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Boston to NYC - where must I stop ? ! (Moved from Greater Boston Area)

Hey all

Am likely to be travelling between Boston and NYC - possibly by road, most likely Amtrak in early June and wonder whether there are any great Chow places I must stop over , even if only for one night.

I am relaxed about cuisine and price but there must be compelling reasons to stop or my travelling companion will insist we fly between the two !

Ideally the stop over town should also have places of interest or stunning scenery too, since we are travelling from the UK. Max journey time between the two cities is two days.

All thoughts welcome, thanks in advance.

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  1. No scenery but if traveling by car you can't beat Sally's or Pepe's in New Haven for what many argue might be the country's best pizza.

    8 Replies
    1. re: bobbert

      While I would never willingly suggest that someone get off a train to visit New Haven, I can't deny that Pepe's is awesome.

      1. re: bobbert

        While the pizza is good at Sally's and at Pepe's the hours and the line are impossible. They have done so well that they hardly have to open. And when they do open they are jammed. They remind me of pub opening hours in the UK back in the sixties.

        Modern Apizza has better hours but the product is not as good.

        1. re: VivreManger

          The last few times I've been to Pepe's (always weekend lunch time) the wait hasn't been too bad (less than 1/2 hour), but maybe I just got lucky.

          If you're looking for a regional gem that you can't find anywhere else, New Haven pizza certainly fits the bill. Having taken several people to Pepe's for the first time, and going by their reactions, it can be an amazing, mind-blowing experience.

          1. re: VivreManger

            I have made the mistake of going to Pepe's at prime time... once. Go early when they open or mid afternoon (3 ish) and very short, if any, lines.

            1. re: VivreManger

              I love New Haven pizza and have eaten at Sally's, Pepe's, and Modern. They're all great, but I now believe that Zuppardi's Apizza in West Haven is even better. It is a truly glorious pizza. The house-made sausage is fantastic. I've heard great things about the fresh clam pizza, but haven't had a chance to try it out yet.

              Zuppardi's Apizza
              www.zuppardisapizza.com
              179 Union Avenue
              West Haven, CT 06516

              1. re: maillard

                I will have to check that place out next time.

                Also, re: Pepe's: Pepe's has a branch in Manchester, CT, which is more "on the way" than the New Haven branch, has a much shorter lines, and is 99.5% as good as the original.

                1. re: Alcachofa

                  Pepe's also has a branch in Yonkers that is about 25% as good as the original.

                  1. re: MRich

                    Wow, really? That stinks. I have to confess, although they do a good job in Manchester, I'm skeptical about how good a job they could do in a casino (they have one in, I think, Mohegan).

          2. A couple of meta-thoughts about this. First, as you may well already know, Boston and NYC are not very far from one another. It takes about four hours to drive. So, unless you do visit some tourist locations (which is definitely going to be considered off-topic here), it might be hard to justify taking multiple days to do the trip! The good news is, however, that there are some very nice places to visit along the way, even if we do not discuss them here....

            A second thought is that while this Board is great for recommendations for when you first arrive from the UK, you might also wish to post this question on the Southern New England board, as most of your journey will be in areas covered by that board.

            Finally, I will point out that if you drive there are two general routes you could take. One is inland and faster, and the other is close to the coast. If I had guests I would want to take them to the coast. It is pretty and there is local seafood to be sampled...

            1. If you are driving, you should stop in Sturbridge, Mass at BT's Smokehouse. I have never had such great bbq in the North! You could go to Old Sturbridge Village, it's a working reenactment of life in New England 1790-1840. If you google the name, I see that you can go to a site that has coupons, " Old Sturbridge Village coupons" it says. www.osv.org is the url for the place. It is a lovely area, quite woodsy and charming.

              -----
              BT's Smokehouse
              392 Main St, Sturbridge, MA 01566

              18 Replies
              1. re: CookieLee

                Is BT really better than Blue Ribbon?

                More generally, with the possible exception of the much hyped NH pizza parlors, I do not think that there is anything between Boston & NYC that offers food so distinctive and outstanding that it is better than what you can get in either of those cities.

                However if you want to try NH pizza than you will have to spend a night in New Haven just to get in. And June will be a busy season for them.

                As for things to see, Yale is a pale imitation of Oxbridge, but it might be worth a visit while you wait to queue for pizza.

                1. re: VivreManger

                  Why do you have to spend a night in new haven to eat the pizza? I never have. Also, as I posted in the thread the op started on the nys board, bob & timmy's pizza in providence definitely is chow worthy, as is captain Scott's lobster dock in new london.

                  1. re: Blumie

                    Take the coast route. Providence is worth a stop. Eat at Al Forno (I think it's still open though it's been several years since I've been there). Go to the museum at RI School of Design. Walk the downtown and shop at the italian markets. You can get better Italian food in Providence than in Boston. Or, if you go inland, think of increasing the trip and going along the Hudson route. Stop in Beacon or Hudson. There are several fine house museums. But if you go straight through from Boston to NY on the Mass Pike, at least take the Wilbur Cross into NY. It's scenic though there isn't any great food that I know of. You can consider a detour, if you make reservations, for lunch or dinner at the Culinary Institute (near Poughkeepsie I think).

                    1. re: teezeetoo

                      AlForno is still open and still wonderful. Have a grilled pizza and make sure you order dessert. The tarts are amazing.

                      1. re: BostonZest

                        OP, be warned that Al Forno is virtually universally panned by everyone living in Providence, and I agree. It's totally a tourist spot relying on it's rep from 15 years ago.

                        1. re: invinotheresverde

                          invino, haven't been in years and I'm sorry to hear that because I counted it a wonderful experience in the past. What do you recommend in Providence now?

                          1. re: teezeetoo

                            Providence has tons of great spots. It depends what you're feeling. I'd say three places generally regarded as favorites would include Chez Pascal (my fave), Gracies and La Laiterie.

                            -----
                            Chez Pascal Restaurant
                            960 Hope St, Providence, RI 02906

                            La Laiterie
                            184-188 Wayland Avenue, Providence, RI 02906

                          2. re: invinotheresverde

                            For grilled pizza in Providence, skip Al Forno and go to Bob & TImmy's. It's cheap and delicious!

                        2. re: teezeetoo

                          Second Providence in early June. It's a little gem of a city- you can walk everywhere and every Boston to New York train stops there. Much better Italian food than Boston too.

                        3. re: Blumie

                          If you do go to New Haven, it is the home of Yale University. They have a fabulous art museum.

                        4. re: VivreManger

                          BT is definitely better than Blue Ribbon these days. I'd stack it up against any New England BBQ joint.

                          Check out this review and pictures:

                          http://www.pigtrip.net/review-BTSHR.htm

                          1. re: Msample

                            +1 Msample took the words right out of my mouth!

