Stoney Creeks Open at Foxwoods

At first, the entrance is greets you with with a stunning house-like entrance, welcoming you into a friendly world of local craft beer. Once inside, a number of areas are available to sit and socialize with friends. We decided to belly up to the bar.

If this was just about the beer, this review would say that Stoney Creek offers a great variety of craft beer brewed at Foxwoods as well at its first brewery in Branford, CT. But, this new pub at Foxwoods is much, much more.

The Full Pint – Craft Beer News reported, “The brewery is Stony Creek’s second brewing operation following their flagship Branford, Connecticut location. With two floors, 7,100 square feet and seating for over three hundred guests……Both floors of Stony Creek Brewery offer distinct experiences. The ground floor is designed as an ode to Stony Creek’s New England heritage which also includes a spacious beer garden and a brew deck with a view into the brewhouse, giving guests a first-hand look at the beer production process.”

The Beer

To quote the Stony Creek website, “THE FUSION OF CLEAN, BOLD, AND AGGRESSIVE WEST COAST FLAVORS AND EAST COAST BALANCE AND DRINKABILITY. WE CALL THIS AGGRESSIVELY LAID-BACK BEER.”

Yes, those are stouts! Amazing taste.

Bert ordered Sun Juice, a smooth wheat beer with orange peel, grapefruit peel, coriander & chamomile.  This is a great alternative to an IPA craze. They have a number of excellent IPA’s like Cranky, a West Coast IPA with citrus and tropical notes. I went with a flight of four beers. The star of the show is Stoney Joe, a golden mocha stout – that’s right golden.  But even more outstanding is Nitro Stoney Joe, only available at Foxwoods or Branford. (Cans of many other brews can be bought as well.) 15 Stoney Creek brews are on tap.

The Staff

Katie & Kristy , our fantastic bartenders

Probably one of the most enjoyable parts of our visit was meeting its staff members.  Our two bartenders were an incredible help with knowledge and description all of the beers. Want to taste before ordering?  No problem – they want you to taste and be sure to order something you like.  Brewmaster Andy Schwartz leads the team.  We were able to speak to Johnny Haines, in charge on this day, who was very complimentary to Foxwoods in the way the two businesses have worked together. As an example of the great hospitality, he stopped his very busy work load to speak to us, ready to answer questions we had. John informed us a top Foxwoods chef designed the menu. Foxwoods prepares all of the food served.

The Set-Up

There are two floors, each with a different perspective – East Coast (the laid back area) / West Coast (aggressive area) and different variations of the same food.  Wings, flatbreads, and sandwiches are offered on both floors, but each floor offers them with a different cuisine.

The second-floor design has a Southern California-themed beer and cocktail bar, a stage, and an overlook area. On the lower floor, there is a raised platform with Adirondack chairs to people watch in the casino.

NETG recommends this for a break from the casino, or  just a break from life . It’s a great place to meet friends and enjoy quality beer. See you at Stoney Creek at Foxwoods – look for guy with the NETimeGambling tee – that’l be me.

Binbin

Sol Toro at Mohegan Sun Renovated – a Dining Review

The new Sol Toro entrance

One month ago, a favorite restaurant at Mohegan Sun – “Sol Toro” – had a facelift.  Renovations were quick. When all three of us at NETG visited, not only were we surprised at at what we saw, we liked what we saw and loved what we tasted.

The Renovations

The formerly dark and somewhat gloomy interior has been renovated. Gone are the front grills in the entry, and the dark wood that consumed the interior of the restaurant. New paint, new lighter scaled furniture, and better lighting have transformed this space into a most welcoming space. Brightly colored chairs and light wood table tops make the space shade inviting. Design changes include an expanded bar and lounge area for socializing while sipping margaritas or trying one of their 285 tequilas.

Tons of Tequila at SolToro, Mohegan Sun

Menu Changes

According toHotelmanagement.net, SolToro’s menu of Mexican classics with a modern twist will also get an upgrade. New dishes from” culinary director Chip Miller will include Queso Three Ways (chili con carne, roasted corn & bean, chipotle bacon); Mexican Shrimp Cocktail with tomato broth and roasted poblanos; and carne asada of marinated prime NY strip, served with cheese enchiladas, charred onions and zesty chimichurri sauce.”  A staple of their previous menu, table side guacamole, is still available mild, medium, and spicy, and is not to be missed.

