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Jan 5, 2012 06:09 AM

Desperate for suggestions - First wedding anniversary somewhat near Madison, CT.

Hello! I have searched the discussion boards and found only a very few mentions of great places to eat for a romantic meal in my area (Madison, CT). I should clarify that I'm not looking for someplace overly formal or that could be considered stuffy. Formal attire is ok, we just want to be relaxed and have a great meal.

I'd really love to try some place new which is why I've turned to all of you here.
I'm looking for some place somewhat near Madison, CT to go for a great lunch or dinner, with great staff, and great dessert options. We're open to different types of cuisine, but some comfort food is a plus. We want something special but comfortable and delicious.

Please don't hesitate to make any suggestion! It doesn't have to be a "traditional" anniversary experience - just a good one.

Thank you in advance! Our anniversary is in less than two weeks and we have just been unable to think of a great place to try.

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    1. re: brookerme

      Those are great suggestions - thank you! These places have great desserts. To be totally honest, I'm hoping for something even a little less formal, but I will certainly keep these in mind. Thank you!

      1. re: JasmineAndChocolate

        I was just about to suggestion River Tavern and Cafe Routier. I've had great experiences at both, but River Tavern is more environmentally conscious and their chef is doing some pretty cool things with both his cuisine and his sourcing etc.

        Also in Chester is Restaurant L&E, which does very nice French food (I'd say better than Cafe Routier). Also, Chester is a lovely little town, especially for foodies, to walk around in.

        A great restaurant in Niantic is La Belle Aurore. I had a lovely meal there last summer, very simple clean bright flavors.

    2. Several choices in your area: Le Petit Cafe and Foe in Branford. Quattro in Guilford. Bar Bouchee in Madison.
      Each is different but all serve fine food. Happy anniversary!!

      1 Reply
      1. re: jdgall

        Thanks! Those are also great suggestions. Quattro's is certainly a possibility. I am not familiar with Foe but will look into it.

      2. Is anyone familiar with Penny Lane in Old Saybrook, CT?

        2 Replies
        1. re: JasmineAndChocolate

          Yes, not romantic. It's pub fare. Try Liv's Oyster Bar, same street.

          1. re: kattyeyes

            If you go to Liv's stick to the raw bar, the hot dishes are pretty bland. The food at Penny Lane is GREAT, but yeah it's not romantic.

        2. Another place we are considering: Tisane in Hartford, CT. Let me know if you've been there! Thanks.

          4 Replies
          1. re: JasmineAndChocolate

            Yes, also not romantic, tho' there is a fireplace. It's more of a place to drop in for a drink and a snack, but I know you can eat there, too--and I have, just not recently. I wouldn't drive all the way from Madison to check it out, that's for sure.

            1. re: JasmineAndChocolate

              If you are willing to drive a bit and want romantic, would highly recommend the Bee and Thistle Inn located in Old Lyme. Great food and super cozy atmosphere.

              They even have $$ specials on week nights.

              1. re: jdgall

                I have heard great things about Bee & Thistle!

                1. re: JasmineAndChocolate

                  Def agree on Bee & Thistle, very romantic atmosphere.

            2. Wine Bar at the Gris in Essex? Not overly formal, can certainly be romantic if you'd like it to be! :) Happy anniversary!


              1 Reply
              1. re: kattyeyes

                Their cheese plates and desserts sound very good.