                            1. re: CookieLee

                              i go to nyc frequently. I sometimes drive to new haven; park my car in a parking garage near the train station and take the train (MTA Metro North). Then you can stop in New Haven for pizza if you choose. But i prefer to go to NYC and eat lunch there.

                              1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                                cambridgedoctpr: The op is talking about traveling from NYC to Boston. My suggestion to him/her is if they're driving. I'm sorry, I don't know what you're referencing. I also go to NYC frequently, and either drve or take the bus. We leave here early enough to have lunch in the city.

                                  1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                                    oh, yeah. I don't know where I got confused as to the direction.

                        5. re: CookieLee

                          I second BT's; I make the stop a few times a year when heading west on the Pike. IMHO, much better than Blue Ribbon.

                        6. Like others on this thread, I, too, travel between New York and Boston frequently (30 times a year or so). With New York beckoning at one end and Boston (slightly less compellingly) at the other it has never occurred to me to stop along the way for the food. To those of you recommending the pizza in New Haven I ask: is this pizza clearly superior to the best that New York has to offer, and if you think so which pizza, specifically, in NY are you comparing it to?

                          More significantly (I think) is pizza worth a stop for its own sake, compared to the other, diverse food offerings of New York and Boston? If one had a limited time in the U.S. and one was interested in food, it would seem to me that one would spend as much time as possible in NY (mostly) and Boston and not waste time along the way. I admit, of course, there might be other non-food reasons to stop. One might wish the experience of being mugged in New Haven, for example.

                          9 Replies
                          1. re: FoodDabbler

                            i think New Haven pizza is vastly superior to Boston pizza (which isn't very strong, but improving) and on par with what I've had in NYC. Probably the best pizza I've had in NY is Grimaldis in Brooklyn and I think Pepe's holds its own. It's important to note that they're different: it's not just a matter of quality; if you're big into pizza, New Haven would offer something unique.

                            As for whether it's worth stopping on the way between NY and Boston, that's a whole different discussion. The OP specifically asked for Chow-worthy options between the two cities, not whether it would be worth spending less time in NY to stop along the way. I agree that in itself is an interesting topic for debate. But if the OP would prefer a leisurely drive rather than flying, you could do worse than lunch at Pepe's. Taking into account the extra time going into New Haven entails rather than taking the Merritt Parkway, it probably wouldn’t add much more than two to three hours to their trip.

                            1. re: FoodDabbler

                              Sorry FD but Providence has Italian food that beats B oston and compares with the best NYC has to offer. I'll back Al Forno against, say, Convivio. And my NY friends always stop at Pepe's: you'll have to ask them why they think it's better than NYC pizza.

                              1. re: teezeetoo

                                "And my NY friends always stop at Pepe's: you'll have to ask them why they think it's better than NYC pizza."

                                What are their names and phone numbers?

                                1. re: FoodDabbler

                                  while i have never eaten at sallie's or pepe's pizza; they have a reputation as being among the best in the country: http://www.gq.com/food-travel/alan-ri...

                                  1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                                    Leaving aside the question of how seriously one takes a list in GQ, I must point out that there are several NYC places on that same list that rank very highly. My original questions still stand: (1) How clearly superior is New Haven pizza to the best of NYC pizza, and (2) Do hounds live by pizza alone?

                                    1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                                      Although I generally loathe those kind of "best of" list, I do find that particular GQ list to be very credible.

                                      To answer FoodDabbler's question: New Haven pizza is not "clearly superior" to NYC pizza, but it's great pizza and just different than NYC's best. In NYC, I love Company (in Chelsea), Artichoke (on 14th St. -- the square slices only!), and Roberta's (in Bushwick), but I'll still stop at Pepe's every once in awhile. They are very different products. (I've also been to Keste, Grimaldi's, Pauli Gee's, Fanny's, Joe's, and many many others, but the three I've listed are my favorite.)

                                      Is it worth stopping for? I can't answer that, except to say that I sometimes stop for it.

                                      1. re: Blumie

                                        The answer to the "is it worth stopping?" question depends, I think, on how much time you have. If you're in the northeast for a visit and are going to be in NY and in Boston, my opinion is that it's hard to justify stopping in-between solely for food reasons (and even solely for sightseeing reasons*). You're better off eating for an extra day in New York (or Boston -- but that would be my second choice). If you're in the northeast for a lifetime, and have no plans to die young, occasionally stopping along the way to try the food makes more sense (although, as I said, I've yet to do it).

                                        * I agree with those who say the journey along the coastal route is scenic and is a sight worth seeing by itself. It's better from the train, by far, though -- you're very close to the water for long stretches and can look at the view without fear of being crushed by a truck. The best seats on the train are on the left from Boston to NY, and on the right on the reverse journey. The so-called Acela Express is much more expensive than the regular train and does the journey in only about 45 fewer minutes, but it has bigger, clearer windows and a less dingy overall feel. For a one-time deal it's worth the extra money. For a further $70 you can travel first class, get a sometimes-edible hot meal served at your seat (there's your "meal along the way" right there), then recover the cost of the whole trip in the free booze they provide.

                                        1. re: Blumie

                                          I live in NYC and have been to nearly all of the pizza places that are generally regarded as the best in the city. In my opinion Pepe's is better. Modern is pretty darn awesome too. Is it worth making an entire 2 day plan around? Maybe not. But every time we drive to New England we make sure to stop in New Haven for pizza.

                                          You could also make a case for stopping for seafood on the way down.

                                          From a purely food point of view I'd probably spend the extra day eating in NYC, however.

                                  2. re: FoodDabbler

                                    First, the OP asked for any great Chow places enroute worthy of a stop during what appears to be a somewhat leisurly drive. In the world of pizza, New Haven is considered somewhat of a Mecca with a couple of names standing out. Are there possibly better places in NYC? Maybe, but the point is to visit some place along the way and, if there is anything chow worthy, it's certainly in New Haven. I often make minor detours to see some sites enroute to various places even when I'm. quite aware that the sites to see at my destination might be "better". Sometimes it is ok to try something if only to find out for ones self what the fuss is about. That's the point. As far as getting mugged is concerned, I would advise being careful in neighborhoods by Yale and, as a native New Yorker, I could easiily rattle off many areas that I would avoid in NYC as well.

                                  3. I suspect your post would get more response on the Southern New England board.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Karl S

                                      The post on Southern NE got one reply, a rec for Pepe's

                                    2. another idea- check out roadfood.com. the people who run it live in CT and they have many recommendations throughout the state.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: skordalia

                                        The problem is that they are taking the train...

                                        If they were going by car, I'd recommend hitting the hot lobster roll shacks in Noank, between New London and Mystic....

                                      2. I have never been to either, but Ted's Restaurant in Meriden, CT looks pretty interesting. They steam their burgers and add a tray of steamed melted cheese.

