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Mar 22, 2009 06:57 PM

Pacific Grill In Hamden, CT Opening Wednesday

Heard it from the Wallingford location that opening is set for March 25!

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  1. Am I to understand correctly that you can have all you can eat raw bar items (like raw oysters), for a maximum of $15.99? We wouldn't make out that well because SO eats like a bird and I'm not really into gluttony. :)
    They mentioned "Sysco Foods" as a top brand they use. I'm not sure what that means. What's their food like?

    5 Replies
    1. re: Scargod

      Sysco is a large institutional food purveyor. I was surprised to see it mentioned in the website; it generally is not a source of bragging rights.
      Where in Hamden will it be? (And what are you doing up at that unscargodly hour?)

      1. re: Veggo

        it's where child world was back in the day lol.

        hamden plaza

        1. re: shoreline

          Your a newcomer. long before Child World, this space was a Grand Union. The center opened in 1955, and my father was an original tenant with a clothing store.

        2. re: Veggo

          Actually, Sysco has a top tier of food products designed especially for the high end market. You pay through the nose on wholesale, but most of the goods are of great quality. Again, to the average everyday consumer, why they would list this on their website is beyond me too.

      2. Thanks for the update - I've been wondering. Will head over next week - if you go please share your experience!


        1. thanks for the heads up, i'll go soon. I peeked in the window there a while back and it seems the layout has changed.

          I hope it doesn't put the buffet in north haven out of business, that's one my second homes.

          1. It's open and just as good as the other location. Located in the Hamden Plaza.
            The raw oysters and clams and peeled/deveined shrimp are only available at dinner. Lunch and dinner has peel and eat shrimp and crayfish and lots of sushi.
            On Friday and Saturday nights they put out fully peeled and cleaned shrimp-very nice indeed!
            Lunch is @8.99, Dinner is @$17.00
            Dinner will get you grilled salmon and steak,blue crabs,snow crabs,cooked clams,nice spare ribs and myriad shrimp dishes.
            The hot foods are way above the competing buffets in quality and quantity, but remember this is Americanized Asian food, not very 'authentic' Chinese/Japanese. It is not a dim sum place like East Buffet was (same location). There are only a few real Asian foods-the emphasis is on grilled chicken/meats/seafood and lots of appetizer type finger foods.
            Fresh fruit here is another big plus-strawberries,pineapple,grapes,3 types of melon... lichee nuts too!
            The Banana 'ice box' cake/pudding is also quite good-if you're into comfort food...

            12 Replies
            1. re: cannedpoo

              Hey Hamdeners, any news on when that Park Central Cafe on Whitney is opening? What kind of place is it supposed to be?

              1. re: newhavener07

                Park Central opens April 16, big ad in the NH Advocate today.

                1. re: chefstu

                  I got the menu online and it looks pretty standard Italo-American, clams casino, veal milanese, etc. Too bad, I was hoping for something a bit more experimental. With so much good Italian in town, why drive up to Hamden? Not to mention Eli's on Whitney does a good job with the basics and the good places in North/East Haven. Whoever's behind this place shows a lack of imagination and sketchy market research.

                  1. re: newhavener07

                    It's not cheap either. A few interesting things (not).. like a half roast chicken!

                    1. re: Scargod

                      While the prices are not obscenely high (for a "tavern"), there are some real strange pricing formulas. For example, the lettuce wedge and caesar salads on the dinner menu are in the $5 - $7 range, but if you want an arrugla salad, it will set you back $12! If the burger is $9 with no side, that would put it right up there as well.
                      It is my understanding that the owner has very deep pockets (and he obviously spent a fortune on the renovation), but again, this is another one of those "cursed" locations that has housed 4 or 5 restaurants in the past several years. I will be interested to see how they fare.....

