Monday, March 31, 2014

Reach Your Fitness Goals with BEyond FITness!

We're off to a snowy day (!!) but believe it or not, summer is soon approaching. Are you ready to shed that cardigan? Not so much? No worries. The BEyond FITness staff is on-hand to help you achieve your fitness goals before temperatures start to sizzle!

Zumba® Fitness instructors (L-R) LaTanya Elliott, Ivette Altieri (Owner) and Naty Arango.
BEyond FITness is a community-based company, dedicated to providing a unique experience at facilities, schools and events. People of all levels are encouraged to try a class. At the moment, BEyond FITness offers Zumba® classes 5 days a week at 2 locations in New Haven County (see schedule below).

BEyond FITness staff includes Ivette Altieri (Owner), LaTanya Elliott and Naty Arango. These ladies bring the heat every class! Whether you're new to Zumba or an old pro, you will find yourself grooving -- and burning off some serious calories -- to music from around the world! Find them on Facebook for class updates and events. Drop-ins are just $5, and membership prices are reasonable if you feel you'll be a repeat customer. Spoiler alert: You will be a repeat customer!

Helpful hint: Are you on a tight budget? Want to try a class without the financial commitment? Drop in for Appreciation Tuesdays! Tomorrow and every Tuesday, you can get your dance on for FREE. Bring a water, maybe a towel, and a good attitude. You won't regret it!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

New Haven Gastropubs!

Not long ago, the term "gastropub" did not exist in my vocabulary. Pop culture is forever evolving, and as we enter the age of #twerking and #selfies (okay, perhaps "evolving" was the wrong word), we happily welcome local gastropubs into our every day mix. Gastropubs are pubs that specialize in serving high quality food. If you're tired of noshing on your typical bar food at happy hour, New Haven offers three gastropubs that you don't want to miss!

Madden's Gastropub (Update: Venue is CLOSED.)

You may know it as the old Humphrey's or Carissa's Cafe, and now Madden's brings a friendly, laid-back venue to Humphrey Street. My friends and I stumbled upon Madden's last July when they first opened. We had just done a performance in Jocelyn Square and were on the hunt for a nice lunch spot. Even though we were newcomers -- and sweaty newcomers at that -- they still welcomed us and served some amazing drinks and appetizers. I am excited for the cucumber and watermelon drink to come back in season again!

Madden's has a handful of televisions that are usually tuned into sports, and the clientele is a mix of people from the surrounding East Rock neighborhood and local graduate students. They offer a private parking lot, live music nights, and a place where you can relax and laugh with friends or a date over a delicious meal. Can't beat that!

Turkey burger and seasoned fries from Madden's Gastropub. Mmm!

Madden's Gastropub [menu]
175 Humphrey Street (across from Jocelyn Square)
New Haven, CT 06513

Oak Haven Table & Bar

I learned about Oak Haven driving down State Street, and then I found the encouragement to visit through a Groupon deal. Now that I've tried it, I'm so happy that I got to experience the greatness and wish I had actually started going there sooner! Oak Haven is a farm to table restaurant so get ready for some high-quality, fresh food. Also, the meals are served tapas style so be sure to share with your friends!

We set up a reservation per the Groupon instructions, and the person on the other end was helpful and pleasant. There were two of us, and we ordered the mussels to start (considered a "small plate", duck with beet salad (medium plate), pretzels with mustard and cheese (snack plate), and chocolate mousse with raspberry. That was more than enough for two people, but Oak Haven offers large plates that could be great for larger parties. There was also a nice selection of beer, wine and spirits for those who came to let loose. :)

Tapas! Enjoy mussels, duck w/beet salad, pretzel bites and chocolate mousse at Oak Haven Table & Bar.
The time I went was a bone-chilling day below freezing, but I look forward to coming back when the weather is nicer. The waitress told me they open the doors in the front which leads to a little patio with some outdoor seating. I imagine it would look resemble a mini Manhattan on a nice, summer day! Looking forward to that experience.

Oak Haven Table & Bar [menu]
932 State Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Kelly's Gastropub

Although I have not been to Kelly's Gastropub, I would be remiss not to include this beautiful venue as it's in the heart of downtown! If anyone has been here, please let me know how it is! What would you recommend? How was the atmosphere? Inquiring minds must know. :)

Kelly's Gastropub in New Haven, at Crown and Temple Streets!

Kelly's Gastropub [menu]
196 Crown Street
New Haven, CT 06510