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Hartford - Recs for upscale-ish/casual dinner

Rabbit Jun 6, 2007 07:16 AM

Looking for a restaurant recommendation in Hartford (first visit).

I'd like to find someplace for a weekend dinner to catch up with a friend we haven't seen in a while... someplace "casual" insofar as you can linger for a long time, and cocktail it up, and the room will have a little energy and buzz. But "upscale" in terms of good/interesting food and drink offerings. We're late thirties/forty-ish and budget isn't a consideration.

Perhaps something along the lines of Eastern Standard in Boston or a bit-more-happening-ish Cotton (Manchester)?

Any thoughts?


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  1. sryder RE: Rabbit Jun 6, 2007 08:28 AM

    i would recommend trumbull kitchen.


    2 Replies
    1. re: sryder
      Enfielder RE: sryder Jun 6, 2007 09:21 AM

      Trumbull Kitchen gets noisy sometimes (but the food and vibe are great). Hot Tomatos may be a good alternative.

      1. re: Enfielder
        Waquoit RE: Enfielder Jun 6, 2007 01:56 PM

        I would like to 2nd Hot Tomato's. I always have a good time there. I can't say the same about Trumbull Kitchen.

    2. hypertomatoes RE: Rabbit Jun 6, 2007 10:14 AM

      I'd suggest Braza.

      Grab a table outside, sit back, sip on a fresh mojito and people-watch. The food is incredible.

      They usually have live music - salsa night, DJ's, latin jazz bands.


      1 Reply
      1. re: hypertomatoes
        MagnumWino RE: hypertomatoes Jun 6, 2007 06:42 PM

        I'll chime in for Hot Tomatoes as well. I always ask for a table in the "wine room", for the atmosphere. Also, Peppercorns is pretty good as well.

      2. f
        FoodieJim RE: Rabbit Jun 7, 2007 07:27 AM

        Hot Tomato's is a good suggestion as is Peppercorn's. Both offer the opportunity to "retire to the bar" after dinner. Of the two, Peppercorn's is a bit more formal and has the better bar by far.

        O'Porto on Park St is also a nice place to linger. Never rushed. Good food. But if it is your first trip to Hartford, you may want to stick in the downtown area.

        1. g
          GooGLeR RE: Rabbit Jun 7, 2007 08:28 AM

          Vito's by the Park is an enjoyable experience.


          1. b
            badabingdesi RE: Rabbit Jun 7, 2007 08:34 AM

            Spris. Great Italian, excellent wine list, quiet atmosphere. I think the food and service is much better then Hot Tomatos. Peppercorns is also great.


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