                                        Also if you do go to New Haven, you could stop in Louis Lunch - A place that claims to have invented the burger. Another place I have never been though.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: hynespb

                                          Ted's is fun and interesting and unlike any other burger experience I've had (and an essential chow badge for your New England hound exploration medal), as is Super Duper weenie in Fairfield CT. However, for a visitor looking to maximize vacation enjoyment while stopping between NY and BOS, the only places I think are worth a special trip are the pizza places in New Haven -- Pepes, Modern, Appizza, each have their defenders.

                                          If I had to choose between making a stop and spending more time in NYC, like the LES (Katz, Russ and Daughters, Yonah Schimmel's knishes, the pickle guy).I think I'd just motor on through.

                                        2. I am assuming as non-U.S. type you can buy the Amtrak pass that allows you to get on and off whenever (we U.S. types can't..).

                                          First, there's no reason to fly between NYC and Boston.. everything goes perfectly, at best its a wash time-wise. If you get delays - and the NE corridor often does - you'll be circling Logan for 45 minutes. Drive or take the train - Amtrak is a perfectly pleasant ride.

                                          Food stops - Amtrak doesn't stop everywhere.. the Acela stops even fewer times. Food wise, I'd only say Frank Pepe's in NH, and that's not that close to the train station. If you are a die-hard, I'd visit Roadfood.com or read other threads here about coastal food - there's a lot of history on this board.

                                          Driving, I'd still hit Franks, hit up some lobster shacks in coastal CT, then cut over into southern RI - visit Matunuck Oyster Bar, head to Point Judith and eat clam cakes.

                                          Providence is a nice small town for eating, but nothing that so different from what you can get in Boston. There's some decent Italian there, but also a lot of crap on Federal Hill. Gracies and Tini are both fun, and I had a great meal at Pizzico a while back. Is the Italian better? I suspect this is just a partisan thing.. I've had good Italian food in both towns. I really don't know if I'd justify a night in Providence just on the premise of eating amazing Italian - I'd stay in NYC for that.

                                          But you could justify a night in Providence as a relaxing break - its not a HUGE town, though, and there are some sketchy areas. If you wanted to have some local color, go and catch an afternoon Pawtucket Red Sox game and then eat in the downtown area. There are a bunch nice hotels in the area - Hotel Providence is rather good, and a nice bar area and outdoor deck.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: grant.cook

                                            Didn't the OP say they were driving or taking the train? I didn't see mention of flying, as that would make it difficult to stop for chow en route. ;)

                                            I agree that Providence doesn't have anything crazy unique, but it's a good food city nonetheless. Pane e Vino on The Hill is good, especially if the OP is there on a Monday night, so they can take advantage of the 50% off wine deal. Dessert at Pastiche is never a bad thing, either. Also, it's a pretty solid area for having a couple drinks and people watching. There are lots of characters...

                                            1. re: invinotheresverde

                                              She stated she needed a foodie reason to justify driving or the train. I was saying she doesn't need a foodie reason - if you want to get from NYC to Boston, air isn't a clear cut "best" option - it might take LONGER, and it surely will be more of a hassle then getting in the car and driving up 95 or 84 (assuming its not rush hour and she doesn't take the exit for that tree-lined wthite-knuckle speedway called the Merritt Parkway.

                                              But of course, if she does fly, the only redeeming foodie option MIGHT be hitting some of the restaurants in East Boston (and Belle Isle Seafood for a lobster roll) after she lands at Logan.

                                              1. re: grant.cook

                                                Ah. I seemed to have missed that whole second paragraph. I agree that timewise, it's almost a wash.

                                            2. re: grant.cook

                                              "First, there's no reason to fly between NYC and Boston.. everything goes perfectly, at best its a wash time-wise."

                                              As someone who travels between NYC and Boston every week, I can attest that it absoluely is not a wash. I typically save 90 minutes, door to door, when I fly. That said, when bad weather threatens, that 90 minutes can dissipate in a heartbeat. Those of us who do this weekly know when to fly and when to drive or turn to Amtrak!

                                              1. re: Blumie

                                                I don't want this to shift into a travel style debate, as my main point to the OP was that its pretty easy to justify driving from NY to Boston even if its a food wasteland... so consider a good meal or two gravy, not the keystone to an argument whether to fly or not..

                                                I would agree taking an early shuttle into Laguardia and having a car service shuttle you into Manhattan can be a pretty good time-wise, but I doubt if the OP is into U.S. full-contact travel. How close to the 30-min opening of boarding do you step up into line at security? Do you ever check bags, or just pack light with a small carry-on, leaving some clothing and supplies at your workplace in NY? Do you have status, allowing you early boarding? Do you religiously check-in online the night before? Do you have the expense account to get curb-to-curb cab or car service travel?

                                                The OP might not have all or any of those advantages,,,

                                            3. Honestly the stretch from Boston to NYC is BORING. Mostly Connecticut which is mostly boring suburbs. It is boring from a tourism perspective and from a chow perspective, with s few exceptions.

                                              I've lived on the Eastern Seaboard my whole life and would NOT bother stopping.

                                              Boston and points North are wonderful. NYC is wonderful.

                                              I went to school in Providence. I have made the drive from Boston to NYC innumerable times. Do yourself a favor and don't waste 2-3 days of your vacation in Connecticut and Rhode Island.

                                              33 Replies
                                              1. re: StriperGuy

                                                Yea, driving up through the North Shore of Massachusetts along the coast to Portland Maine - Clam Shack Nirvana, followed by the best city in New England for food in my opinion - Portland is worth an overnight. The problem is making a choice!

                                                1. re: StriperGuy

                                                  I would not be so quick to write off two perfectly lovely states that offer attractions and restaurants and scenery. Yes, the direct routes between Boston and NYC are rather boring, but there are all sorts of notable places to see, particularly for those coming from overseas. They may be a bit off the beaten path, but may be stop-worthy, if not chow-worthy. I, for one, would love to see Providence and try some restaurants there (NOT Italian, though, tyvm!!), and look forward to hitting it during a Waterfire night this year (www.waterfire.org). A planned trip last fall fell through, so we'll try again this year. And Newport... what about Newport? I'm sure that would be an attractive option with, from what I've been reading, plenty of chow-worthy spots!

                                                  1. re: saturngrrl

                                                    Why would you not try Italian in PVD? You'd be missing out not to.

                                                    1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                      Because where I live, it seems like there's an Italian restaurant on just about every street corner. We're so overrun... and, frankly, none of them are that wonderful, so I'm just kind of turned off to Italian food lately. I am much more interested in Asian flavors/cuisines. Thai, Korean, Vietnamese, etc. Those are the types of places I'm inclined to seek out.

