Cucina Rustica Ristorante and Pizzeria: For slim pickings in the Seymour-Oxford area this Italian place will have to do!
The only reason this restaurant gets a nod is because there is next to no fine dining in the Seymour-Oxford area and this place is passable. The mediocre Caesar Salad was made with good lettuce but over-dressed from a bottle of commercial plonk. No fresh ground pepper or Parmesan cheese was offered.
The wine list is small, but adequate and not pricey. Nothing fancy here! Cold mediocre bread was served with a quite good homemade bread dip, with garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, pepper flakes and olive oil.
Calamari with gorgonzola and peppers, while tasty, was slightly undercooked and not very hot. The marinara was average. The Pasta e Fagioli soup (which came with the entree), was quite good. SO's chicken Scarpiella (sautéed with huge slices of portabella mushroom and hot cherry peppers in a sherry wine sauce) was very good and quite spicy. My shrimp and Clams, over linguine with fra diavolo was better than average. The homemade Cannolis were not very good and the plate was overdecorated as if done by a schizophrenic child artist.
The basic food was OK. I'd suggest skipping desserts. The place is clean and nice inside. The food is pretty solid, servings are large, but certainly nothing was spectacular. They have a decent menu so there is lots more for us to try. The linguini may have been fresh, but the penne pasta was from dried pasta. They do not make pasta there. They have beer and wine only. They make pizzas.
With wine @ $25, we spent $100! We had enough leftovers for more than one additional meal.
Go there if you live nearby.
Cucina Rustica Ristorante and Pizzeria
340 Oxford Rd, Oxford, CT 06478
From the pictures and other information on the website, they don't seem to make anything like penne (although of course you may have found something they don't advertise). The cannelloni are presumably made by rolling flat pasta, but penne would have to be done by extrusion, and the special equipment required isn't the sort of thing to be found in most restaurant kitchens even in Italy, I think.
My only point, really, was that lots of very serious restaurants use (indeed, in some cases prefer) dried pasta for certain types. Tagliatelle, linguini, etc. should of course be be made fresh.
Feast Gourmet Market in Deep River does (make their own penne). I just called for a list:
I have only tried their fettucine thus far, which is great. Pasta production days are Wednesday and Thursdays. If you're looking for a particular shape, call ahead--if it's not in stock, they can make it for you if you give them 2-3 days' notice.
Bonus: it's across from duGlace, so if you time it right, you can pick up something tasty from the Patisserie as well. :)
Feast Gourmet Market
159 Main St, Deep River, CT
AND, while you're multi-tasking or killin' two birds with one stone you should economize more and go to the Old Saybrook-Clinton area for some good seafood.
I was looking at my map of restaurants in the area and note: on just one page of my listings, all the cyan colored POI clustered around that area and Mystic! http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&...