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Recs in Shelton,CT?

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Does anyone have any recs for places to eat in Shelton or the surrounding areas? Thanks.

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  1. Il Palio is one of the best Italian restaurants in Connecticut. Based on a recent couple of visits, their food, service and presentation are nearly flawless.

    9 Replies
    1. re: coldduck

      Agreed! Roseland Apizza in nearby Derby is also very good for pizza and casual entrees. Also try Liquid Lunch for good soup/sandwich.

      1. re: madisoneats

        I second Roseland and Liquid Lunch! Both highly recommended!

        1. re: javaandjazz

          And I third both of them - Roseland can get packed, and they don't take reservations. If you are patient, it's worth the wait, IMO. The pizza's great, the food's great.

          Liquid Lunch makes about 8 soups a day, but some of their sandwiches are excellent. LL also does salads, which I have not tried.

          We also like Twisted Vine (used to be Tartaglia's) in Derby.

          1. re: harrie

            I'd like to know how recently you have been to The Twisted Vine and specifics about your experiences? Here is my first and only from a week ago:
            I had read about this place a couple of times in forums like this and was curious. In an old bank building, it has a curious mix of old Derby wealth and wierd French. Out front, they have a spectacular awning over sidewalk and the impressive, old bank's front entry, but the lighting was almost non-existant except for one glaring bulb and surrounding the front door were many pots of dead chrysanthemums. Lovely! On this dark, rainy night, the restaurant's main entrance was not very obvious and it was fairly dark. Inside, there is an odd shingled roof outcropping over the cashier's area where you also access the "Birmingham Cellars". In the main diningroom there is the old, dark and beautiful wood of the old bank mixed with a couple of cheap French posters. The posters are mixed on a wall with old, sconce-like extendable lighting fixtures; probably originals from the banking days--but not French looking..... Other wall hangings were a mix of pictures of flowers or dark unintelligible images in crooked hanging frames. There are intimate seating areas upstairs but all the lights were off on the second floor. With so much dark wood, this vaulted ceiling room had an eerie, almost gloomy feeling. I could imagine being held prisoner in the (bank vault) room (with the bars) and starved while others ate well. That, and the room being so empty gave it a very subdued, dark feeling, except for the fact that they played upbeat "oldies " tunes from the fifties! Then, to break up the strangeness of this type of music, in this setting, the owner/manager would talk loudly on the phone from across the room. They cover over the nice tablecloths with butcher's paper and then, inexplicably, give you nice cloth napkins!
            To the food.....
            There were good, garlicky smells coming out of the kitchen and overall, we had good food. We had a nice bottle of Italian wine, once we convinced the young Italian waitress that we "really, really" wanted to see the seperate wine list for bottles of wine. Small, cheap wine glasses were offered and she filled them to the brim... A decent, buttery, garlic bread was brought to the table for us to munch on. We had a fried clam strip appetizer, which was pretty good with a Remoulade-like dipping sauce. My partner had a chicken cesear salad where the chicken had a bland and odd, gravy-like coating which also made the salad too wet. There was no pepper or additional parmesan to be had. It was a pretty bland and uninspired salad, even though it was only $9. I had the stuffed veal chop, which turned out ot be spectacular! It was stuffed with a combination of domestic and shitake mushrooms and (at least) spinach. It was served over a bed of delicious, garlicky, mashed potatoes swimming in a wonderful, rich brown gravy. The stuffed chop was so large I could not finish it. This alone was $26. We skipped dessert, which we usually do. We were not aware of the Birmingham Cellars aspect of the restaurant, which is a "cellar" bar/dining/dancing area where you can supposedly drink, eat and be entertained. We heard no sounds from that area and saw no activity from the entry area. There was supposed to be live entertainment on Thursday, Friday and Saturday but this did not seem to be happening and the website calender for entertainment ( http://www.twistedvinerestaurant.com/... ) is not current.
            There were three young women working on the sparsely occupied first floor; two as waitresses. It was never more than half occupied and most people were dressed very casually. The service was also very casual for such a high-end, high-priced menu. The waitstaff would have been better suited for a nice pizzaria.

            It all seems so incongruous that nothing about the restaurant seems to match the capability of the chef..... or the potential of the building. The website portrays the restaurant as exotic and full of light. I hardly got that feeling. We may go back and try it again and see if the food is consistent and to see if there really is life in "the cellar".
            What are these owners thinking? This place has really wierd vibes. There is such a clash of interior styles and decoration. The Twisted Vine is supposedly portraying themselves as an up-scale American/Continental restaurant but there are so many anomalies that I wondered if it was a halloween prank!

