Nellie Green’s & Stony Creek Brewery Combo Platter

…To continue where we left off after the ‘yoga and drink a beer’ Tuesday at Stony Creek Brewery last week, we then turned the corner to Nellie Green’s for a fine meal…

The driveway for Nellie Green’s is adjacent to Stony Creek’s and it is definitely walkable from the brewery. Since it’s still winter time, we opted for the comforts of our car.

Like Stony Creek Brewery, Nellie Green’s is nestled in the boatyards overlooking the Branford River and is open year round. The views were certainly more like the final hideout and chase scene in a Lethal Weapon movie vs. a marina at summer’s peak, but that did NOT effect the dining experience or amazing food (i.e., the winter silence except for the flow of the river, cavernous buildings, looming boats stacked high in the air, with villains seemingly creeping around every corner, was more a part of The Sweet and Sweaty’s imagination running wild vs. reality). Don’t let it deter your visit, just think of it more like a restaurant speakeasy… or anyway, just read on folks!

Once inside we were greeted by an inviting dining room and energetic chatter at the bar. It’s both casual and elegant, with waterfront views from the dining area, bar, and a seasonal, outdoor patio.

The server was extremely professional & hospitable, and made sure to take our cocktail orders right away:

negroni_espresso martini

The pic is deceivingly dark… don’t worry, it’s more well lit than this and very romantic! Nellie’s Negroni (Hendrick’s, Campari, Sweet Vermouth) on left; Espresso Martini on right.

The cocktails were extremely generous and the taste was to perfection, from the hands of a seasoned spirits artist.

The appetizer was one of the best that we have ever tasted, from any category: Nellie Green’s Eggplant Soufletto – careful, that’s hot!

Nellie Green's

Eggplant Soufletto: ricotta cheese, San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, basil oil ($9)

We didn’t go too crazy with starters, as robust entrees were on the way. The Sweet one married with the Rockport Lobster Trofie which, by the way, was one of the best entree’s she’s had in a long while and The Sweaty one chose the exquisite, Allen Brothers Short Rib (hover over or tap the images for full descriptions):

There was more than enough leftover from each meal for lunch the next day which is always a bonus. The short rib was supremely slow cooked and came undone exactly like a roast or brisket should, one strand at a time. It is unbelievable how balanced it was in being lean and desirably fatty all at the same time. The frizzled shallots added to every bite (battered, fried shallot pieces and strings) and you couldn’t get enough of the touches of Malbec & smoked black pepper sauce. A side of sauce would have been amazing, that might have just just drown out the natural flavors of the rib. We did NOT have room for dessert…

We will definitely be paying Nellie Green’s another visit, but we don’t know if we’ll be able to hold out long enough for the ‘spring and summer views’!

Happy dining, and let us know what you think if you’ve already been, or jump to give it a try*.

-The Sweet and Sweaty

*Either way, make sure to read the legend of ‘Nellie Green’, integral to the origin of this fine establishment – very interesting!

Nellie Green’s
50 Maple Street, Branford CT 06405
Instagram: @NellieGreens


Friday Night Cocktail Series: Martinez Cocktail

We’re going with another gin-based libation this week, in the Martinez Cocktail

We had seen Maraschino liqueur as part of other recipes, and landing on the Martinez recipe from O.H. Byron’s Modern Bartenders’ Guide, was a perfect excuse to buy a bottle.

Now, we didn’t invest in the suggested Old Tom Gin for this cocktail, so it may not be 100% true to form. Pros would know a difference in taste, but most novices should get the same great taste that we got out of ours.

It’s a strong, but balanced cocktail in that you’re not overwhelmed by the main spirit. You will definitely like the Martinez Cocktail if you are a fan of a Manhattan or Negroni though!martinez2.75 oz gin
.25 oz sweet vermouth
.25 oz Maraschino liqueur (the Cristiani Maraschino was ~$10 cheaper vs. the Luxardo brand!)
3-4 dashes orange bitters*
Tools: shot measure, cocktail shaker/strainer
Glass: chilled cocktail or coupe glass

Add three normal ice cubes and all ingredients to your shaker. Stir like a whirligig and then strain into your chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a large orange twist and enjoy!