                      1. re: lsnhc

                        Isnhc, after reading the menu I see that burgers and sandwiches come with a side.
                        From my past experiences the gorgonzola that he uses in salads is the real thing from Italy, not the cheap domestic stuff that you get at most places.
                        IMHO the prices are in line for the quality and portions that I know the chef/owner will use.
                        I have eaten at both his former restaurants, Cibo and Aqua and have nothing but good things to say. The Capellini with Olive Oil & Garlic, Chocolate mousse and ice cream are all to die for.
                        I'm also quite sure that he will have creative specials, knowing how talented he is,
                        sticking to the basics on the menu so people always know that they can get their favorites anytime.

                        1. re: chefstu

                          Comparing the prices to what I just paid for lunch at Luce, three miles up the road, I would say the prices are comparable or within 5% or so higher for a few, similar items. For instance, the Calamari Aioli (fried and served with garlic cumin aioli and marinated hot and sweet peppers @ $9.95), is fancier than Luce's, but $.95 more. If the quality is top-notch then I won't mind the prices, at all.
                          I'm glad that you reminded us that there will be "specials" and the insight about the chef/owner. I will be gone when they open but I will check it out after the 26th!

                      2. re: Scargod

                        $5.00 Fries?
                        $11.00 Mac and Cheese?
                        À la carte dinner salads?
                        Who wants a second rate cut of steak?
                        I live 1/2 mile from this place but won't spend $21.00 on a cheap (and trendy) cut of beef. A good steak doesn't need marinating!
                        I would however, spend next to anything for an inventive menu...too bad.
                        This will be another clone of Playwright/Eli's/Colonial Tymes/Taste/Mikey's...Where the bar business takes priority over the food.

                        1. re: cannedpoo

                          Have you been to Mickey's? I have been to The Playwright many times and find it average or occasionally uneven, but a place I would not have to be dragged to. I haven't been to any of the others you mention.
                          You certainly don't see much, if any mention of any of these places on Chowhound. Mickey's is possibly not in the same category; that's why I asked if you've been. A marinated steak does not necessarily have a bad connotation.

                          1. re: Scargod

                            I ate at Mikey's once shortly after they opened. I recall the majority of dishes heavily laden with garlic. All 3 dishes and soups reeked of it. I am not a garlic hater but don't believe quality food needs huge doses of it.
                            Will give it another shot one day.
                            I haven't written off Park Central, but the menu is boring.
                            I can make better mashed potatoes and green beans than any chef out there so why should I be excited about something so mundane?
                            Don't get me wrong-I am not a lover of food follies-nor haute cuisine , but there is middle ground of inventive quality food and seasonal specialty dishes.
                            We will try it and see.

                          2. re: cannedpoo

                            It's a shame that you've made up your mind already.

                  2. re: cannedpoo

                    Blue crab? Steamed? I was there last Friday and no blue crab in sight... :(

                    Otherwise, was excellent, pretty much a mirror image of Wallingford except no steamed flounder and sushi was more rolls and less nigiri. Strip steak was excellent in particular!

                  3. I went today for lunch and checked it out. out the door for 13.50 with tea and a tip (8.99 +1 tea +3 tip). I thought it was pretty good. the crayfish were a little salty, the clam chowder a little too gelatinous. the oranges were lame. But don't get me wrong, I'll still eat every one of those again next time I go, the beef tips (or whatever you call them, about the size of a silver dollar with the bone attached) were great, as was the other stuff. plenty of sushi to chose from (no eel though) . Corn on the cob was a nice surprise. the place is well worth the money as far as I'm concerned. An some of the Asian women they have working there are off the hook. Worth the trip just to check them out.

                    Oh, and the peel an eat shrimp were perfect, and decent size. the wonton soup was among the best buffet WS i've had. good call on the banana creme btw.

                    very nice inside also. I'll keep it in the rotation.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: shoreline

                      Did you notice if there were any dumplings/crab rangoon/fried wonton?
                      Any chinese desserts? (coconut jello, sesame balls etc?)

                      Thanks for the info!

                      1. re: debvil

                        "Dumplings/crab rangoon/fried wonton? " Yes to all 3 -be forewarned-the rangoons are highly addictive and the best I've had-with paper thin crisp wrappers and slightly sweet inside.
                        No Chinese desserts but good layer cakes that they split in half (presumably so folks don't waste), decent ice cream and lots of fruit/jello/puddings.