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Sep 29, 2009 06:56 AM

The Inside Diner- Top 10 West Hartford (CT) Restaurant List- surprised?

Got my new West Hartford Book and found the following list of top 10 W.H. restaurants. Please add your comments:

Besito (agreed- I love love love this place!)
Bricco (excellent, also)
Elements (haven't been yet)
Harry's Bishops Corner (WTH?)
Hot Basil (OK)
The Fernwood (on par with Besito?! The Inside Diner must have had too much of the "super-cold Stella or house red ($4.95!)" !
Max Oyster (good food, but annoying 20-something customers)
Muraski (haven't been-don't love sushi)
Szechuan Tokyo (agreed, but not great)
Shish Kebob House (good, but not great)

What do y'all think?

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  1. Very surprised Grants was not included.

    2 Replies
      1. re: chowmensch

        Had lunch at Grants last week...somwewhat mediocre...OK...just not at the level of Bricco's...

        PS: whats with the it supposed to be like that?

      2. What is the "West Hartford Book"?
        What is your top ten for West Hartford (unrelated to this book list)?

        1. I got a big kick out of Inside Diner's frank instructions on what to eat and drink in WH.
          I was surprised that East West Grill wasn't on the list but the list did give me enthusiasm to try places again (Fernwood) and to try new places like Besito.

          1 Reply
          1. re: masha bousha

            This is not on par with Grants, Bricco's or Max's but it does have good Asian food.

            East West Grill
            526 New Park Ave, West Hartford, CT 06110

          2. Why did you put a "WTH?" next to Harry's Bishop's Corner? It's some of the best pizza I've ever eaten.

            1. My favorite West Hartford (CT) restaurants are: Grants, Besito, East West Grill, Bricco, Barcelona (first visit over the w/e was terrific!), Corner Pug, Cocoa, Max's Oyster Bar and a tie between Plan B and The Counter. That said, we regularly visit several other places b/c of certain favorite dishes or kid faves, including The Elbow Room, Front Street Grill and Moe's. I believe all these restaurants use quality ingredients, and prepare several dishes we enjoy. Until I put this list to paper, I was surprised how many of our MOST favorite restaurants are actually in Hartford and (gasp!) Bloomfield- and are much less expensive!

              I don't love pizza, but I like the fresh mozzarella, sauce and thin, crunchy crust at Luna pizza more that Harry's- as well as the light, airy atmosphere. I do like that I can bring home my unfinished bottle of wine from Harry's, though.

              An opinionated list like the one in the West Hartford Book (a slick and surprisingly comprehensive FREE business directory and community guide-
              drums up talk about local restaurants, and that's a great thing in an economy like this.

              So bring on the critique Scargod!

              6 Replies
              1. re: stuck in Hartford County

                RE, the book: I am generalizing, but this seems to be all fluff, where the "reviews" are driven by advertising dollars spent. The reviews are not that, they are totally positive endorsements. Good, small, down-scale places like El Sarape will not be mentioned. There will only be sanitized places for the affluent mentioned.
                A "top ten" is a rigged joke. It's also un-Chowish to go by these rags and not get out there and sniff around. Read what is said here and forget about the magazine.
                I really want to try Besito very soon. I'm glad to know about it. It seems to have been in business only a couple of months?
                PS: It's nice to know you think about me!

                1. re: stuck in Hartford County

                  "I do like that I can bring home my unfinished bottle of wine from Harry's, though."
                  Connecticut law permits you to re-cork and bring home wine from any restaurant. Just ask.

                  1. re: FoodieJim

                    I'm not sure what the law is, explicitly, but some restaurants seem to think that you can only take your re-corked unfinished wine away if they further seal it in a plastic bag. I have had at least one restaurant say that I couldn't take the wine away after all, because they didn't have a plastic-bag-sealing facility.

                    1. re: linguist

                      That is complete nonsense. (Not that fact that it happened to you...I believe that. But that the restaurant would use that excuse.) Here is what the law says, verbatim:

                      "Conn. Gen. Stat. § 30-22 (2008)

                      (c) …A restaurant patron may remove one unsealed bottle of wine for off-premises consumption provided the patron has purchased a full course meal and consumed a portion of the bottle of wine with such meal on the restaurant premises. The annual fee for a restaurant permit for wine and beer shall be five hundred sixty dollars.

                      (e) A partially consumed bottle of wine that is to be removed from the premises pursuant to subsection (a) or (c) of this section shall be securely sealed and placed in a bag by the permittee or permittee's agent or employee prior to removal from the premises."

                      A paper bag that has been "sealed" with packaging tape is sufficient. (I've even seen it sealed with masking tape.) There is no such thing as "special equipment" designed for this purpose. If you frequently find yourself wanting to tote wine home, I would advise bringing a suitable bag and some tape and insisting that they use that. And bring out a copy of the law to carry with you. No mention of "plastic bag sealing" devices there whatsoever. Probably a bunch of workers who want to down your leftovers.

                      1. re: FoodieJim

                        the key is to seal the package...and a small piece of tape does the job and meets the rule..Max does it with a small pices with their name ...

                        Now that so many restaurants are selling wine half off...I'm getting some good doggie bags to take home...

                      2. re: linguist

                        Last two places just gave me a plastic bag; nothing more. No tape or seal of any kind. One did suggest I put it in the trunk. One BYOB place did nothing because I brought it in in a soft carrier. Perhaps they were not liable since they did not have a wine/liquor license. The sold only beer.