An Evening Out in New Haven

This weekend, I had the opportunity to do something unusual for me, something I haven’t done in a long time – go into the city for the theater. My mother-in-law had gotten tickets for Christmas for us to see Dirty Dancing at the Shubert Theatre, so we made our way on Saturday out to New Haven, with some family, to see the play.

I have to say, going in, I didn’t really know what to expect, I mean, it’s Dirty Dancing, where they’re supposed to be at this beautiful resort, with great views and many outdoor scenes, but they pulled it off, and they pulled it off well, all with the help of a little technology. The background on the stage was a big screen that placed you at the gorgeous, scenic resort, which I think was even more beautiful than the movie. It was really spectacular at some points how they could make you feel like you were right there in the scene with them, running in the rain, learning to balance on the fallen log, or learning to the jump in the water with Baby and Johnny.

The acting was very good. Baby, to me, is a very dramatic person, and the actress played her well. Johnny didn’t look like Johnny, but boy did he sound like him! They also had two amazing singers that I could just listen to all day. One of the cast members reminded me of Cheryl Barnes who sang Easy to Be Hard in the movie Hair. She had a beautiful, powerful voice and sang with such emotion, you could feel what she was feeling. Side Note – If you haven’t heard Cheryl Barnes’s version of Easy to Be Hard, it’s worth looking up.

I really got into the play and the time seemed to fly by, which is a good thing, until the end, when you don’t want it to end! All-in-all, it was a great performance, and I would highly suggest seeing it if it comes around again.

For dinner, we decided to go to Barcelona Wine Bar at the recommendation of my husband’s cousins, but they didn’t open until 5, so we stopped by Olives and Oil for a glass of wine. We sat at the bar and their bartenders were really friendly and helpful, especially to this girl, who had to be difficult and want a sweet red wine. After tying two red wines, I finally settled with the second, which was perfect, and went down smooth.

After we finished our wine, we saw that Barcelona’s doors had opened, so we walked across the street for some tapas. I had never had tapas before, so it was a new experience for me. One thing to note, if you are looking for Barcelona, there is no sign. It’s really hard to even tell there’s a restaurant there if you come in from the main door side, so I thought I’d let you know that the entrance is right across the street from Olives and Oil.

We arrived and told them we had six people in our party and they asked us if we had a reservation, which we did not. They told us they would give us a table, but we had to be out by 6:15pm because the table was reserved. I was a little put off by this, because frankly, there was nobody there, they had just opened, and it was a weekend. I couldn’t imagine how they weren’t able to accommodate six people without a reservation; it was a little odd to me. In the end, we ended up being there until after 6:15pm, and they never said anything to us, which I appreciated.

Our server Joe was really great! We ordered a good amount of tapas for six people, a nice variety for each of our tastes. Joe thought we may have ordered a little too much, but they were all so good that we ended up finishing them. The menu is hard to decifer if you haven’t been there before, so if it intimidates you, I suggest talking to your server and asking them what they would recommend. Luckily, I was with somebody who knew the menu well, so here’s what we ordered: Potato Tortilla, Crispy Calamari, Spiced Chicken Empanadas, Jamon & Chicken Croquetas, Manchego, Chorizo, San Simon, Grilled Hanger, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Broccolini, Chorizo & Figs, Patatas Bravas, Spicy Eggplant Caponata, and for dessert we got Sugar Cookies, Crepes, and something with Hazelnut and Chocolate that was delicious. My favorites were definitely the Calamari, Empanadas, Croquetas, Grilled Hanger, and the Crepes. We also got warm bread and olive oil for dipping with our meal, which really hit the spot. I’m Italian, so give me bread and olive oil and I’m happier than a clam!

 

We also ordered pitchers of white and red sangria, but I definitely preferred the white, which was made with pineapple juice, rum, brandy, orange liqueur, citrus and grapefruit and apple. It was amazing to say the least. I drank a lot of it! It really knocked me out of my boots – it was a strong drink, which is sometimes hard to come by these days. I have to say, I wasn’t disappointed with anything that I had Saturday night, and if you’re in the area, you should most definitely stop by for a visit.

I really had a great night, and I hope you enjoy the photos of all my delicious food. I wish I had better photos to share, but I honestly just had my iPhone with me – no sense in lugging around a big camera with you when you can’t use it in the theatre!

 

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