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Fine-ish Dining Farmington Valley (CT)

We've recently moved to Connecticut and my in-laws are visiting for the first time over Thanksgiving. They've asked us to pick a nice restaurant for us all to go to while they are here. (For comparison, we used to live in Chicago and when they'd come to visit over the holidays, we would go to the Signature Room in the Hancock Tower.) Most likely something in the $25-$50 / person would be appropriate. Does anyone have any recommendations?

I am vegetarian, my husband eats fish (and is otherwise veggie), the in-laws pretty much need meat (which is why we go out to eat while they're visiting) and we have two (well-behaved, also vegetarian) children to add to the mix, too (ages 4 and 6), so it needs to be at least somewhat kid-friendly. (My girls are used to eating at restaurants and barring over-tiredness are fairly well behaved at restaurants, especially when their grandparents are there). If my nephew comes, we'll have a 2 year old, too. I am not a picky vegetarian, but I do like good food--as long as there is one good / interesting vegetarian choice on the menu (e.g., something other than pasta with tomato sauce, salad, a steamed vegetable plate, etc), I'm happy. We all enjoy Thai food and Italian as well as typical "modern" style restaurants.

We live in Farmington and are willing to drive up to 45 minutes or so, but closer is better when children are involved. Probably looking to go out the Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving for brunch or an earlier dinner (unless someone can recommend a restaurant that would have decent vegetarian options on Thanksgiving itself).

Thanks in advance!!

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    1. I agree with all of Bookerme's suggestions and would add Mill at 2T in Simsbury's Tarrifville section, Metro Bis in Simsbury and On 20 in Hartford. On 20 is in a tall office building so it may bring back some of your family memories in the Hancock Tower. The food there is quite good but you should check with them about availability because they just do dinners on Fridays, I believe and the day after Thanksgiving may not be one of the Fridays they are open. Let us know how you make out.

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      Metro Bis Restaurant
      928 Hopmeadow St Ste 2, Simsbury, CT 06070

      Mill at 2T
      2 Tunxis Rd, Tariffville, CT 06081-9686

      1. I would agree with all of the above suggestions and add Treva in West Hartford center. They recently improved their menu with a number of Italian vegetarian offerings that's not reflected in the online menu on their website. And according to yesterday's Hartford Courant, they've added the option of using Android touchpad PC's to display their offerings, as a replacement for paper menus.

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        Treva
        980 Farmington Ave, West Hartford, CT 06107

        Treva
        West Hartford, West Hartford, CT

        1. The Cottage in Plainville is a good fit. Does vegetables well, not too formal so kids OK, and overall quality is excellent.

          Take ages 4 and 6 to On 20, Metro Bis, Apricots, Piccolo? I wouldn't.

          1 Reply
          1. re: thos

            I agree, and would add Mill at 2T to the questionable list. It is so small, almost perfect behavior would be a must and that can be tough with little ones (and some adults ;0.

            You might also consider O'Porto on the Hartford/West Hartford line. The food is great and they have a lovely private dining area that seats 10 or 12 which might be very nice for you and allow the children to have a little more latitude. I believe they make a vegetarian paella and fit the other needs as well.

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            Mill at 2T
            2 Tunxis Rd, Tariffville, CT 06081-9686

            1. re: schwarda

              I'm guessing they may have rectified this issue by now but about four years ago we tried to go to Hot Basil and they did not have a high chair. You may want to check if your nephew still needs one.

            2. arpricots - consistent - nice menu - pro service - atmosphere +++
              grist mill - charming - comfy - yummy
              papacelle - italian like you have never had - very original - friendly
              mill @ 2T - pretentious - very $$$ - limited seating

              2 Replies
              1. re: boredbanker

                I agree on Papacelle and Apricots but respectfully disagree on Grist Mill and 2T. Grist Mill has a great location/view but I've found the food pretty mediocre. 2T in my opinion is anything but pretentious. Kelleanne is warm and friendly and Ryan is one of the best chefs in CT.

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                Grist Mill
                44 Mill Ln, Farmington, CT 06032

                Papacelle
                152 Simsbury Road, Avon, CT 06001

                1. re: chowmensch

                  I agree almost completely.
                  The last meal we had at the Grist Mill will be our last meal there ever. Very disappointed.
                  2T is anything but pretentious, creative and inventive food in a small comfortable setting with service that is always friendly and welcoming.
                  I do disagree on Papacelle thought, I was underwhelmed at best.
                  Apricots is consistently good, I am not sure I would call it great, but never mediocre.

                  That being said, I am not sure any of these spots are a great choice for little ones

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                  Grist Mill
                  44 Mill Ln, Farmington, CT 06032

                  Papacelle
                  152 Simsbury Road, Avon, CT 06001

              2. Thanks everyone for the suggestions--you've given us lots to think about. I will let you know where we end up and report back on the findings.