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Halfway between Hartford and Manhattan?

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I'm an SF hound who will be in Hartford next week. I'm planning on meeting some friends from Manhattan (roughly) halfway, and am looking for restaurant suggestions. Any type of cuisine or price range (dive to high end) is fine - we're all world eaters, and look for interesting/quality food above other issues. I'm vegetarian, but am happy as long as there's a good option or two on the menu. Any suggestions you have would be appreciated!

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  1. New Haven: http://www.thali.com/nh1.html
    http://unionleaguecafe.com/
    http://www.bespokenewhaven.com/

    Newtown: http://www.salepeperestaurant.com/

    Woodbury: http://www.good-news-cafe.com/

    1 Reply
    1. re: brookerme

      Brookerme, I was disappointed in Sal E Pepe and found the food to be ordinary to mediocre at best.

      Little Cook, if your group is in the mood for Vietnamese, there was a recent post singing the praises of Pho Vietnam in Danbury: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/599225

      If in the mood for Italian:

      Off I-95: Liana's Trattoria in Fairfield, CT is a little gem that in my opinion serves food on a comparable level to restaurants such as Scarpetta in Manhattan. http://www.ctbites.com/home/2011/3/27...

      Off I-84: La Zingara in Bethel, CT (small room, fun, loudish, modern Italian); and Rraci's in Brewster, NY off Route 6, very close to Danbury, CT (quiet, romantic, solid classic Italian, wonderful bartender Dave) http://www.rracisrestaurant.com/

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      La Zingara
      8 P T Barnum Sq, Bethel, CT 06801

    2. Two words. Frank Pepe. You can meet in New Haven which is closer to Hartford, or Fairfield which is as close to halfway as you're going to get. I couldn't get a decent meal to save my life when I was out in SF. I'm going out there again next June. I'll have to get some rec's from you.

      2 Replies
      1. re: foodwallguy

        The pizza is just as good at the Fairfield location, with friendlier service, and a fraction of the wait(if you have to wait at all).

        1. re: JenJeninCT

          There's a Pepe's in Danbury as well. Depending on what route is taken to Manhattan (I'd go 84 to 684 myself - save the i95 headache).

      2. How 'bout arepas with something freshly juiced to drink at Valencia Luncheria in Norwalk, CT?
        http://www.valencialuncheria.com/lunc...

        While you're in that neck of the woods, grab something desserty--in liquid form or otherwise--at Chocopologie in SoNo (South Norwalk). Here's some of my past gushing about it. I am long overdue for a return visit:
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6618...

        It's a kick to sit in the hall at one of the windows and watch the Willy Wonkaness of it all:
        http://www.chow.com/restaurants/23933...

        Interesting/quality food to be found in both venues without a doubt. Enjoy your stay here in the Land of Steady Habits! >>^..^<<

        1. Danbury is about halfway between Hartford and NY and I highly recommend L'Ondine. They do many of the French classics well and the ambiance is very pleasant.

          1. Le Petit Cafe in Branford (just north of New Haven) is superb, but you might have to negotiate the vegetarian option.

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

            1 Reply
            1. re: otisman

              otis......
              While Le Petit Cafe might be a good place to eat, it is NOT between Hartford and New York

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

            2. Thank you all for the suggestions! We were debating between Valencia and Liana's, since we were aiming for closer to Manhattan than Hartford. Unfortunately, the dinner had to be canceled, but we will likely be in the same situation again and will give some of these a try.

              Foodwallguy, it makes me sad that you didn't have good food in SF since there is so much extraordinary chow there. I'm more familiar with the East Bay scene, but definitely ask for recs when you are there.