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Great food in Bristol, CT?

I'll be in the Bristol, CT area for business the week of the 14th. Any recommondations? I'm an adventurous eater with tastes for fine dining and great little dives.

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  1. Others may disagree, but I think great food and Bristol just don't go together. It's home to ESPN and some other companies, but other than that it's a bit of a sleepy town. There are some options close by (The Cottage in Plainville, lots of options in West Hartford) if you're willing to travel. Can you give me a bit more information about your location, price range and what types of food you're looking for? I'd be happy to help as much as I can.

    There is a great small supermarket called The Super Natural (http://www.supernaturalmarket.com/ind...) in Bristol. It has a deli counter with lots of hot lunch options, sandwiches and desserts. There are some tables there to eat in, but lots of people grab the food to go.

    1 Reply
    1. re: dmctexas

      Funny that you mention it, I will be in town visiting ESPN.
      No price range...company trip...company paid for ;o) And really, I'm interested in anything you suggest. I love all types of food...so long as it's good tasting food.

    2. Bristol is a culinary wasteland (good pizza though). If you're on the ESPN side of town, you are close to Southington which has a few good restos. Try Anthony Jack's on Center St & Bonterra right around the corner from the same owners.

      4 Replies
      1. re: ctfoodguy

        Really? Good pizza that's not in Chicago or New York? Any recs?
        What's Anthony Jack's?

        1. re: attran99

          Actually, believe it or not, the ESPN Cafeteria is probably the best restaurant in Bristol. It's only open to employees and their guests but I guess you'll be able to eat lunch there since you're doing business at ESPN. I would agree with dmctexas that the Cottage in nearby Plainville is your best bet for fine dining. It's not stuffy or fancy but the chef, Patty Queen, does a great job putting her special take on common menu items. The Cottage is really quite good. About 10 minutes from the Cottage in Farmington at the intersection of Routes 10 and 4 is Piccolo Arancio, an excellent Italian restaurant. Further west on Route 4 is Apricots a Continental white tablecloth restaurant that is consistently good if not particularly daring or inventive. I also agree with dmc that West Hartford offers a number of excellent options such as Grants, Bricco, Max Oyster Bar and Mediza among others. Let us know where you end up dining.

          1. re: chowmensch

            I just posted a reply about Apricots on the other thread, but I probably should have put it here since this is more recent. I was at Apricots last November (2007) and was terribly disappointed. Freezing restaurant, unheated ladies' room, insipid food that tasted like the cleaning staff cooked it. I found out later that although this restaurant used to be very good, it has gone downhill.

          2. re: attran99

            No, not in the realm of Chicago, New York or New Haven but if my memory serves, there are two decent Greek style pizza places. One is on Stafford Ave called Max's and Bristol Pizza on West St.

            Anthony Jack's is a wood -fire grill steakhouse. Check out their website

        2. Not sure how far you will want to travel but nearby New Britain has some interesting and great Polish restaurants. There are a lot of great upscale restaurants in West Hartford as well. Jay

          1. Yeah, I'm partial because I live here, but I'd say make the drive to Plainville for at least some fun food spots. Susu for Asian Fusion on New Britain Ave., J.Timothy's for hearty American fare. Sliders or The Chicken Joint for yummy and oh so not healthy wings. Scooters has burgers as big as your head, or so they claim. Pralines homemade ice cream - the cashew caramel makes me so happy. We've got a little Italian bakery called Mangiafico's for fresh canolli and almond Italian ice. Oh, and First and Last Tavern just opened - Italian, and pizza. I've not been to the Cottage yet, but I've heard it's great, and they have takeout!

            3 Replies
            1. re: epiffani

              Sliders or The Chicken Joint...are any of those places home of the "Dirt" wings? My contacts at ESPN keep mentioning them, and as unhealthy as it is...they sound interesting.

              1. re: attran99

                I work at ESPN and I think the dirt wings are J. Tim's, not Sliders as others are noting. Maybe they have them there, too, but the ones at J.Tims are the ones I think are more "famous". People go there specifically for the wings.

                1. re: Patti0124

                  Dinner for one of the nights has been planned for J. Tim's...should be interesting. I'm not one for beer, but apparently, you have to have beer and wings...any good beer recs for a non-beer drinker? I'll drink wine and the top-shelf liquor...but have honestly, never tried beer before. Made the mistake once when I was much, much younger (when I was 10 or so), and have been to afraid to come back.