You probably only need one of these for the night, so take things responsibly and have a great weekend!

-The Sweet and Sweaty

*Orange bitters addendum:
regans' orange bitters


Stony Creek Brewery & Nellie Green’s Combo Platter

Stony Creek Brewery & Nellie Green’s are two great places that go great together. Both establishments are within steps of each other, nestled in the boatyards off of Indian Neck Avenue in Branford, CT. The summer may be the best time overall to visit this pair with their vicinity and views of the Branford River, but they’re open year round, so you should be open to them year round as well!

Stony Creek’s magnificent facility is brand new, with a facade similar to that of a marina club. And the expansive walkway to the front doors has the likeness to that of an ocean pier. The walk felt even more true to this reference with the cold, wind swept mist.
Stony Creek entrance

Even though it may have been terribly damp and cold outside, it was really cozy and warm inside! Floor to ceiling windows greet you as you enter, with a full view of the brewing facility.

On to the tasting room with a roaring fireplace settling everyone in for a long winter’s happy hour. There is also an amazing outdoor deck overlooking the water (you’re one story up at this point), with plenty of space for yard games a level beneath. The deck won’t do you much good in the winter, but definitely give it a spin when the weather breaks!

We actually began our evening with a yoga session in the event space upstairs. Yeah, that’s right – yoga! Their Tuesday sessions are $15 per person and that also includes a drink ticket. The instructors, who are either outside or inside staff depending on the week, have been great the two times we have practiced. It’s really an amazing deal considering the class instruction, exercise, relaxation, and the beer that follows!
Stony Creek beers

Stony Creek’s flagship beers, seasonal’s, and experimental’s are all very good. We recommend first timers try a brew from the Cranky IPA series. There are three to choose from: a session IPA, a mid-level ABV IPA, or a DIPA. The Sweaty one’s beer appetite was quenched with their Kolsch, which was perfectly refreshing after the yoga workout. The Sweet one replenished fuel with their 9% black wheat wine-style beer, Reposado Negro.  The Reposado almost tastes like PATRÓN XO CAFE in beer form, which is very welcomed with it’s wonderful coffee notes!
Stony Creek beers window

We capped off our Stony Creek visit with a growler to go. Always a great deal if you bring an empty growler to save on the container fee.

One of our best friends always says, “There’s food in beer, but there isn’t any beer in food.” Well, The Sweet and Sweaty NEED food, so on to Nellie Green’s we went…  

-The Sweet and Sweaty

Stony Creek Brewery
5 Indian Neck Avenue, Branford, CT
Instagram: StonyCreekBeer

Friday Night Cocktail Series: The Corpse Reviver

I never used The Corpse Reviver as a hangover cure, even though it is billed as one. I actually believe it’s a better cocktail to begin your night; giving you a needed boost after a long day. It’s an easy drinker with a sour start and a sweet finish, so don’t be afraid. Whichever way you want to take it, I figured that East Coasters would need it this weekend to revive their bodies from the brutality of the Polar Vortex!

The Corpse Reviver is another classic cocktail made famous in The Savoy Cocktail Book (Harry Craddock; 1930). Tip: The mix below is most often referred to on cocktail menus as a Corpse Reviver ‘#2’
corpse reviver ingredients
1 oz gin
1/2 oz Triple-Sec (Cointreau being used most traditionally)
1/2 oz Lillet Blanc
3/4 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 dash absinthe (being frugal, and enjoying many cocktails w/ absinthe, we instead use Pernod, an anise liqueur and a fine substitute).
Tools: shot measure, cocktail shaker/strainer
Glass: cocktail glass

Add three normal ice cubes and all ingredients to your shaker. Shake like there’s no tomorrow and then strain into your chilled cocktail glass. Begin drinking immediately in order to get the best punch out of the Corpse Reviver!
corpse reviver

In summary, I really need to thank Bourbon & Branch in San Francisco for first introducing me to this wonderful cocktail. I was intrigued by the name alone, being an enormous fan of metal music and also curious of being ‘revived’. There was nothing like it, after an extremely long day of business in the city, with many adventures to be had that night, a  ton of walking having been done and more to come.

