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Torrington suggestions please!

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Just planned a last second trip this weekend to a friends house and was wondering if there are places not to be missed, especially for breakfast? We are a family of 5 with kids aged 6,6, and 4. Most people hesitate to recommend any place with children this age but we have been bringing our kids to restaurants since they were born and they are extremely well behaved. Thanks in advance for your help!!!

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  1. Hi LVI. For breakfast, I would suggest Northern Galapagos, 281 Winsted Rd, Torrington. Not big on atmosphere, but the food there is really good, with a Spanish influence. A very extensive menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dinner is very good as well. Have not had lunch there yet, but I imagine it would be very good. Tel 860 795 0030

    The Venetian Ristorante, 52 East Main Street (Rt 202), Torrington, tel 860 489 8592. Higher-end Italian, white linen tableclothes, been in Torrington forever. Consistently good, with homemade pastas (get the gnocchi), chops etc.

    Bachi's, 46 East Main Street (right next door to the Venetian. Family Style Italian, good food, typically serve huge portions, very kid-friendly, lower-end compared to the Venetian, but overall very good. Get the broccoli-rabe and sausage appetizer, which can be a meal in itself.

    Sunnyside Grill, 70 Central Ave, Torrington. Tel 860 489 3203. Great neighborhood Italian joint. NOT fancy, been around forever. My wife and I go there almost every Thursday. Wednesday is pasta night, free glass of wine with dinner, limited menu, the most crowded night, hence why we go on Thursday. Get the homemade ravioli, either meat, cheese or chicken and prosciutto. I can only vouch for the cheese ravvy's, but only found out last night about the chicken and prosciutto, will try them next time. Again, not fancy, but good food, family oriented.

    For decent Mexican, Dos Amigos, 910 East Main St, Torrington. Tel 860 482 7557. Seems to be always crowded, not sure if they take reservations, but if you have to wait, they have a great bar area which they just expanded, so you can chill with some excellent margaritas while you wait.

    For the best pizza in Torrington, Berkshire Tavern. This place is an institution, excellent pizza and old tavern atmosphere, family-friendly. They also serve excellent sausage patty sandwiches for lunch.

    For Japanese, Fuji, 1883 East Main Street, Torrington, Tel 860 482 9308. We go for the sushi/sashimi menu which is excellent. But if your so inclined half of the restaurant is dedicated to the Benihana style hibachi show, which my wife and I are not into, but it's fun for the kids. They also have an extensive sake list.

    Not in Torrington, but 15 minutes drive up rt 202 to Litchfield, is my fav Italian rest. in the area, La Cupola, 637 Bantam Rd, (rt 202) Litchfield, Tel 860 567 3326. Higher-end Italian, like the Venetian, but IMHO a more varied menu, in a nice rural setting, and Franco, the owner is a great host. Excellent fried smelts appetizer as well as soft shell crabs, homemade gnocchi bolognese, cavatelli with broccoli rabe and sausage, chops etc., cannoli imported from Italy for desert, as well as other goodies.

    Also in Litchfield, a mile or so before La Cupola, on rt 202 is Bohemian Pizza. Don't let the looks of the place fool you, it basically looks like a dive, well it is, but the pizza, IMHO are simply the best around. The atmosphere inside is ecclectic, nice big comfortable booths, very friendly service. Good appetizers as well.

    That should be good for a start, let me know if you need more suggestions.

    8 Replies
    1. re: MagnumWino

      LVI, just re-reading your post, you indicated "especially for breakfast". I realized I only listed one place for breakfast. I'll add that there is also the Nutmeg Grille, 70 East Main Street, Torrington. Good food. They usually have a smoked salmon omelette on the menu that is really good and usually my choice when we go there.

      For basic diner fare, Twin Colony Diner, 417 East Elm St., Torrington. Nothing really exciting here, as I said, a basic diner, but very roomy, good for large groups with kids. But you'll do better at the other places I mentioned, especially since your kids are used to going out to eat.

      Again, not in Torrington, but on the same stretch of rt 202 in Litchfield as the other restaurants I mentioned in my previous post, is Patty's, on the left as you head west on 202. My favs there are the crab havarti omelette, or the spinach mozzarella bruchette omelette. Very popular, sometimes the line is out the door, but it moves pretty fast.

          1. re: MagnumWino

            Which do you think is better, Bohemia or Berkshire for Pizza? We are stopping in Derby on the way home to try Roseland Apizza which I have been dying to try

            1. re: LVI

              Hmmm.....I think I need to give the nod to Bohemian Pizza. The crust is a bit thinner than Berkshire, and I think overall it's a better quality pie, but a close call. It seems getting a booth is easier at Bohemian as well. We typically go to the Berkshire on Fridays and usually the tables/booths are filled early so you have to put your name on a list (they don't take resers). But the wait is never really too long. So far, at Bohemian, we haven't had to wait for a booth. The Berk has a nice long bar area where you can wait for a booth to open up. There is a separate bar area at Bohemian as well, but have never been in that part.
              A suggestion, if you do go to the Berkshire, order the pie "well done", it's just a personal preference, but I think it's better that way.

              Also, Bohemian has appetizers and different salads which are very good. Berkshire, in addition to their pizza only has a house salad, which is good, but there are no other choices beyond that. The other thing, the Berkshire is strictly cash only, so that may be a deal breaker right there.

