Most underrated restaurants in Central CT?
I am torn about this post because we all want to keep our "secrets". But, I started thinking that there is a small population that reads this website and revealing our hidden treasures will not make it harder for us to frequent these locales. We are all here to find good food and we should share that.
I will start with my pick that is rarely talked about on this board.
-The Cottage in Plainville, CT. My wife and I stumbled upon this restaurant in 2003 and it has been our favorite ever since. Yes, the small cape on a main road is somewhat unassuming. Yes, the interior is somewhate plain, but clean and comfortable. But the true reason why we go to any restaurant is the cuisine and in my opinion few do it better than Chef Patty Queen at the Cottage. She does a seasonal menu which never ceases to amaze and satisfy. I highly recommend any pork dish she creates and while I rarely order chicken when going out, this place warrants an exception. Dave creates the most tasty cocktails and Mom runs the front of the house. It may seem as if I am in kahoots with the Queen family but that is not the case. We go there frequent enough to know the family and they always seem to remember us.
PS. They have a 4 course meal Tues-Thurs for 16.95 which is an unbelievable deal.
Cottage Restaurant & Café
427 Farmington Ave, Plainville, CT 06062
One frustrating problem I have with restaurants in Plainville is that they roll up their sidewalks at 9PM, even on weekends. Which means if you get there later than 8PM (not very late in my book), you're rushed and pretty much out of luck for a relaxed dinner.
Glad to second your recommendation. I visited a few months back and also had, as it happens, a pork dish, which was quite good. Though I was only a single diner, the service was friendly and helpful. I would certainly go back the next time I found myself in Plainville at dinnertime.
I also love the Cottage. Not sure what's underrated and what isn't but another place I like a lot that doesn't get too many CH mentions is Bosc in Avon. Their lunches are quite nice especially in the summer when you can sit out on the patio. I love their BLT sandwich with the salmon add-on. For dinner they have a great duck quesadilla appetizer and a host of great entrees such as lamb shank, sea bass, duck breast and diver scallops. Also one of the best wine lists around.
Alas, Bosc has closed. Rich Lucas is reportedly trying to re-negotiate the lease so if that can be accomplished maybe he can re-open. Another under-rated place is Portobello in New Hartford. Great red sauce Italian but some amazing non pasta dishes too such as the Sole Florentine that my wife swears by.
107 Main St, New Hartford, CT 06057
Just had lunch there Friday...and had a fabulous starter and entree. I was so full I had to get the dessert to go. The appetizer could have been my whole meal: fried oysters beautifully presented on a tray garnished with wasabi cream, black sesame seeds and scallion rings. In the center was a seaweed and julienned cucumber pyramid. The entree was carrot and ginger filled ravioli in a brown broth (miso?) with baby bok choi and carrots: wow. I love key lime pie and my only disappointment was that it was not tart enough. Although I can't afford to eat at The Cottage too often, it is always a pleasure to see what Chef Patty Queen has created.