Stay tuned for more versions of the Corpse Reviver and other delicious libations.

Enjoy responsibly and stay revived this weekend!

-The Sweet and Sweaty

The Big Game (Dinner)

The Sweaty one went out on a limb this past Super Bowl Eve, as a guest to a game dinner at the Wallingford Rod & Gun Club (Wallingford, CT). Nerves were high being a game dinner rookie, but duty called, also being a blogger of food experiences…

All involved should be highly commended, and especially the dinner chair, as not only was I at ease after tasting the first course, I could not wait for the SEVENTEEN courses that were to follow!

Don’t let the disposable dinnerware throw you off, as we are talking about a serious DIY event and I certainly would not have wanted the hosts to be bothered by dishes following all of their hard work.

I have certainly had pheasant and venison from family in the past, but in those cases I was almost only eating it just to be polite. On the contrary, the courses prepared at this dinner were dishes of beauty, prepared with the best of sauces and accompaniments, and would be worthy of gracing any restaurant menu.

I felt as stuffed as Thanksgiving dinner, but I knew that what I was eating was fresh, all homemade & made to order; in many ways healthier then most meals!

Thank you to all who were involved as the entire menu was outstanding. It would take three hours to describe it all, so let’s take a visual journey instead. Definitely feel free to post any questions or comments if you’d like me to elaborate on any course!

Note: I did not get pics of the clam chowder or the cake as I didn’t really consider these ‘game’ courses, but I can tell you both were AMAZING. And, I completely forgot to take a pic of the Rabbit Stemperata soup (the deliciousness was very distracting!). Enjoy.

Tip: Hover over the pics (on your desktop/laptop) or tap once on the pic (on mobile) for captions…

roast duck_corned

Clockwise from upper-left: Roast Duck w/Honey/Soy Sauce, Cabbage & Baby Carrots, Corned Venison

-The Sweet and Sweaty

Thrashed Post Experimental Metal

Elated is just one way to describe the feeling I had after seeing Vektor, Eight Bells, and Warm at the Outer Space Ballroom last night.

The night began with what I’ll call my own little ‘opener’, a Coriolis from New England Brewing Company. I’d recommend this beer for any hop fanatics. Tip: Always get Coriolis if you see it on tap, as this DIPA is sure to kick within 24 hours.

New England Brewing Company Coriolis

DIPA = double IPA; Can also be referred to as an “Imperial” IPA

Okay, back to the show! Warm, from CT, was the first opening band and I was very impressed by their brand of experimental metal.



Warm apply the ‘post metal’ label to themselves, and I’d even pin them with ‘post hardcore’ as well. Definitely for fans of everything from the abrasiveness of Cable to the melody and sonic expansiveness of Baroness. Their performance is very physical as well, so even if you’re not 100% into the music, you still get your money’s worth. Warm are releasing a full length very soon, so keep your eyes on their Bandcamp page, and I hope to see these guys on lots of future metal bills!

Next up was more experimental metal, delivered by Eight Bells from Portland, OR.

eight bells

Eight Bells

This all female, three piece dominated the stage and commanded your utmost attention. The vocal harmonies were something I hadn’t seen a band pull-off live in a long time. Very beautiful with both clean and dirty vox which I can imagine would be even more impressive in a larger venue, with a larger sound system.

There were both intense and muted sections that took you along a complete metal journey. -It’s nice to have dynamics from time-to-time instead of the continuous pummeling of riffs and drums. The double-kick was used sparingly which only made it even more welcome and pronounced when it hit. I was also blown away by the 6-string bass work in addition to the soundscape mastery by the effects-laden guitar. Eight Bells are due to drop their new full length this month. I will definitely buy into that presale!

Headlining the night was Vektor from AZ, by way of Philadelphia, PA.