                                                      1. re: saturngrrl

                                                        Ahh. Make sure you hit Apsara on Public St. (there are two different Apsaras in PVD) for Cambodian/Thai/Viet. No decor to speak of, but the food is tasty (I'm partial to the tofu Bee Bong) and BYOB.

                                                        -----
                                                        Apsara Restaurant
                                                        716 Public St, Providence, RI 02907

                                                        1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                          Yes Apsara is great. My first intro to Thai

                                                          -----
                                                          Apsara Restaurant
                                                          716 Public St, Providence, RI 02907

                                                    2. re: saturngrrl

                                                      Newport in season is just too jammed to be pleasurable (mind you, it's got lots to see if you have a car and are willing to make your way around). It was not formerly known much for great eats, a common affliction of highly touristed location.

                                                      1. re: Karl S

                                                        Hey all

                                                        Its the OP here - glad I have started off a decent thread !

                                                        Just some clarification...

                                                        1. I will be making the journey south - from Boston to New York , probably in one day - 2 June this year. Need to drop off car by 10pm.
                                                        2. I am male not female ;-)
                                                        3. Hire care cost is $137 versus $198 for the train
                                                        4. Car pros are that we can leave our luggage ( for a ten day trip ) in it rather than getting off the train - cons - driving into Manhattan a bit daunting ( though we are staying in Murray Hill so not too bad, by the looks of it.)

                                                        My thinking was that we would do the coastal route, pop into Pawtucket to see the stadium etc ( as I am a big baseball fan ) and grab some good chow along the way! I have been north from Boston previously and love Portland, but this is a definite en route trip,and I just wondered whether it was worth the extra stress of driving to see some scenery and grab some chow. Opinions seem to be mixed. would the fact that it is the week after Memorial day mean it is awful, traffic ( and pizza queues ! ) wise ?

                                                        Also, many of you are saying that it would be better to just head into NYC - the problem with that is that even with this site the choice is so bewildering that I can never see the wood for the trees - any tips on how to cut through it all and pick out great places in either Boston or NYC ? For example , was in NYC in September and found 5Napkins burger place in midtown/hells kitchen. Loved it, but how do you find other places in a city/cities so vast and full of choice ?

                                                        Thanks for any further help you can give.......

                                                        1. re: willowan

                                                          Early June is not yet school vacation season in the Northeast US (it's the beginning of final exam season), though colleges are largely out of session, so it's still shoulder season. Later in the month starts the full "season." So your choice of season is good, perhaps at greater risk of summer heat and humidity than mid-May, but with less risk of cold (May is very variable that way).

                                                          Perhaps you should focus on a portion of NYC rather than the entire area. Or a certain cuisine or food type. That should narrow the choice. I'd focus on things I don't get at home, and that NY does well.

                                                          Having a car in Midtown Manhattan can be a royal pain, and I would vote for the train over the plane (and pay up to avoid the shabbier trains) - it's just too bad the trains from Boston have to go to Penn Station instead of Grand Central (though you get a lovely view of Manhattan from Hell Gate Bridge as the train does its great loop to Long Island before looping back under Midtown). So that means perhaps just New Haven. However, you can take the commuter rail (from Grand Central) to New Haven from NY for lunch if you want... yeah, it's a bit less efficient, but it might be easier than having to deal with luggage en route.

                                                          1. re: Karl S

                                                            Hey Karl

                                                            Plan was hire car purely for one day and for this purpose only - drop it off as soon as we hit NYC. Would you still opt for the train and miss out on all those pizzas ?!

                                                          2. re: willowan

                                                            Nothing to do with food, but Pawtucket is a minor league park - its a fun, reasonably priced place for a hot dog and a game, but its not Fenway or Yankee Stadium.

                                                            There's a LOT to eat - you are driving through between 2 great food cities in a dense area with lots of enclaves. All you can do is pick some things you might not find at home.. on the coast, seek out clams cakes, lobster rolls, places where you can sit on a waterside deck and enjoy the breeze (Matunuck Oyster Bar, e.g.).

                                                            Boston's a great food town, but its still dwafed by the food-i-ness of NYC. Driving into Manhattan - just be a bit cautious, don't gawk, watch for one-way streets, do NOT block intersections during a red light, and be prepared to pay a lot for parking or hunt for a long time.

                                                            NYC - just pick away.. what don't you have in your home town? I'd not miss Chinatown (you can do a morning dim sum), but pick some nice places and have fun, knowing that even the locals can't experience all the options. I enjoyed the tasting menu at Amma (near the U.N.). There are a thousand other options, depending on the time. Read blogs, buy a Zagat's guide or hunt on Yelp, for starters..

                                                            1. re: willowan

                                                              I can suggest Baby Bo's Cantina, in Murray Hill, 627 2nd Avenue
                                                              NY 10016
                                                              (212) 779-2656
                                                              I adore their fish tacos. The chipotle mayo sauce is addictive!

                                                              1. re: willowan

                                                                We live in the Fenway area with adult kids in Murray Hill who we visit late spring. This is what WE do. Get on Mass Pike at Mass Ave and head west to 84. We get off on Exit 65 off I-84and have late breakfast- early lunch at Rein's Deli. It's an institution, loved and hated on this board. It isn't New York deli but better than Boston and it gets mobbed after 11:30. We also take the Merritt Pkway and when we get to Manhattan we ditch the car in a parking Garage for about 35 bucks a day until we are ready to drive back to Boston. I do take Amtrak though if it's just me by myself and enjoy the view and brown bag it. Amtrak isn't cheap.

                                                                -----
                                                                Rein's Deli
                                                                25 Park Ave, West Springfield, MA 01089

                                                                1. re: willowan

                                                                  You've gotten some great (and some silly) advice here. I live in Providence, visit Boston often, and I used to live in both New Haven and Manhattan. Here's what I think you do:

                                                                  1) Get rental car in Boston (Avis)
                                                                  2) During the morning drive to Pawtucket, stop at the Modern Diner on East Ave not so far from the stadium for a great breakfast in a historic diner car (order from the specials, not the menu), and then drive to go see the PawSox at McCoy Stadium for an afternoon game.
                                                                  3) After the game, go to the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Art Museum in downtown Providence. If you need a quick bite, Cafe Choklad or Parkside are a quick walk from the museum doors.
                                                                  4) After the museum, for dinner, do one (or more) of the following:
                                                                  - Drive to a full dinner at Loie Fuller's on the West Side, arguably the best example of the contemporary flavor of the city's culinary scene
                                                                  - Then drive a few blocks away to Federal Hill (Italian Heritage Section) for dessert at the classic Scialo Brother's Bakery or Pastiche
                                                                  - Room left? Walk a few blocks for a slice of pizza at Bob and Timmy's, where some argue thin slice pizza was invented
                                                                  4) Do the Waterfire festival downtown
                                                                  5) Before going to a downtown hotel (I recommend the Hotel Providence or the Westin) for the night, pop into the iconic Haven Brother's Diner Truck for late night eats
                                                                  6) The next day, drive to New Haven and make sure you take a tour of Yale (amazing campus) and go to its excellent Museum of British Art.
                                                                  7) After, drive to the two famous chow worthy destinations there:
                                                                  - Pepe's: Pizza mecca, you can't stop in New Haven without going
                                                                  - Louis' Lunch: Where some argue the burger was invented
                                                                  8) Drop off your Avis car at the New Haven train station branch (because you don't want or need a car in NYC) and take the Metro North commuter rail into Manhattan's Grand Central station and start your New York adventure!

