Seek out On The Green in Litchfield

Ah, Litchfield. It’s a charming little town that was once the old county seat of beautiful Litchfield County, Connecticut. It’s nostalgic in every way possible. With houses as grand as the people that live in it, Litchfield is a quintessential New England town that is full of surprises around every corner. Recently, a new surprise appeared in the village center as a once popular restaurant, Aspen Garden, closed up shop and left the town of Litchfield without a delightful place to eat on cool summer nights. All that has changed recently, however, as new owners quickly set up shop and brought the atmosphere back to life. On The Green restaurant is in business, and the locals certainly know all about it. On a warm summer evening, I made my way to Litchfield to enjoy a splendid dinner at this popular restaurant, and as I did, I couldn’t help but love everything about it. I had been a fan of Aspen Garden for as long as I could remember. As a kid growing up, we had a summer homestead in Litchfield, (Okay, I admit. It was a trailer parked seasonally at a camp resort, but it was in every way our second home!) and on cool summer nights, we made our way to Aspen Garden for dinner as we enjoyed sitting on their outdoor patio taking in the sights and sounds of Litchfield.

On The Green is rather similar, and I do believe they kept it that way since they knew how popular the location was. With it’s lush flowers surrounding it’s outdoor patio which sits in front of the restaurant overlooking the Litchfield green, On The Green is the perfect choice to have a perfect meal. I was referred to having a very delicious feta cheeseburger with onions and a side of fries. Hey, I’m a single guy, what could I say! It’s certainly no prime rib! I did, however, order a glass of Italian wine to make up for it, which made the meal even more delicious. The food was very well prepared and I savored every bite I could sink my teeth into. This was the Aspen Garden I remember, only ten times better! I couldn’t have asked for a better meal, and I couldn’t have asked for a better night out as I enjoyed a fine glass of wine in the heart of Litchfield, a town noted as one of the finest towns in all of New England, and it’s certainly no wonder as to why!


Make it a New Morning


Have you ever studied your purchasing habits? As someone who makes a conscious effort to look out for the environment, I often ensure that what I buy makes green sense as well, which is why I have tuned myself into New Morning Natural & Organic in nearby Woodbury. New Morning is a relatively small retail store that is currently undergoing expansion as it looks to move to it’s new home soon from it’s current location on Main Street South in Woodbury. New Morning is everything natural and they really have a great selection on locally grown items such as dairy and produce, and most of it at pretty reasonable prices for the average consumer. As you tour about this charming store with it’s rustic wooden floors and shelving, you’ll notice the abundant amount of merchandise they sell which is aimed to promote a healthy lifestyle. Products like wheatgrass, soy milk, Honest Tea, and Odawalla pack the store shelves as it presents itself like a candy store for healthy living consumers everywhere.

Make no mistake about it, however, New Morning is more than just a health store, it’s also the place to support your local farmers as locally grown produce from nearby farms bridge the gap from farm to table. Milk from places such as Arethusa Dairy Farm in Litchfield is also available and at reasonable prices. Speaking of prices, be sure to sign up for their loyalty program, Greenshares, as you can reap in the savings at the register. The program is free of charge and works much like a Stop & Shop card. A novel idea from such a novel little store that puts the customer first in every aspect of the business.

When The Market in Litchfield closed up a few weeks ago, I was slightly devastated as it was my store of choice when searching for products I knew, were not only good for my well being, but also good for the environment. When I stumbled upon New Morning, I knew I was in good hands. When you stop to look at the bigger picture, every little thing we do makes an impact on the environment. Everything. We as consumers have a choice when we want to make an impact on the world we live in, and it all begins when we get to the check out lane.

New Morning Natural & Organic
738 Main Street South
Woodbury, CT 06798-3701




Daffodil Hill Offers a Sea of Daffodils


Last night, I was watching one of my trusted news sources, NBC Connecticut, and as I was watching I happened to notice that they were airing a story that took place here in Litchfield County. I was all ears. Anything to do with the local area I immediately want to know about, even if I already know about it! This story, however, I hadn’t known about and I was very excited that I was learning of a new place to discover, and what a place it was indeed. Located in the sprawling countryside in between the rolling hills of Litchfield and Thomaston lies a place called Daffodil Hill which is known to be quite the magical place this time of year as a sea of daffodils take front and center and sprawl themselves across quite a few acres of property that eventually lead to a majestic countryside pond. Daffodil Hill is fairly easy to get to as it lies right off of Route 254 at a place called Laurel Ridge Farm. It is here where people of all ages come to enjoy the beauty that is Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills and it is also here where many photo enthusiasts both professional and non-professionals, come to take in the sights as they work their lenses and capture everything that this landscape has to offer.

It had been my first visit to Daffodil Hill and I was in awe of what lay in front of me. This sea of daffodils came complete with rolling hills, a majestic pond, and a slew of rock walls that bordered the property. This was paradise to me as I can literally sit here for hours on end capturing the essence of daffodils through the lens of my iPhone, which amazingly takes fantastic pictures which you can see for yourself in this column. As I walked through the field and down the hillside, I couldn’t help but reflect on just how special life really is. So often, many of us take it for granted but when you see sights such as this it’s easy to get lost and bask in the glory of life.







VIDEO: A Litchfield County Winter

On a winter day, there really is nothing like taking a spin around Litchfield County to take in the abundance of glorious scenery that our region offers.

