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Four Foodies Off to Middletown Thursday

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And desperately seeking supper. Well, dinner. Having Vietnamese for lunch in Hartford; then going to Craft Fair in Middletown, so we want to have dinner somewhere in or very close to town. We love to eat, enjoy most ethnic cooking, can't afford to spend the earth, but a small splurge is possible --- if it's worth it.
Advice requested and received with appreciation.
(Kattyeyes, we never got to Still River Cafe from the Berkshires; it's just too far! I guess there's nothing like that around Middletown --- We did see the funny Frog Bridge, though, thanks to your advice last summer.)

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Still River Cafe
134 Union Rd, Eastford, CT 06242

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  1. Since you've had Vietnamese earlier, I'll skip Pho Mai (Viet) and Typhoon (Thai), but may I beat Katty to recommending the downtown (very casual) Iguanas Ranas (Mex) or the moderately upscale Luce. If you would like to experiment with some interesting vegetarian that even appeals to a carnivore like me, you might try It's Only Natural (also downtown) or the authentic vegetarian Indian storefront Udupi Bhavan, about 2 miles S of downtown on the main street.

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    Pho Mai
    570 Main ST, Middletown, CT 06457

    Udupi Bhavan
    749 Saybrook Rd, Middletown, CT 06457

    It's Only Natural Restaurant
    386 Main St Ste 112, Middletown, CT 06457

    1 Reply
    1. re: DonShirer

      It's Only Natural is great......best sweet potato fries I *ever* had! Everything I've tried there is great!

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      It's Only Natural Restaurant
      386 Main St Ste 112, Middletown, CT 06457

    2. I also recommend It's Only Natural. The Pierogis are great. There is also a great Thai place on Main Street too. On the corner of Main and another street. I am not 100% on the name. If you want to leave with a full belly and a decent bill try First and Last. It is an Italian restaurant that also serves pizza. I can eat off a serving of Chicken Parm for 2+ meals. Hope this helps. I will post the name of the Thai place when I remember it.

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      First & Last Tavern
      220 Main St, Middletown, CT 06457

      It's Only Natural Restaurant
      386 Main St Ste 112, Middletown, CT 06457

      1 Reply
      1. re: smallfry

        Thia Gardens

      2. The place sf is talking about is Thai Gardens...I find Typhoon (a block away) better for Thai, however. The Iguana is great place to get a taco, but for dinner, Luce, Fiore, and Tuscanny grill are very nice. For good Italian food on the cheap try Sammy's (college and broad). The New England Emporium is new, sandwiches, salads, crepes, that sort of thing, very good. Mezzo is nice for cocktails, apps if you sit at the bar...Table service doesn't seem to be their strong point yet.

        2 Replies
        1. re: BiscuitBoy

          Hey there, I thought the Emporium was doing dinners (like not just lunch stuff) now and was BYO after lunch hours, even, which would sweeten the deal. Did I dream that? I see nothing on their site...do you know?

          http://newenglandemporium.com/NE-Emp-...

          I ended up there one late afternoon for latte and wi-fi and whatever was cookin' for dinner smelled terrific...agree lunch is very good. You and Don covered all the best spots, I think.

          Tsarina, this is diagonally across the street from Forbidden City, so ya know. And I'm so glad you found the Frog Bridge!

          Definitely Luce is my fave in town, but if you have never tried a dosa, you might want to try Udupi Bhavan as Don mentioned. Completely not fancy, order at the counter kinda place (as is Iguanas, which I also love)...but unique. Luce is more of a splurge, but not unreasonable and worth every penny! And they ALWAYS have a long list of specials. I had carpaccio--duck and beef--as an app on my b'day and it was fab! They've been doing Dover Sole (the owner debones it tableside--pretty cool to watch) quite a bit of late...and have heard them rattle off venison dishes, too, just to give a few examples. Oh and save room for desserts, which they make in-house.

          Guess it will depend how hungry you are after your Vietnamese lunch. Where are you going in Hartford, btw? I've not yet made it to Still River, either! Have fun on Thursday!

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          Udupi Bhavan
          749 Saybrook Rd, Middletown, CT 06457

          1. re: kattyeyes

            After everyone's great recommendations --- we ended up switching plans so that we came early to Middletown for the craft show, then off to Hartford for shopping (food, of course) so we could drive back early to the Berkshires. Ended up having lunch at Carbone's, which husband LOVES and at which I yawn; other couple somewhere in the middle.
            Shopping first at D&D (? Italian market) and Ah Dong, for ethnic stuff not to be found anywhere around our own neighborhood, which makes me at least as happy as a good meal, although I must say Luce's menu looks really good. In the summertime, when the days are longer --- that might be another trip.
            Thanks so much to all. If you ever want recs for Western MA (I mean, FAR Western MA) we're all happy to oblige.