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Nov 3, 2008 10:15 AM

Elements Bistro West Hartford CT

Has anyone been there? They did a beautiful job with decor, etc. I was in for a drink last week, had some amazing smoked chicken wings. Menu looks pretty ho-hum. Chicken, burgers, grilled fish. Anything worth trying here?

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  1. Where exactly is Elements Bistro? Was it another restaurant previously?

    2 Replies
    1. re: chowmensch

      It is in the Elmwood Section of West Hartford in the same plaza as Puppy Center. I believe the owner was previously involved with the old Back Porch Bistro in WH Center.

      1. re: luvthemdogs

        That might be - he was also a manager at shea's american bar and grill in manchester. The owner of Sheas was the owner of back porch bistro, so its quite possible that they were at Back Porch Bistro together. I have a friend who is working at Elements and I have heard great things, but have not made it there yet.

    2. Been there several times, so let's see what I can't contribute...

      The smoked wings are amazing. Nothing else like them around - everyone else has theirs fried, these are much healthier. Tasty, too.

      The real treat here is the interesting takes on staples - like the above poster mentioned, the menu isn't anything outrageous, it's just all very well done. Most of that credit goes to the chefs - Art Bonee (who was the head chef at Hot Tomatoes for years, and after that was the head of the kitchen for CIty Steam), and Mike Kelly ("Sauce", etc.) who should need no introduction if you know anything about CT restaurants.

      The staff is good - I recognize a lot of these people from elsewhere. It seems as if it's really a "who's who" of local restaurants. You'll probably know at least one or more of the bartenders, most likely Flea, who has been around Hartford for ages.

      Quickly becoming my favorite local spot...and the price is nice too. Very affordable.

      Some negatives (though there aren't many): The pulled pork sandwich needed to be sauced more, the minestrone soup I had was underwhelming, and the gazpacho salad wasn't my cup of tea.

      Best bets, food-wise: The steak sandwich is phenomenal - maybe the best in the area. I also love the pastas, particularly the Pasta Rose with house-made sausage, and the Paella Pasta. The wings, as previously mentioned, are great, as are the fried artichoke hearts and the pork flatbread.

      Glad to see a place of this caliber in Elmwood. Make sure to get there early if you're going on a peak night, as it's been pretty packed since opening.

      1 Reply
      1. re: BurtReynoldz

        Mike Kelly is there? He's is one of my favorite local chefs. I am soooo there.

      2. My wife and I just had a mid-evening snack at Elements, and we were both pleasantly surprised. She had a salad, which was the elemental salad (basically a house salad). All the ingredients were nice and fresh, there was a nice variety of textures/vegetables, as well as an interesting garnish of fried goat cheese (yum!). We split the smoked wings, which we found to be delicious, and as others have commented, a nice departure from your typical fried wings. They came with a barbecue style sauce and a cayenne buffalo-style sauce, of which the former was the yummiest, although the other wasn't bad. They were juicy, succulent, and nicely flavored. For dessert, we split an apple crisp and a hot buttered rum. The apple crisp was one of the best we have had out at a restaurant, with a flavorful pastry base, and a nicely spiced apple mixture on top. The rum was a treat: a rare find on a menu, made with Flea's secret recipe. We were very happy with it, finding it to be something that Clarence of It's a Wonderful Life fame would approve of - light on the cinnamon, heavy on the cloves!!! The bartender was a nice, helpful guy. Overall, we were very pleased, and being right in our neighborhood we can see ourselves definitely going back. We'll have to see about the entrees - I'll have to try the pasta rose!

        1. Holler. I just tried this place last night. It was jamming for a Monday which really surprised me but we didn't have to wait and the staff was really welcoming. Let's see. I echo the comment about the pulled pork sandwich. It lacked flavor or BBQ sauciness. I thought it was because I have a cold but alas my fellow diners who had a taste agreed. I asked for a side of BBQ sauce to liven it up. Anyway, I'd skip that sandwich next time--Corner Pug down the street has a heavenly pulled pork sandwich that I will stick with. My fellow diners also had the steak sandwich which I'm told was delicious. Another one of my friends had the skillet chicken with sweet potatoes and I'm told it was good and it looked awesome. My last friend had the grilled chicken pasta with artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, pepitas in a cilantro pesto sauce and she said that it was "sandy". Bleech. She didn't complain (serves her right) and actually said to me "put that on chowhound!" because she knew I'd write up our dinner there. She guessed it was possibly the artichokes which made it that way. We also ordered the Southside sandwich to go and it looked super tasty!
          Anyway, we didn't have time for dessert (which looked awesome by the way) but I'm sure we'll be back. We live in the nabe and there isn't another place like this around town without going into WH Center or Blue Black and fighting crowds, paying for parking and waiting forever for a table.
          I look forward to dining at Elements again as their menu had quite a few things that looked interesting. Also our waitress even said "how is everything....really, be honest". I wish my friend with the sandy pasta ponied up an honest comment. The host was very gracious when we left too and said something like "please come again". Anyway, check it out for yourself!

          1. Went there last Friday with some friends for happy hour. Although we didn't try the food, I was happy that the place was jumping! Glad to see that new places are opening in Elmwood and are attracting people. I'm looking forward to eating there one day!

            1 Reply
            1. re: hypertomatoes

              I also popped in last Friday with a couple of friends. I told Flea that what prompted me to come in was that I had read on the internet (here) that he was behind the bar. He seemed quite surprised about that.