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Any Middletown, CT suggestions?

I'm attending a conference at Wesleyan next week, and wonder if there are any chowish destinations locally. I'm not too interested in 'upscale', but are there any cool bars with food or pizza places. Thanks in advance to the New England hounds! BC

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  1. Very unique, kinda groovy, if ya know what I mean.
    http://www.ionrestaurant.com/

    1 Reply
    1. re: Td61

      I only ate there once (about 2 months ago) when I was in the area, but I loved this place! Everything was great - especially the sweet potato fries.

    2. On the occasions I've gone there, I've been pretty satisfied with Tuscany Grill.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Lee Gordon

        Don't eat MoCon's (the dining hall) food. For breakfast or lunch hit the newly rebuilt O'Rourke's Diner. Unfortunately, 3 of my favorite places died in the last couple of years.

        1. re: Passadumkeg

          Tuscany grill is good, do they still have pizza? There are/ were 2 good Thai places on the main drag, one got a write up in the NYT. Yes O'Rourkes, is expesive for a diner, but the food is sooo good. We make a detour off 84 when travelling through, just for breakfast at O'Rourkes. Neat story about the rebuild after the fire too.

      2. There used to be a place called Harbor Park, right on the Ct. River. that served good food and drinks, the lower deck was good for light fare,and the upstairs dining room and outside deck,served a little higher priced food,mainly dinners and such.Im sure someone will let US know if they are no longer in business. Have fun! Earle Ct.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Earle

          Drove past there two weeks ago, they looked as though they were open.

          1. re: DonShirer

            Harbor Park is definitely open, but you're paying for the view. The place itself is sleazy (it's owner is a made man) and the food isn't really any good.

            1. re: politico

              http://www.wtnh.com/Global/story.asp?...
              http://www.courant.com/entertainment/...
              "Maratta said he's got plans to create a high-end steakhouse on the second floor of the three-level building, and maintain a casual, 'shoreline-style clam and lobster house' on the ground floor."
              Mayor Giuliano said, "At this stage of the game, we're looking for more quality." News reports, and people, comment that there are fights, loud music and drugs have been problems (not to mention poor food).

              1. re: Scargod

                I eat there about once a year when the weather is perfect and eat outside. Food is passable only, but worth it for the view.

                1. re: germay

                  I think most people go to Harbor Park to drink and listen to bands. It does have a nice view, but that's about it. Think about the fact the place floods yearly--would you want to eat in a place that spends that kind of time under water? I wouldn't and I don't.

        2. Burny,

          Coolest bar by far in Middletown is Eli Cannon's, on the north end of Main Street by the Portland Bridge. Something like 32 beers on tap, good bar food, and a cool atmosphere. Definetly worth a try.
          The bar upstairs a the Firehouse Steakhouse is nice. A pool table, digital jukebox, leather couches. Can't speak for the food, haven't eaten there but drink service is prompt. Firehouse on the middle area of Main Street by the intersection of Main and Washington.
          For pizza, my favorite is Illiano's. There are two in Middletown, but the closest to Wesleyan is on South Main near KFC and Domino's. New York style pizza in a casual atmosphere(old Friendly's building). Hope this helps.

          Joshua

          2 Replies
          1. re: jakeith

            I have to second Eli's for an amazing tap list, and decent (though sometimes pricey) food. Atmosphere is fun, though they are VERY crowded on a Fri/Sat. night (though to be expected at a bar).

            Pizza- I'd go First and Last. A bit expensive, but really really good. Jerry's is also very good, but as mentioned below, nothing to look at.

            I too LOVE some ORourkes. Quite frankly I don't mind spending some dough for good food, and Brian, the owner is a great guy and someone who really truly cares about the NorthEnd of Middletown. Their Steamed Cheeseburgers are cheap and really good- they make their own cheese to put on them, kinda like a cross of homemade mozz. and the flavor of cheddar-ish? Very good.

            1. re: lolaeatspickle

              Agree Eli's is Middletown's coolest bar. I love their cheddar 'n ale soup!

              Forbidden City (Asian restaurant) has a cool bar within the restaurant and lots of funky--and potent--martinis.

          2. All of these places are on Main Street:
            Forbidden City has very different Chinese Food--went for lunch on Wed, and really enjoyed the food. Nice space also.
            The North End of Main Street has Nikita, good bar, burgers and such.
            Pho Mai--570 Main Street--nothing to look at, but the food is really good, and very reasonable.
            Eli Cannons--great bar, great burgers.
            Fiores--excellent italian--limited menu, but they do everything well.
            Caribbean--near fiores--don't know the name, had lunch there a few times, very good, large portions, reasonably priced.
            Personally, I think O'Rourkes is way over priced--but that's just me.
            I would never eat at Harbor Park--definitely a place just for drinks on the river.
            Jerry's pizza on 66 is the best, again nothing to look at, but excellent pizza.
            Illiano's is good also.

            You can easily walk from campus to Main Street.

            Have fun.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ctjane

              Harbor Park is great for drinks on the river - don't bother with the food as mentioned above!