                                                                  That's my definitive itinerary. That is all :-).

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Louis' Lunch
                                                                  263 Crown St, New Haven, CT 06511

                                                                  Cafe Choklad
                                                                  2 Thomas St, Providence, RI 02903

                                                                  Modern Diner
                                                                  364 East Ave, Pawtucket, RI 02860

                                                                  1. re: Garris

                                                                    Hey Garris

                                                                    That sounds like a great plan - the only problem is that we are doing the whole trip in a single day with no stopover now, on 2 June. As the Pawsox do not have a day game that day is this itinerary do able in a single day ?

                                                                    Assuming so, would the pawtucket diner and Pepe's be the two top places ?

                                                                    Also, how long does it take by commuter rail from New Haven into NYC and any idea how much it will cost. Any link you can send me for this ?

                                                                    Thanks in advance for any further help you can give.

                                                                    1. re: willowan

                                                                      You have two choices for trains into New York from New Haven: Amtrak and Metro North.

                                                                      Amtrak (www.amtrak.com) $27, ~1hr 30m. Pulls into Penn Station.

                                                                      Metro North (www.mta.info/mnr/) $14 ~1hr 45m. Stops at more stations. Pulls into Grand Central Terminal.

                                                                      The Metro North train cars are slightly dingier, IMO, but this is more than made up for the fact that MNR uses Grand Central Terminal, an iconic (perhaps *the* iconic) train station in the States.

                                                                      1. re: willowan

                                                                        You're staying in Murray Hill so you want to go to Grand Central as it is basically in (or abutts) Murray Hill. You'll probably be able to walk from there (or very short cab ride) vs going cross-town from Penn Station. Grand Central is itself an amazing place to visit and if you want to try an iconic restaurant in an iconic station go to the Oyster Bar. There are better places to eat in NYC to be sure but stopping in for some oysters or oyster stew at the bar is something everyone should do once. The service will prepare you for the gruffier side of NY as well.

                                                                        1. re: bobbert

                                                                          The metro north is really easy and convenient. I second that advice.
                                                                          And +1 on the oyster bar. Bloody mary and a dozen oysters at the small bar or saloon. Dont forget the raw clams, which are often overlooked and are fantastic (good value as well). Sea scallop pan roast with a dry white wine is also fantastic.

                                                                          1. re: AdamD

                                                                            I'm not a big fan of the oyster bar. Nice location but so so food and tragically overpriced. It's worth a quick visit to the whisper hall out front and there is no harm in some oysters at the bar, but I wouldn't eat dinner there.

                                                                            1. re: MRich

                                                                              Agree 100%. The entrees are not good for what they charge.
                                                                              And stay away from the $18 shrimp cocktail and the $25 salads. And the clam chowders are nothing great.

                                                                              But sitting at the bar, counter or the saloon and having a cocktail with raw shellfish, the she-crab soup, some fried clams or oysters, the fried shrimp po boy or a pan roast is a very nice experience. They have a lobster gazpacho in the summer that is fantastic. You have to know what to order to enjoy the OB.

                                                                              1. re: AdamD

                                                                                Can't argue with that.

                                                                                Having a drink and appetizer on the terrace of Michael Jordan's restaurant is a surprisingly awesome experience as well. Even if he did push off against Byron Russell in game 6 in '98.

                                                                                1. re: MRich

                                                                                  Agree again on both accounts. Especially during the holiday season. The carpaccio/arugula app is excellent. And that was Jordan's signature move. We digress....

                                                                        2. re: willowan

                                                                          Garris' itinerary is indeed terrific albeit ambitious even for two days. As you are doing it in one, I'd say you would definately do well to drop off the car at the New Haven train station. (Skip the tour of Yale and definately skip the British Art museum. You've probably seen a lot of British art anyway!) And do take his advice of hiring the car from Avis as they are the only company with a full service facility on-site at the station. Taking the train from here eliminates driving in one of the worst stretches of highway in the entire country and also eliminates any chance of getting caught in terrible traffic which happens often. As Pawtucket to New Haven is only about a 2 hour trip, you probably want to decide on a side trip to say Newport ,RI. to see the mansions, or Mystic Ct. to visit the seaport. You can also get off Rte 95 and drive through some lovely old seaside towns on Rte 1 in Connecticut which paralles Rte 95. to get to New Haven in time for lunch at Pepe's. One thing, make sure you get Pepe's siginature pizza, the clam pie, or you'll be missing out .

                                                                  2. re: saturngrrl

                                                                    Good point, Newport might be the one exception to my statement above. But it is NOT even really en route from New York City to Boston.

                                                                    It is essentially a 2 hour each way detour, and that makes it marginally worth it in my book. In season it's crazy, but can be fun.

                                                                    1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                      Speaking purely from a travel aspect, Newport is only a 45 minute detour. Not sure why you would think it's 2 hours as you can go from one end of Rhode Island to the other in an hour tops.

                                                                      Worth the stop from both a tourism and Chow perspective. So is the CT. coast for that matter between Westerly RI to Old Saybrook. New Haven and it's pizza is just 30 minutes from Old Say. NYC is just 1.5 hours from there.

                                                                      1. re: CapeCodGuy

                                                                        I suppose if you are taking 95 to NYC from Boston, which is not at all the direct route.

                                                                        Otherwise, Newport to Boston, any time near rush hour, can be two hours easy (it's 83 miles).

                                                                        1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                          Sorry to be a nit, but Boston to NYC via 95 south is 230 miles vs 225 miles via the Pike to 84 etc. So, six of one....

                                                                          A side trip to Newport at any time of day is 45 minutes tops from Rte 95. in RI.

                                                                          So to answer the OP my suggestion would be to spend a night in Newport and enjoy the local chow and scene, and then continue through New Haven for NH Pizza for lunch and a couple of tacos from the trucks at the rest stop. Two hours later they'll be in the city, they can turn in the rental car and they are good to go. It divides the trip in two and they can see and eat some beautiful coastal New England countryside.

                                                                          1. re: CapeCodGuy

                                                                            Who knew. I always assumed it was much longer. I stand corrected.

                                                                            1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                              It just feels a lot longer, especially if you take 114 or are in high season.

