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Aug 30, 2012 06:03 PM

Anyone eat at Toll Gate Inn, Litchfield recently? Other local spots?

I am visiting my mom in Goshen this weekend and we are bringing another couple. We just grill out when visiting my mom or hit Bohemian Pizza but we'd like to show the other couple some local atmosphere without driving too far. Years ago I had an event at the Toll Gate Inn in Litchfield and it was fabulous-- great old historic dining room and great food. But that was years ago and I haven't been since-- I can't seem to find recent reviews. Anyone been lately?
What about other local spots (within a 15-20 min drive)? I was thinking about a fun casual night at the Village Pub on the green-- but again ate there years ago and see it's been panned here more recently. I don't want to do anything like West Street Grill or CT-- we are from NYC and these don't have the country casual atmosphere I'm looking for. My mom said Bohemian Pizza has gone downhill lately too.
Another option I was considering was White Horse Tavern-- but this is really pushing it distance wise. Any ideas/suggestions?

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  1. I'm eager to hear what you learn from other posters--we've also wished for just the sort of place you're after--and haven't had great luck. I think the last place we tried was White Horse Tavern--disappointing re food and service both. And as you say, for you, something of a hike.

    One place we go to once a summer that might also be a bit of a drive for you--but not that long--is the Hopkins Inn in New Preston. It's lovely to sit outside on the wide patio and look out over the lake. It's an old-fashioned place that retains the Austrian flavor of the family that started it decades ago (servers in dirndls, eg.). The food is certainly not glam or even great. But it's good in a down-home, unfussy, cozy way. I always get the same thing (prosciutto and melon to start; wienerschnitzel for a main--they bring rosti potatoes for the table--and toblerone sundae for dessert).

    2 Replies
    1. re: sundeck sue

      Sue- thanks for the reply. I have been to Hopkins before for lunch (again years ago). I think you are dead on in your description. Your order even sounds familiar! I'll definitely consider it-- it does have the great view. Since I posted I managed to learn that the Toll Gate Inn restaurant has undergone another name change-- Mockingbird Kitchen and Bar. Their FB page is somewhat cryptic though with no interior pics-- which makes me wonder if they covered up the classic murals or altered he historical appeal in favor of some "trendy" aesthetic. I also see Whitehorse gets a mediocre zagat review-- despite accolades as best pub in CT.

      1. re: Kikinyc

        Have been to Mockingbird twice in the last six weeks, after a neighbor tried a sample of their corn chowder (a promotion by the chef/owner) at the Litchfield Farmers' Market. As far as I can tell they haven't changed the interior at all. The chef, Samantha, is, IMHO, very talented and isn't afraid to season her dishes so they have distinct tastes. The menu is somewhat limited (since they're not serving that many diners each night), but diversified enough that each member of a party should find something they like. There are three vegetarian dishes on the menu and, on my first visit, I had a Moroccan flavored veggie dish which was excellent. The small service staff is very friendly and quite knowledgeable.