of Anthony Jack’s Wood Fired Grill on Center Street in Southington. “It gets you out there.”

    This year Anthony Jack’s will be offering a baked fettuccine and prosciutto, peas, and alfredo cream sauce appetizer. For dinner, guests can have wood-grilled London broil with an arugula tomato salad and crispy parmesan potatoes.

    Other restaurants will also offer appetizer, dinner and desert options as part of the event.

    Restaurants that participate are part of the Connecticut Restaurant Association, which started the event nearly seven years ago. It runs from Oct. 12 through Oct. 18.

    Restaurant Week was prompted by the 2008 recession, said Nicole Griffin, the association’s executive director.

    Griffin said it was a way to “get people out to restaurants” by offering deals and incentives.

    Local restaurants participating are 50 West Bistro in Plainville, Anthony Jack’s Wood Fired Grill in Southington, Geno’s Grille in Southington, J. Timothy’s in Plainville, and Wood-n-Tap in Southington.

    “We look forward to restaurant week,” said Niels Van Galen, executive director of 50 West Bistro on 50 W. Main St. in Plainville. “In the past we’ve done really well. It has really helped our restaurant bring some people in … to try us out.”

    Van Galen said the restaurant recently started a fall menu with heartier food.

    “I like to try to keep the menus as seasonal as possible and as local as possible,” Van Galen said.

    For an appetizer, the restaurant will offer homemade sweet potato gnocchi, with sage brown butter, crispy lardons, and shaved parmesan. For a main course, one of the three options is a roasted chicken leg stuffed with rosemary, pancetta and cheddar, with Yukon Gold whipped potatoes, kale chips, and confit red radish. For dessert there are two options including a chocolate mousse and vanilla crème brulee.

    For DePaolo at Anthony Jack’s, a few non-traditional menu items will be featured

    “We certainly want to showcase our restaurant and show what we can do that’s off the menu as far as different items,” said DePaolo.

    For more information about menus and participating restaurants, visit

  • 13 Oct 2015 1:29 PM | CRA Staff (Administrator)
    Full Story:

    Connecticut restaurant week begins today

    Connecticut Restaurant week is back.

    The 2015 version kicked off on Monday and lasts through Oct. 18.

    Participating restaurants from across Connecticut said they're offering special deals including multi-course meals for either $20.15 or $30.15.

    Many of the items available will be off of a price-fixed menu, but will take a percentage off of a patron's check.

    "Restaurant Week provides diners with a unique opportunity to go out and enjoy a great meal at a great price." said Nicole Griffin, executive director of the Connecticut Restaurant Association. "Restaurants from across Connecticut are participating in this year's event."

    Restaurant goers were urged to book their tables early.

    For a list of all the participating restaurants, click here

    Read more:

  • 06 Oct 2015 10:11 AM | CRA Staff (Administrator)

    Full Article!

    Connecticut Restaurant Week, sponsored by the Connecticut Restaurant Association, runs Oct. 12 to 18 with special menus and deals at eateries throughout the state. Participating CRA member restaurants will offer promotions for $20.15 or $30.15, including prix-fixe meals, two-for-one options or specially priced wines.

    Menus are still being posted, but early entries include a fall-inspired $20.15 three-course menu at Newington's Rooster Company, with entree choices of apple bourbon-brined pork chop, half-roasted chicken with polenta and sweet potato and miso-glazed swordfish with spaghetti squash and brussels sprouts. Millwright's in Simsbury also offers a $20.15 prix-fixe in its tavern, with choice of burger, fish tacos or dumplings for a main dish and a zucchini cake with caramel popcorn and blueberry creme fraiche ice cream or hazelnut florentine "cannoli" for dessert.

    Information and menus:

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