HOME > Chowhound > All New England Archive >
Are you making a specialty food? Get great advice
TELL US

Hartford area Italian birthday dinner

m
mallomarmom Oct 14, 2008 10:39 AM

Couple from NY and a couple from Boston meeting us here in Hartford area for a birthday dinner. Looking for an Italian restaurant where the food is outstanding, pleasant, relatively quiet atmosphere, conducive to conversation. Finally, we don't have to do the driving! Thanks for your help.

  1. c
    crunyon Oct 25, 2008 03:00 PM

    Never been to Carbones, but as a local, I have heard only tremendous things about it. I wouldn't go to First and Last unless you are looking for a casual dinner. Spris, in my opinion, is nothing to get excited about, but I have had great risotto there. I recommend going to Carbones for dinner then heading to Mozzicattos across the street for dessert and cappuccino. Enjoy!

    1 Reply
    1. re: crunyon
      t
      Teraesa22 Oct 26, 2008 04:33 PM

      First and Last is def. casual only and really the only thing worth it there is the pizza. Plus, if you are going for pizza in the area you are better off goin 10 minutes down the road to Harry's or Luna's... I still don't understand the facination w/ carbones-Ive been ther over a dozen times and much prefer other restaurants in the area- it has gone way downhill, the managers and staff are arrogant, and it isnt a mindblowing experience.

    2. krisrishere Oct 15, 2008 10:30 AM

      First and Last Tavern Maple Ave in Hartford. A Hartford tradition..brick oven pizza (try the eggplant and ricotta pie), out of this world fried calamari, raw bar, breads to die for, pasta and grinders. The best by far, is the spaghetti special served with meatballs, sausage and salad, all on the same plate. I'm no longer in CT, but just writing this post makes me miss home so badly!

      3 Replies
      1. re: krisrishere
        w
        westie Oct 15, 2008 10:40 AM

        During the month of October, Carbone's is offering a 3-course dinner for $21.95.

        1. re: westie
          t
          Teraesa22 Oct 18, 2008 06:56 AM

          I think Spris is really underrated. The food is unbelievable-I have never had a bad meal there & service is always excellent (Get the gnocchi!). The atmosphere is fabulous too-very cool decor. Franklin Avenue in Hartford is not what it used to be & Carbone's in my opinion is overrated. I know some people still like the charm of that neighborhood & can understand why. The italian bakeries and many of the restaurants in that area are very good but I think there are better ones then Carbones. Chef Eugenes (across the street from Carbones is also phenomenal).

          1. re: Teraesa22
            j
            joaniebaby Oct 20, 2008 01:07 PM

            Chef Eugene's is a little down the street from Carbones. on the same side, right next to Modern Bakery. And yes, the food is very good, especially the wide variety of shrimp dishes. Huge portions!

            Caveys and Peppercorns would also be great choices. First and Last might be a little casual for a celebration dinner, more of a pizzaria.
            JB

      2. e
        Earle Oct 15, 2008 04:21 AM

        I have eaten at Cavey's , upstairs, which was very good. Most people who eat there enjoy there meal, the wine list is quite extensive, and the staff is very nice and polite. My own personal Knock on them is that in my opinion it shouldn't be called an Italian restaurant as they don't serve that may choices that I consider to be Italian. Its more like an American style or International style. But that's just me. If you decide to go there I would really be interested in your take on the food and the service. Any way again good luck and I hope you enjoy your meal in either case. Earle Ct.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Earle
          m
          mallomarmom Oct 15, 2008 06:30 AM

          Thanks, Earle. Will definitely report back.

        2. b
          brookerme Oct 14, 2008 02:09 PM

          You could also consider Spris http://www.sprishartford.com/ or Peppercorns http://www.peppercornsgrill.com/

          1. e
            Earle Oct 14, 2008 01:39 PM

            There is a truly good Italian Restaurant, in down town Hartford called Carbone's on Franklin ave. that i think will fit your request.(http://www.carbonesct.com/index.htm) Take a look at there website and you can decide. There is another Nice Italian Restaurant in Manchester, easy access from Rt.84, Called Cavey's(http://www.caveysrestaurant.com/) Which I highly recommend , Enclosed is there web site. Good luck and I hope you find either one to your liking. Earle Ct.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Earle
              m
              mallomarmom Oct 14, 2008 02:24 PM

              Funny (or I'm really on the right track!): I just sent the links to those two restaurants -- and only those two -- to one of the couples for their input. I've never eaten at the Italian restaurant at Cavey's but had a wonderful meal at their French restaurant. I had heard something about a special deal there celebrating their ?? anniversary... maybe it's over?

            Show Hidden Posts