Vektor’s progressive thrash metal is no joke. You can only peel your eyes away from the rapid fire guitar work, if you’re leading the circle pit in the crowd… otherwise, you’re just glued to it!

I love their Outer Isolation full length and can’t wait for their upcoming new release either. These guys are pros and I have a hunch their rise into the upper echelon of metal is just beginning. Fans of the Big 4 should definitely give Vektor a serious listen and better yet, see them in action!

If you’re on the East Coast, your chance to see Vektor and Eight Bells begins (again) tonight with their big tour with Voivod kicking off in Providence (and then on to NYC and Philly). Don’t miss it!

-The Sweet and Sweaty

Friday Night Cocktail Series: Rye Whisperer

Bitter is certainly back in full force with The Negroni commonly featured on many bar & restaurant menus, craft cocktail bars are barrel-aging whiskey with obscene amounts of bitter-forward liqueurs, and many are learning of the digestive benefits of bitters in general.

With the Sweaty one LOVING this bitter comeback, we’d like to feature a bitter winner for this week’s cocktail – the Rye Whisperer
Amaro Averna

This cocktail uses another great bottle to have in your arsenal, Averna. It’s a classic digestif and I’m thinking about using it in some other upcoming cocktails that call for  different types of Amaro Italian liqueurs. They’re all just slightly different in profile, so it will be interesting to see how it compares to some cocktails we have out on the town.
IMG_30501 oz. rye whiskey
1/2 oz. Averna
1/2 oz. dry vermouth
1/4 oz. Bénédictine
2 dashes aromatic bitters (Scrappy’s aromatic bitters are what we use). You could certainly get away with using Angostura bitters, if that’s all you have on hand. 
Tools: shot measure, mixing glass, barspoon, strainer
Glass: cocktail
Garnish: Bada Bing cherry (fancier than a maraschino; natural ingredients & no preservatives)

Drop two ice cubes into your mixing glass and combine all ingredients up through the bitters. Stir vigorously. Strain the contents into your cocktail glass (i.e., this is served “up”),  and drop your cherry into the glass. Wa-lah! Now you’ve got a tasty beverage for your Friday night.

Good luck with the snow any East Coasters out there and as always… enjoy responsibly folks!

-The Sweet and Sweaty

Our Date with Saybrook Fish House

Date night doesn’t always need to mean candlelit, upscale, French or Italian cuisine, dressing formal, or requiring a quiet and/or romantic atmosphere. More often than not, the equation should just include having great food, drinks, service, conversation, laughs, and a casual evening.

We have the exact remedy: Saybrook Fish House in Rocky Hill, CT. Stepping inside does feel like the hull of a ship or your typical seafood shanty, but there is much more beneath the surface. Cozy is a four letter word you’ll embrace at Saybrook Fish House.

It begins with a smile from your server who will ease you into your evening with an over-sized martini or glass of wine.

The Sweaty one cannot resist their dirty martini with its obscene amount of olives and olive juice. The Sweet one’s favorite on the other hand is the Mud-tini, basically a mudslide done ‘up’ vs. frozen and watered down to oblivion. The Mudtini isn’t on their Fall/Winter cocktail menu, and even though they said they’ll make it any time of year, we experimented with the Fall/Winter Pumpkin martini substitution. Thumbs all the way up!

Dinner includes a very robust basket of bread. We know, this is an old school standard. But, we were psyched on it as our usual gastropub and trendy adventures never include this good ol’ American, carb-loading classic.

We love appetizers, but we know to save belly space for what’s next: Saybrook Fish House’s, again-included-with dinner, house salad. Did someone just say “Whoopty doo?” Listen, their salad commands your attention. It’s overwhelming fresh ingredients are never tarnished and their homemade dressing comes straight from the house-dressing gods. We’re talking champagne vinaigrette & creamy garlic dressing in separate jars that you mix yourself, into heavenly bliss. We finish it all every time…

Oh yeah, and then the dinner was good too. Goodnight!

