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Feb 23, 2010 02:36 PM

Recommendation near Hartford Marriott?

Hi all- I am heading to Hartford and staying at the downtown Marriott in two weeks. I am meeting my mom and sister for dinner. I am looking for recommendations that are close to the hotel (potentially walking distance) and really yummy. Something with a decent wine list (sadly we are spreading my grandmothers ashes that day, so we'll be looking to do some drinking that night). I am adventurous, and my mom and sister are a little more of the steak frites and roast chicken variety. I am looking for something comfortably upscale. Any suggestions?

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  1. Max Downtown will have the menu your family likes and the wine list that you is walking distance to the Marriott....but the streets are deserted at night... so I would drive and park in the free garage behind Max's...

    6 Replies
    1. re: LenaInNE

      I have to take exception to the "streets are deserted at night" comment. In the winter time, between Men's Basketball games, Women's Basketball games, Wolfpak games and Ice Shows, there is an event going on downtown at least half the time. I park in a downtown garage and at least every other night when I leave, the "Event Parking $5" sign sits outside the garage. And if the OP is coming in a two weeks, s/he might be here during the Big East Championship Tournament (March 5-9). One of the most vibrant times of the year in Hartford. That said, driving would be tough, and parking would be anything but free. And be sure to make a reservation wherever you go, because if the Tournament is going on, seats at top restaurants can be scarce. If your mom and sister are more "steak and chicken" oriented, I would choose Max downtown or Trumbull Kitchen over Spris. Spris' strongpoint (if it has one...frankly, I have never been impressed) is not steak and chicken. Max Downtown has a terrific, but pricey wine list. Trumbull Kitchen's list is more mid-scale and approachable. No 100 point gems, but no $200 bottles either. Dish on Main Street would be another option. They have really good fried chicken, even though the restaurant itself is not as downscale as one might think when one thinks fried chicken. It's "upscale" fried chicken (with price to match) and they usually have some nice beef dishes like short ribs and steaks as well. A fairly well-rounded menu and a diverse, mid-priced wine list.

      1. re: FoodieJim

        I checked the menu at Spris and the chicken dish I used to enjoy is no longer on the menu for lunch or dinner. It was chicken with polenta...and though I can't remember the specifics, it was memorably good.

        Wouldn't TK be a little loud/boisterous by way of atmosphere for the kind of evening the OP has requested? Max Downtown would seem more appropriate, less noisy...agree?

        I think, for peace of mind, I'd recommend taking the car rather than making this walk (to Max or TK) at night. Just my two cents, having worked in downtown Hartford for more than a couple of years in recent times.

        If using the car isn't a deal-breaker, Peppercorns isn't far and might fit the bill.
        We enjoyed our meals there this fall during Restaurant Week.

        Here's a thread that might give you a few more options:

        And MParente, I'm sorry for your loss.

        Max Downtown
        City Place, 185 Asylum St., Hartford, CT 06103

        Spris Restaurant
        10 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, CT 06103

        1. re: kattyeyes

          "I think, for peace of mind, I'd recommend taking the car rather than making this walk (to Max or TK) at night."

          I find walks far more peaceful and reflective than car rides. Don't forget, if the Tournament is in town, driving, and parking can be a real nightmare. All of the places mentioned are within a 5 to 10 minute walk of the Marriott.

          1. re: FoodieJim

            Not to mention they're planning on drinking. I say walk on over to Max.

        2. re: FoodieJim

          Jim... I was referring to the streets around the Marriott...the few blocks between there and Main St are not heavily populated at night.... an easy walk to Max's though..

          1. re: LenaInNE

            Having had some interesting encounters during post-hockey-game walks in nighttime Hartford myself, I vote for driving or a cab. Or if planning to drink really heavily, eat a good, one-drink meal then return to the hotel to drink, or eat at the Marriott or something.

      2. A short, nice walk away is Spris on Constitution Plaza. We ate there last week and is was very good. I think the place looks pretty cool.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Waquoit

          I'll second Spris. I haven't been recently, but yes, it's a short walk and I used to go more regularly when I worked in that area. Nice atmosphere.

        2. Short drive or taxi ride away is Firebox....nice ambiance....good food....lots of choices that should satisfy your group.

          1 Reply
          1. re: chowmensch

            Good info on Firebox here--nice call, chowmensch. I still haven't made it, but it's very much on my list of places to try: