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Good food in Southington, CT??

I've worked in Southington, CT for about 2 years now and I can't find a single place to eat that is good. Am I going crazy? I mean I know I'm somewhat spoiled living in New Haven, but considering the huge Italian community out here you would figure that at least the Italian food was good. Anyone out there have a comment or suggestion besides the endless chain of garbage along Rt 10?

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  1. No, you are not going crazy. Southington is in fact the 8th level of foodie hell.

    The nearest chance of decent food is probably West Hartford.

    3 Replies
    1. re: EastRocker

      Thanks...I mean... I hate to use the language here, but I tell people up in this area who say that they have great Italian food and pizza, "When you're so use to eating shit all of your life...how do you know when you're actually eating something good?" As we speak...I'm forcing down a pizza from Randy's and it sucks in every way...the guy on Main St. in the Annex (Roma's...great white clam pie btw!) is 10 times better!

      1. re: vino5150

        yeah, I would give up on italian. everytime I hang out with friends in the area i end up eating at Chili's on Queen St., just thinking about it depresses me.

        you could try exploring some of the polish food in New Britain.

        1. re: EastRocker

          I don't get that much time for lunch. Sad thing is, I've put on wine tastings at this little place called Grab A Chef...one of those meal prep places, but 10 times better than a Dream Dinners chain...if I showed you the menu preperation that went into this dinner night that we held with J. Edwards Winery for only $75, 5 courses, 6 wines and deserts and people still complained that it was too expensive. Where the hell are you going to get a 5 course meal prepared by an actual CHEF plus 5 different wines until you pass out? But when they have a dinner at Pagliacci's they sell out???

    2. i think smokin' with chris is decent CT BBQ.. been?

      1 Reply
      1. re: goodbyeohio

        After reading the pig trip review & seeing posts here - I visited Smokin w/ Chris and was pretty disappointed. I had a pulled pork sandwich and it was terrible.
        The sandwich came with a bunch of sweet (commercial-tasting) BBQ sauce on it, the coleslaw on the sandwich was full of runny mayo which dripped everywhere and the actual pork was very strange - chewy white cubes. The pulled pork I have always been familiar with is usually a pork butt that is slow cooked over wood/smoke. I don't know what this thing was. And between the BBQ sauce & mayo - I couldn't taste the pork.

        The atmosphere inside is more upscale than one would think from the exterior of the place (or from your normal sterotype of a BBQ joint).

      2. Smokin' with Chris...or Agave Grill.
        and on the complete other end of things and Southington---Saint's has the best chili cheese dog ever. I'm sure their other food is good too it's just that I can't not get a c-c dog.

        5 Replies
        1. re: masha bousha

          Last time we all went to Agave was a Saturday night and the place was dead. They ran out of nearly every mexican style beer we asked for and the service was horrible. Although I would agree with you only from May 5th through Labor Day...the patio is nice.

          1. re: vino5150

            wow...that's a shame. Honestly I've only been to the one in Hartford and I've never experienced the lack of beer. I hope you complained about the service and the beer though. Considering it's a mini-chain of various restaraunts, they should be quite receptive when bad feedback comes their way.

            1. re: masha bousha

              I've also been to the one in Hartford and the service was great so I was excited to see it come to Southington. But the Southington "branch" lacks big in service and other areas, but makes up for it when summer rolls around with that outdoor patio. What I'm saying is that if you're a mexican restaurant how the heck do you run out of Corona? It's like saying Victoria's Secret ran out of bras.

          2. re: masha bousha

            We went to Agave this past Saturday night, a rainy night in September, so forget the patio. Rather than wait the 45 minutes our hostess estimated for a table, we shot into the bar and sat AT the bar. There are high tables in there too, but it was a little dark and the bar looked like more fun. We knew we didn't want a big meal, so we ordered some drinks (a Margaretti and a Caiperinha - both were excellent). Our barmaid Debbie was very nice and attentive and she brought us chips and salsa while we studied the menu. The chips, a bit salty, but fresh and good. The Salsa was bland and homogeneous like it came in a big jar and wasn't very flavorful or spicy. At least until we asked if they had any hellfire in a bottle, and she brought us two bottles. I added green habanero sauce all was right again in the world.

