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where to take out of towners - stamford/norwalk area

My family is coming into town from Pennsylvania on Saturday and always count on me to find interesting and delicious restaurants. These outings typically become the discussions of family get-togethers for the next year. (i.e. Aunt Mildred turning to Uncle Pete at the table at thanksgiving: "OHHHH JoJo took us to the cuuutest little restaurant when we were in CT a few months ago.") Needless to say the bar is set pretty high.

In the past I've taken them to Black Duck Cafe in Westport (which they LOVED but can't go there now as we would quite possibly turn into an icicle while we eat), Silvermine Tavern, Gates Restaurant. I've done some digging online and found some neat looking places, but thought that maybe someone on here might offer up some unique suggestions?

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  1. what kind of food are you looking for. The places that you mentioned jfood considers as burger and sandwich places (silvermine does have a dinner menu). So if you could help with type of food, price point, lunch/dinner and what you might be considering.

    7 Replies
    1. re: jfood

      we're looking to go to a place for maybe a late lunch. nothing too expensive. Maybe $10 - $15 a person. The family doesn't like anything TOO exotic, so I normally try to take them to places that have really interesting looking sandwiches or burgers.

      1. re: JoJo4862

        Thanks JoJo, jfood was a little confused with the restos you mentioned and "the bar is set pretty high."

        Some ideas:

        STM (jfood would not call any of these great, but OK, but they do have burgers and sandwiches)
        SBC
        Black Bear Saloon
        http://www.blackbearstamford.com/
        Telluride (more than $15
        )http://www.telluriderestaurant.com/
        Lucky's

        Stamford - non-burgers and better choices
        Eclisse
        http://www.eclissestamford.com/
        Sienna
        http://www.sienaristorante.net/
        And the best pizza around:
        Colony Pizza (*****

        )

        Norwalk
        jfood can recommend
        - The Lime
        http://www.limerestaurant.com/
        - Fat Cat Pie Company
        - Strada 18
        http://www.strada18.com/
        - Burger Bar
        - Letizia Pizza

        Hope this is a start. The $10-15 is a tough one.

        1. re: jfood

          definitely a start. but i guess that it is less about the price range and more about finding a place with a really unique atmosphere. my family likes to go to places that are quintessential connecticut or something very unlike places that they have at home.

          1. re: JoJo4862

            It's not Stamford or Norwalk, but close enough:

            I'd recommend you try the Red Barn in Westport, right off the Rt 33 exit of the Merritt Pkwy. Very attractive grounds, and their lunch menu has a good sandwich selection in your price range. Check it out at www.redbarnrestaurant.com .

            -----
            Red Barn
            292 Wilton Rd, Westport, CT 06880

            1. re: JoJo4862

              Okeedokee, not like central PA should not be difficult (jfood's in laws lived west of Philly for 20 years).

              And if the $10-15 is not a driver you have two real nice choices:

              Lower Summer St/Broad in Stamford and South Norwalk.

              There are probably 15 restaurants on lower Summer and another 15 on Washington and North Main in SONO. Each are very unique.

              1. re: JoJo4862

                For burgers and sandwiches, I'd toss Tigin, in Stamford into the mix. Not quintessentially CT, more quintessentially Ireland. Nice replica of an Irish pub, down to the individual cozy little seating areas. Good burgers, too. Probably not like something at home..they may have a bar with an Irish name, but Tigin is really like stepping into Irish pub in County Cork or somewhere, at least for someone who has never been there...

              2. re: jfood

                Siena is way out of range for a 10-15 price point. I would definitely recommend doing Colony Pizza. Best pizza around for miles.

          2. I've never been to the Burger Bar, but my coworkers are obsessed with it. I'd give it a secondhand recommendation.

            1. Go to Valencia Luncheria - definitely in the price range you mentioned. In my opinion, it's gourmet food at great prices in a fun atmosphere. It will definitely be a unique experience for them.

              1. And, if your budget is higher, quintessential CT are the oldies - Cobbs Mill Inn (lovely setting on the river), the Spinning Wheel Inn or the Three Bears - all old buildings with plenty of history and pretty decent menus - all available on line. But, definitely not the Red Barn, that place is gross and doesn't even have an interesting atmosphere. Oh, and the Tavern on Main in Westport also has a traditional New England atmosphere along with a nice fireplace.