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Nov 3, 2008 02:39 PM

Visitor needs upscale "thank you" dinner; Enfield/Springfield

Hello NE hounds,

I'll be in north Connecticut and I need to find two different upscale dining options for 'thank you' dinners I'm hosting for two separate groups of people. I've done a search on this board and came up with 350 Grill and Max's Tavern as potential options but I just want to know if there are other options I should also take into consideration. I would love to find something cozy and quaint if possible.

As far as geographic constraints, I would like something no further north than Northampton, no further south than Windsor, no further west than Suffield, and no further east than Stafford Springs. Complicated, I know, but I want it to be relatively convenient for everyone involved.

Food-wise, my guests are picky eaters. I need one of the dinners to be 'meat and potatoes' oriented and the other to be seafood and/or Italian oriented.

Price-wise, I can spend up to $80pp before wine.

I'm crossing my fingers that you can help with these admittedly limiting criteria!

Thank you in advance,

P.S. I know about Hazard Grille already and that it would likely satisfy most, if not all of the criteria, but it's overdone for us now... would like some new options.

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  1. You might consider Tosca in Suffield or Sierra Grill in Northampton.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Enfielder

      Tosca looks nice... I'll keep this one in mind. Thank you.

      1. re: Juniper

        Tosca is great...never had a bad meal there.

    2. I recommend Jonathan Pasco's in East Windsor (just off I91-exit 45, south on Rte 5). Built in 1784, cozy, checked the menu...has some of all that you mentioned. I have been there several times before. Has charming atmosphere and (for conversations sake, is said to be haunted).

      I used to live up there, email me if you have more questions. I'd love to help. I am most familiar with east of the CT River. Enjoy!

      PS- Ask them about the "Special Occasion" menu. It includes salad and a desert.

      8 Replies
      1. re: ECU

        Inclosed find web site for Jonathan Pasco's in Windsor( You are looking in a tought area for upscale places. good luck . Hope this helps a little Earle Ct.

        1. re: Earle

          I've just realized that I've been here before but completely forgot about it. :) I did enjoy the food and it was a charming spot. I didn't realize it was haunted! LOL... I'll add this to the list of options. Thank you!

          1. re: Juniper


            a local newsprint did a review recently. I stumbled on it today and thought that I'd pass it along to add to the "perspective" file.

        2. re: ECU

          Juniper, based on your parameters I'm thinking you should probably take a look at the Federal Restaurant in Agawam. I use it as a "special occasions" restaurant and have never been disappointed with the food. It fits the criteria of "quaint and cozy" and is within your geographic constraints. The website is to give you an idea of the offerings and prices. Max's Tavern is very nice as well. Have not been to the 350 Grill yet but have only heard good reviews of the place. Parking might be more of an issue at the 350 Grill than Max's or the Federal, if that is a concern. Good Luck.

          1. re: kneerobber

            The Federal looks like a great option! Thank you!

            By chance, do you know how the steaks at Max's are?

            1. re: Juniper

              The steaks are very good at Max's. I'm pretty sure that one of my teens had a prime rib there that she raved about- i don't see it on the menu though, but it might have been a weekend offering the last time we went. My wife usually gets the steak au poivre and I'll get the strip steak if I'm not ordering a seafood dish. For your "meat and potatoes" dinner, this might be your destination. In case you haven't found it, the website for all the Max restaurants is

              1. re: kneerobber

                I'd skip Max's. My birthday dinner there was so-so. For all the buzz about the place, I expected more. It was standard at best and small portions. I definitely agree with the noise comment. It was anything but warm and cozy and that was early on a Thursday night!

            2. re: kneerobber

              Ditto on the Federal. It's easily one of my favorites. Great food and service. Max's Tavern has good food, but it tends to get busy and noisy. Any time I've been there, the bar is crowded with happy hour customers, and the noise carries over to the dining section. I don't think you'll find it as "cozy" as the Federal, which has a bar section that's well separated from the dining room.

          2. Juniper I just thought about this place , the location has been many different places over the years, but they changed ownership not too long ago. Enclosed is there web site. Its now Called Vito's By the Water, I'm not sure if its to far south than you were looking for, but you can take a look and see. (

            1. Wow! Thanks so much for all of your help. I travel to the area relatively frequently, so I'll keep all of these recommendations in mind. I didn't think I'd have much luck given the criteria I had to work with, but you guys proved me wrong!

              In the end, I made reservations for at The Federal and Max's Tavern. I'll report back with a review for each (dinners aren't until December, so you may have to wait a bit for them, but I promise you they will come).

              Thanks again to everyone for the prompt and knowledgeable responses!