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Florida Hound Seeking Advice Near Cheshire, CT

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I will be arriving in CT, Monday, October 12 and staying through Friday. I'd love to sample some quintessential New England food and I am looking for advice. Please point me in the direction of some moderately-priced establishments. Excellent pubs, taverns, mom and pops and the like are desired. Off the beaten path is absolutely welcomed (as long as it is not too far of a drive from where I am staying). Hartford or New Haven seem close, so any suggestions in those areas are fine, too.

I am also interested in hearing suggestions on the best locations to shoot some photos of the fall foilage.

Thanks!

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  1. I don't know that you will find what you may think is New England food, but there are plenty of great places to get great food that is quintessential CT...

    1. Louis' Lunch - New Haven
    2. Pepe's, Modern or Sally's Apizza - New Haven
    3. Sweet Claude's ice cream - Cheshire
    4. Hot lobster roll - Lenny and Joe's Fishtale - Madison

    Those are just a few of the things I crave now that I do not live in CT anymore!

    Right near you is Sleeping Giant Park, by Quinnipiac U....if the foliage is at peak or close to it, it's a great little spot to go to. Otherwise, I would want to go toward the small town centers of Oxford, Southington and Southbury (lots of antiques out there) or head to the wineries throughout the state.

    Enjoy!!!!

    1. It's not quintessential New England food and it's not low-budget, but right in Cheshire is a gem of a restaurant: the Watch Factory, an outstanding Austrian restaurant (see thread at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/638678 and link at http://www.chow.com/restaurants/56901... ).

      1 Reply
      1. re: linguist

        There are a lot of nice Restaurants in the middletown area. There are some nice places in the Hartford area also. A few Italian places on Franklin Ave in Hartford. There is a nice steak place in Avon and in Cromwell, "Dakota's" Just do a search for ct restaurants and you will come up with lots of places... Earle

      2. Ahhh Cheshire - not really a hopping culinary destination :) but if you need Lunch or a light dinner, The Funky Monkey is good.

        Do not Miss Sweet Claudes
        I agree that the watchfactory is excellent but not moderately priced.

        leaving Cheshire -
        Great pub food at J TImothy's in Plainville just good food period. and a good selection of beer on tap
        I love to eat out in new haven though not many of the establishments I like are "new england food" or moderately priced.

        For Hartford -
        try Firebox- this is solid local food and I haven't had a bad meal there yet.
        The Max establishments are always spot on (Trumbull Kitchen and Max)
        Bin 228 is affordable and good.

        for leaf peeping you may want to check out Craig Castle in Meriden, lots of photo opportunities in Hubbard park!

        for a longer drive anything where up in the northwest corner of the state is awesome!!! (Rt 8 north) you could even wlak some of the appalachian trail. you could get some nice NE type shots at Bulls Bridge and falls. Or drive in to the bottom of St. John's ledges (near Kent) and take ssome shots from the bottom or top - from this same spot you could walk along the housatonic river.

        enjoy

        1. There are several chowhound worthy restaurants in nearby Wallingford. I can recommend Michael's Trattoria and Los Mariachis. Others I have not visited but have had good reviews on CH are Taqueria Mexico, Cherry St. Restaurant, Fratelli's, Laskara and Tata's. A search on these names should find the reviews.

          1. Which begs the question, since I am a transplant from Texas, what do locals consider quintessential New England chow (besides chowder)? I don't think in those terms...
            I know there are some very good Italian restos in New Haven. There is The Playwright (restaurant and pub), where they do some English items and are not too pricey.
            I just don't think of much of it a uniquely New England. The apizza is unique to the New Haven area and I suggest you try Modern or Pepe's and do the white clam apizza they are famous for.
            I would forget the boring hamburgers of Louis' Lunch. Most people who say they have to go there at least once come away saying meh...
            Lenny's and Joe's is a great idea. I guess a lobster roll is a way of life, here. I would assume you get plenty of seafood in Florida. The Wellfleet oysters and cherrystone clams are worth eating.

            1. O'Rourke's diner in Middletown is celebrated for its comfort food.

              Trumbull Kitchen or Dish in Hartford.

              Also, right in Cheshire is (not very "New Englandy") but the very, very good Shangri-Lee Chinese restaurant. Their dim sum on Saturday and Sunday at lunch is very good. It's also quite probably the most handsomely decorated Chinese restaurant in the state.

              1. Head down Rte 10 to Hamden and check out the Glenwood Drive-In: excellent grilled hot-dogs, and pretty good fried seafood and lobster rolls (not quite as good as the seafood as Lenny & Joe's Fish Tail in Madison, but still pretty good and a lot closer to Cheshire). For breakfast & lunch, Bread & Chocolate has fine baked goods, panini, etc., and the Whitney Donut Shop is a good place for donuts & sandwiches -- they're both on Rte 10 in Hamden, not far from the Glenwood.

                For foliage, it's still a week or so shy of peak around here. I'd recommend a drive east on Rte 68 to Durham. Very pretty.

                1 Reply
                1. re: bnachison

                  I like the idea of Glenwood, good call! Plus, getting to taste a Hummell's....no one makes a hot dog like they do! Just be sure to have them "burn it!" ;)

                  The only time I've been disappointed at Louis' is on a busy Sat. afternoon when Jeff is not cooking. The only times he doesn't cook is on Fri and Sat afternoons. Otherwise, Jeff's burgers are always the best (to me, anyway)! And you can always stop in in the afternoon to check out the place and have a bit of pie at the counter...