Griswold Inn, Essex
I read conflicting reports on the food at this Connecticut inn, and they're both right. Our food in the main restaurant ranged from ordinary to disappointing. I can't understand how a bowl of chowder can arrive in front of me luke warm when there are only six tables occupied in the entire restaurant. It also takes a lot of cooking to reduce red cabbage to a tasteless mush.
But the wine bar next door to this restaurant is another world. Excellent tapas-sized dishes, creative, well-cooked and confidently presented. Between the two of us we managed six dishes, but just had to have a second plate of venison, which was perfectly cooked and spiced so that the flavour sang. Scallops, beef, pizza, soup and a couple of others I can't remember- all perfectly executed. Comes close to the top in my "best restaurant meal of all time list."
And the service was fine too.
Worth taking a detour for if you are in that neck of the woods, but do avoid that dour main restaurant!