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Apr 27, 2008 02:42 PM

121 in Oxford, CT

Went to this popular new place located at Oxford Airport in Oxford, Conn. Appropiately the restaurant is the size of a hangar and as noisy as a busy runway (at least on a Saturday night). No reservations for parties smaller than 6, so we waited an hour for a table after being told the wait would be 40 minutes. The young woman at the front desk laughed in a very silly way at everything you said, whether it was "How are you tonight?" or "We've been waiting for our table for nearly an hour." The bar was crowded with people waiting for their names to be called, though you can eat there, too,if you're lucky enought to snag a few stools together. As for the food and service, both quite good. The young waitstaff were friendly and hustled impressively. The menu doesn't range too far afield: salmon, ribeye, chicken, tuna, etc., four pasta dishes four sandwich-type things. Our table had fried calamari, a pasta and sausage appetizer (delicious), salad and diced tuna, then fettucine alfedo,tuna (very rare), fettucine alfredo, a hamburger and shrimp. No complaints, except, again, the noise level. We were very nearly yelling to be heard at times. I'm not in a hurry to return except maybe to the extensive outdoor deck, which could be fun if planes are taking off and landing.

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  1. A friend just told me about it and they went on Wednesday night, which is live jazz night. He said it was very noisy. They liked the food and called it eclectic. Said it was not the easiest place to find.
    I intend to try it soon and report back...

    1. We went to 121 very recently. It is hard to find, if you've never been there, and if it's 8PM. Our Garmin (GPS) led us to the wrong end of the airport. You might think of 121 as an oasis in a desert or a place that wouldn't exist, if it were not for the airport. Part of their gig is to cater to private jets. They have a similar operation in NY state. There is a small industrial area in the neighborhood. It is open for lunch and dinner. Otherwise, it's kinda out in the boonies, unknown to mankind.
      Once there, we found a very "New York style restaurant", meaning hard, shiny, new and pretentiously upscale. We wandered in. There didn't seem to be a formal, reception area or hostess. A girl spotted us and showed us to our table, which was bare. She grabbed setups from a nearby table. We were one of only a handful of of customers in the place; perhaps four two-tops and a four-top. The bar was virtually empty. After a little too long our waiter appeared. He asked if we wanted something to drink and when I said I was looking at the wine list he said OK and walked away. Later he comes back and we order wine and again he is walking away, when I asked if we could get an appetizer. We order that and he's off. The wine, a Spanish tempranillo @$29 (which was supposed to be $40, so we got an unexpected bargain!), was slightly over a 200% markup from Amity Liquor's price, based on another wine we were familiar with. They have a decently broad selection of wines. We get the wine and he asks if we are ready to order. The appetizer appears and we have just received water. We didn't know if bread was forthcoming, or not. It arrived with a garlic aoili. The aoili was good. The bread was cake-like; similar to what many low-end pizza/Italian places serve. The appetizer, or salad, was figs with a balsamic vinegar reduction and a salad that included gorgonzola cheese, prosciutto, melon, spinach and arugula. This was quite a good salad!
      My SO (significant other, like wife), was not enthralled with anything and ordered the Cobb Salad. It was normal looking and except for a couple of things it was average. The bite of turkey I tried left me wondering what kind of weird cheese they were using. It was moist, but almost tasteless. They forgot the bacon and when I mentioned it the waiter said he would bring us a side of bacon. What we got was a tablespoon of stuff that looked like it came out of a jar. Tiny little poor tasting bits of (supposedly), bacon. So much for a side of bacon to make up for shorting us on the salad!
      My entree was a special; lamb loin with polenta (with some corn), fresh spinach and a wine reduction. The meal was good except some of the meat was not medium rare and it was a little on the chewy side. I liked the polenta and the spinach was rather plain but had a nice note of fresh pepper. My lamb was $28. That's almost $7.00 each for the four, small medallions I had. I don't think much went into the other ingredients. These were about the size of a nice sea scallop. I just thought it a tad high.
      We ordered Key Lime Pie, which was like you might expect for someone that does catering. It was an individual "pie" with a cardboard shell. Oops, I mean crust! The filling was straight Jello mix style and the whipped cream, though real, had no sweetness. Note the dog-eared, excuse of a mint leaf they chose to stick in the top of it!
      The service was almost Applebee-like. When my entree arrived, delivered by the hostess, she bumped against my arm and forced the plate of food into my space, unannounced. I was holding a wine glass in front of me, too. I barely got that out of the way. It was unconscionable behavior! No "excuse me sir", no "I'm sorry. It was pretty mediocre service. Our bill was $90, before tip.
      Crave is closer and New Haven as close, so I don't think we will be going back.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Scargod

        I've eaten at 121 several times. Aside from the interesting airport location, the food is mediocre at best and very overpriced for the quality. I even found the bar drinks to be expensive. I'd be hard pressed to return.

      2. More pics of meal. My lamb entree and key lime pie.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Scargod

          Wow, that key lime pie looks like something from a college cafeteria. My condolences for your meal.

          1. re: newhavener07

            And you bled all over your tray after fighting off someone for the last one?

            I forgot to mention that all the plates, like the one shown with the pie on it, wobbled terribly on the table. They sure did spin easily!

        2. We ate lunch Saturday at 121. I don't think they were expecting the crowd that was there, as there was only one waitress and service suffered. Drink refills were virtually impossible, and the waitress wasn't especially personable, nor helpful.

          My husband ordered the spring roll. It was $9 for two, okay small rolls. He had the margherita pizza for his entree, which he said was surprisingly bland, considering the gorgeous pizza over. I enjoyed the grilled veggie sandwich. The waitress told me there would be no eggplant on it, which I don't care for. When it arrived, it contained eggplant. Fortunately, there wasn't much and I easily picked it off. It was flavorful and I enjoyed it, even though the accompanying fries were downright cold. My MIL ordered the ravioli. The portion was tiny and $19. She said it tasted great , but it wasn't particularly good QPR. My FIL ordered the $13 burger, cooked medium. It arrived very well done. Thirteen bucks for a hockey puck of a burger seems almost comical. Desserts were the creme brulee, pumpkin cheesecake and molten cake. All were excellent.

          The location is bizarre, the space is lovely. The service was atrocious, but I chalk that up to the gorgeous day bringing people out to watch the planes and grab some lunch. My biggest gripe was with the prices. I have no problem spending money on great food. This wasn't any better than passable. Everything was priced about a third higher than it should be. We all left feeling kind of ripped off.