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Great dinner places within reasonable distance of Newtown/Southbury

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Going for a girls night out tomorrow and looking for a hidden gem or a reliable stand by for dinner. Always eat at Inn at Newtown and Kolam, so those are out. Don't want anything as expensive as Good News Cafe and would prefer a non-chain. Looking for any type of cuisine, can be a dive if food is really good, and something where we can each walk away paying no more than $20 each for just an entree and a non-alcoholic drink, not including tax or tip. One of us is in Newtown; the other is in Southbury. Considered Pizzeria Lauretano in Bethel and Turkish Kebab House in West Haven, but don't want to go that far if the weather is uncooperative.

Any and all suggestions are appreciated!!

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  1. Mona Lisa in Newtown has a $14.95 menu every night, except Saturdays. There is also Red Brick Tavern in Sandy Hook. It is convenient to both of you and I've had really good, inexpensive meals there. The menu runs the gamut from burgers and salads to steaks and lobsters.

    Enjoy!

    1. Don't bother with the Red Brick Tavern. Their menu is uninspired and, frankly, overpriced for what it is. Leo's in Southbury is good. Empire Szechuan is good too. I've always enjoyed Mona Lisa. Oh and El Coyote in Newtown is good but service is usually slow.
      Please come back with where you went and a review since I'm always looking for some new places in the Newtown area, too.

      1. Thanks for both for your suggestions. I'd been to Mona Lisa several years ago when we first moved to Newtown, and I wasn't in love with it and haven't returned. I had heard about Red Brick Tavern that it was pricey and not great, so I chose not to try it last night. Leo's I think is okay for breakfast (although I much rather eat breakfast at Laurel Diner if I am in Southbury), but I don't like it for dinner. Empire Szechuan is reliable and good, but we wanted someplace we don't go normally. El Coyote isn't re-opening (in Monroe, Tollgate Plaza where La Strada used to be) until next Friday.

        We ended up at Roseland in Derby. I hadn't been there in at least a year, and when I want to go, my husband isn't in the mood, so it was a perfect choice. The food was really good (we got fried calamari, white clam pizza, and a side of meatballs), we walked away paying around what I wanted, and my friend thinks I'm so cool that I knew about Roseland and could find it! :) While we didn't take advantage of it, Roseland now accepts credit cards. Of course, it may be old news--it has been a while since I was last there.

        Thanks again.

        1 Reply
        1. re: chowgirl

          I disagree I think that you should definetly give the Red Brick Tavern a Try! They have a great menu with large portions, and the patio is now open. The patio overlooks the pootatuck river and it is a great place for lunch or dinner. My family eats there about once a week, great place to bring your kids!

        2. Months too late to help, but consider trying Southbury's Cafe Grappa in the future.

          1 Reply
          1. re: veghead04

            just a note-red brick tavern is out of business-what a beautiful spot tho-i hope the next establishment will have great success!

          2. I like San Remo's in Woodbury... not too expensive and they have a nice touch with veal. :)