                                                                      2. re: StriperGuy

                                                                        Are you sure you are from New England? Newport is at best a 35-40 minute detour off of Route 95.

                                                                        1. re: FjmArch

                                                                          Not from, but here a long time.

                                                                          I always take 90-84-15 (Merritt).

                                                                    2. re: StriperGuy

                                                                      Striper - see my post below - you ought to check out my recs.

                                                                    3. If you are looking to go off the beaten track by car, consider Roseland Apizza in Derby, CT - order their shrimp oreganato pizza with bacon and I bet you may say it's the best pizza you've ever had - It's also "market price" and it is expensive - but in my mind worth it. Collosal shrimp - Better than Pepe's white clam, etc., which is outstanding in its own right - oh gosh mouth is watering....Also excellent regular pizza toppings, and other Italian food, but in my mind, that pizza is second to none.

                                                                      Also, you might consider getting a hot dog or hamburger from a Duchess franchise restaurant - a fine example of locally franchised fast food. http://www.duchessrestaurants.com

                                                                      You might also consider Tomlinson's in Bridgeport for a great hot dog (although that is based on my memory - I have not been in years - so research thoroughly.) http://www.hotdog1.com

                                                                      -----
                                                                      Roseland Apizza
                                                                      Derby, CT, Derby, CT

                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                        Bob - what counts as expensive in your book ? - that pizza sounds good !

                                                                        Also re Pepes may posters have said get there early - what time counts as early - I Like pizza - but not for breakfast !

                                                                        1. re: willowan

                                                                          Pepe's opens at lunch time (around noon). I've had pretty good luck with the lunchtime wait, and I always go on weekends, but since I only get there about twice a year, someone else might be able to give you better input.

                                                                          If you decide to do the drive, I don't think you'll regret stopping at Pepe's. This is a famous place with a lot of history, a destination place and therefore somewhat of a tourist trap (although the locals love it), and yet it really does live up to the hype. How many places can you say that about?

                                                                          Best of luck with your trip.

                                                                        2. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                          Those are some nice stops along the way, but not a 2-3 day detour?

                                                                          Bob, how far out of your way would you drive for Pizza at Roseland? Might have to hit it next time on my way to NYC.

                                                                          1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                            Willow, I think it might have been on the order of $35-40 the last time I was there, but I cannot say for sure - the pizza is thin crust with a good char, no tomato sauce, with garlic, butter, bread crumbs, parsley and the shrimp are huge (jumbo) and very plentiful - we add bacon by request which really amps it up - honestly, it's a once-a-year treat. Also so rich that more than two slices is a real challenge (even when cutting it with a couple of slices of pepperoni and extra garlic - also excellent in my book)

                                                                            Striper - if you are coming down the Merritt, it's maybe a 15 minute drive up Rt. 8. Totally worth it. I think they are dinner only, as for hours.

                                                                            1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                              Hey the Merritt is a food wasteland. Nice tip, I'll hit it next time. Thanks!

                                                                              1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                                Though, if you're coming south from Boston on the Wilbur Cross-Merritt, exiting at Route 34 (Exit 58) would be a lot faster than going all the way down to Route 8.....

                                                                                1. re: Karl S

                                                                                  That's a good point, Karl. The rt. 8 directions are the simplest, for the directionally challenged, but 34 is faster.

                                                                            2. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                              and the lobster ravioli...at Roseland...share it before your pizza

                                                                            3. May I suggest a hot lobster roll at Abbot's Lobster in the Rough in Noank, Conn? It is near the towns of Mystic and Stonington which offer lots of scenery if you feel like visiting a couple of small towns in between Boston and New York.

                                                                              It is possible to do by train as Amtrak stops in Mystic but would be much better if you had a car.

                                                                              1. I would recommend Still River Cafe in Eastford, CT. It's not far from Sturbridge and is a relatively easy find off I-84. It's only open a few days a week this time of year and only for dinner but well worth the trip from both a culinary and an ambiance point of view. Check their website for days and times. In Hartford, I recommend On 20 and in Westbrook (and Madison) Lenny and Joe's Fish Tale....excellent fresh fish...not fine dining at all but great food...right off I-95.

                                                                                -----
                                                                                Still River Cafe
                                                                                134 Union Rd, Eastford, CT 06242

                                                                                1. If Willowan wants serious food and the time is right, Le Petit Cafe in Branford, CT, just north of New Haven on I-95, would be a good choice. It could be combined with sightseeing in New Haven itself. The meal would be great. Not roadfood, but a very fine meal.

                                                                                  -----
                                                                                  Le Petit Cafe
                                                                                  225 Montowese St Ste 7, Branford, CT 06405

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: otisman

                                                                                    "Sightseeing in New Haven." ??? %$&*#@ really?

                                                                                    ;-)

                                                                                  2. If traveling the coastal, 95 Rt, one great stop is Bill's Seafood in Westbrook on Rt 1 at the "Singing Bridge". They have a hot lobster roll that is delicious and onion rings that are one of the best I've ever eaten...and I have eaten a lot of different onion rings. The hot lobster roll is served on a foot long hot dog roll and is just as good as Abbott's in Noank without the long ride off the highway. One other gem is the Clam Castle on Rt 1 in Madison right near the entrance to Hamonassett Park. You might have to check and see if they are open in the winter as I usually hit these places in the summer.

                                                                                    Also, Pepe's is one of the best pizza's you will ever eat in your lifetime.

                                                                                    Good luck and have a nice time.

                                                                                    -----
                                                                                    Clam Castle
                                                                                    1324 Boston Post Rd, Madison, CT 06443

                                                                                    Bill's Seafood Restaurant
                                                                                    , Old Saybrook, CT 06475

                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: awm922

                                                                                      I should probably explain to the OP, given my and your and others' reference to hot lobster rolls:

                                                                                      The lobster roll of New England comes in two basic variations (as with so many traditional New England foods, liked baked beans (molasses vs maple syrup), chowder (dairy vs broth), jonnycakes (thick vs thin), fried fish/seafood (dredged vs battered), et cet.): the first is the more widely known "cold" variety with mayonnaise, while the second much beloved but less widely known, the "hot" variety of southeastern Connecticut, which is hot with butter.

                                                                                      1. re: Karl S

                                                                                        I grew up in the New Haven area and remember going to Maine for the first time and ordering a lobster roll. They served the cold salad type. I looked at the server and asked him what was it he just put in front of my friend and I. I actually had never seen or heard of a "cold" lobster roll until that day. The only thought I had was what a waste of good lobster meat.

                                                                                        "To Each His Own Taste".....

                                                                                        1. re: awm922

                                                                                          I suspect the salad variety became more widespread because the lobster salad can be made ahead and kept.

                                                                                          The hot variety is less susceptible to mass-production, as it were, making it a greater test of skill (like chowders made without binders).

