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Natale: A cold one in Darien, of a different kind

nanci-natale-darien-unexpectedA cold one. No, I’m not talking about these freezing February days (which thankfully are getting longer as we make our way toward spring in less than 30 days.) I’m talking about a cold one, a brew, a beer, a stein, ale, lager, stout.

We all know over-consumption of the frothy stuff can have disastrous consequences, not necessary to repeat here — we all know!

But we also know that an occasional cold one can be most welcome and the Darien Historical Society has a fine, educational and entertaining exhibit night planned for March 8 serving different beers and brief biographies on the place of beer in our history.

Several local restaurants (Sails, Coromandel, Michael Joseph’s etc.) have contributed to the fun atmosphere by providing typical pub fare — what a great way to reintroduce yourself to local favorites, or introduce yourself to new eateries in town if you haven’t already paid them a visit.

A beer tasting night aptly called “BrewED,” where you can learn about brewing (Suranac, BBC, Charter Oak etc.), discover new beers, enjoy pub food and mingle with friends — the importance not necessarily in that order! Kudos to Jack Gault and his staff for once again coming up with a wonderful night out at the Darien Historical Society.

And St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner for our local Irish (and those that aren’t Irish but just like the fun of a late winter holiday) — and what better to wash down corned beef and cabbage than with a cold one like Guinness Stout.

For those not inclined to be portly in later years — there are light beers, refreshing and less caloric than their heartier counterparts and equally refreshing on those dog days which — despite the howling winds and unexpected heavy snows — will return before we know it.

For the more refined, yet relaxed palate, there is Estia’s American in downtown Darien — an intimate little bistro — just enough dim lighting and space for a cozy chat with friends or a romantic dinner for two — Estia’s means hospitality in Greek — and hospitable they are. A great staff that caters but doesn’t intrude.

Try the Fisherman Fluke (broiled in lobster broth — yum) or go more casual and have the Tokeneke Tacos. And definitely try the Banana Cream Pie with fresh bananas and flavored whipped cream!

Ben Franklin purportedly said “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy,” I have since found out that this is an edited version of what he really said. However it suits the purpose of this week’s column and I’ll keep it — for now!

But for the record, here, in a letter addressed to André Morellet in 1779, is what Benjamin Franklin actually did say: “Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.”

So, do something unexpected to combat the winter chill – have a cold one downtown! Until next time, hope February isn’t too harsh for you!

 

Nanci Natale is a lifelong Darien resident, photographer, poet, accomplished gardener, cook and artist. Her poetry has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Bellowing Ark and others publications.

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