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Jun 14, 2008 10:56 PM

Suggestions for good italian near New Haven, Ct?

I'm looking for suggestions for a good italian restaurant not too far from New Haven - i know New Haven pretty well, but rarely go out for Italian (I'm typically a member of the "don't go out to eat something that you can cook yourself" school of thought!) What do people recommend? Last time I think I went to L'Orcio which I enjoyed quite a bit - but there are all these places in wooster square (no, i'm not looking for pizza) like Adriana's and Tre Scallini - what do people think?

Also, I had an underwhelming experience at Porto Fino on State Street (state and bishop i think) when they first opened and haven't been back - am i missing out?

And what about Italian (or any other, come to think of it) recommendations near New Haven - let's say a 15 mile radius or something like that?

Thanks so much!

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  1. Try Antonio's in East Haven, good old school Italian. Very tasty red sauce.

    1 Reply
    1. re: chefstu

      chefstu is right, Antonio's is good. I would not recommend Adriana's though they did change ownership since I was there last. Quattro's out in Guilford is good, Also, a fairly new restaurant Bonterra opened in Southington is worth the few extra minutes drive

    2. A friend who lives in East Haven sent me the names of a couple of places in East Haven that he likes. Tollis and Apizza Grande, sorry I cant tell you exactly where they are . but Im sure you could find them. Earle Ct.

      1. L'Orcio is great, you should go again!

        If you want to try something non-italian and outside New Haven, try Bistro Basque in Milford.

        4 Replies
        1. re: EastRocker

          I 2nd that recommendation - Bistro Basque is great! You won't be disappointed. Italian is great, but this is even better.

          1. re: joan mar

            What about Tony & Lucille's on Wooster Street.

            1. re: joan mar

              I've been hearing alot of good things about Bistro Basque. Where exactly is it?

              1. re: ctfoodguy

                It is right at the end of the Milford Green (the side closest to The Stonebridge). There is a parking lot across the street, which I believe is free. Definitely try it.

          2. Tre Scallini would be my first choice after L'Orcio. We've had many an excellent meal there. Tolli's and Aniello's in Eat Haven are supposed to be good but I can't recall I've been to either of them... I'd skip Tony and Lucille's. I've had the prerequisite three meals there to say, "You can do a lot better."
            Biagio's Osteria, in Stratford is a place I've been meaning to try because of the positive comments and reviews. Looks easy to get to.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Scargod

              definitely do try it-Biagio's is great.

              1. re: Scargod

                This was our first visit. Biagio's Osteria is really easy to get to via The Merritt/Wilbur Cross Parkway/Highway 15. It's right there at exit 53. Also it's very close is Highway 8. Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation is on the other side of the Merritt from it.
                Make reservations! Being a Wednesday night, at 6:40PM, there seemed to be business dinners at several tables. In the other rooms long tables of people were gathered. They were fairly busy, at near capacity for a brief period. It was not noisy. It fairly well cleared out by 8PM. If people talking business bothers you, you might mention it when asking for reservations and not go till 7:30 or so. It did not bother us much, but sometimes business people can be loud and talk incessantly. Incidentally, the two tops are quite small. If you are large, big eaters or will be ordering a lot at one time you might try asking for a four top.
                On to the food:
                We had a nice Super Tuscan, moderately priced at $38. We received a basket of mixed breads and a plate of hummus with very fresh and delicious Bruschetta.
                The appetizer menu is very interesting with just a few of the usual suspects like fried calamari. We started with spinach, mushroom and parmesan cheese crepes. They came with a nice orange based sherry demi glaze. See pictures. Just delicious and with a little different, almost Asian flair because of the sauce.

                SO had Taglietelli pasta with wild boar bolognese. This contained truffle pecorino, fresh nutmeg and opal basil. The broad belts of freshly made taglietelli were splendid. The bolognese sauce was as good as I have had (or made myself). A huge plate of food; we both loved it and the flavorful and slightly chewy chunks of boar and the contrast with the tender pasta. So much food that the remnants and a salad made dinner for us last night. It really could serve two or three.

                I had veal Wellington. It was an excellent tasting dish except that a third of it was overcooked. The maître d’ came by very promptly and asked how everything was. I mentioned that it was cooked almost medium, not medium rare. She offered to replace it. I said no, because it tasted so good that I was enjoying it as it was. As I got to the middle of this super tender piece of meat I found that it got rarer and rarer as I progressed. Only one side was overcooked, so I was very happy in the end. Our waiter came by and apologized, as well! I thought the single, silly little twice-cooked mashed potatoes, pretending to be a potato, was a little chintzy. Two or three would have been appropriate! The plate was beautiful with a decorative reduction that seemed to have balsamic vinegar as a key ingredient. Notice the dark ribbon on the left side of the plate. The beef was topped with a nest of fried angel hair pasta.
                We shared an exquisite and creative version of Mille-feuille. We were given complimentary limoncello drinks with dessert. A nice touch.
                This was a really good meal in a very nice restaurant with very attentive staff. The only faux pas was not crumbing the table after the plates were removed. It needed it on my side!
                I'm sure we will be back to this restaurant very soon. An excellent meal. Total: $136

                Biagio's Osteria
                88 Ryder's Landing, Stratford, CT 06614

              2. ANTONIO'S IS A MUST...I recently went there on a Sunday early afternoon and the chilean sea bass was perfect! Service was outstanding.