                                                                                      2. re: awm922

                                                                                        I was thinking about mentioning Bill's...semed better with the OLD Singing Bridge....and waht about Lenny's in Branford...that has always been a fun spot (if you can find it).

                                                                                        1. re: awm922

                                                                                          hey, thanks for this. As I am travelling 2 June, I assume I will be okay ?

                                                                                          and what is the singing bridge ?!

                                                                                          1. re: willowan

                                                                                            A "Singing Bridge" is an all metal bridge with a corrugated metal roadway. When cars drive over it, the sound of car tires against the metal gives of a "Singing" sound. At least that's what I know of them. There is or was one of these bridges in front of Bill's Seafood. If it is a nice day when you travel, I would highly recommend enjoying one of the outdoor seating venues like Bill's.

                                                                                            -----
                                                                                            Bill's Seafood Restaurant
                                                                                            , Old Saybrook, CT 06475

                                                                                        2. Personally, I avoid 95 like the plague. I much prefer the 90-84-91-Merritt route.

                                                                                          Determine your route first, the places and the times you are likely to stop and it will be much easier for people to make suggestions.

                                                                                          I cant speak to Mass, but in CT:
                                                                                          East Hartford-Augie and rays for fried clams, onion rings (YUM) chili dogs and coffee milkshake (skip the burgers).
                                                                                          Hartford-Franklin giant grinders: half a sausage and eggplant combo (less than ideal neighborhood-but still safe)
                                                                                          Hartford-First and last tavern-they also do a terrific brick oven clam pizza pie, a notch below Pepe's, but still outstanding
                                                                                          New Britian-Capitol lunch for chili dogs
                                                                                          Newington-Olympia diner-only if you have never been in an authentic one-this is the real deal-basic diner food.
                                                                                          Meriden-Ted's steamed cheeseburgers (Truthfully, I find the meat to be a bit bland, but it is an institution and the burgers are unique)
                                                                                          New haven-yes pepe's or louis lunch-(dont ask for ketchup)
                                                                                          Farfield-Super duper weenies (slaw dog!)

                                                                                          Yes, the lobster pots are good and the beach towns quaint, but taking 95 and heading into the beach towns will significantly add to your travel time IMHO (clam castle is damn good though)!

                                                                                          13 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: AdamD

                                                                                            Chalk this up to each his own I guess. I feel the same way as you about trying to avoid the pike-84-91. I prefer 95 South to West Haven and then catch the Merritt from there. Personally, I can't imagine avoiding the shore and instead having my clam fix in Hartford. the OP would also miss New Haven entirely so they miss it's pizza and/or taco trucks. Props to your Ted's rec, however, just not sure it's worth the route to get there. Just goes to show, there's two sides to everything!

                                                                                            1. re: CapeCodGuy

                                                                                              Indeed to each his own...
                                                                                              Its not like Hart ford is in Iowa! They have good clams too! But I hear what you are saying. Doing the lobster or clam bar thing by the shore is very nice.
                                                                                              The OP could still do new haven taking 91, its not that far out of the way.

                                                                                              1. re: CapeCodGuy

                                                                                                Awright, dang it. May have to re-assess on my nex trip south.

                                                                                                Thanks to all those standing up for the RI-CT route. Promise to give it a whirl.

                                                                                                1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                  Just be sure to pick up the Merrit at West Haven, Milford actually. Rte 95 to NY from there is the pits. It's a much better route for chow stops along the way IMO.

                                                                                                  1. re: CapeCodGuy

                                                                                                    hey all

                                                                                                    Since I am travelling from the UK, what is the Merrit - does it have a road number etc and will it take me into Manhattan on the Murray Hill side ?

                                                                                                    And assuming I want to take in the New Haven pizza ( probably, on balance of the posts Pepes ) and grab some chow near the coast, what, IS that elusive best route ?

                                                                                                    While replying, what are your favourite places to eat in New York ( slightly off topic I know, but it would just be fun to know ! ), and how about some friendly bars - particularly in the Murray Hill area

                                                                                                    Thanks again

                                                                                                    1. re: willowan

                                                                                                      Just a reminder to post New York questions on the NY regional board, thanks!

                                                                                                      1. re: willowan

                                                                                                        They want you to post on the Manhattan board- Murray Hill is in Manhattan. I recommend the Waterfront Alehouse and CASK.

                                                                                                        1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                          Try a slice of the Grandma pizza at Artichoke on 14th street between 1st and 2nd ave. IMHO the best pizza in Manhattan.

                                                                                                        2. re: willowan

                                                                                                          The Merrit is route 15. It's much more scenic and civilized then 95 as you approach NY.

                                                                                                          1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                            The Wilbur Cross Parkway starts in Meriden (a spur off Interstate 91) and then becomes the Merrit Parkway (a landmark Art-Deco era parkway - every bridge is different - the landscaping of which has been compromised by widening in the very laudable interests of improving safety) over the Housatonic River until the NY Border, where the parkway becomes the Hutchison River Parkway.

                                                                                                            It's a slightly inland route, with different Chow options than the Interstates.

                                                                                                          2. re: willowan

                                                                                                            Here's a Google Map that will show the way. You can alter it to include the stops you want. Not sure if you have decided to take it slow and spend the night in Newport or somewhere else on the coast. If you're are planning to do it in one day, I'm guessing you will only need one stop, and you seem to want to try the New Haven pizza scene (a good choice)

                                                                                                            Note that my knowledge gets a bit fuzzy on the best route once you get to New Rochelle NY or thereabouts, so you may want to seek other advice for that end of the route to Murray Hill.

                                                                                                            http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&amp...

                                                                                                            1. re: willowan

                                                                                                              I’ll wade into this with my 2 cents, but first my bona fides. We live in NYC but the wife is from Boston so we spend a lot of time there. We have a second home on Long Island Sound about dead center on the CT coastline. I spent time working in London when Marco Pierre White was all the rage. We eat out a lot, probably once a week. That gives you my reference points. So if you are looking for a place between Boston and NYC that’s worth a stop just for the food, my answer is there is nothing worth making a stop for just the food. With apologies to the natives in between, whatever is found along the coastline can be readily found in either city There’s great food no mistaking that, but its not unique. The same seafood can be found in Boston, the Italian in either city and there’s plenty of pizza in NYC that will make claims to the best of whatever though not without arguments. But that does not mean its not worth making a stop. I would recommend that the OP rent (hire for you) a car and drive the dreaded I-95 route. Leave no later than 9:00 in the morning. While Newport has its charms, I recommend passing it as this is a day drive. Once you cross the Connecticut River (should be around 11), get off 95 around Saybrook and drive south on Route 1 and then 146. That will take you through the CT shoreline towns of Westbrook, Clinton, Madison, Guilford and Branford. It’s very picturesque. Seafood is what you should have. Either fried clam bellies or a lobster roll. It will be June so you want to be able to eat it outside where you can take in the sea air like on the Brighton Pier but not so crowded. There are many clam and lobster shacks along the way but I’m partial to Lenny’s in Branford (not on the water but a salt marsh) or the Lobster Shack (on the river, no clams but a very nice lobster roll). Have a pleasant lunch, get back on 95, take the tri-boro (now RFK) bridge to the FDR Drive and and you should be in NYC in 2 more hours. There are quicker routes but I wouldn’t want to send someone who will want to drive on the left side of the road on those. No need to spend the night as you can have a dinner in the city. Go to the NYC boards and ask for recs based on what you like. I will suggest ramen for something different.