            1. re: Scargod

              I'll be honest -- I haven't been to Twisted Vine in the last three months or so; but I also made that recommendation about seven months ago, not that that's particularly relevant.

              For the most part, you had few complaints about the food, which for me and the hubby is the reason we go to a restaurant. We tend to be of the "you can't eat the atmosphere" school of thought, having eaten some mediocre to awful meals in quite beautiful settings. The food at Twisted Vine has never disappointed us, so we go there a couple of times a year.

              I don't know how familiar you are with Derby, but it's not particularly wealthy or yuppified, so the people who do go out often dress casually. (In fact, the hubby and I refer to matching sweat pants and sweatshirt as Derby Formal.) If you were disappointed, conflicted or whatever by Twisted Vine, you probably want to avoid Roseland, another recommendation of mine, as well; it might drive you over the edge.

              1. re: harrie

                We were actually looking for Roseland and gave up because I didn't have the exact address. I think we will love it from what I have read. I just think The Twisted Vine fell short in all areas except the food. The website portrays it as a high-end place; well-lit and fancy. Why do you get paper on the tables when you pay a premium for food? We did like the food well enough that I want to go back, now I know what to expect.

                1. re: Scargod

                  If you're looking for Roseland, go back to Twisted Vine, drive about a mile up Route 34 towards Seymour, turn right onto Cedric Avenue. Follow Cedric up a small hill, where you have to turn right or left and there's a utility pole in the middle of the intersection. Turn right and drive down Hawthorne Avenue about half a mile -- Roseland is on your right (350 Hawthorne Avenue, 735-0494).

                  Be warned, though -- your and your dining companion's plates will probably not match, service is very informal, and some of the entrees can get pricey (though they're worth every penny, IMO.) When going for total excess, I get the penne with lobster sauce and the hubby swears by the lobster ravioli. Even the basic level food -- chicken parm, ziti with meatballs, etc. -- is awesome, too.

                  I'm sorry if I jumped all over you about Twisted Vine; I just really like their food and apparently suffer the Derby inferiority complex more than I had thought.

                  1. re: harrie

                    It's no problem, really. People have their favorites and some places have special meaning. For us, it's The Rusty Scupper, which is where we had our first date. While I can say lots of negatives about it; we love the atmosphere. They are closing because their lease is up!
                    I grew up poor and have eaten at all kinds of places. I am not bothered by hole-in-the-walls as long as the food is decent. I read where the chef/owner at Roseland grows her own herbs. That impresses me. Thanks for the directions :)

      2. re: coldduck

        A friend said, " it (Il Palio) was very expensive and not worth it. Don't know what the attraction is, besides the decor."
        Is there any merit in this? Are there equally good places without the steep price or perhaps "the decor"?

      3. Wellingtons in Huntington Center if you get sick of the more fancy Il Palio. Great fish dishes. Also, not far from Shelton is Biagio's Osteria in Stratford--yummy, right near Parkway Exit 53.

        1. Head to Bridgeport for authentic Mexican.

          www.chowhound.com/topics/403597

          1. I lived up there this summer and found the best pizza place - comparable to Roseland, if not better because of easy access and few crowds. It's called First Street Pizza at 21 First Street in Seymour. Wow, what a gem! A hidden place that should be better known. The margharita pizza is exquisite and they have plenty of Italian dishes to order as well. It's more a take-out place with only a couple bar style seats available. The owner used to (or still has) a place in New Haven and he sells his tomato sauce in jars here at the joint. Consistent on each occasion I went here. This was a real find and I would emphatically recommend! I wish I still lived nearby and I'd be there all the time.

            6 Replies
            1. re: MasterofLightChick

              Unbelievable. That's right behind Walgreen's right? Have you tried the hot dog vendor on River Street or Calandria's up 67? Jfood likes the sandwiches at Calandria's and the guy who owns it is a hoot.

              1. re: jfood

                Yeah, right around the corner from Walgreen's. I might even go there tomorrow because writing about it is reminding me how delish it was! I wish I found out about it much sooner than I did.

                I know the pizza looked good at Strada 18, so I'm sure you'd like this place too.

                Don't know about Calandria's? It's worth a trip? I'm not too wild about sandwiches.

                1. re: MasterofLightChick

                  not worth a separate trip but if people are looking for a good sandwich up there, it has a good amount of choices.

