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Apr 18, 2008 04:17 AM

Looking for restaurant for Yale graduation weekend


I'm looking for a restaurant for Yale graduation dinner. I'm familiar with the downtown New Haven restaurants and currently have a reservation at Pacifico. However, I have heard that restaurants on graduation night are very crowded, that food quality suffers, and that prices are higher that evening. (The Pacifico mandatory prix fixe is $48 + drinks + tax + tip; I'm not sure what's on the menu.)

I'm am looking for recommendations of restaurants outside of downtown New Haven that might be less crowded and that are somewhat less expensive (or at least that don't force a prix fixe menu, since we don't each need three courses). I would love if a place has a nice view of the water, but that's not mandatory.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Is the Chart House still there? My husband, a Yalie, suggested that and asks why you'd miss a chance to eat at Yorkside Pizza. He also suggested that you ask your Yalie child!

    6 Replies
    1. re: roxlet

      Chart House is now Sage, adequate food, nice view of the sound, a bit pricey for what you get. Think about Leon's ( I have not been since it re-opened but it used to be good years ago) Luce in Hamden is also a good choice

      1. re: roxlet

        I am the Yalie child; I'm looking for a place to take my family. Yorkside fails for several reasons: (a) it's very close to the Yale campus and therefore will likely also be far too crowded; (b) it's very informal for a graduation dinner; and (c) their food is awful.

        1. re: TDPookie1

          What about going someplace in Milford like Bistro Basque? Or is that too far? It's gotten great reviews, and I'm sure if you search you'll find some here. In New Haven, we like Bespoke, Ibiza and Barcelona, but they are probably on the expensive side.

          1. re: TDPookie1

            My husband has a soft spot for Yorkside Pizza, and I guess that the folks there are the same as those who where there while he was in college. I guess that midnight pizzas after studying for finals will always make Yorkside delicious to him, but I happen to agree with you. We always have to go when we're in New Haven -- a notable lapse in good taste and judgement by my husband, but nostalgia is the ultimate seasoning...

            1. re: roxlet

              Yorkside is "good" when I've got a buzz going at 2 in the morning, but not for when I need an actual meal.

              1. re: redfox697

                20 years hence (if it's still there), you may remember it as the most delicious pizza there is. As I've said before, nostalgia is the ultimate seasoning...

        2. Leon's is now located on Long Wharf Drive - waterfront and is an instution in New Haven. After a brief hiatus - the former owners are back in the city. The view is very nice - waterfront with a great deck. The interior decor is elegant and comfortable. Menu is quite extensive. Really offering something for everyone. In addition there is hand written goodie list that has some very different and some very "old School" items on it. They have thier menu on their website. I have eaten there quite a bit since they opened and have not been disappointed. My last time there I had stuffed veal breast and was blown away.
          Must say one thing about New Haven - we have a variety of exceptional restuarants in the city.

          2 Replies
          1. re: brightlight

            as you can probably imagine, NH will be crazy during graduation. Do you know when Southern is graduating? That will only add to the mess. You should go to a place you love b/c your family will love the experience, which is prob more important on this occasion.
            Or try Zinc.

            1. re: sarapeater

              Try places in Branford - it is beautiful there and only 15 minutes from the city... There is an Indian Place that is supposed to be very good on Main Street (I don't remember the name) and a few other places that look great although I have not tried them yet... Foe is also on Main Street and there a is French Place on Montowese Street... Good luck!
              Also, did you think about Barcelona in New Haven on Temple Street? That is a great place too!

          2. Go over the Q-bridge...95 north, exit 50... 2lights off the exit ..on the right...Antonio's....some of the best Italian food in New Haven and away from the craziness of downtown.

            1. Thank you for the recommendations everyone, except the people who didn't read the part about being outside of downtown New Haven because of the crowds and suggested places like Zinc, Barcelona, and Ibiza.

              I made reservations at Leon's after the recommendations here and elsewhere on Chowhound. Can't wait to go there later this month!

              2 Replies
              1. re: TDPookie1

                Alternatively, you could just thank everyone graciously, without reservation...

                1. re: howmanycupsinaquart

                  I agree with howmanycups...don't give all Yalies a bad reputation...

              2. Hi

                You might want to try Leon's on Long Wharf. This is the same buidling wehre Rusty Scuppers once served. Leon's over looks the water.