Hidden gem discovered in Stafford Springs, CT (sorta long)
My wife and I went to the small village of Stafford Springs, CT to visit one of our favorite furniture stores and have lunch in the store's lunchroom. We were surprised to find that the in-store lunchroom had been replaced, less than three weeks ago, by a new restaurant named "John Henry's" which serves lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch and occupies a small brick house on the grounds of, but physically separated from, the furniture store. Naturally, being CHs, we decided to give it a try. Glad we did! The tastefully and simply decorated interior is separated into two small dining rooms and a cozy bar area. Tables are spaced quite far apart. The lunch menu offered a full range of apps, soups, salads, sandwiches and entrees. I started with clam chowder (available every day). It was New England style, nicely seasoned and with a good (not too thick, not too thin) consistentcy and full of clams. For entrees, my wife had the chicken pot pie and I had linguini pomodoro. The pot pie had a savory sauce thick with chicken chunks and vegetables and a puff pastry "pillow" resting on top. My linguini had a light sauce of plum tomatoes, white wine, fresh basil, and roasted garlic with a dollop of ricotta cheese on top. For dessert we both had what the waitress called a "russian mousse" which was wine glass layered with what the waitress said was a vanilla mousse (but had a consistency more like panna cotta), a rasberry syrup and sweetened creme fraiche. The dinner menu looked equally intriguing. Prices were moderate. Service was prompt and pleasant. Each listed item on the menu also listed two or three recommended wines to accompany the dish. Although the town is located in the remote so-called "quiet corner" of Connecticut, it's only about a 10-minute drive north from exit 70 of I-84. We'll be going back.