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Sometimes, the grass
really is greener.

Especially if it’s on the other side of the fence — where DeMar’s Landscaping and their partner, Connecticut Irrigation, have been busy. But don’t be jealous, because you can have a DeMar’s yard, too. Starting from scratch? DeMar’s will provide not only a stunning landscape design but quality topsoil, expert seeding, installation of all trees and shrubs, and both the fertilization program and irrigation system capable of ensuring optimal growth, health, and beauty. Got a well-established yard that just needs better care? Not to worry. DeMar’s is pleased to jump in with whatever thatching, top seeding, new plantings, pruning, mowing, and fertilizing is called for, as well as the irrigation system essential for everything to flourish. Need pavers or a retaining wall? No problem. And here are two more advantages to having a DeMar’s yard: As summer wanes, they are ready to handle all your fall leaf and winter snow removal handily. So! Want to be green with envy — or “the other side of that fence,” where the grass (and everything else) really is greener? Yup. Thought so. Give DeMar’s a call. — J.H.
DeMar’s Landscaping, LLC
Connecticut Irrigation
454 E. Main St., Branford
203-483-5252
demarslandscapingct.com
connecticutirrigationllc.com


It’s a Shore Thing
Whether you’re buying, selling, or leasing, happy endings always begin with the right realtor. Someone who knows how to match needs and wants to neighborhoods and schools…shopping, dining and entertainment…healthcare…banking…and — especially here at The Shoreline — to beaches, lakes, marinas, and those amazing spots along the coast where the sun actually sets over the water. Someone skilled at pricing and positioning a home for sale — and equally clever at finding the “finds” house hunters crave. And someone with both the financial and negotiating savvy to ensure optimal value and timely turnaround for buyers and sellers alike. Well, here on The Shoreline, that “someone” is Robin Keegan. A founding member of The Shoreline Homes Team at William Raveis, Robin has over 10 years of highly successful real estate experience, a bag full of prestigious awards, an active bond with the shoreline community she calls home, a keen faith — and a tendency to see her commitment to the clients she serves progress into genuine friendships. Fact is, Robin’s the real deal. And since one real deal has a way of leading to another real deal, starting your real estate adventure with Robin is indeed a shore thing. — J.H.
Robin Keegan,
The Shoreline Homes Team
William Raveis
709 Boston Post Rd., Madison
203-500-2212
shorelinehomesct.com



Grow ahead.
One of my best memories from summers in Old Lyme is the dark pink roses that seemed to grow wild along the rocks above our beach. I don’t know if they were planted — or simply arrived on a gust from an on-shore breeze. But they were a sturdy lot, their delicacy belying a strength I always admired. Then there were my Grandmother’s hydrangea, unstoppably lush alongside the steps in a blue as glorious as a late June morning. So plant that garden by the sea. Just be sure to take into account the fact that salt borne in on gentle sea breezes, strong stormy winds, and even the early morning mist is no match when you plan properly. And planning properly starts by knowing how to use salt-tolerant trees and shrubs, in combination with protective fences and retainer walls, to shield perennials that have learned to thrive in salty, sandy soil. And there are many. Roses and hydrangea are two, but Lamb’s Ear and Russian Sage can do very well, as can Zinnias, Salvia, Coreopsis, and Sedums. And most coastal gardeners discover that quite a few annuals enjoy a summer at the beach, too. But just to be safe, let Riggio’s Garden Center guide your green thumb. In shoreline vernacular, they are old salts at cultivating lush landscapes, complete with beautiful flowers, advising you on how to select plants sturdy enough to bud and bloom despite a bit of brine — and how to protect even stalwart florae as much as possible. While you’re there, check out all the gardening supplies, planters, and statuary Riggio’s stocks to enhance your efforts. And stop in for a bouquet of beautiful fresh flowers at the Essex Flower Shoppe. It’ll start you dreaming. — J.H.
Riggio’s Garden Center
Essex Flower Shoppe
136 Westbrook Rd., Essex
860-767-0126
www.riggiosgardencenter.com



Fine wines and good books
are meant to be savored.