Our Experience

Delicious tacos at Solo Toro Tequila Grill

We passed on drinks, expecting libations at the New England Black Wolves Pro Lacrosse game.  Three of us ordered the tacos.  My BAJA FISH Tacos were the best fish tacos I ever had.  Slightly seasoned with lime scented cabbage, the ancho tartare added heat to the mahi.  The tacos shells stayed nice and firm and were absolutely delicious.  Others in our party had the ADOBO PORK Tacos, which included cilantro jicama slaw, grilled pineapple, and a jalapeño ranch sauce, which were also outstanding.  Miguel had the CHICKEN BURRITO with cheese, rice and beans a step above the usual Mexican sides.  We all agreed we would return and try some of their more exotic entrees like their ROASTED DUCK and STEAK tacos, as well as their tableside Guac.

Recommended

The new lighter look of the bar area.

Solo Toro, part of the Michael Jordan’s group of restaurants at Mohegan Sun, continues to be a good dining experience, and now with the new bright ambience, it’s now a great dining experience.

Binbin

 

Slacks Oyster House & Grill – A Dining Review

Slacks Oyster House and Grill at Plainridge Park Casino and Raceway in Plainville, Massachusetts has always been a place I wanted to visit, dine and review since Plainridge opened in 2015.  It considers itself “Award Winning Dining” and provides the top dining experience at Plainridge. It features seafood & steakhouse fare prepared on the premises. The bar features local micro brews, a select wine menu and specialty cocktails for every season.

Open Hours

SUNDAYS: 2PM – 8PM, WEDNESDAYS & THURSDAYS: 5PM – 10PM, and FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS: 5PM – 11PM.

The Journey

The three of us, Bin Bert and Miguel, stopped in after attending a thrilling game at Gillette Stadium where the New England Patriots had just beaten the Jacksonville Jaguars for the AFC championship. Plainridge is only 20 minutes away from the Patriots home. Upon arrival, I ordered Salted Caramel Vodka and club soda, and Bert ordered a Guinness. Both drinks were as good as expected.

Quality of Food

We had heard of their Sunday Prime Rib Special, so we all ordered the same thing with different sides. The wait was minimal and the presentation was beautiful. We all agreed that the Prime Rib was delicious, each cooked precisely the way we had ordered it. The sides were the quality of what you expect at a good Steakhouse. But the star of the sides was a creamy, rich and cheesy Mac n’ cheese unlike any your mama has made – an NETG suggestion for any newbie to Slacks. It also came with a large popover (see picture above).  Unfortunately, our excitement over it soon turned to disappointment, as all three were hard and chewy – not at all what would be expected. Other than that, the meal was terrific.  Click HERE for the full menu.

Pricing

If you are looking for a value in a high dining, I would consider Slacks. The overall pricing in relation to quality and ambience is a good value if considering other restaurants in casinos in New England, New York and Atlantic City. And while the clanging of slot machines is right outside the entrance, and the casino is in full view, inside is quiet, pristine and relaxing.

Service & Cleanliness

Hostess and server were knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. The manager stopped in twice to chat, since it was late with few patrons.  This all without informing them of this pending review.  I just felt that this considerate service was just how their rolled. The restaurant inside was clean, well organized, and a delight to dine at.

Celebrity Sighting

We were quietly informed that Deone Branch, the former Patriots star wide receiver was in the house. Of course, we kept our distance.  I also saw him playing slots, but left him alone – after all, he was there just like anyone at the casino – personal enjoyment with emphasis on the “personal.”

NETG Rating – “Full House”

We would not hesitate to return. The cuisine and experience was better than expected and equal to steakhouses in the same price range such as David Burke’s Tuscany, at Mohegan Sun, Cedars Steakhouse at Foxwoods and Fred and Steve’s Steakhouse at Twin Rive4 Casino. But, that popover was a disappointment. But, we highly suggest this restaurant if in Plainville or at Plainridge Park Casino.

Bin, Bert, and Miguel