              1. re: MagnumWino

                I grew up in Torrington and can confirm with Magnum wino that the Venitian, the Berkshire Tavern and the Sunnyside Grill are Torrington institutions. I am in my 60's and still remember going to all three of those places many, many times so each of them have suvived the "test of time". I guess my favorite would be the Venitian which always reminds me of my of Mom because she always ordered the cheese manicotti.,

                1. re: RoyRon

                  Hi LVI, just curious as to how you made out on your trip to Torrington. Where did you go, what were your likes/dislikes, etc.?

        1. re: MagnumWino

          Twin Colony is gross. Last time there, the tuna salad had a crust. 'Nuff said.

      1. Can't wait to try some of these the next time I go to visit my parents, who live in Torrington. Any recommendations at the Venetian? Thanks!

        6 Replies
        1. re: kaytamar

          The gnocchi are a staple there, homemade by the owner's wife. Also, the veal chops are always good, and the Ceasar salad, made tableside by the owner. But you can't really go wrong with anything on the menu, all good stuff! FYI, they are closed on Tuesdays.

          1. re: MagnumWino

            Magnum...Please let me start by saying that I am incredibly sorry for not posting my response to you. I had drafted a review and I never posted for some reason. So again, PLEASE accept my apology! That being said I will comment on what I remember for the trip. We went to Northern Galapagos the 1st night off of RT 8 was really NOTHING special and quite bland. As I remember they specialized in Paella and of all the dishes we had it was the weakest. Nothing horrible just nothing exciting. Do stay away from their Mojitos...OMG they were horrible. The staff was VERY friendly and service was good. The next night we went to Bachis. I had the Veal Saltimbocca while my wife had a Ziti Bolognese. Kids had Pizza and pasta and were very happy. My dish and my wifes dish were excellent. HOWEVER...Not as excellent as the simple appetizer of Broccoli Rabe and sausage (TYVM Magnum for the suggestion because there is no way I order that without your recommendation!) What a delicious simple dish. Bachi is a great spot and we were very glad we went. We had looked into going to the Venetian. The menu looked great and the place looked very nice however I am not sure the other patrons would have been too happy with us, a family of 5 with kids 6,6, and 4 years old!

            The next morning we went to Nutmeg grill (again TY Magnum!) and had a good honest breakfast. Good coffee, pancakes and decent omelets. Nothing spectacular but good honest food.

            1. re: LVI

              Hi LVI,
              Please, no need to apologize! I'm glad you followed up on some of my suggestions, and am so sorry to see that you were disappointed with Northern Galapagos. Maybe it was an off night. I've never had the paella, and usually get one of their steak dishes which have always been very good, but again, sorry you hit a clunker there. However, I'm glad you enjoyed Bachi's. The broccoli rabe and sausage "appetizer" is a favorite of mine there, which can really be a meal in itself. That's my one critisism of that place, the portions are usually HUGE. Next time you're in Torrington, give Northern Galapagos another chance, but this time go for breakfast, I really don't think you'll be disappointed. Also, since your visit, a new steakhouse just opened on top of East Main St. called "Prime", which I've yet to visit, but has gotten great reviews. Maybe once I go, I'll post a review.

              1. re: MagnumWino

                THX! Any good lunch suggestions? We are going skiing for 1/2 a day tomorrow and are there any good places for good take out anything? Maybe I'll get the kids up a little early and try NG for breakfast. It certainly woulf be better than the McD's we hit!

                1. re: LVI

                  Hi LVI,
                  Where are you going skiing? If it's Ski Sundown in New Hartford, I would definately recommend "Chatterly's" for lunch in New Hartford center, right off rt 44 (Bridge Street). Great food and atmosphere (Victorian), but not the least bit stuffy. Nice separate bar area too, if you're so inclined. Also, I will mention the Berkshire Cafe in the South End of Torrington. Very limited menu, but all you need to know about is the sausage patty sandwich. Sausage patty (a bit on the spicy side), with tomato sauce over it, also served with fried peppers and onions, on a nice hard roll. They also have chili and salad available, although I'm not sure of the availability of pizza that time of day.

                  For take out, there are a number of excellent deli's in Torrington where you can get a quality grinder and or pasta/antipasto salad, etc.
                  Salerno's on Main St.in the north end of town, across from the police station, Jimmy's near the top of East Main St (Rt 202), Alfredo's on Water Street, and then probably the best known deli in town for their grinders, Carbone's on Oak Ave in the south end. All of these are quality Italian deli's with a wide variety of offerings for a nice take out lunch.

                  Another alternative I'll throw out to you, a Panera Bread just opened at the top of East Main St in the new Target shopping center. I've never been to one, as I'm not into chains, but it may be an option as well, for a sit-down lunch.

                  And yes, for breakfast, I will stick my neck out again for Northern Galapagos. There is nothing else like it in town for breakfast. Yes, The Nutmeg Grill has a nice quality breakfast, but pretty much your standard breakfast fare.

                  Enjoy!

                  1. re: MagnumWino

                    Long story short, my skis are @ Mohawk and I have to pick them up. So taking the kids there for 1/2 day then heading up to Mt. Snow in VT. TYVM for all the suggestions. I will try and hit NG and report back (I PROMISE this time!).

        2. On the breakfast plea: we just found out that Geri's Place relocated to Torrington. Their place in Canton had quite a following. They moved all their jukebox/Chevy memorabilia. So now we can get our fix of eggs and home fries again. It's a funky glass storefront on a side street: 31 Hungerford St.(not the main drag of the city).