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Mar 23, 2007 07:22 AM

Recs in Shelton,CT?

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 ( ) 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. 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.

              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: