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Dec 5, 2008 12:18 PM

New Haven Lunch If you had One Choice what

would you choose and why? need a Clean Kitchen and restaurant but great food, Saturday lunch help!!!

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  1. Isn't this a gimme? Pizza. Sallys; Pepes; the place next to Modern.

    1 Reply
    1. re: SarahKC

      I don't want to wait on line for anyfood, I want to be comfortable and not alot of noise, a beautiful long yummy lunch but if I wanted pizza I would eat there. Thanks

    2. Definitely Bentara:
      If Malaysian won't do, Foster's, Thali, Pacifico, Soul de Cuba, or Caseus.

      10 Replies
      1. re: danieljdwyer

        Thali II if I had adventurous guests or L'Orcio if they were old school. Both excellent and unusual, comfortable and not too noisy at lunchtime.

        1. re: danieljdwyer

          Any other lovely great Italian places? What about bakeries?

          1. re: nbermas

            Scoozi should fit the bill.
            The food is good and it is somewhat "lovely", especially if dining outside in the summer.
            I really enjoy the view at Leon's but on Tuesday we had another mediocre lunch. My impression is they don't always use top quality ingredients and don't get the proportions and seasonings correct in some dishes. The crab bisque, while full of crab, was offset by a heavy-handed thick consistency. The chicken zingara, while better than the last time, has an awful sausage in it.

          2. re: danieljdwyer

            Bentara is definetly one of the elite in the area especially for the money. One of those big noodle dishes on a cold day - fantastic. I had dinner recently at Soul de Cuba and it was excellent. We were a party of 8 so we got to try several different dishes and every one of them was so good. Their food is basic, hearty and elegant all at the same time. It's as if there's a Cuban grandmother cooking in back.
            As for cleanliness, ther is NO beating Duffy's Tavern on Campbell Ave in West Haven. The cleanest place in the area. The food is very good too with sandwiches, entrees and Irish favs. I think the menu is the same for lunch and dinner. If you haven't tried it, you should.

            1. re: ctfoodguy

              I'm continually amazed by how ignored Soul de Cuba is. It stays pretty busy, basically because it's so small, but it seems like even the New Haveners who have eaten nearly everywhere usually haven't been there. There's a fair number of really good restaurants in New Haven, but it's the only one that has perfectly executed every single dish I've tried (which is most of the menu, but, to be fair, they are basic dishes). I thought when Roomba closed that it would catch on. The only reason I can think of why this would be is that people aren't that interested in Cuban food unless it's presented as trendy and fusiony.

              1. re: danieljdwyer

                My husband and I have been to Soul de Cuba twice and thought it was great. I wouldn't compare it to what Roomba was, but I think it's a great little place for some really delicious Cuban food and drinks.

                1. re: joan mar

                  The food at Sol de Cuba is great but I don't always appreciate how noisy and crowded it can get. I don't get all the enthusiasm for Bentara--I find most dishes almost unbearably salty. I do like the Malaysian place in Amity, however.

              2. re: ctfoodguy

                A big bowl of Mee Curry Noodles is without a doubt the way to go, taste and price wise at Bentara.
                Very tasty and satisfying.
                re: newhavener
                just curious, what do you find salty? I usually find the food well seasoned and not salty at all.

                1. re: chefstu

                  I know you are not addressing me, but on one ocassion, I did not think Bentara's food overly salty, but I was very thirsty after the meal. I'm pretty sure I had a curry dish.
                  I have had this experience at other Asian restaurants and am not sure what to attribute it to. I do tend to like slightly salty food, so when I say something is salty, it's really salty!

                  1. re: chefstu

                    I've tried several of the soups and many noodle dishes and felt parched for days afterward. My SO loves Bentara, however, and I like the dining area and vibe of the place. I just wouldn't put it in the top rank of NH restaurants.

              3. On a chilly winter day, Union League. They have the big fireplace, they overlook Chapel street which will be all done up for the season... And if you go for lunch it is affordable elegance.

                1 Reply
                1. re: EastRocker

                  I agree, UL has a gorgeous dining room and is affordable for lunch. Heirloom takes the top prize now for best dining area in town, in my opinion, but you sure do pay for it.

                2. Right at the moment, Thali or Pacifico. Both are open for lunch on Saturdays.
                  I intend to try Heirloom soon, so that might change my tune.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Scargod

                    Thanks to the poster who recommended Thali Too on Broadway, just off the Yale campus. It was an excellent vegetarian Indian, with hip decor, pretty cool Indian music, and two dollar beers (sorry, can't remember the kind of German beer I had, but they had good beers on tap, including Magic Hat) on Sunday afternoon. I had the Uthappam, which is a kind of pancake, and the Masala Papad, a side dish which is sort of an Indian version of crustini, diced tomatoes and onions on a very thin crispy chip like "pastry" made from chick peas. I was "overhungry" when I went there, so I ordered in a hurry, and didn't have time to study the menu. They have a whole section of "street vendor style snacks" from Bombay and Delhi, which look very appealing. I will definitely go back the next time I am in New Haven.

                    1. re: petergreen

                      Glad you liked it--I think it's a unique place and I love bringing visitors there to impress them with our city's dining options.