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Fathers Day Dinner around New Haven

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My husband is playing lacrosse Sunday at Yale. We'd like to go out to dinner afterwards in the area or heading back down I -95 (Dad is driving back to LI). Any recommendations for a classic American place? Dad won't venture much past steak and potatoes...no tapas/vietnamese for him. Moderately priced preferably. Thank you!

PS- I've read the boards and see Prime 16- is that too casual? thanks again.

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  1. New Haven is apizza- Pepe's, Modern, Zuppardi's or Sally's. You can't go wrong!!! For meat and potatoes, Leon's on Long Wharf is good.

    4 Replies
    1. re: connguy

      Did lunch at Leon's; a big disappointment. Wine was good this time. Bread was almost cold (meaning it was likely in the cooler earlier).
      Started with clams casino. Very greasy and very heavy. Lots of chrunchy grit! The bed of salad greens were unappetizing so I couldn't eat them to cut the oiliness.
      Gazpacho: Was like a watery Slurpee. It had lots of very small bits of ice in it. Very cold, spicy fiery and acidic. No bread in it.
      Tomato and Mozzarella: Mozzarella was grainy and rubbery. Tomatoes (yellow and red), were flavorless. Minimal fresh basil, but it had a nice balsamic vinegar reduction.
      Finally, lobster ravioli: I believe this sat under the heat lamps for a while. The raviolis were OK, but without much flavor. There were chunks of lobster and tomato in the tomatoey cream bisque. Some chunks of lobster tasted off. The Bisque was thick and strong and overpowered the ravioli. On one hand it was overpoweringly rich, with seemingly lots of butter and cream, while on the other hand it became monochromatically too much and boring with little lobster flavor. SO had a bite and said, "with my eyes closed, this could be anything". I'm sure glad I didn't let our server put cheese on it! I could only stand to eat about half of it.
      Service was reasonably good. They didn't seem as busy for lunch as they have been in the past. Almost $50, just for food. This will probably be my last critiquing of Leon's.

      1. re: Scargod

        I hate knocking places, but in the case of Leon's I feel like I'm doing people a disservice by not knocking it. I went back during that one nice weekend we had about a month ago, because so many people on this board have defended it against criticism. My one other time eating there was not long after it opened, and someone remarked that it wasn't fair to judge a place in its first few months.
        This meal was even worse. Overcooked, bland mussels. Gummy pasta with obviously frozen shrimp and a poorly conceived sauce that tasted like nothing but cheap cooking wine. No appetite for dessert.
        The service has improved, but I still wouldn't say it was good. Prices are within a few dollars of the most expensive places in town, and higher than places that get accused of being overpriced nickel and dimers.

        1. re: danieljdwyer

          I agree completely. My one meal at the current Leon's was truly awful, Their version of clams Casino has to be the product of a really perverse imagination. The veal dish that followed was simply inedible. My wife's pasta with clams was only a little better. Other people at the table stuck to salads or not much more, and even those looked pretty weak.

          Service was sporadic: excellent when we had their attention, but not exactly attentive.

          Too bad -- both of the old incarnations of Leon's that I went to in past years were worth going to often. I guess the value of the function Quality(view)+Quality(food) at Leon's is a constant.

          1. re: linguist

            I haven't been myself, but I keep hearing the same thing about Leon's and not only from CH'ers, but from everybody I strike up a conversation with. Sad to hear with such a nice location.

    2. Central Steak House, great food and good prices.

      2 Replies
        1. re: chefstu

          Too late for the OP's needs, but Central Steakhouse is THE place to go in New Haven for what s/he was after.