John's Cafe - Woodbury, CT
Just wanted to give you all a heads up that my mom and I had lunch at John's Cafe in Woodbury CT last Saturday. I had been hearing the chef on a local radio station weekly; he seemed like a great guy, so I wanted to check it out. We took the scenic drive up from Milford, down 34 and up Route 188 past Southford Falls to Route 6. The restaurant is located across from Carole Peck's Good News Cafe and next to Carmen Anthony's Fish House. They offer Al Fresco dining under a striped awning, but it was way too hot that Saturday for us to do that. We had a very enjoyable lunch. I settled on their Mussel Soup which was delicious with new potatoes and fresh dill--more like a chowder than a soup, not as sweet as Bobette's Mussel Chowder in Milford (to die for), but quite good/different. (I was wavering between that and their beet salad, which I always love). My mother had their carrot bisque soup special. I settled on Crispy Sole Milanese with arugala and huge capers (not quite those huge whole caper berries, but very large and delicious capers that make a difference). My mother ordered the sole and salmon cakes that she said were delicious. They also served incredible rustic bread with good olive oil for dipping that I meant to ask if they made it there or where it was from because it was incredible and crusty. My only complaint that day was that most of my items needed a bit of salt. We peeked at the dessert menu which looked delicious and our informative waitress told us were homemade and she said they were out of their special Strawberry Rhubarb pie that she said ran off the menu the night before. They also have a daily sorbet special too and profiteroles. I would love to go back and try them for dinner. Clearly the online menu has been adjusted since so many of the items we had aren't listed on it, and they do have nice looking daily specials. Our server was great too and quite attentive. I enjoyed the atmosphere very much. I would imagine it to be quite romantic at night. It was dimly lit for lunch.
Here's the site: www.johnscafe.com
I'm glad to hear you liked the atmosphere at John's. Years ago, we went to John's regularly and scoffed at Carole Peck's; then John's did a redesign (crammed in more tables, basically); and after a couple bad experiences, we decided to go across the street. The last time we went to John's, it was elbow-to-elbow, very loud (many people + harsh acoustics = cacophony), and just overall unpleasant, even if the food was as good as ever. John's food has always been very good (IMO, of course), I've never had a complaint with that.
Maybe they've changed things once more, and this time for the better. Once tourist season is over, we'll have to mosey on up there again.
The afternoon we went, it was quiet (close to lunch closing time), but I did happen to notice when we were there that they had those sound diffusers hanging from the ceilings, so I wonder if they are trying to do something about the acoustics? Often those things don't quite help. Maybe someone else can weigh in if they've gone recently during a busy time?