            We started with guacamole made in lava bowls at your table, and that was excellent and Deb brought us some extra limes to keep it fresh. The "appetizer" was $10 but could easily serve 4 (we brought half of it home where the kids devoured it in 2 minutes). Next we tried the corn and chicken chowder sprinkled with crunchy shredded colored nacho strips. This soup was absolutely excellent but too big ! We had ordered a 4 taco dinner that we were going to split, but my wife didn't even try it she was too full. We ordered two each, beef and shredded pork. We didn't try the rice or black beans (only because I'm on a diet, sorta) but they looked good. We knew when we left, we would go to this reasonably priced restaurant again and again. And hang out at the bar too.

            1. re: masha bousha

              those chili cheese dogs at saints were the most disgusting i've ever had...sorry.

            2. Emilio's in Southington is actually pretty good. Home made pasta, nice sauces especially the bolognese, lovely atmosphere. Needs some help though in terms of business. I was there for lunch last week and we were the only table. Give it a try.

              2 Replies
              1. re: chowmensch

                I go home that way and it never looks busy. They're probably gettin hurt from that new place in the center of town Bontera. But from the drive by it does look very inviting.

                1. re: chowmensch

                  There is now a "for sale or rent" sign in Emilio"s window.

                2. Anthony Jack's in the center of Southington (right off the green) was a nice find about a year ago for my husband and I. We actually were looking for Mexican food on Cinco de Mayo and ended up at Anthony's Jack's instead (it's not Mexican). Nice atmosphere and very tasty food. Nice steaks and seafood. A nice salad comes with your meal, which in New Haven you NEVER get. We've actually been back once (or twice) since and thought it was great, as well.

                  1. Southington is tough. As someone mentioned, Anthony Jack's is decent, though the menu is somewhat generic. I heard something about the owners opening a greek place in the neighborhood as well, no idea if it's open yet, but it should be passable as well.

                    My favorite in Southington at this point is Riverbend Pizza. It's almost filled the hole left in my heart by the passing of Pizza West in West Hartford. Nice greasy greek pizza, cut in squares the way God intended. Oh, and they have some great (and affordable) lunch specials!

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: ratbuddy

                      How is Verona Pizza? We're driving by Southington, and heard it was a good spot. If not, we'll continue on 84 towards Fishkill, our destination for the night.

                      1. re: winedude

                        They bill themselves as the #1 PIZZA REST. in Southington....probably close in taste to Elio's store bought brand is more like it

                        1. re: vino5150

                          That's what I was afraid of, thanks. Is there anywhere near I-84 that is close to New Haven in quality?

                          1. re: winedude

                            i'm NOT a big fan of new haven pizza....but there is a place with similar style pizza in west hartford, in a strip mall. i'm pretty sure it's called harry's.

                            (i drove there from southington, brought it back, and it was still warm)

                            1. re: winedude

                              How about Randys Wooster Street Pizza. It's right on Queen St.

                      2. There is a Thai restaurant off Exit 32 in Southington: Somewhere in Bangkok. Good food, nice decor, extremely pleasant staff & owners.

                        1. Met some friends at Agave again Saturday night...I must be a glutton for punishment. Food was horrible once again. Waitresses are great looking, but service wise they need to go back to the training room. Slamming my food and beer on the table does not score big tips. Guess I can't complain when someone else is buying. Has anyone tried Bontera in the center of town? They claimed to have some great chef....anyone???

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: vino5150

                            I have not eaten there personally, but I am going to try getting some takeout soon. The "buzz" about this place is that it's very busy, loud, rude staff, long wait times for food, but delicious. When I hear things like that about a place, I pick up the food and eat it at home.

                            edit: Oh yeah, same owners as Anthony Jack's... That could be good or bad, depending how you see things. I think the food at AJ's is a little bland and towards the high side of fair pricing..

                            1. re: ratbuddy

                              My wife and I have been enjoying the New Mill as of late. The prices are a bit high, but the food is delicious and the service is great. http://www.newmillrestaurant.net/

                              We also love Close Harbour Seafood on rt322 for some fresh delicious Seafood dishes. They have a really nice outdoor patio and it's the only BYOB places in the area that I know of. http://www.closeharbourseafood.com .

                              1. re: Tom Ton

                                That seems to be the best place in Southington, New Mill. I guess the people in town that "want to be seen" flock to Bontera. To each their own. I was always just looking for good food at a great price....Someone had mentioned that Massimos is good? I have since left my job in Southington so I count my blessings that my lunch/dinner woes are over.

                          2. Unfortunately, Agave in Southington closed !!! I've never been to the original in Hartford, though everyone said that was superior, just too far for Mexican food.