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Dinner recommendation? - heading N. on 91 from Bradley International Airport

Next Wednesday my teenage daughter and I will be landing at the Hartford CT airport around dinnertime. We'll be heading north on I-91 into western Mass. Does anyone have a recommendation for a good place off the highway to stop? I don't mind travelling 10 or 15 minutes out of my way if I have a definite destination in mind. The goal is not fancy - just authentic, local, not a chain – a nice warm place to stop and have dinner.

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  1. A few options:
    For seafood there's Maine Seafood market in Windsor Locks CT. Good fresh fish. A tad pricey but for this area it's one of the best seafood places. In Springfield MA there's Chef Wayne's Big Mamoo a tiny hole in the wall with the absolute best creole food. Fantastic prices too. In West Springfield MA is Pintu's Indian restaurant, one of the best Indian restaurants in our area. If you're going as far north as Northampton MA I can ramble on for an hour but that's also a good 45 min to an hour from the airport.

    2 Replies
    1. re: snafui

      Not to hijack, but i will be working in the Easthampton area next Mon and Tues, plan to eat in NoHo, but willing to drive a little at least one night. I would love to hear you "ramble on for an hour."

      (I'll be doing lunches at Apollo Grill)

      1. re: snafui

        Maine Seafood is actually in East Windsor, just over the CT river from Windsor Locks. (in case you're looking for it on a map service) I'd agree that's your best bet if looking for seafood.

      2. i would recommend "a touch of garlic" in springfield, ma which is about 30 minutes north of the airport off 91 N. it is a very good italian restaurant, casual, fresh food, moderately priced.
        from the airport, take exit 2 (in mass.) which is Rt 83/forest park. at light off exit, turn right on sumner avenue. follow it about 1 1/2 miles to white street, restaurant is on your left, on white street.
        i have not been in a few years, but my friends tell me it is still very good. i love their chicken francese with garlic mashed potatoes, pasta with garganzola, as well as their salads and appetizers. as i said, very fresh too.
        i would agree with the above poster that if you are going further north, say northampton, amherst, hadley, you would have more options.

        1. East-West Grille (Thai-Laotian) or Harry's (CT-style pizza) in West Hartford would be my choices. Both excellent.

          1 Reply
          1. re: smoky

            West Hartford is a 30 minutes drive south of Bradley.

          2. if i were in your place, i would go 15 minutes SOUTH, just off the highway, in hartford. go to Trumbull Kitchen. extensive delicious international menu, both small and large plates; lots of mediterranean and asian influences. handsome room, comfortable bistro w/ hopping bar and youth scene. they have web site and i'm sure if you put it in the search box, lots of rec's will come up. we always stop there when we're in ct. at dinnertime.

            1. I'm driving from BDL north on I-91to Putney, Vermont on Tuesday (late afternoon). Would appreciate suggestions for a place to stop for early supper. Two vegans, two flexitarians, one dedicated carnivore. Maybe someplace in Massachusetts to break up the drive? Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

              7 Replies
              1. re: MrsPatmore

                mrs.P,if you go to the header on this page and click on Boards, you will be able to access those that may be the most helpful for you: Southern New England, Northern New England. I would enter Search items in each of those boards for :
                Pioneer Valley
                Hadley and Northhampton MA
                Brattleboro VT.
                Rt.91
                to see what comes up.
                Those are the towns along rt.91 that i am guessing will be your best bet for finding authentic food, small restaurants, instead of chains.
                IF you landed late into CT., i would say- one of our fav places (we live boston area but travel to ct. a few times every yr) is in Hartford, 5 min from the Rt 89/91 intersection downtown by the arena- Trumbull Kitchen. Very popular and happenin'; small plates, diverse cuisines; good bar; lots of fun and exc. food.

                Brattleboro has 2 places we've been wanting to try- a Mexican place w/ a woman chef/owner - Three Stones
                http://www.3stonesrestaurant.com/
                and a higher end elegant place , Peter Havens-but closed Tues iirc.

                White River Junction has Elixir, Tuckerbox and TipTop:

                http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/...

                http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserRe...

                Always a good idea to phone ahead; you never know with small places- who decided to close early because it was slow, or who had an emergency and was called away. Have a wonderful trip; we've had a lovely cool spring in boston this year.

                1. re: opinionatedchef

                  Thank you for these very helpful suggestions. I haven't been to Brattleboro in years - will probably stop there! Thanks again!

                  1. re: MrsPatmore

                    Fantastic new Mexican on main St. in Brattleboro. Milagros?

                    1. re: MrsPatmore

                      my pleasure, mrs. P! Plse do report back about your experience so we can share it with future visitors like yourself!

                  2. re: MrsPatmore

                    Hello, I'm responding to myself to mention that we decided to stop in Northampton, and we had a really great meal at a Moroccan place - http://www.amanouz.com/ One of my family members served in the Peace Corps and was stationed in Morocco and she had fun speaking a few words with the cooks. Overall, a very good meal and inexpensive, to boot.

                    The only bummer was that the on-ramp for I-91 Northbound from Northampton was closed!! And no detour signs to be found. I ended up getting on I-91 Southbound (boo) and driving all the way to Holyoke before I could get off and get back on I-91 North. That added quite a bit more driving to our already long travel day, but at least our stomachs were happy and full of delicious Moroccan food.

                    1. re: MrsPatmore

                      Amanouz Cafe is really quite the gem. In the future, after lunch, just head north up King Street and take the next exit back onto 91. Would have saved you 20 minutes of driving!

                  3. You do not say how far "into Western Mass" you are going.