Never Wrong at Wright’s Steak House

Sure, the primary reason people come and visit with us is most things shoreline; beaches, our boardwalk, outdoor waterfront dining and fresh New England seafood. However, as we noted in our previous BLOG we also have some great local theaters and playhouses locally. And when our guest come to visit with us to catch a show at one of the theaters, we like to recommend a few specials places to grab a bite to eat before or after the show. To this end, below are some of our favorite eateries when visiting our local playhouses.

Let’s Get Fresh!

Chef Jonathan Rapp of River Tavern and OTTO Pizza in Chester – and the yearly Dinners at the Farm benefit series – has opened Wright’s Steakhouse this year in Centerbrook, taking over the former Gabrielle’s Restaurant space in the village in Essex.

Moving back to Deep River, CT after selling his two wildly successful venues in New York City, Rapp decided to try his magic locally. He introduced farm-to-table, locally-sourced dining to the Shoreline and now we’ve come to expect it. River Tavern has produced a group of restaurants on the same wave length and if his original mission was to teach us to savor the abundance of Connecticut, he has succeeded.

Wright’s Steakhouse – Centerbrook, CT

1 Sign sm 1500

As we say, you’re never wrong at Wright’s Steakhouse – One of our new go to places for beef, well steak to be exact, is Wright’s Steakhouse in Centerbrook. Located just 20 minutes from our inn and just down the street from the Essex Steam Train, Wright’s specializes in locally-raised, wood-fired meats. As is usual for a steakhouse, dishes are served a la carte. Additionally, they feature a fresh raw bar with a variety of oysters and littleneck clams, soups, salads, sandwiches, poultry and fish.

Although you’re dining in a historic Victorian era home, the décor is somewhat minimalist with pale woods and bright red accents – not at all stuffy. A nice variety of cocktails and the offering of several draft beers and a very nice wine list make this experience complete. So if you’re craving a “good fresh steak” or a good fresh anything for that matter, consider a visit to Wright’s Steakhouse during your visit here at the inn.

River Tavern – Chester, CT

River Tavern ChesterOpened in 2001 this was the first of three shoreline local restaurants master-minded by chef/owner Jonathan Rapp. River Tavern is located on Main Street in the cozy town center of Chester. Working with local farms, fishermen and cheese mongers, River Tavern takes great pride in serving innovative farm fresh cuisine in an inviting modern atmosphere. Chef Rapp is proud to be a member of and counted among the early organizers of the Department of Agriculture’s Farm-to-Chef program.

Staying true to the fresh locally farmed ingredients, the menu changes daily to focus on the current harvest of Connecticut providers and preparing them simply and thoughtfully. The cocktail, beer and wine menus change often and are influenced by current menus and the changing seasons.

OTTO – Chester, CT

They keep it simple at Otto’s Wood-Fired Pizzeria.  Otto Pizza in Chester The no-nonsense wood fired specialty pizzas, all one size are a meal fit for two. Try their award-winning Margherita pizza and add a beautiful Antipasti plate. This modern and stylish pizzeria is offering a simple and delicious menu. The menu, which can change as often as daily, features gourmet pizzas, fresh salads, a limited, but nice selection of beer and wines. They source ingredients locally whenever possible and even have a few gluten free options available. They’re open for dinner seven nights a week and for weekend lunch, too. Tables are first come, first serve and are eat in or take out. Go hungry, and bring your friends.

Finally, you do not need to be going to a play or show to experience any of the above fine restaurants.  All are within a 30 minute drive from our inn.  So if you’re interesting in visiting one of these restaurants during your next visit, please ask us for directions.

For additional information on any of the above restaurants, visit:

Wright’s Steak House – www.wrightssteak.com/

River Tavern –  www.rivertavernrestaurant.com/

Otto Pizza – www.ottochester.com/

Bravo! Bravo!
for CT Shoreline Summer Theater

Summer theater is alive and well in Connecticut!  One of the things that our vacationers and guests here at the award-winning Inn at Harbor Hill Marina might not realize is our great accessibility to some award-winning theater.  Everything from drama to musicals can be found within 30 minutes of our inn.  So if you’re considering a getaway to the Connecticut Shoreline it’s smart to book your room and buy your tickets as soon as you’ve decided on dates.  You won’t be disappointed!

Let’s take a look at what the 2016 seasons at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, the Norma Terris Theater in neighboring Chester or the Ivoryton Playhouse in Ivoryton have to offer.

Goodspeed Opera House

The Goodspeed Opera House – East Haddam, CT

The Opera House was originally built by a local merchant and banker, William Goodspeed. Construction began in 1876 and finished in 1877. Despite the name, it was not in fact an opera house, but rather a venue for presenting plays.

Goodspeed Musicals was formed in 1959 by a group of concerned citizens after the state of Connecticut had condemned the building. The state agreed to sell the building to the group for one dollar, provided they acquire enough funding to restore and maintain it. They did and the Goodspeed Opera House was rededicated on June 8, 1963. Since 1968, Goodspeed Musicals has sent 19 productions to Broadway and productions have won more than a dozen Tony Awards, while Goodspeed Musicals itself has won two special Tonys, one for outstanding contributions to American Musicals and the other for outstanding achievement by a regional theatre.  Goodspeed has produced over 250 musicals, including over 70 world premieres. Critic fellows from the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT travel to the Goodspeed each summer to practice reviewing full productions.

