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First & Last Taverne, CT

The First & Last just opened in Plainville, CT and it's been packed every night. (Same as Hartford and Avon owners) We're going this weekend, anyone have any recommendations. Stick with the pizza or branch out?

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  1. By all means, branch out. I've never been disappointed at First and Last. I could make a meal on just their foccacia. Price wise, I think they're on the high side, but food is always good. My office is half a block away from the Middletown location, and with the smell of pizza in the air, it's hard to resist....Let us know what you think

    1. My daughter and I stopped at a First and Last Taverne in Guilford, CT. Don't know if it's connected to the others. We had red wine and for appetizer - garlic bread. The bartender brought some of their sauce for us to dip it in. It was good. They sell their pasta sauces and I bought 3 (1 of each kind). I liked the sauce but probably wouldn't go out of my way to buy it again.

      1. I've eaten at the Hartford branch perhaps a half dozen times, and the Avon spot (take out) twice. The pizza is always a winner, and the one time I branched out to a grinder+beer combo for lunch it was decent as well. I must say, the mild buzz and good sandwich made going back for the second half of jury duty much more bearable ;)

        The consistent quality of the pizza leads me to believe that this place has much more to offer, I just love pizza so much it's hard to order anything else!

        1 Reply
        1. re: ratbuddy

          I wouldn't NOT go there, it's just I feel it is an average place.

        2. I had pizza (take-out, for a large party) from the F&L in Hartford. I wouldn't eat it again; life is too short to eat mediocre pizza and CT has much better pies. But I'd be interested in a good salad . . . any thoughts on the Rt. 1/ Guilford location and their salads?!?

          4 Replies
          1. re: zoe p.

            We'd only eaten at the one in Hartford before, many times -- and loved both the sweet pea-ricotta pizza and the other dishes (esp. the spicy braised escarole), so were cheered to see the new Guilford branch opening right as we moved to town. Alas, it's no Hartford clone. Super-kitschy decor, phoned-in pizza, loud TVs in the bar. We will be doing our pizza-eating in New Haven and Derby from now on.

            1. re: elltea

              agree with you - -F&L (at least the Guilford branch) is average IMHO. Bread basket=good, our pizza was dry. Salad nothing better than your average pizza place.

              1. re: debvil

                Thanks, debvil. I'm sorry to hear that. *Sigh*

                1. re: debvil

                  I disagree, actually. Granted, no one drives to F&L in preference to one of the major pizza places in New Haven for the pizza alone. Still, their pies are generally above average, IMHO. And there are lots of other things on the menu that are worthwhile for those who didn't really want a pizza at all. For salads, their iceberg wedge with blue cheese and (lots of perfect, crisp) bacon is, I think, the best in the area, if this is your thing (as it is mine). Their gnocchi aren't bad, and some of the other pasta dishes have been pretty good. We live in Guilford, and F&L has become a sort of default least-effort staple on night when neither my wife nor I feel like cooking, and we don't usually regret it.

                  That said, the best pizza near Guilford is probably at the Red Tomato (just over the line toward Madison on Rte 1, across from Zhang's pretty bad Chinese restaurant). They don't have anything other than pizza and salads/antipasto plates (not very good, in our experience), but the pizza is excellent. And they have Red Hook IPA on draft, plus other beer and wine at quite reasonable prices. Occasionally when the owner isn't in the kitchen, the crust falters, but as long as he's there it's great.

            2. We've been to the Hartford location several times on our way up to MA for lunch and we've always been pleased.
              Their bread basket that they serve for the table is wonderfull.
              Salads and pizza are awesome and it's just a pleasant place to be.
              Wait staff / cashier etc are always eager to please.

              1. Had lunch recently at the Middletown First & Last. It was pretty good. I had a chicken parm lunch which was very good. The others had a Ceasar salad and a burger. Both were very good too. Jay

                1. We've been to the Guilford restaurant twice, and those were the First and Last times we will ever go....thought we'd give it a shot after the first lousy dinner we had there....should have gone to Red Tomato instead. Pasta was overpriced and bland, and pizza was just alright. The only redeeming quality seemed to be the service.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: ljsinct

                    First and Last is the most overrated place to eat in CT. nothing about that place is special everything just avg so bland it amazes me that people like this place

                    1. re: bmgsmg72

                      They make great pizza. Some people like that.

                      1. re: ratbuddy

                        I would never call that pizza great. The only great pizza in CT is Pepes or Sallys. If First and Last was great pizza it would be on TV like Pepes or sallys is. And if you look at most posts on here they say First and Last pizza is avg to just above avg.
                        " pizza was just alright"
                        "above average"
                        "our pizza was dry"
                        "mediocre pizza"
                        "We will be doing our pizza-eating in New Haven and Derby from now on." "I wouldn't NOT go there, it's just I feel it is an average place."

                        Have you ever tried pepes or sallys?

                        1. re: bmgsmg72

                          my all time favorite pizza is moderne in new haven...

                          1. re: bmgsmg72

                            Yes, and they both make good pizza, but to say they are the only ones in the state? Pshaw. Check out Willington Pizza, Harry's (both Bishop's Corner and West Hartford center), Vegas Blvd on Sisson, Apollo in Simsbury, Colony Grill in Stamford, and many many more.

                            Pepe's and Sally's just get most of the press, there are many great pizzas in this great pizza state, and First and Last definitely qualifies.

                            1. re: ratbuddy

                              To put Pepes and Sallys in the same sentence as First and Last is a sin may god have mercey on you!

                        2. re: bmgsmg72

                          No, really, Cuckoo's Nest is -the- most overrated place in CT. ;) I'm seriously scarred from my meal there.