I have been to Cuvee twice and I really like it! I live about five minutes away in West Hartford and noticed the new restaurant when I was across the street at Whole Foods one evening. My boyfriend and I put it on our list to try, and visited at the end of July, and again mid-August. We had a great time on both nights! Even though they offer only “small plates,” we made a dinner out of the food options on each visit.
The décor and atmosphere are unlike anything in the area – a real loungey, chic and comfortable space. Almost like something you would find in Manhattan or Miami (and to note: I didn’t think I would ever like this type of atmosphere as it doesn’t seem my “style”… that is until I went to Miami last year and had a blast). There are low, plush sofas and chairs, areas separated by tall, flowing curtains, and high top tables and chairs around the bar.
The first time we visited on a Sunday night, and it was pretty empty (only two other parties). We sat at the bar and conversed with the bartender, who was terrific – nice, funny, made some great recommendations. The owner was also there, and he was friendly and welcoming. We both drank various glasses of red wine on this visit (Malbec, Tempranillo, Zinfandel and Shiraz – all pretty good). We ordered the potato crisps with gorgonzola to start and the recipe had changed since the opening – the potatoes were actually almost like steak fries or roasted spears (probably addressing the “soggy” problem with the previous crisps/chips set-up noted in the negative review joan_mar mentions). For my meal, I had a chopped salad that I enjoyed – good dressing, love crumbled blue cheese and garbanzo beans – but maybe could have used some more veggies and perhaps smaller pieces of lettuce. My boyfriend had the lobster mac and cheese, which he loved (I sampled it, and it was tasty).
On our second visit, we stopped in on a Saturday night and it was rather busy. We sat at a low table with large club chairs in the bar area. Our waitress was really friendly and the service was good. Again, I had red wine but my boyfriend stuck to beer. We split the mozzarella stuffed meatballs, which were perfectly seasoned and the sauce was great. I had a ham and cheese crepe for my meal, which was a bit disappointing as it was bland and a bit rubbery. My boyfriend was going to order a burger (which are small, served on English muffins), but he liked the lobster mac and cheese so much that he had to order again. We finished the meal with the sexy donuts, which was simply an angel food cake dish and was actually a bit stale (perhaps since, according to our server, we apparently got the last order available that night). I capped the night with a glass of Veuve champagne. Although my “meal” and dessert could have been better, I still had a great time.
My boyfriend and I both feel that the atmosphere is great, the portions fill us enough without feeling bloated, and the prices are decent. I look forward to returning! (Sorry for the lengthy review!)