Winter Solitude

Connecticut‘s Litchfield Hills enjoyed a day out on Saturday after a general five to eighteen inches fell across Litchfield county on Friday night. The highest amounts were in southern Litchfield county around the Brookfield and New Milford areas as a Norlun Trough impacted western Connecticut. Traffic on Interstate 84 came  to a complete stand still in the Danbury area as drivers were walking away from their cars and walking off of exit ramps. Further north on Interstate 84, in Cheshire, motorists became stranded as trucks had a hard time making it up the steep incline. The day after, however, left a very calming scene in Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills.

Winchester Lake. Winchester Center,CT

Click here for the complte story from NBC Connecticut

Thoughts from the field: Why I started


Mike Valletta
As I travel across the Litchfield Hills region and get to talking to some of the folks, I am often asked one very common question; why did I start this whole venture? There were, of course, a variety of factors which prompted me to begin this blog, but one thing in particular got me started; the need to tell others about our hidden gems. I work on the Connecticut shoreline and commute from the Torrington area four days a week for my job in the corporate world. It came as a surprise to me as to how many people had no clue of what was actually in this part of the state. From our mountains, dirt roads, even to our laid back lifestyle, people really didn’t think that a little bit of Vermont existed in Connecticut. The Litchfield Hills region is, without a doubt, Connecticut’s last frontier. There is so much here to explore that once it is explored, it’s loved, and it is my job here to show the world everything that we have to offer, which is more than meets the eye.


The Litchfield Hills region is my home, and for the most part, I would hope that it would be my home for many years to come. With so many unique attractions such as the covered bridge in Cornwall, to towering mountain views from Mohawk Mountain,and to art deco architecture in historic downtown Torrington, there really is a lot that has yet to be explored by the general public. For the most part, that is great since we really don’t want too much to change in this part of Connecticut. We enjoy this region for a reason, because so much has remained the same, and many places are undeveloped as the Litchfield Hills region is one big sprawling countryside.

Through my many adventures, I get to know a lot of folks who came here in search of the simple life as many are transplants from urban areas. Some have become unemployed from the failing economy and found their niches here as they hung onto their talent and started their own businesses. Many have said that the biggest reason they transplanted here was because of the easy-going, carefree lifestyle that is offered up. To me, that is quite a cool thing as I am able to tell their stories, and believe me, many of them really have some amazing stories to tell!

While many enjoy the life that Litchfield county offers today, many also say that one day we too will get caught up with the modern world, which is why we must enjoy everything that is here today.  There is a whole region to explore that I invite you to check out. “Thoughts from the field” is the newest category to be added to the blog as they are thoughts from me while working out in the field. I’m not in the middle of my story, I’ve only just begun.

Mike Valletta can be reached for comment at:

Be sure to check us out on The Register Citizen. Northwest Connecticut’s Local Newspaper:

Become a fan on Facebook! Friend Request Mike! Follow us on Twitter!

New England charm is found in Riverton

The Riverton General Store has something for everyone and welcomes you with warm hospitality.

If you are looking for a charming New England village, you do not have to travel far at all.  Our Litchfield Hills region is chock full of quaint New England villages that will remind you of an era that has gone by. One in particular welcomes you to the Litchfield Hills in open arms. The historic village of Riverton, located in the town of Barkhamsted, is just the place to begin your journey here in the hills.  It is nestled along the banks of the Farmington River where you can catch some splendid views, or even catch a fish or two.  As you stroll through town, you will not find much in the way of anything really mainstream. This place is mom and pop all the way.  An old-fashioned general store welcomes you to town as they charm you with that good old down home hospitality. It is a place where you can step into to warm up from the cold with a great cup of coffee, or just stop in to have a conversation about Riverton. Either way, this should be your first stop in town as you get ready to explore all that this New England village has to offer, which is actually a lot more than what is seen from the eye. Riverton is well-known throughout the land for a very famous factory that sits on the edge of the Farmington River. The Hitchcock Chair Company Store is a reminder of the towns historic past. They began manufacturing chairs here back in 1826. It wasn’t until 1928, however, that they moved on to other home furnishings such as cabinets, which made the town famous all across America. 

As you stroll though town, you’ll notice that it is much more than just chairs today. Hitchcock has since left the village of Riverton but the building still stands today as it stands in the view of The Old Riverton Inn, which was voted number one in Fine Dining and Most Romantic in the 2010 Register Citizen Readers Choice Awards and is also the featured photo for this column as displayed above. Can you believe that this place has been around since 1796?  To this day, it is still ready to welcome you for a good nights rest as well as some great comfort food.

You just can’t help but to love Riverton. This village has heart. It is one of those places that you don’t ever want to walk away from as you frolic from town to river and all points in between. Riverton is the perfect place to catch up with old friends as you reminisce on days gone by as you get caught up in the towns historic charm. I can’t seem to think of a better place to begin a day out here in Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills.

Riverton. The Gateway to Connecticut's Litchfield Hills!
Hitchcock Chair Company on the banks of The Farmington River.


The Riverton Congregational Church.

Mike Valletta can be reached for comment at:

Be sure to check us out on The Register Citizen. Northwest Connecticut’s Local Newspaper:

Become a fan on Facebook! Friend Request Mike! Follow us on Twitter!