Just back from Carol Pecks Good News Cafe Woodbury, CT
Just got back form Carol Pecks after trekking all the way up to New Preston to look at a jardiniere I found on craigslist that was cracked when I got there but described as perfect but that's another story. Anyway, in order to make the trip worth it we stopped at Good News Cafe on the way home. I was a bit underwhelmed after wanting to go here forever. You guys as well as my friends had me really built up about this place. Started out with these spicy pieces of thinnly sliced beef topped with a warm mozzarella cheese wrapped in wilted romaine and then topped with a piece of tomato. This was good. My partner had the tuna tartare that he enjoyed. For an entree I had the lobster mac & cheese with truffle oil. I have come to relaize that I don't like truffles or truffle oil. In this case I thought it overwhelmed the dish. I really wanted to taste just the lobster and the cheese. So far I think Aspen restaurant in Old Saybrook has the best lobster mac & cheese. My partner had fish & shellfish dish with some kind of coconut milk broth. He really liked that also. For dessert we shared a latte and he had the rustic plum tart, he liked the crust but said the plums had a slight butane taste to them. I had the mile high coconut cake but was more like the mile deep coconut cake, it lacked coconut flavor. It consisted of yellow sponge cake layers with a meringue type frosting. The only coconut was on the outside layer of frosting. The wait staff was very profession and polite. Th ewines we both chose were good also. I had a spanish white called albarino and he had a pinot blanc. I don't know, maybe I missed something. For years I have heard great reviews and I wasn't impressed. I wanted the place to be wonderful!
I agree -- I didn't just get back, but was there ten or so days ago and had a really nice meal.
Had the chicken livers to start, and the lobster mac-a-chee; hubby had grilled radicchio with soprresatta salad, the flash-fired beef, and wild boar schnitzel. We both loved it, though I do recall enjoying the lobster mac more in past meals. I love Roseland Apizza's mega-thick, rich lobster sauce, so I may have become spoiled as far as appreciating the more sensible approach Peck took to her dish. That was the only drawback to my meal; I still liked it a lot, and was the envy of the lunch room the next day.
I don't know that Ms. Peck still cooks in back; but she was definitely there the night I was, because she stopped by the table to chat. Which does lead to my observation that the place was kind of quiet; it was a weeknight in mid-March and a recession/depression, after all, but I was a little surprised.
I'm with all of you. I don't get the rep that it has. (Self-promotion, anyone?)
Food passable. Ambiance passable at best. Noise level occasionally unpleasant. Service OK. Prices better at lunch. I only go with friends who insist on trying it out. I attempt to dissuade them, but usually to no avail. I'd never go as my own choice.
I agree with you completely - this place is all buzz and no good eats. My one meal there was so bad (and so expensive) that I;ll never try it again.
It has a devoted following, and the only thing I can think of is that it used to be good and has gone downhill but survives on an old reputation and the fact that some celebrities eat there.