After all, a good burgundy made from the grapes grown in the valleys and slopes west of the Saône in a region of France known as Bourgogne is considered to be one of the best wines money can buy. And a good book (indeed, a real book, as opposed to the digital kind) is an experience unto itself, its pages releasing the faint scent of vellum printed with all sorts of things to know and things to imagine, as well as the almost-aroma of rainy afternoons remembered — its smooth, heavy cover giving one something to hold tight to when the plot thickens or cradle in one’s lap while dozing between chapters. So what else could it be but serendipity that a truly engaging independent bookstore — indeed, one that regularly welcomes authors and poets eager to share their words with others, offers an ever-changing selection of exceptional titles with those in search of a really good “read,” and thoroughly delights in watching customers of all ages thoughtfully browsing its shelves — would be named Burgundy Books. So here’s a novel idea (pun absolutely intended). This is the place you’ll want to visit before you head to the beach for the day…out on the Sound for a long sail…into a little nook in a little restaurant for a quiet, solitary lunch…or off to bed for the night. Because when you leave Burgundy Books, you’ll have something to savor right along with your time on Connecticut’s Shoreline — and maybe a nice glass of Pinot Noir. The end. — J.H.
Burgundy Books
1391 Boston Post Rd.
Old Saybrook
860-391-9525
burgundybooks.com




This cheese shop really
takes the cake.

Yeah, I know. That’s kind of mixing metaphors. But it’s true. The Cheese Shop of Centerbrook really is in a class all by itself, and that’s because Owner Paul Partica is a professional cheesemonger — a word the Brits use to describe someone who buys and sells cheese for a living, which is precisely what Paul has been doing for half a century. And he’s also schooled a few cheesmongers along the way, training some 40 new cheese shop owners for some 40 new cheese shops, when he worked for a very successful national franchise. Well, now he’s the Big Cheese, and not surprisingly, he’s made it his business to stock his cheese shop with what may well be the finest selection of cheese in Connecticut. Indeed, his inventory of cheeses leaves you saying “Cheese, that’s a lotta cheese” — because it is, including artisanal cheeses from all over the world, including France, Italy, Spain, Australia, Denmark, England, Switzerland, Sweden, Argentina, Canada, Germany, Holland, Ireland and Norway, as well as some wonderful domestic cheeses. Of course, that’s not the only reason this cheese shop is so popular. It’s popular because it’s a relaxed sort of place where you’ll always be invited to “try before you buy”— and a place where a delightful variety of charcuterie, handmade pastas, local breads, coffees, fruits, olive oils, condiments, chocolates, and gelatos make stopping in and stocking up more like an adventure than an errand. But then you really need to go see for yourself. After all, the proof is (sorry!) in the pudding. — J.H.
The Cheese Shop of Centerbrook
33 Main St., Centerbrook
860-767-8500
www.cheeseshopcenterbrook.com


 

 

 

 





 

 

 

 


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
860-666-2202
ruthschris.com

Sea for Yourself
Located just above the borough of Fenwick, Saybrook Point sits at the mouth of the Connecticut River, its vistas of Long Island Sound, historic Saybrook Breakwater Light House, and the river itself splendid — the endless parade of fishing and recreational vessels in every shape and size mesmerizing. So it’s no wonder Saybrook Point Inn, Marina & Spa is one of the best seats in the house for those who love the smell of salt air, the cool touch of a sea breeze on a warm summer afternoon, the sounds of sails luffing when the tide is slack and the air still, the muffled hum of inboards and outboards, and the sound of halyards clanging on the sloops and catboats and daysailers docked nearby. If all of that isn’t enough, this luxurious resort also offers exceptional spa services at Sanno Spa. Superb dining at Fresh Salt or lighter fare in the Marina Bar — both with menus featuring locally sourced, seasonally fresh ingredients and tables with stunning views. The Inn features stylish accommodations, from cozy rooms to impressively spacious suites, with close proximity to a host of other shoreline attractions you can enjoy right away — or save for your next visit. Or the one after that. Because once you’ve discovered Saybrook Point Inn, Marina & Spa, you’ll be back. — J.H.
Saybrook Point Inn,
Marina & Spa
2 Bridge St., Old Saybrook
800-243-0212
saybrook.com


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
860-666-2202
www.ruthschris.com

Give ‘em an inch
and they’ll do your whole yard!