That’s what we’re talking about here though folks, we haven’t even gotten to the main course and we’re already happy campers. And no, they’re not just pulling an Olive Garden fast one where you come for the breadsticks and salad, but just say ‘meh’ to the meal.

The specials are normally top notch with fish, crab cake, and/or surf and turf delights which are difficult to pass up. We decided to stick with their set menu this time and dive into the Bouillabaisse and Fish & Chips.

The bouillabaisse* had a plentiful melange of all the seafood you would expect, with noticeably larger cuts of crab and lobster. You could tell the freshness with this as well as there was no setting of oil in the broth and the sodium levels were kept in check. *Pic featured at top of article.

The menu stated that the fish and chips were breaded and cooked to order, which the texture and taste confirmed! The fries were also fresh, and the coleslaw with it’s incorporation of red bell pepper was more than satisfying.

We would both go with these entrees again and can’t wait until next time to venture into the menu even more!

We skipped coffee and dessert, and took home their complimentary fruit plate. Since it was packaged up, we didn’t get a pic. Believe us though, it’s a great offering and always a perfect addition to breakfast the morning after. We’re talking two of each: cantaloupe slices, honey dew melon slices, strawberries, and pineapple – and like with everything else at Saybrook, extremely fresh. It’s totally unnecessary, but Saybrook ends your meal with it every time, even if you ask ahead about taking it to go!

Note: if you can’t get a sitter or the parents to come by, Saybrook Fish House is also very kid friendly. Heck, you could even make it a family Valentine’s Date there and you’d be happy you did it. Tip: the crayons and paper table covers are adult friendly as well. We have never been ashamed to spread a little wax color there either… enjoy!

-The Sweet and Sweaty

Saybrook Fish House
2165 Silas Deane Highway Rocky Hill, CT 06067


Friday Night Cocktail Series: The Old Fashioned


Disclaimer: This one is totally Sweet & Sweaty style. Some like it with muddle and some don’t like any muddle at all. We like both versions, but for this lesson it’s going to be a Sweet and Sweaty style combo. And, we believe this will be a better whiskey cocktail gateway drink for everyone anyway.

In fact, there is even debate on which is the ‘right way’. The original Old Fashioned was made only with rye, sugar, bitters, water, and a lemon peel garnish. Many modern day cocktail artists take to sweetening up the joint by adding orange slices and maraschinos, they mix in soda water, and/or use bourbon more often than rye whiskey.

Let’s get to it though so you can get on with your weekend and enjoy this tasty beverage!
2 oz bourbon
.25 oz simple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 Maraschino cherries
1 orange slice, peeled
Tools: shot measure, mixing glass*, barspoon*, strainer*, pearing knife, muddler or a tiny whisk
Glass: old fashioned / tumbler (chilled)
Garnishes: lemon and orange twists
*Pictured in addendum at bottom of post

Note: We’re currently on a bottle of lower-shelf, Four Roses Bourbon Yellow and it makes a fine cocktail. Inexpensive and still satisfying.

Make your simple syrup as soon as you get home as it will take some time to cool. Also, put your Old Fashioned glass in the fridge or freezer to chill while you’re making the simple syrup:

Combine 1 cup of white sugar and 1 cup of water in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Let it cool. An empty jar makes for a good storage receptacle! Store in the fridge once packaged. We’ve used simple syrup over the suggested 2-3 week ‘shelf-life’, so I wouldn’t fret too much. The best solution would be to label it and start over after 30 days.

Once your simple syrup is cooled, drop two ice cubes in your mixing glass. Next, add the simple syrup, bitters, cherries, and orange slice. Muddle the cherries and orange slice with the simple syrup. Add the bourbon and muddle some more.

Get your chilled glass, and drop in an oversized cube or two normal ice tray cubes. Strain the contents of the mixing glass over the ice in your chilled glass, and garnish with both lemon and orange twists/peels. We always like squeezing some zest from the peels over the drink and running the peels around the glass rim, before they adorn, or are dropped in the glass – awwww yeah.