                2. re: jfood

                  Is Calandria's on Rt 67 towards Oxford or Bethany? By any chance is it Calabria's, in a little strip with Dunkin' Donuts and a dancing school (I think) on the Oxford side of 67?

                  1. re: harrie

                    Yes it could be Calabria's, jfood does not focus too much on the name. It is the one in the strip mall with DD just past the new Starbs.

                    1. re: jfood

                      Got it. Thanks!

              2. Anybody try the new restaurant in downtown Ansonia that looks kinda stylish - I think it's a wine bar as well? It may have opened in the Fall?

                7 Replies
                1. re: MasterofLightChick

                  Crave Wine Bar on Main Street in Ansonia--also have not yet been.

                  1. re: MasterofLightChick

                    Todd Lyon from the New Haven Register liked it very much. I have heard many good things about it also. I just hope the people from the valley will support the place.

                    1. re: javaandjazz

                      I could find nothing (in print or on the internet) by Todd Lyon about Crave.... Did she say this to you?

                      1. re: Scargod

                        I looked on the Regsiter online when I posted about it and could not find it either. The Register is not very good about putting print articles online. It was in the weekend section a few weeks back where she does restaurant reviews.

                        1. re: javaandjazz

                          I have today's Register, and Crave appears in Lyons' little thumbnail sketch about various restaurants. She says (among other things)....“Sassy, Latin-inspired dishes mix with contemporary American fare, served in a warm, stylish space. Dinner apps range from $7-10, entrees from $15 (Jerk chicken) to $32 (paella). Lunch, which adds sandwiches to the mix, is right around the $7-10 range. Excellent desserts, including a memorable flan, are made in-house.”

                          Her big write-up for today's paper is Bistro Basque, Milford.

                          1. re: harrie

                            oh, and that's where I'm headed to for dinner now - Bistro Basque!

                    2. re: MasterofLightChick

                      Yes, we ate there Friday night. I can recommend it. Opened six months ago. See my post at: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/487902

                    3. In response to the original question...good place in Shelton...

                      Nonino's.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: Sam_Spade

                        Yes...back to Shelton.

                        Went to Asian Bistro on Bridgeport Ave. for dinner. I was very impressed!

                        1. re: Jen288

                          Casa Nova on River Road in Shelton is also very good Italian food. Small, intimate place with excellent food.

                          And I second First Street Pizza and they deliver too!

                          I haven't been to Roseland in years. They do have excellent pizza but too much attitude for my taste.

                          1. re: jesoda

                            I've never gotten attitude at Roseland.

                            1. re: javaandjazz

                              Really! Wow..I seriously have not been in 10 years because of attitude. Maybe its just the take out lady..gosh I wish I could remember her name. I ordered a pizza for pick up, they got my order wrong and she yelled at me. I was stunned. Also the wait time for pickups is always longer than they say.

                              maybe things have changed over the years. And don't get me wrong the pizza is fantastic, just didn't appreciate the attitude.

                              1. re: jesoda

                                I have never gotten take out there , only sat down and dined in. BUt they have always been cordial. I heard their takeouts orders take awhile. I have not done that yet.

                                1. re: jesoda

                                  I probably know exactly who you're talking about as far as attitude. She's family (of the owner, as are most people who work there), so not going anywhere; but it also seems to me that she's mellowed a bit. Everyone else at Roseland is very nice, in my experience. In fact, last night the hubby had exact change (small bills always appreciated) for our pie, and the owner gave him a loaf of her awesome bread. The take-out window gets a little backed up, but we just factor that in and arrive a little later than the time promised. Friday nights for take-out are pretty hellish, though.

                            2. re: Jen288

                              I also went to the Asian Bistro last Saturday. I have to agree and say I was very impressed. The place was packed too.

                              Edit : Oops this was supposed to be in response to Jen288.

                          2. Il Palio - I had no idea such an interesting little treasure was off route 8. Check out the building on the web site & interior. Looks fairly impressive to me. It's on the to try list now.
                            http://www.ilpalioct.com/

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: MasterofLightChick

                              A restaurant missing from the Shelton thread is the River Cafe. I think it's route 67 on the Derby line in the nasty little WalMart plaza.

                              I would have never stopped in had it not been highly recommended, I have been hooked ever since. It's total old school Italian. Where else can you get garlicky panne cotta (sp?) - the bread, garlic & greens dish - these days. Oh, and the garlic bread is totally old style with tons of butter and garlic and chewy bread. Pastas come steaming in the cooking plates as do fish and meat dishes. Wash down your inordinate amounts of food with a good glass of Chianti (or two) and the River Cafe will fill your belly right up and leave your wallet with lots of green still there.

