Lake Compounce launches Bites and Pints gourmet food festival weekends in June

·2 min read

Amusement parks — the land of chicken tenders, hot dogs and cotton candy — aren’t usually the place one goes to get gourmet food. But every weekend in June, Lake Compounce is hosting the Bites and Pints Food & Drink Festival, a selection of artisan small plates, wine and craft beer.

The dishes at Bites and Pints were crafted by Donte Jones and Michone Denae Arrington, the chefs behind The Art of Yum in Southington and Waterbury. The event celebrates the Bristol park’s 175th birthday. The park, which opened in 1846, is the oldest continuously operating amusement park in the United States.

Anyone visiting the park can buy from the Bites and Pints food vendors, who will be set up by the carousel. The Bites and Pints hours on Saturdays are noon to 7 p.m. and Sundays noon to 6 p.m. Park hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and 1 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.

The “bites” are in six categories of small servings, with corresponding beers, wines and cocktails. “Mozz be Dreaming” includes a chicken-mozzarella panini, a mozzarella-pesto taco and truffle fries. “Tons of Buns (& a Taco)” includes a BLT on challah bread, a chicken-pork taco and a fish sandwich. “Edgy Veggie” has vegan taquitos, tacos and nachos. “Get Elote This” focuses on Latin flavors including mofongo balls, a quesadilla and street corn. “Bar-B-Queue” offers a burger, pork sliders and pound cake. “Carosoul Café” is Southern food including a chicken and waffle slider, mac and chese and apple pie cake.

Cocktails include a frozen peach bellini, a spiked Arnold Palmer, a frozen pineapple gin fizz, frozen hurricanes, margaritas and tequila sunrises, bourbon strawberry iced tea, a blackberry cobbler mule and Jack Daniels lemonade. Wines include pinot grigio, cabernet and white zinfandel. Among the beers will be craft brews from New England Brewing of Woodbridge and Two Roads of Stratford.

Food and drink items can be purchased individually, with food items ranging from $4.99 to $7.99 and drinks ranging from $8.99 to $12.99. Alternately, a “bite card” can be purchased. An eight-sample bite card — good for any combination of eight regular-sized food items and sample-sized drink items — is $39.99. A 12-sample bite card is $49.99.

A 15-sample bite card is available to season passholders only, at $49.99. Season passes start at $69.99.

ID will be checked to purchase beverages. Soft drinks also will be available.

Entertainers at Bites and Pints are Ryan Townsend on June 12, Profile Reggae on June 13, The Dilemma on June 19, Wyld Nightz on June 20, Nothing But Velvet on June 26 and Collective Difference on June 27.

Bite cards can be bought on-site or online at

Susan Dunne can be reached at

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