Tours of many of the Goodspeed facilities can be scheduled in advance for a small fee. Tickets to the opera house or theatre productions should be ordered in advance as most performances in the relatively small theater sell-out quickly.

See more at:  http://www.goodspeed.org/about/all-about-goodspeed#sthash.h4XjQFMH.dpuf

Bye Bye Birdie
June 24th – Sept 4th
Bye Bye BirdiePut on a happy face! Army-bound rock star Conrad Birdie’s farewell appearance in Sweet Apple, Ohio is the talk of the town. But it’s a teenage crisis for new “steadies” Hugo and Kim: she just won the chance to give Birdie one last kiss before boot camp. Kids, parents and show folk collide in the Goodspeed debut of the hip-swiveling musical comedy set at the dawn of the sensational ’60s. – See more at: http://www.goodspeed.org/productions/2016/bye-bye-birdie#sthash.Ppo9G80b.dpuf

 

Chasing Rainbows – THE ROAD TO OZ
Sept 16th – Nov 27th
Chasing...An awkward girl with a golden voice blossoms into Judy Garland in the inspirational new musical about the bumpy road to “Oz.” The future superstar’s complicated childhood comes alive with heartbreak, hope and the music that made her famous. “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” “You Made Me Love You” and “Over the Rainbow” sweeten the story of Judy striving to hold onto her family. A love letter to gifted underdogs who reach high—and how the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true. –
See more at: http://www.goodspeed.org/productions/2016/chasing-rainbows#sthash.svODEEum.dpuf

The Norma Terris Theatre – Chester, CT
Norma Terris
In 1984, Goodspeed Musicals added a second performance venue—the Norma Terris Theatre—in nearby Chester, Connecticut. Dedicated in 1984, the theatre is named in honor of the actress Norma Terris, a patron and trustee of the Goodspeed Opera House during her later years. In 1987 she established

The Norma Terris Fund to develop the careers of new actors and to promote musical theatre.  While the main stage presents a mixture of revivals and new musicals as part of its 3 production season, The Norma Terris also presents three new musicals each season. Several original plays debuted here or at the opera house before going on to Broadway and winning Tony Awards.

A Sign of the Times
July 29th – Sept 4th

Sign of timesA NEW ’60’s MUSICAL – 1965. The pulse of a changing era lures Cindy from Middle America to the swirl of Manhattan. –

See more at:  http://www.goodspeed.org/productions/2016/a-sign-of-the-times#sthash.vuurWYeM.dpuf


The Ivoryton Playhouse – Ivoryton, CT

ivoryton playhouseThe original building was built in 1911 and in 1930 became the home of the Ivoryton Playhouse, believed to be the first self-supporting summer theatre in the United States.
The theater gained in prestige to the point that invitations to work there were highly prized in the theatrical profession. Established actors like Henry Hull and Norma Terris (theater named for her in Chester, CT) signed on to perform at Ivoryton, and newcomers like Katharine Hepburn and Cliff Robertson came along to help mold the Ivoryton legend. Ivoryton’s fame as one of America’s leading summer showplaces continued to grow until the outbreak of World War II, when the theatre went dark for several seasons but reopened the Playhouse after the war and presented a parade of stars such as Marlon Brando, Betty Grable, Groucho Marx, and many others.

Chicago
June 29th – July 24th, 2016
Chicago
Winner of Six 1997 Tony Awards, including Best Musical Revival, CHICAGO has everything that makes Broadway great: a universal tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz; one show-stopping song after another and the most astonishing dancing you’ve ever seen.
See more at: http://www.ivorytonplayhouse.org/our-season/chicago

Rent
August 3rd – August 28th, 2016
RENT
RENT is an inspiring musical with songs that rock and stories that resonate.  Set in the East Village of New York City, RENT is about falling in love, finding your voice and living for today. Winner of the TONY Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, RENT has become a pop cultural phenomenon – exuberant, passionate and joyous.  See more at:
http://www.ivorytonplayhouse.org/our-season/rent

Man of La Mancha
September 7th – October 2nd, 2016
Man of LaMancha
One of the world’s most popular musicals, MAN OF LA MANCHA, the “Impossible Dream” musical, is based on Don Quixote, and tells of the adventures of a delusional Spanish knight who sallies forth on a quest to restore chivalry to the world, and to claim his lady love.

Winner of 5 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.  See more at:
http://www.ivorytonplayhouse.org/our-season/man-of-la-mancha

Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Story
October 26th – November 13th, 2016
Tenderly...America’s favorite girl singer comes to life on stage in this exhilarating and inspiring musical biography. TENDERLY, THE ROSEMARY CLOONEY MUSICAL is not a typical “juke-box musical.” It offers a fresh, remarkably personal, and poignant picture of the woman whose unparalleled talent and unbridled personality made her a legend. With her signature songs woven in and out, we learn both the story of her successes on film, radio, and TV, as well as her struggles in her personal life.
See more at:  http://www.ivorytonplayhouse.org/our-season/tenderly-the-rosemary-clooney-story

So, as we titled this BLOG post, Bravo!  Bravo! for our Connecticut shoreline theaters.  We love them, and are sure you would too.