                              1. re: MasterofLightChick

                                I think you might mean The River Restaurant, on Route 34 - in with Simonetti Cleaners and CVS. It's a semi-institution; used to be in downtown Derby, then it blew up in a huge gas explosion c. 15-20 years ago and moved to the plaza in which it currently resides. They do a nice job; I'm just partial to (and closer to) Roseland.

                                A woman I know swears by Fortune Pavilion (Chinese) in that same strip mall, but I've never ventured in.

                                1. re: harrie

                                  That is the one! Though just after I wrote my post, I read some other threads about Leon's reopening in New Haven and they do serve my favorite dish of panne cotte as well. I can't wait to go and try it. I love these old school Italian places. Such awesome comfort food!

                                  1. re: MasterofLightChick

                                    I know I'm off-thread but it seems to happen a lot here (and here) there is no way to PM anyone. Please excuse the non-sequitur. MOLC, You DO get around! I'm in Woodbridge and used to live in Hamden. Don't you now live in Southport? I have read many of your posts. You seem to get out to interesting restaurants (a lot).(Among other places) I am interested in restaurants in between NYC and Milford to fortify myself when I make the trip to and from NYC. One I found, that I like is River Cat Grill, 148 Rowayton Ave., Norwalk, CT 06853 (203) 854-0860. Familiar with it? You have recommended some in the vicinity but I am pretty interested in easy off and on I-95 (within a few miles).
                                    Also, I think you suggested that Yahoo.local was a poor place to find restaurants? I would agree, but that is where I found Crave, in Ansonia.... I have been posting more here, lately. There is quite a bit of activity. (Thanks to everyone) I actually like eGullet the best and am "Scargo" there. Only problem is the activity is low for this area. I feel like a one-man band there. BTW, Did you see my comments about my last visit to Leon's? Chow!

                                    1. re: Scargod

                                      Yes, I saw your post on Leon's and cannot wait to try it. I googled the menu and it looks amazing. All the old school dishes that I am so looking forward to eating again. Sorry your experience was a bit off there.

                                      What does PM mean?

                                      Well, at least I try to make it to the interesting places. It's a waste of time to eat a bad meal, n'est pas?

                                      And, like you, I am always searching for easy on/off the highway places - and actually found a couple today. I ate at a to-die-for place - Biago's. I'm going to write a more full post about that shortly. And, I viewed 2 interesting menus in Devon/Milford - Bridge Cafe (or River?) and Bin 100. The prior has a fabulous menu and all day dining. They are calling themselves a "gastro-pub."

                                      1. re: MasterofLightChick

                                        There's a fairly active thread on the two new Milford places, Bridge House and Bin 100 - http://www.chowhound.com/topics/467724

                                        1. re: harrie

                                          yep, that's how i found out about those two new places. thanks!

                                        2. re: MasterofLightChick

                                          PM means "Private Message". It is irritating to me that this site gets bloggish and off-topic so easily. Chowhound does not offer PM or emailing between members. This sometimes causes conversations to be "public", like this one, that have nothing to do with a restaurant or food and should be communicated "off-line".

                              2. i wrote my own little review of First Street that i probably mis-posted on the "tri-state forums.." but it might be a little harsh because it seems to me like the valley chowhound thread seems to mirror general trends in the valley itself. Plus there's a chance i might be one of those people that puts New Haven apizza on too high of a pedestal, and you'll read my review and wish i'd come back down to earth. but in my defense, if you make your place called "First Street Apizza" instead of "First Street Pizza," you asked for it.

                                i'll share with you guys my take on a local restaurant. my take will be on First Street Apizza, at 21 First Street in Seymour.

                                -from the outside, First street looks like it could be kinda nice. classy neon sign, located a block down from the train station down the street from the stately post office and Bank of America.... it looks like this was a typical downtown circa the 1950's... could be quite charming if it wasn't for 50 years of suburban sprawl, but all that's left is a couple of antiques shops that change hands every couple of months, a dumpy Walgreens, a TV repair shop that hasn't taken in a TV they knew how to work on since the 1980's and a charming old movie theater that needs desperately to connect with 2008. Now it seems that mostly hipsters and indigents use the train station and no one walks the streets anymore....it's a shame.

