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Oxford, CT restaurants

With my parents moving to Oxford in August, I'm trying to scout out local restaurants for them. They've been to 121 Restaurant, and I've read the posts about Brookside. Where else are good local (Oxford or within a 15 minute non highway drive only, please) places for them to enjoy a non-fancy, inexpensive to moderately priced meal? They can't go to a fish restaurant because of allergies, but they're open to anything else. Knowing them, they'll pick a handful of restaurants that will become their regulars when they don't want to cook dinner, but they both are retired and won't have the income to afford expensive meals out.

Which Italian restaurants are good? How's Rose's Family Restaurant? How's the diner in Seymour right past the Rt. 8 interchange? Any good ethnic restaurants? How about basic American fare? Will they have to go to Southbury for decent Chinese food? Any other upscale restaurants besides 121?

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  1. I have lived in Seymour/Oxford my entire life and I hate to say it, there isn’t much out our way except an abundance of Italian/pizza places.

    Yes, they will have to drive to Southbury for good Chinese. First Street Pizza in Seymour has been compared to New Haven pizza and I agree, however its mostly take out (they deliver) with I think three high top tables in the waiting/dining room.

    Hot Tomales(sp?), Mexican, opened in Seymour I think last year but has gotten mixed reviews on this board and I have not been.

    Rolando’s in Oxford is good if you’re in your mid-20’s early 30’s (or single) and looking for someplace “decent” to take a date. Its also the “bar scene” in Oxford.

    Cucuina Rustica (not sure of spelling) farther up Rt. 67 has very good Italian and probably the closest you will get to authentic Italian in the area.

    Roses Family restaurant, is just that, a very nice quaint small town family restaurant. Good food when hungry but nothing to write home about.

    Brookside has already been discussed and I would say it’s the “adult” choice if wanting to go for a drink and appetizers.

    The Oxford House is also on Rt. 67 but in all my years of living in the area I have never been. I know it’s a regular spot for bridal/baby showers, family birthday parties etc. I have never heard anything bad about it but I really have no idea.

    Fritz Snack bar is a small local “diner” type atmosphere where everyone seems like a “townie”. Same with the Sandwich Man in Klarides plaza in Seymour.

    Jerry’s meat market on the Bethany side of Seymour is a decent butcher although honestly I don’t have much to compare it to as it’s the only butcher/meat market I’ve ever been to.

    Also worth noting is Julio’s in Southbury. Very good brick oven pizza and good Italian fare. Denmo’s which is just down the street from Julio’s is a “summer shak” of sorts. Great place to stop for a hotdog or burger, ice cream on a summer day.

    Country Creamery in the Tommy K’s plaza has good ice cream but Rich’s Farm in Oxford is the best for homemade ice cream.

    O and Good News Café is a bit farther up the road in Woodbury (Rt. 6) but has been written up in CT Magazine and I think would be considered a “true” Chowhound restaurant.

    And if they are up that way, Carmen Anthony Fishhouse is also the only place you’ll get a “good” steak in the area (that I’m aware of) but also the most expensive of the places I mentioned.

    If I think of more I’ll let you know.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jesoda

      Informative post....jesoda is my hero!

    2. I recently enjoyed John's Cafe in Woodbury, across from Carole PEck's Good News Cafe and next to Carmen Anthony's. www.johnscafe.com
      (Al Fresco dining under awning too if you are into that.)

      1. I haven't eaten in the area that long but I can heartily recommend Crave in Ansonia. While it is not inexpensive, it is a better value than some in New Haven and elsewhere that do no better and charge more. I would look in Derby and I wonder if there isn't something in Naugatuck or Southbury.
        Here's a link to my map with some good places that have been mentioned and Crave. http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&...
        I've knocked Hot Tamale pretty good (from four dinners there) but as long as they don't expect good Mexican or real Tex-Mex, then they have a few decent dishes; shrimp-(?) and fajitas. The mole and chile rellenos have disappointed me.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Scargod

          I also recommend Crave in Ansonia. I've been twice and both times have been excellent.

          1. re: jesoda

            I also recommend Crave, and I also second the craptastic rating of Hot Tamale, although I've only eaten their food once around 8 months ago. Also recommended is Nardelli's, which is an Italian deli and grocery in Naugatuck. They make a waaay serious italian cold cut sandwich, easily enough for two people or leftovers for dinner. I always stop there on the way up to shows at the Meadows (I refuse to call it the Dodge or whatever it is now!!!) and have the rest of the sandwich after the show before my drive home. There is supposed to be a good Portuguese restaurant in Waterbury, but I've never been.

            1. re: redfox697

              And two Brazillian places in Waterbury, too, but likewise, I've not been yet.
              I forgot to warn that you should skip margaritas at Hot Tamale. Even "top shelf" tasted foul. Must be their mixer. I'm not the only one who said that, either...

        2. If you go north on 67 to 188 in Southford and then north into Middlebury, you'll find Bella Luna, which I think your parents might enjoy very much. It's mostly straightforward Italian fare, but the food is good and plentiful (doggy bags!), the service is friendly and it's open for both lunch and dinner.

          1. For Italian, there's Roseland Apizza on Hawthorne Avenue in Derby - homestyle, casual, great food. They're not just pizza, the entrees are great, too. Roseland doesn't take reservations, and in the summer you often stand in line, sometimes outside on the sidewalk. It's a family neighborhood, so as long as it's not pouring, the waiting isn't too painful.

            Someone mentioned The Sandwich Man - a mini-institution, great breakfasts, very comfort foody IMO.

            I have actually been to Oxford House, though not in the last year or so. It's old, traditional food, ie my grandmother would love it. The food isn't flashy, innovative or whatever, but it's usually solid and I've never had a bad waitperson experience there.. You can't eat the scenery, but it's an old stagecoach stop from waaay back and I'm a sucker for old buildings, so that doesn't hurt either. There's a fireplace or two, which is also nice duing the winter.

            1 Reply
            1. re: harrie

              Thanks to all for your extensive recommendations. Feel free to pass along any more as you think of them!

              I think for weekday don't want to make dinner dining out, options like Cucina Ristorante, Brookside, Sandwich Man, Rose's, etc. will be on my parents' list.

            2. I just had the most terrible lunch at 121...It was our anniversary and we were warned not to go for dinner...because it was expensive so we tried lunch. The cost was $55.00 I had linguini with mussels but it had other seafood in it? What's with that? My husband had the cuban sandwich which he said was just ok. Never again..too bad I did have my hopes up. I wish we had nicer restaurants in Southbury. Miranda's is the best italian place around for pizza. the cavatelli with broccolli rabe and sausage is great there but it is a huge portion. I will definitely try Crave thanks for the tip.

              1 Reply
              1. re: knowsgoodfood

                Where in Southbury is Miranda's? What do you think of Julios? I just read something about John's Cafe in Woodbury which received excelling reviews.