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Best CT restaurant with a view


I was just wondering what you think is the best restaurant in Connecticut with a view. I love Hopkins Inn because the view of lake waramaug (sp?) is so stunning. Is there anything else that ranks as high (view wise)?

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  1. IF you want a view and lobster - -head to Abbots - its a seasonal, picnic style setting - BUt great setting on a CT shoreline marina view

    there is also a great on the river place in Haddam - also casual - Blue Oar

    then there is a fun spot in Stonington on the water - - I have to go look up the name again - I only get there once in awhile as it is a hike

    3 Replies
    1. re: few

      You're probably thinking of Skipper's Dock. They do have a great view but the food is mediocre. Another spot with a nice view is Dock and Dine in Old Saybrook but there food is average as well.

      1. re: chowmensch

        yes yes - it is Skippers Dock - I agree the food is average - their Sun breakfast is better I think though - maybe because it is less of a crowd on a Sun morning - they seem to get overwhelmed there - great place to enjoy the sun setting over the water though!

        1. re: chowmensch

          dock and dine served my husband a piece of tuna a couple of years ago that I could only call a "baboon heart". it was disgusting!!

      2. ON20 in Hartford when its open. Beautiful view of the Ct River and best food in the state

        1. I guess this needs revisiting every once in a while. I asked a similar question here, but it was New Haven centric. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5154...
          Also info here since you mentioned Hopkin's Inn: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5598...

          1. Just posted a review of Brasserie Pip in Ivoryton yesterday (with pics). It's not an ocean or waterfront view, but the garden view from the porch was quite beautiful.

            I'd say most important (to me) is a combination of great food in a beautiful setting. I love the Saybrook Point area, but would not bother eating at Dock & Dine as there are so many better places for food.

            Oh, hey, speaking of that area...we've only stopped for drinks at Terra Mar (Inn at Saybrook Point), but the view of the marina is nice and their menu is very tempting. It's on our list of new places to try. Anyone have feedback/details on meals eaten there? Bring your walking shoes and take a walk across the causeway before you eat. It's a beautiful area and we walk there all the time.

            And I agree with you about Lake Waramaug (simply gorgeous), but have never eaten at Hopkins Inn--have only gone to the winery and rode our bikes around the lake...which reminds me...there used to be another actual waterfront (casual) place right on the lake. I went with my mom a few years back and sat right on the water. Does anyone know the place I mean? Obviously, that view is great, too! I took a quick look and couldn't find it. Maybe it's not there anymore.

            Oh! In the summertime when outside seating is available, check out Sharpe Hill Vineyard in Pomfret. The patio area with umbrellas outside the big barn is so pretty, I actually have a framed print of it hanging in my hall. In fact, the print looks very much like the first image on this page...and as you're sitting, you can look out into the vineyards (and stroll through before or after your lunch). Gorgeous vista! And it's one of my favorite restaurants in CT. We usually try to get out there for my mom's b'day in August and during the winter holiday season. Advance reservations here (secured with a credit card) are imperative.

            4 Replies
            1. re: kattyeyes

              Lake Warramug: Could it be Boulders Inn, on the west side of the lake?

              1. re: Scargod

                No, this place was super casual. Maybe it's just not there anymore. I looked around and nothing rang a bell. In the name of chowhounding, we may just have to take a ride and find out!

                But Boulders Inn belongs on this list, too (good call). I've never eaten there, but the menu looks great and you know the view is superb. Have you been by chance? How are the prices (if you have to ask you can't afford it?!)? I notice they're missing from the menu.

              2. re: kattyeyes

                I went to Sharpe Hill for the first time last Friday and was very impressed. I didn't eat at the restaurant, as we were going to Still River Cafe afterward, but the smells coming out of the kitchen were good enough that I'm definitely going back to eat soon (though it will be difficult to be in that area and not eat to Still River Cafe).
                I agree completely that it is a beautiful place. The wine was also great. Easily the best in the state. The staff was courteous, friendly, and knowledgeable. The prices were also very reasonable.

                1. re: danieljdwyer

                  So very glad to hear, daniel. Would love to hear your comments re Still River Cafe. Here's a link to a recent thread on their Friday night prix-fixe menu. Please share your experience. SRC is on my list of places to try:

                  Edit: P.S. If you haven't seen it before, I hope you found the Frog Bridge, too. Aw, heck, even if you've seen it dozens of times, I love that bridge! :

              3. At Lake Waramaug, The Boulders Inn has much better food than Hopkins, although Hopkins has a touch better view.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Uncledave

                  Uncledave, is the casual spot that was right on the lake gone now? And do you have any idea of an approximate price range for entrees at The Boulders Inn? Their menu looks fab, but lists no prices.

                  1. re: kattyeyes

                    The Boulder's is on the pricey end for sure. Well worth it. I liked the food and facility so much I had my wedding there 5 years ago (25 people) -- including the rehearsal dinner the night before. They were perfect - not one complaint.

                    There's a more casual place just down the street from the lake -- not ON it -- called Oliva's. I've never been but always heard consistently good things about it. It's Mediterranean /Italian.

                    A great day at the lake is to hit the little state park and sit by the shore on the beach. Rent a boat. Then hit Hopkins for a wine tasting and maybe a drink on the patio. Then dinner at Boulder's. (Or make it an overnight at Boulder's!).

                2. IS the rusty scupper still in New Haven? Used to love their brunch!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: musicrx65

                    They are gone, replaced by Leon's (which ironically was supposed to be the original restaurant at that location, before labor problems shut them down) There have been many less than great reviews here, so I have not been. In the day it was great.

                    1. re: musicrx65

                      The Rusty Scupper lost their lease and Leon's started up 18 months ago. As I understand it the property is owned by the Fuscos. Elena Fusco owner of Bin 100, is a daughter of the Iannaccone family of Cafe Goodfellas, Tenderloin and Luce (previously Raffaello’s).
                      I miss the Scupper and don't think Leon' measures up to the top Italian places around town.

                    2. Thanks for all the great suggestions. Sharpe Hill is one of our favorite places in Connecticut. We have been going there since they opened and Katherine (the owner) used to cook in a little cubby hole of a kitchen that was only big enough for one person right next to the tasting bar. They were only doing cold plates then and the building that currently has the restaurant wasn't even there.

                      Boulder Inn sounds interesting. We'll have to check it out!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: acervoni

                        Strange that no one mentioned the Sage American Grill & Bar in New Haven. The view over New Haven harbor is great and the food is at least reasonably good


                        100 S Water St
                        New Haven, CT 06519-2822
                        (203) 785-8086

                        1. re: philbkr

                          "Reasonably good" may be the problem. I ate there twice in the last two weeks and there were many issues.
                          The oysters were poorly shucked and had a lot of detritus, some as big as a button. My "sushi grade" tuna wasn't. Sides were boring, overcooked and tasteless. The dessert, "Mood Pie" with butterfingers and peanut butter was amateurish, with big glops of peanut butter and fake whipped cream.
                          Sage acts as if it is a high-end restaurant, but it fails. Little of what I have eaten there (or tasted), measures up. My first choice for wine was unavailable. They were not busy at all on the weeknight we were there and only moderately busy on a Saturday night.
                          When you get there it is a great location with a good view, but it is a little out of the way. The entrance to the restaurant is easy to miss.
                          I would rather go to Leon's than Sage! Leon's may be improving.

                          Sage American Bar & Grill
                          100 S Water St, New Haven, CT 06519

                      2. I can't say enough about the Cobb's Mill Inn in Weston.

                        A Colonial-style classic, the restaurant itself is very beautiful. There are quite a few working fireplaces.

                        The coolest places to sit are "downstairs." The bar room is absolutely gorgeous, and it looks out over the base of the waterfall. Across the way, geese, ducks and swans dabble -- there are even water fowl there in winter. When it gets really cold out, the waterfall looks like an enormous ice sculpture.

                        It's not a view in the conventional sense, but once you've sat in this beautiful place and had a glass of wine and a good meal, the "ambience overload" is just as good as a more conventional water-side view.

                        The food is very, very good, by the way. We stick with things like mozzarella salad to start, oysters if they have them, and escargot if they have them. The best entrees are simply grilled meats. The wine list is serviceable. They have a remarkable selection of after-dinner drinks. Even in winter, we put our coats on and take a little cognac out on the decking that surrounds the downstairs dining room. The waterfall roars and the surroundings couldn't be any more the essence of New England.

                        Cobb's Mill Inn
                        Weston Rd, Weston, CT 06883

                        1. So far responses have focused on water views. So I will chime in with this one, how about John Davenport's on the 19th floor of the Omni hotel in New Haven.

                          1. It's been a while since I've been there, but the Grist Mill Restaurant in Farmington has a nice view of the Farmington River outside their windows, and as I recall the food was quite satisfying.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: DonShirer

                              We stopped going to The Grist Mill two years ago after two very unpleasant visits. Yes, the view is gorgeous. The food and the owner's attitude leave a little to be desired.

                              1. re: shaogo

                                I had heard that before about The Grist Mill. But when I went last fall it was totally pleasent experience. Maybe they got the message.

                            2. BEST RESTAURANT with a view? or Restaurant with the BEST VIEW? I like Abbotts in Noank, CT for BEST VIEW (but so-so restaurant). I love sailing into that quite, serene harbor and dinghying up to the dock for their full-clambake. The view is just beautiful, and the BYOB rule makes it the perfect place to relax after sailing.

                              Larchmont (NY)Yacht Club's dining room also wins for restaurant w/the BEST VIEW. And they even have a pool-room that is "gentleman-only" for the full-on-Gatsby vibe. It's been awhile since I've frequented the club, so that may have changed... You can sit at the bar and gaze down the green, green (fertilized) grass at the pretty harbor. Heaven.

                              1. Abbott's is a tourist trap. A great picninc; instead of ants you get seagulls. Boulders is what we used to call a clip joint. Outrageous prices because the NYers visiting on the weekend will pay. As for a view, the ON20 recommendation is excellent in every way

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: eat2win

                                  Of course Abbotts is a tourist trap! But there are few dock and dine restaurants along the CT shore you can end a day of sailing at with a lobster and clams and your own wine. And I do love the view, although the seagull netting gives the sky an odd look. You can take your food "to go" on the boat, if you don't like the netting.