This will certainly give you a sweeter version of the Old Fashioned. If you like to eat your drink while you drink it, like we do: use normal cubes vs. the oversized cube, forego straining, and then you’ll be able to easily stab and eat the fruit while you imbibe. Or… if you like a stronger drink, forego the orange slice and cherries all together!

We’d love to hear your feedback on this cocktail. Especially in regards to which version you like best of all, if you’ve done some experimentation. Enjoy responsibly and have a great weekend!

-The Sweet and Sweaty

*Addendum – mixing glass, barspoon, and strainerOld Fashioned

Getting Ready for the Big Game

With just a little over a week to go before the big game, we were struck with the idea to have a little get together.  Even though our beloved Philadelphia Eagles have been ousted and we don’t have a horse in the race, we couldn’t resist the idea of gathering a few of our friends to eat lots of delicious snacks and to crack open a few tasty beverages.  Especially because there are so many party perfect recipes that have caught our eye over the last few months.  Since we’re only a small group, and our guests will definitely bring treats of their own, we may have to whittle down the menu, but here are the recipes currently in the running!

First up we have Dips… Who doesn’t love a good dip? Hot or cold, it doesn’t matter to us.  Rather than stick with our usual go-to dips, we are excited to try something new.  The two recipes at the top of our list both come from a blog that we LOVE… Well Plated by Erin. This site offers great recipes and beautiful pictures. We’ve includes a few shots from the site along with the links to the recipes below in case any of you feel inspired to give them a try too!

Roasted Red Pepper Parmesan Dip – This one caught our eye due to its simplicity and the fact that it is a healthier option than our usual choices. And even though we do not typically gravitate towards bean dips (not a favorite of the Sweet one), we’re excited to step outside out comfort zone and give this a try!

Next up for the hot option… Loaded Baked Potato Dip. This one also looks delicious and unlike anything we have ever made. We’re certainly going to follow the instructions listed to serve this one hot.

NOTE: For those who are interested in our old standbys… Classic Spinach Dip in a Bread Bowl as a cold option & Warm Artichoke Dip for a hot choice.  The recipe we use for the latter comes from the ‘Best of the Best from New England Cookbook‘, a book we bought years ago. Not sure if we have ever made anything else from this book, but this artichoke dip is a consistent crowd pleaser! On the off chance that anyone out there has this cookbook or knows someone who does, please comment on this post with your favorite recipes from this book.

After the dip, always comes the apps! So far, we are only considering one new recipe, because we couldn’t possibly throw a football party without Pigs in a Blanket, and since we’re only a small group, we don’t want to go too far overboard. The app we are excited to try is Creamy Spanakopita Tarts from With Salt and Wit, another great blog that we follow. This particular recipe inspired us because Spanakopita is an absolute favorite of the Sweet one. Her mom has made an appetizer version for years, but due to the complexity of working with phyllo dough we have never tried it at home.  This recipes uses frozen phyllo tarts and therefore takes away that major pain point.

For the main course, the Sweaty one is insisting that Chili be served, but rather than treat our guests to our favorite, tried and true Rachael Ray recipe for Indian Summer Turkey Chili, we’ve decided to do something crazy (and a little frightening).

A bit of background, several years ago (maybe 2002 or 2003 season), our Eagles were trying to go all the way, and we decided to have a football party (very unusual for us when one of our favorite teams is involved, as the Sweet one is very superstitious when it comes to sports). Back then we were true novices in the kitchen, yet we decided that we wanted to craft our own Chili recipe.  So we researched and researched, we must have read hundreds of recipes for inspiration, and drafted up the recipe you see below.  So why is this so frightening you ask? Because after that day in football history when we made this chili and fed it to our 15-20 guests, we never made it again.

Until now… we’re going to give it another try. Even though the proportions seem a bit off and we’re sure we’ll have to change it up as we go to avoid disaster (we’re already planning on substituting ground turkey), we’re going to use this as the base…  So wish us luck, and if any of you home cooks out there have any recommendations on fixing our proportions, we’d love to hear them!

Happy Party Planning!

-The Sweet and Sweaty

Big Game Chili – Sweet and Sweaty Style

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