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Where to go while visiting the In Laws in Milford?

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We're heading up from Philly to visit with the ILs in Milford CT this coming Friday. We'll be there through Monday and are hoping to leave the kidlets with their grandfolk to get some quality alone time. Where can we go that's not super far (we'll go out early but should be home before bedtime less the younger kidlet turns into a pumpkin) and has a relaxed atmosphere, decent food, a good beer list and a bartender who knows how to make a cocktail (i.e. not just cosmos and martinis)??

I realize I'm asking a lot - but does such a place exist?

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    1. I don't think anywhere in Milford meets your criteria. They've got a few places with good food and good wine lists, but good beer and good cocktails haven't reached the suburbs in CT yet - or maybe I'm just overly picky about both of those.
      There are a number of places in New Haven that have all three. Downtown New Haven is under 20 minutes from dowtown Milford, and most of the trip is on 95.
      The first place in New Haven that comes to mind is 116 Crown. They do small plates and it isn't cheap, but the food is great and the prices are reasonable. They have the best cocktails in the state and the second best beer list in town. It can get a bit hipsterish on a Friday night, but it's a very low key place even when it's packed.
      http://www.116crown.com/
      Prime 16 has the best beer list in the state, but I'm not sure about cocktails. It's a burger bar, and can get a bit loud during happy hour. So, if you're looking for something nicer, this isn't it, though the burgers are very good.
      http://prime16.com/
      Thali has the best Indian food I've ever encountered. They have a decent beer list, and a good cocktail menu. Very low key.
      http://www.thali.com/home.html
      Caseus has good bistro food and a decent beer list, but I'm not sure about cocktails. In true bistro style, it can be a bit crowded, but is still relaxed.
      http://www.caseusnewhaven.com/info.html
      Foster's has a very inventive modern American menu, a decent beer list, and a solid bartender. Even when it's busy, it stays quiet and relaxed.
      http://fostersrestaurant.com/

      4 Replies
        1. re: Scargod

          If you want to stay in Milford, I would recommend Il Forno.....wonderful food, excellent wine list, very relaxed atmosphere, reasonable prices, and warm, attentive service. While I cannot vouch for the breadth of their beer list, they do have all of the requisite Italian brews...

          1. re: Scargod

            Nice picture. Did you eat, or were you just there for the photographic opportunities?

            1. re: danieljdwyer

              I used to work... For many months I drove by Lake Zoar Drive-in on my way to the Danbury area. Ate burger there once. I did not take this pic.
              I did shoot this on the Housatonic River.

               
        2. Ola in Orange (next town over from Milford) is very relaxed with great Latin American food. Not sure about the beer list, but the cocktails (specifically mojitos, etc) are top notch.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Ima Foodie

            Thought I'd update this to include the very favoravble review just published in the Times:
            http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/22/nyr...

          2. Haven't been, but would love to hear people's thoughts on Bistro Basque, Bin 100 and (less formal) Inca's - all in Milford.

            1. A big thanks to danieljdwyer. We wound up going to 116 Crown. Got there early so as to avoid most of the hipsters. The place is uber-cool. Cocktails were wonderful - I had something called a Belmont (bluecoat american dry gin, st. germain elderflower liqueur, rothman & winter creme de violette, soda - served on the rocks) and a very strong and well-shaken sidecar. My husband had an organic beer, a Lower East side (liquore strega, lime juice, cumin, salt, soda - served on the rocks) and an Eastern Scotch Margarita (dewars scotch, cointreau, lemon juice, lime juice, simple syrup, salt & soy flake rim - served on the rocks). Everything was so good - making cocktails this perfect and unique is really an art. For eating we shared fries (maybe the best we've ever had) with fresh chives, parmesan reggiano and truffle oil, short ribs, and charcuterie - duck salamé, speck and bresola, served with olives, crusty bread and good mustard.

              Bill was not cheap but considering all we had we were pleased. Thanks again!