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Aug 8, 2010 01:33 PM

Great Ribs & More in New Milford, CT - Gary's Rib House

We just returned from one of the best lunches I've had in these parts in some time; and my only regret is that we didn't visit this place sooner. The place is Gary's Rib House in New Milford, CT and the food completely exceeded all expectations we had. It was Sunday, so we ordered from the dinner menu - and it was worth every penny.

They say they're famous for their baby back ribs, so we started with the rib appetizer. I've never had baby backs that were so good, yet so light - none of the usually heavy feelng I normally have when eating BBQ ribs. They were cooked to perfection, and fell off the bone at the touch of a fork: Yes, you could actually eat them with a fork, and get all the meat!

We then split orders of the shrimp scampi and scallop kabob - scampi with rice and the scallops with the potatoes. Again, we were both surprised and amazed by the freshness, quality of preparation, texture and taste. The scampi was lightly breaded to perfection, and wasn't heavily sauced, as with most restaurants. The scallops were cooked perfectly as well, and full of light, healthy flavor! Potatoes were much better than the rice, but both were good.

Gary, the owner and chef, greeted us when we entered. His wife was our server. And we were told it's family run from top to bottom. This is truly a rare find for this part of town, and a must eat for anyone in the area. This is my new go to place for BBQ ribs - sorry Fat Tommy, but Gary's just hit the spot!

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  1. We've been to Gary's twice and the experiences were as different as night and day. The first time the ribs were as tender and tasteful as can be (just like your experience) & the filet was fork tender. The second time, the ribs were tough and took effort to pull off the bone - really not a good experience. The filets were still OK, but not as good as the first time. Maybe it was an off night (well, it definitely was), but the one thing the Cookhouse has going for it is consistency (not that we go there too often - or ribs fix is in Brewster). If we had our second experience at Gary's the first time around, it would have been our only time.
    FYI - if you go to the 98Q website they have a $50 gift certificate for $25 - a pretty good deal.

    4 Replies
    1. re: HunterJay

      I haven't been there yet, but they're on I got a $25 coupon there for $2. Otherwise they seem a little pricey, especially compared to the Cookhouse where I can take home a Tombo Combo that will feed the two of us for about 20 bucks. I did that with my coupon there too.

      1. re: junescook

        We used a coupon to try the place out, which made it more reasonable. I agree, Gary's prices are a little higher than the Cookhouse, but you do get some nice extras, including a freshly prepared caesar salad and garlic bread with every meal. (Try the garlic bread with some of their heavenly sauce squirted on... yum!) They also garnished plates nicely and gave us Hershey's Kisses with the check - certainly not deal-breakers when NOT offered, but these were among the "little touches" that I definitely noticed. And the seafood was unmistakably fresh and delicious and perfectly prepared.

        Plus, it's just got a nicer, more family-run vibe than I've gotten from the Cookhouse. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy the Cookhouse, but that - to me - is more of a rowdy bar/hangout type of environment. Gary's seemed more "intimate" and homey, for lack of a better way to describe how I felt there. Granted, I could do without the repetitive track of too-loud country music they were playing, but I felt very comfortable and WELCOME there. I don't always feel so valued at the Cookhouse.

        Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by how great our meal was, and will definitely be going back to try out some more dishes. I guess I'll see for myself about the consistency issue.

        Hunter Jay - where is your ribs fix in Brewster? I'd love to check it out!

        1. re: saturngrrl

          I agree with your take on the family run, nicer vibe than the Cookhouse. It's nice to see Gary and his family working there - and the coupons help.
          I go to JB's BBQ on Rt 6 in Brewster for my ribs (in the On The Border shopping center). The ribs are (in my mind) top notch - a dry rub and then sauced at the end. Fall off the bone tender, super flavor. The sides aren't anything great (and the mac & cheese is awful), but for the ribs it's great.

          1. re: HunterJay

            I had a feeling you were going to say JB's. We tried that place once, but I don't think we tried the ribs! I agree the sides were meh. I think we tried pulled pork and chicken, which were good but not "OMG!! Awesome!" Thanks for the rec. We'll have to go back and try the ribs!! There's another BBQ place that opened near us called RW's, and I loved his smoked meats (brisket was especially tender and good, as were the ribs), but I didn't care for the sauce so much. Too sweet for my tastebuds. I thought that Gary's sauce was also on the sweet side, but it had a nice, smokey tang to it that didn't succumb completely to the sweetness.