Visiting CT over the Holidays and in need of advice
Am traveling from Portland OR to Hartford CT for the holidays and need advice about interesting places to eat. Please do not be offended by my qualifiers as to what you recommend.
Don't recommend because the portion sizes are huge, the same goes for chains. If I can eat it here, why would I fly that far to try it.
Please tell me about slavic places you enjoy, been to Starospolska in New Britain and enjoyed it. Any ideas for pierogies would be most welcome.
Small plates are a plus, as I want to sample as much as possible. If there is an actual New England cuisine I would love to find out about it. Last time out I discovered whole belly clams and fell in love.
One of my hobbies is charcuterie and I would enjoy finding out what is out there.
I also need a good bagel. All they have here are steamed and I am tired of making my own.
What is the state of Chinese food in CT? Do I dare ask about Mexican?
Sorry to hog the thread--one more place I'd like to share. Bet you've never had a calzone as good as they make at Napoli Pizza in Meriden. As a bonus, it's right down the hill from Hubbard Park, all decorated for Christmas with lit-up animals (pics attached). Bring a bottle of wine and enjoy! Again, not fancy, just DELICIOUS!
Thanks for all your help, It's good to see a healthy community in CT. With all your help I will drive my sister crazy with suggestions. One last thing, Oysters, any ideas on where to eat them or buy them in the Hartford area? I'm bringing my shucking knife, so a place that has a variety would be great.
Also any ideas for "Only in CT places"?
Max's Oyster Bar http://www.maxrestaurantgroup.com/oyster/ nice restaurant
City Fish http://www.cfishct.com/ fish market
Max's Oyster Bar
964 Farmington Ave., West Hartford, CT 06107
Drive 30 minutes south on I-91 to New Haven and sample the different places known for their pies (pizza). The three best known/most famous are Frank Pepe's, Sally's and Modern.
Don't know Chinese reccs in Hartford area -I go to Lao Sze Chuan in Milford, CT and most chowhounders agree this is the best Chinese in the Fairfield/New Haven county area. However, there is a good Vietnamese pho called Pho Boston located in West Hartford. It's also right next door to a big Asian grocery store in case you want Asian groceries.
There's Biagio's Osteria in Stratford - a bit of a hike from Hartford, but IMO worth it.
Also, L'Orcio in New Haven gets lots of good notice here.
Connecticut is also kind of packed with Italians, so you may end up with many good choices.
806 State St, New Haven, CT 06511
88 Ryder's Landing, Stratford, CT 06614
Tre Scalini is good italian on Wooster St. in New Haven, east of the pizza district. Apps are enough to share, and it's fun to get a few.
Whole belly Ipswich clams- Glenwood Drive-in in Hamden on Whitney Ave. (rt. 10). Onion rings are made to order.
Tre Scalini Restaurant
100 Wooster St, New Haven, CT 06511
For charcuterie, try Brasserie Pip in Ivoryton. Here's an article to tell you more:
I think most on this board would agree Lao Sze Chuan in Milford's a top pick:
Two and three for me are Samurai in Old Saybrook and Taste of China in Clinton. More suggestions than you can shake a stick at here:
hotdoglover taught me hot dogs are not as big a deal in other parts of the country. Near me, I love Guida's in Middlefield. Everyone's favorites here:
Mexican--quick, delicious and not fancy--Iguanas Ranas in Middletown. Still casual, but less so than the Iguana, try Monte Alban in Hartford (parking is a bitch, tho') or Besito in West Hartford Center.
You'll find multiple threads on all these places for more info. Happy grazing!
46 Main Street, Ivoryton, CT 06442
Monte Alban Restaurant
529 Farmington Ave, Hartford, CT 06105
46 S Main St, West Hartford, CT 06107
Best restaurant but pricey and only sometimes open for dinner is ON20 http://www.ontwenty.com/
For polish there is also Polish National Home in Hartford and Cracovia and Fatherland in New Britain. New England Cuisine means Indian Pudding for dessert- sometimes available at diners and Griswold Inn http://www.griswoldinn.com/. Newer are steamed cheeseburgers in Mediden at Ted's or Lamays. Pepe's for classic pizza.
Rizzuto's in West Hartford offers a charcuterie plate and is part of their brunch. Try Lox, Stock for bagels http://www.loxstock.com/
60 Broad St, New Britain, CT 06053
Polish National Home
60 Charter Oak Ave, Hartford, CT 06106
36 Main St, Essex, CT 06426
I have never seen anyone smoking on the dining room side, nor have I noticed it smelling over there, so I am not sure if it is just chance that I haven't seen it or if smoking is only allowed in the bar area (there are tables around the bar too). The times I have sat in the bar area the smoke hasn't bugged me, mainly because there were just one or two guys smoking while sitting on stools at the bar, not out at the tables. If you are sensitive to the smoke, I would call ahead and ask what their policies are so there are no surprises.