            2. Quite honestly, I'm not so sure I'll have an opportunity to go far from Bristol with business being conducted there. However, I am staying in Farmington at the newly remodeled Marriott.

              1 Reply
              1. re: attran99

                If you're staying in Farmington you should make the 5 minute ride into West Hartford center at least once while you're here.... I would hate for your impression of the area to be what lies between the Marriott and ESPN.... culinarily or otherwise...

                park anywhere in the center and you can walk to any of 2 dozen good - great spots... some of my favs are

                Also..most restaurants in the Center have sidewalk dining

                on Farmington Ave...
                Arugula... Mediterranean... great flat breads
                Max's Oyster Bar...Seafood and a good bar...
                Elbow Room...comfort food...nice roof deck dining...
                Barcelona...Spanish...it's hidden behind Toy Chest

                On LaSalle Rd...
                Shish Kebab House of Afghanistan
                Bricco..Modern Italian

                as well as dessert places and Starbucks

                Blue Back Square...

                haven't tried any of these new places yet...but maybe others will post

              2. I greatly agree with Anthony Jack's. Great experience there. Although very dimly lit. I tried escargot for the first time in a garlic mushroom sauce. I was totally wowed. Followed by Lobster ravioli. simply delicious. Hubby had steak I think. though it was good. Haven't been to The Super Natural in years. Glad to hear it's still good. A new Ice cream shop opened up on Queen street. Golden Spoon. All natural ingredients and they make it there. Grab a chef is fun and pretty tasty on Queen Street too. The dirt wings are from Sliders in Plainville on Rt 372

                1. If you like fine dining, then try The Cottage on Farmington Avenue in Plainville. I was there for lunch today, and it was wonderful. The food is obviously prepared by someone who cares about good cuisine. Everything was fresh, well-seasoned, and beautiful on the plate. I found the waitstaff and atmosphere extremely pleasant, and I intend to return as soon as possible. Can be a little pricey, but they have specials. In any event, the food is worth it.

                  1. Thanks so much for all of your replies. Thought most of my visit was hosted by ESPN, I was able to sample some tasty food during my visit.
                    Arrived late at the hotel on Monday night, and hit up the hotel sushi bar...which was supposed to be really good. It was okay, and the spicy tuna...was not to spicy even after we requested additional heat. After a long day of traveling across country, it was nice to not have to go anywhere...should have gotten in the car to try New England pizza instead. However, the hotel bar made up for the lackluster sushi...strong tasty drinks!
                    Lunches were catered by the hosts...which was really good. Chicken parm with pesto ravioli the first day, and Paninis the next day. ESPN catered food was quite surprising!
                    Dinner the first night was at J. Timothy's. After the really tasty dirt wing appetizers (and they were really good wings), I had the crabmeat stuffed baked salmon with vegetables. Crabmeat...was more crab cake than crab meat...and the salmon was a bit overcooked. Dinner came with a salad with a great champange vinagrette. Dessert was a summer berry tart that reminded me of a light cheesecake, but had some awesome berry medley on top with a mango and raspberry coulis. The blueberry sangria and stars and stripes martini was awesome.
                    Dinner the next night was at the Shish Kebab House of Afghanistan. It was pretty good. I shared the combination plate and the lamb chop plate. The lamb was really overcooked. The chicken, however, was perfectly cooked. I loved the eggplant that accompanied the dish, and particularly enjoyed the dumpling appetizers we ordered. The house shiraz was a nice pairing to the food.
                    I hope to be back in six months of try new culinary adventures in CT.
                    Thanks so much for the recs!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: attran99

                      Thanks for the update. One of the great benefits of living in CT is its size. You never have to travel far to leave where you are and try something new. Next time you visit our fair (fare) state, hop in your car and see what else is out there. If you are staying at the Farmington Marriot, you can be in West Hartford in 5-7 minutes, downtown Hartford in 12, New Haven in 40. If you scan this board and read the posts specific to CT and its towns, almost every place metioned (outside of Fairfield County) is within reasonable reach from Farmington. As posted above, the stretch between Farmington and Bristol isn't exactly what our Chamber of Commerce pushes. but not too far away, you can try lots of local specialties as well as terrific food and wine at finer establishments.