                                the place itself has a simple take-out counter, and a couple of chairs and tables. It's well done for what it is, but simply too small, i think like 4 tables and 8 chairs is all that really fits. Pretty classy, nicely furnished, just small. Menu choices are pretty standard. I found this searching for their menu written about their menu: "the menu includes a variety of gourmet toppings such as artichoke hearts and broccoli rabe, while specialty pizzas-red or white-include customer faves clams casino..." but I think that they've acclimated to being in Seymour because the last time I ordered from there, they didn't have spinach to put in a calzone for me (this should be especially bad if they offer spinach in some other dish they serve). First St. seems to pride themselves on "New Haven Style apizza" (as the owner of First St. is also the Owner of Dayton St. Apizza in New Haven) but I found it had more in common with valley pizza than New Haven apizza. the pizza was good, don't get me wrong, but i think that it lacked the burnt bottom, misshapen pie size, thin crispy crust, tangy sauce, etc. of Sallys/Pepes/Bar. It certainly didn't look the part, and only sort of tasted the part. In terms of cost, it was slightly more expensive than the traditional fare available here, but that wasn't what bothered me.

                                what I took out of the couple of times of having First St. Apizza is "why should I get First St. Apizza?" regular folks could be convinced that the neopolitan-esque pizza was what New Haven apizza is, but i've eaten the lion's share of new haven apizza and knew better. I couldn't convince myself that it was authentic enough or cheap enough to not just take a ride down to New Haven for amazing apizza.

                                Ps. the link I quoted above is here: http://www.playnewhaven.com/site/news...

                                thanks for the heads up on "Crave," i'll have to check it out.

                                1. 1.I have to suggest Crave again. I've eaten there 3 times in the last 2 months becuase i absolutely love it. They have the best White Sangria i've ever had and I can't get enough of it. I haven't tried many of their entrees but the few appetizers i've had and paella were fabulous. I definitely recommend the Paella and the Chips & salsa. WHich i know sounds weird but I do NOT like guacamole but I LOVE Crave's quacamole. It is delicious and they have these amazing mango and something else salsa. I also really like their Mussels, they are in a smokey tastes garlic wine sauce which is delish. The atmosphere is very cute (very NOT Ansonia-ish) and the owner is darling. She comes around (if she is there) and asks everyone how their meal was and talks to you. You feel at home and never rushed. Last time i was there, me and my girls stayed about 2 1/2 hours just talking and drinking our Sangria (which is only $25 a pitcher- not too bad) and it's not weak either. I have to say we were the loudest people in there thanks to that Sangria... but it is small so on the weekends sometimes a reservation is recommended.

                                  2. Asian bistro- personally i haven't been yet (i'm going friday) but a few of my friends have gone the past couple of weeks and they said it was really good. That the atmosphere is really cool, the hibachi people know what they are doing, the sushi was great and that they have these Scorpion bowl like drinks that are also very good.

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: ShortyL813

                                    Asian Bistro does hibachi? Has anyone been to Kobis in Shelton for hibachi? (I've heard good things about their sister in Fairfield). Made reservations for a Girls Night Out at Kobis, and now am worried that Asian Bistro may have been a better choice. Help!

                                    1. re: cheereeo

                                      Yes, Asian Bistro does hibachi. I've been to both but not for hibachi. They're very similar. I would say that you would have a nice meal and a good time at either one.

                                      1. re: Jimmy Cantiello

                                        I liked the hibachi at Asian Bistro but we went when it was crazy and different parts of our meals were only warm while others were hot. The food was very good though and I would go back.

                                      2. re: cheereeo

                                        Just wanted to give you an update. Our GNO at Kobis for Hibachi was terrific. Food was excellent and also included noodles. First time I ever enjoyed the salad and soup at japanese place--normally I am not a fan. We also had a great spider roll that we shared. And lots of fancy drinks! My scallops were cooked perfectly.

                                        1. re: cheereeo

                                          Just to clarify, you went to Kobis Japanese Steakhouse, in Shelton, correct?
                                          A Google search shows one in Fairfield named "Kobis" (no apostrophe) with a silly website that sounds like you are in a video game and no mention of another location.
                                          The Shelton restaurant is listed as "Kobi's Japanese Steakhouse" with no website.
                                          Any help with whether they are related?

                                          1. re: Scargod

                                            Yes - they are sister restaurants. Not sure why they never updated their website. Kobis is where Madison's was - - completely done over. Koi pond, waterfall. Huge bar on the left. Lots of Hibachi tables.
                                            www.kobisrestaurant.com
                                            And here's a link to Yelp review http://www.yelp.com/biz/kobis-japanes...