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May 28, 2009 09:05 AM

Good Restaurants in Milford Connecticut

I want to take a special friend to a nice restaurant in Milford. I'd like to spend in the neighborhood of $80 - she drinks wine (probably only 1 or 2 glasses of medium priced wine) and I usually just drink soda. I'd the restaurant to be a sort of quite, romantic place. I've never been to any of these places, but I was thinking of Bin100 (not really sure if that would be quiet and romantic) or Bridge House. I'd thought of Bistro Basque but it sounds more expensive, but that doesn't mean that maybe you can't try to twist my arm and I might consider it.

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  1. All 3 of these are in the same price range. In fact, I think that overall, Bistro Basque may actually be slightly less expensive than the other two (but this is probably splitting hairs). Of the three, my clear favorite definitely is Bistro Basque. While hardly romantic (not sure any of the 3 really are), the surrounding are very nice and the place really evokes a feel of being in NYC.
    If decor is not an issue, let me again recommend Il Forno. Wonderful food...gracious service, and very moderate prices. The only things lacking are a permanent sign in front and anything that could remotely be called "interior design!"....but absolutely delicious, non-red sauce Italian cuisine.

    1. Bistro Basque all the way, you won't regret it.

      1. Bistro Basque is great but a bit noisy at times; Bridge House might be a better bet if you can sit away from the bar. Have fun!

        5 Replies
        1. re: newhavener07

          Agreed that BB can be noisy, but it is charming and gets my vote. Try and go when it is not at its busiest. I believe it has some outdoor seating in back??
          I/we have yet to do Bridge House, but in the back of my mind there is a reason why. I just can't put my finger on it.
          Bin 100: Little ambiance (more like an upscale Denny's)/not a "romantic" place to me.

          1. re: Scargod

            Totally agree with you that Bin 100 is like going to an upscale Denny's. Bistro Basque has that great rambling patio in the back of the restaurant. It's defnitely more quiet than inside and is quite romantic. With the great food, reasonable prices and nice atmosphere (and great service too!), you can't go wrong at Bistro Basque!

            1. re: joan mar

              Bistro Basque's delightful patio is getting a facelift. David (the owner) is partially enclosing it and installing a removable roof thereby allowing them to increase the year round seating! Additionally, there will be tables that are completely outside that will be used as the weather permits. We got a glimpse of it when we were there a couple of weeks ago and it is going to be a nice addition to our favorite Milford restaurant.

              1. re: lsnhc

                He actually told us about that when we were there one night last Sept. We were sitting on the patio on a beautiful, warm night and it started to rain. He apologized and quickly found us a table inside (luckily). He's a great guy and does a great job making you feel welcome.

            2. re: Scargod

              <<I/we have yet to do Bridge House, but in the back of my mind there is a reason why. I just can't put my finger on it.>>
              Let me help. It's because for dollars spent on food/service you'll receive at Bridge House, I'm convinced there is more delicious bang for your buck to be found elsewhere in Milford. Might be a good bet for their prix-fixe dinners, though.

          2. I drove past Bridge House this evening (Saturday night) and they looked very busy. They appear that they're not busy I guess because the vast majority of the parking is in the rear. I'm glad to see that they seem to be doing well in this location in our current economy.

            1. Bin 100's cuisine is a far far cry from an upscale Denny's! Their food is very worldly and a bit pricey but worth it! They are currently offering a prix fix menu to change monthly. This month is Portugal and last month's was Greece. Includes first and second dish and dessert! A can't go wrong deal! Plus now they offer tapas dishes for a reasonable price! Not a bad place at all! Il Forno is also a great place to eat but the decor leaves much to be desired! The food never disappoints and the owner is a nice guy! I have been to Bistro Basque several times and it also has a nice selection of dishes and have not had a disappointing meal yet but I do prefer the Bin's dishes as they are more refined! Never went to the Bridgehouse yet but hear it is ok but the filet mignon had the taste of the freezer and not inexpensive!

              3 Replies
              1. re: catbxny

                I said ambiance, not the food. You did not read my post correctly.
                Others, like the New Haven Advocate, said, "Like many of Greater New Haven’s more interesting ethnic restaurants, Bin 100 sits in a nondescript enclave of the suburban landscape, amid used car dealerships and chain diners. Inside, it smells like the chemically-new cars that fill nearby lots. The décor, too, seems cheaper than the menu would suggest (the red-patterned upholstery reminds me of a Midwestern convention center and the chairs are Ikea-esque).

                Another person (on Yelp), said, "The decor - very IKEA. And I like IKEA, but it sort of makes you feel cheap, faux fancy if you will. On the upside though, the bathrooms are very nice and the arrangement of the furniture is comfortable."

                Though I had never seen or read either of these before, they do seem similar to my impression that the atmosphere and decor is upscale Denny's-like. It IS in a strip mall with lots of glass in the front and you can see and hear the cars going by on Highway 1(or Bridgeport Avenue), as well as the side street.

                PS: welcome to Chowhound.

                1. re: Scargod

                  My 2 cents:
                  IMO, on every level, Bistro Basque is hands down the best dining destination in Milford (and the new Zagat's seems to agree - food was given a 26!). Wonderful food, nice New York-ish vibe, and it has been a very welcome addition to downtown Milford.
                  We really loved bin100 when it first opened 2 years ago, but our last couple of experiences have been less than satisfactory. When they first opened, the menu was, for a lack of better terminology, "inventive and daring." While there are still a number of interesting selections, it is clear that a significant portion of the menu has been "dumbed down." It is my understanding that when they first opened, a number of "locals" came in, looked at the menu, and left - the food was just too adventurous and unfamiliar. Since then, we have been back a couple of times, and neither visit came close to matching our initial experiences (i.e. paella ruined by sandy mussels, very inconsistent, lackadasical service, "aggressive" pricing).
                  As far as Il Forno is concerned, let me echo what has already been said - wonderful food in a less than wonderful decor! The pale orange painted walls notwithstanding, we are consistently delighted by the food and service (and a wonderful wine list) and we are never made to feel anything less than comfortable by both the staff and the genial owner, Juan.
                  My views on Bridge House (mostly positive) have been posted elsewhere!

                  1. re: lsnhc

                    Agree on Bistro Basque and inconsistency of Bin 100.
                    A friend, back in a Dallas 'burb, opened a cafe in a blue collar, mixed use district (a half block from my business), and had to dumb down and actually completely overhaul his original, terrific and varied menu. Slowly, he convinced the locals to try a few new things and even his great fish tacos (on Fridays only), became a hit! Beer can chicken and tortilla-crusted chicken were big. Had to offer chicken-fried steak and meatloaf as standard items though.
                    Reminds me of recent comments about New Haven Thai and how it is Americanized and generally not spicy; Thai Terrace being the exception.