                                                                                                              -----
                                                                                                              Lobster Shack
                                                                                                              7 Indian Neck Ave, Branford, CT

                                                                                                            2. re: CapeCodGuy

                                                                                                              Yah, HATE that stretch of 95, which is why I usually go 90-84-91-15.

                                                                                                      2. No disrespect but to fellow Rhodys, in the scheme of things, Providence is skippable. You can find good food there but I wouldn’t GO there for food. "Stop there" maybe, but not "go there". And if youre heading to NYC, where you can get great pizza, I would prob pass on New Haven - tho I love me some Pepe's and Sally's.

                                                                                                        But Newport is worth a stop I think -- beautiful and quaint -- quintessential New England. Especially that time of year - gorgeous. Cobblestone streets, white spire churches, great architecture, good shopping, sailboats, sunsets, etc. And one of the oldest ballparks in America! Cardine's Field. Still in operation. You can enjoy a beer on the back patio of the Mudville Pub, tho I doubt a game will be going on at that time. On a weekday afternoon in early summer you will not be fighting any crowds, trust me. Average to no traffic, you are talking 1h30m (maybe 1:45) from Boston.

                                                                                                        For an afternoon arrival in Newport, I would say go to The Mooring -- one of the few places that offers good food and lunch. It's set right on the water. The scallop chowder is awesome, the lobster baggadonuts (like fritters, with spicy dipping mayo), all sorts of fish, market priced lobsters (so $$), a very good lobster roll (tarragon mayo on a croissant). Good bloodies, good cocktails, good wine, good beer. This is my suggestion! Also for lunch, Flo's Clam Shack down by the beach (Rt 138A).Get the clam cakes (like fritters) and stuffed quahogs (aka "stuffies" - a large clam stuffed back with chorizo bread stuffing). Yum. Then you can drive the Ocean Drive/Bellevue Ave loop (20-30 minutes), which brings you by most of the Mansions. If you have an extra half hour, park at Forty Steps or First Beach and walk along the Cliff Walk for a back yard view of all the Gilded Age "summer cottages".

                                                                                                        Perro Salado is fantastic and well priced (somewhat Mexican, somewhat not) --set in an old Colonial house (2-4 tables per room) on a little side street off Washington Square. Run by a former NYC couple. This place is so adorable I cant stand it. Only issue there is it is not open for lunch, and dinner might be a squeeze for a 10pm drop off in Manhattan. You would miss rush hour tho.... If you were in the car by 6, you could make it.

                                                                                                        Another cheap, totally New England family style reco in Newport is Salas. I don’t know what the Clam Boil runs now but it was always a good value - a lobster over little neck clams, corn on cob, chorizo, potatoes. This place is only dinner too unfortunately.

                                                                                                        Great town for seafood and in the last two years there have been several nice foodie worthy additions. Not for you, cos dinner would likely take too long, but for anyone else reading, look into Tallulah on Thames, chef soused at Robuchon/Mansion. It is fabulous.

                                                                                                        Logistical aside: Don't sweat driving into Manhattan too much. It's built on a grid and your destination is pretty direct off the East Side highway. Boston and most EU countries are MUCH MUCH more difficult to navigate.

                                                                                                        Good luck and report back!

                                                                                                        -----
                                                                                                        Flo's Clam Shack
                                                                                                        4 Wave Ave, Middletown, RI 02842

                                                                                                        Mudville Pub
                                                                                                        8 W Marlborough St, Newport, RI 02840

                                                                                                        Perro Salado
                                                                                                        19 Charles St, Newport, RI 02840

                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: 5thAndNowhere

                                                                                                          I completely disagree. There's nothing in Newport that holds a candle to Chez Pascal, Gracie's, Loie Fuller or La Laiterie (other than the scenery).

                                                                                                          -----
                                                                                                          Chez Pascal Restaurant
                                                                                                          960 Hope St, Providence, RI 02906

                                                                                                          La Laiterie
                                                                                                          184-188 Wayland Avenue, Providence, RI 02906

                                                                                                          1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                            I don't know. I prefer to eat as indigenously as possible. Dishes made famous by.... not readily available elsewhere.... Area known for.... Hence my recommendations to a (first time?) foreign vistor to go for clam boils, chowder, clam cakes, etc. That combined with the request for "place of interest" and "scenery" and lunchtime arrival.

                                                                                                            Admittedly I have not spent much time in Providence lately, and when I go, I go to my old haunts. Your suggestions are now "on the list," so thanks. Looking forward. But it sounds like maybe you don't know Newport beyond the Red Parrot and Brick Alley Pub? If you haven't tried them already, look into Bouchard, Talluljah, Perro Salado, Mamma Luisa, Salvation Cafe, Puerini's and Tucker's. (Perhaps Nory's too. We enjoyed the food, but found their hipster diner vibe in loathful congruence to their no hats policy.) People rave about 22 Bowens, I find it an overpriced and uninspired steakhouse. have yet to get to 41 North or the new West Deck, likely because I am anticipating a big payout for a big disappointment.

                                                                                                            1. re: 5thAndNowhere

                                                                                                              I lived in RI for ten years. I assure you, I know Newport very well. ;)

                                                                                                              I'm not a clam/lobster boil kinda gal, so that may influence my stance.

                                                                                                              1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                well, would you believe it ? Avis wont allow us to drop the car at New Haven - say they are fully booked - so it looks like I might miss out on my pizza.

                                                                                                                So, where should we hit for pizza in NYC ? - thin base, proper wood fire oven only please margherita has to be up to standard as it is the true test of pizza quality IMO - tomato mozzarella and fresh basil only !

                                                                                                                Unless somewhere has a clam pie to rival Pepe's, of course !

                                                                                                                Staying in Murray Hill ( the Shelburne ) if that helps.

                                                                                                                Thanks

                                                                                                                1. re: willowan

                                                                                                                  Oh boy, that's a question that will generate more opinions than in New Haven. To keep it simple, I will suggest Co if you want thin crust margherita. You will need to head across town to 9th ave from Murray Hill. I will also suggest a stop by the Second Ave Deli for a taste of NY deli for a closer alternative. You can't get pastrami like they have in the UK.