Lawns and gardens are funny things. They look so simple. A little grass seed here and a shrub or two there. Some flowers in between. A couple of bags of mulch. And voila! But if you’ve ever set about the task of turning the grounds — large or small, plain or fancy — surrounding your home into something special, then you know one thing. Simple is simply not the right word to describe such an undertaking. Knowing what grows best where takes some knowledge. And making it all happen takes some doing. The good news? All you really need to know is one thing: the name E.A. Quinn Landscape Contracting, Inc. And other than dialing the phone, you won’t need to lift a finger, because their land- and hardscape designers, master gardeners, stonemasons, and licensed installers will handle it all. And beautifully. Indeed, a quick peek at their website gallery is beyond compelling. Kind of makes you green with envy. — J.H.
E.A. Quinn Landscape Contracting, Inc.
860-633-0115
eaquinn.com

Where to Find
Original Fine Art

Susan Powell Fine Art
is a welcoming gallery. Both the casual observer “just looking,” as well as the experienced collector, can feel at home here. Susan has an impressive 35 year reputation for helping to create unique collections to match the needs and means of any client. Representing 40 award-winning artists, Susan nurtures emerging artists alongside established artists. The gallery has exhibitions that change every four to six weeks, with lively opening receptions to meet the artists. The shows are unique to the region and include landscapes, marines, New York City scenes, still lifes, florals, Figurative and Abstract oils. The gallery offers an abundance of choices — indeed, it has the distinction of being voted “Best Gallery to Buy Art” by the Shoreline Paper. Come in and see why, and hopefully you’ll find something you can’t resist! It’s the place to go for superb exhibitions of well-known, established artists, to discover new up-and-coming artists, and to enjoy and appreciate truly fine art.
Susan Powell Fine Art
679 Boston Post Rd.
Madison
203-318-0616
susanpowellfineart.com

Summertime…and the
Liv-in’ is easy.

So here you are at the shore. Not the beach, mind you, but the shore — a distinction without a real difference, perhaps, but an affectionate distinction. And speaking of distinctions without a difference, you’ll want to stop at Liv’s Shack while you’re here. Named after Liv’s Oyster Bar, a little seafood mecca located in Old Saybrook’s former movie house, Liv’s Shack is no different from it’s namesake in terms of its popularity with tourists, the summer mahogany, and year-rounders, all of whom insist on eating there as often as possible. But then, why not? Run by Executive Chef John Brescia, it’s a place that serves seafood the way seafood should be enjoyed: fresh and perfectly prepared. (The hot buttered lobster rolls are not to be missed. And if you’ve never had a fish taco, this is the time and this is the place. Of course, those who like a good, juicy burger will be happy, too. John makes certain of that, hand-grinding his beef.) Likewise, those who appreciate a locally sourced kitchen will appreciate the fact that Liv’s Shack buys directly from nearby Calise & Sons Bakery, Deep River Snacks, Foxon Park Soda, and The Farmer’s Cow Beverages. But in the end, it’s her location directly on the water at the mouth of the Connecticut River — and with it the smell of the sea, the cool brush of salt air on one’s sunburned arm, and the sound of gulls hoping to find a morsel or two for the taking — that creates the distinction you’ll want to experience. Open from Memorial Day to Labor Day Wednesday through Sunday, Liv’s Shack offers both take-out and dine-in options, BYOB, and a meal you won’t soon forget. — J.H.
Liv’s Shack
26 Bridge St., Old Saybrook
860-391-8353
livsshack.com

A Delightfully
Sound Idea

Casual enough for those faded khakis but nice enough for that special first date, Westbrook Lobster is known for serving up the freshest local seafood, some of Connecticut’s best craft beers — and a very good time. Now in its fifth decade, and winner of seven (yes! seven) “Best” awards from Connecticut magazine, this shoreline favorite delivers both their lunch and dinner selections with a side of smiles and some freshly ground informality. Choose among chowders and bisques, salads and sandwiches, or put in your order for some steamers, salmon, swordfish, sole, shrimp, or scallops. The lobster rolls, pastas, and fish tacos get high marks. Don’t forget the chicken and steak. You simply won’t be disappointed. And last but never, ever least, there’s the lobster. Mmm mmm mmmmmm lobster, cooked all the ways a lobster lover loves. And then some. — J.H.
Westbrook Lobster
346 E Main St. Clinton 

860-664-9464
www.westbrooklobster.com






 

 

 

 

 

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