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Sep 25, 2012 09:26 AM

Headed to Hartford, CT Need Suggestions

Hi Fellow Foodies,

I am heading to Hartford next month for a weekend convention. Any recommendations on places not to miss? How about an Italian restaurant for dinner on Saturday night as well?

Any help is greatly appreciated.


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  1. For Italian, I suggest Bricco in West Hartford. For steak, Morton's in Hartford. Also think you should check out Firebox in Hartford, Grant's in West Hartford and Trumbull Kitchen in Hartford. Enjoy!

    7 Replies
    1. re: chowmensch

      Chowmensch is right on target. The problem with Bricco's though is that thy don't take reservations except for large parties and you can have a long wait on Sat. Think about Peppercorn's (short drive or 10 min. walk from convention center)or for more red sauce italian

      For lunch I love the gyro plate at Although the name may have changed to to MMs the gyros and veggie items are great

      1. re: brookerme

        Hey, brookerme--is DD's Gyros the Greek place that used to be in the smelly underground food court (apologies, I forget the real name--but I bet you know what I mean) that connected from the back of the Marriott to Main Street? Those were THE BEST gyros!

        1. re: kattyeyes

          At almost any restaurant in the Hartford area, if you have a credit card with you then you are dressed appropriately.

          The gyros at the place on Temple St. has different owners than the old Greek place in the basement. The gyros now are much better- made on site not preformed manufactured in Chicago like many spots

          1. re: brookerme

            Ah, OK, thanks re the gyros. I wonder where the other folks went--their meat was the real deal.

            And YES, I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of being "dressed appropriately" in the Hartford area. :)

        2. re: chowmensch

          +1 on Bricco in WH. I haven't been to their Glastonbury location, but thought they had amended their no reservations (oh, buddy!) maybe call to confirm it's no res. I think that may have changed.

          I haven't been to Ficara's in too many years to have an opinion, but Bricco is by no means "heels and ties." In fact, I have a hard time thinking of a restaurant that is, these days. Nothing that's been mentioned thus far, anyway, I don't think, 'cept maybe On20.

          1. re: kattyeyes

            Bricco in Glastonbury DOES take reservations and they are on Open Table.

        3. Thanks for the recommendations. I think we are looking for more down and dirty over heels and ties :-) Ficara's sounds like a possibility.

          1. Aside from Italian, if you don't want fancy, try Agave Grill for Mexican or City Steam, the local brew pub for some good beer and bar food. They make a mac & cheese that is delicious.

            3 Replies
            1. re: jcanino

              I would have to disagree on both counts. I stopped going to City Steam 2 years ago after multiple issues with slow service and cold mediocre food. The beer is good. However, perhaps they made a miraculous turnaround in recent times. I hope so, as it is a nice space.

              Agave is OK but really nothing special.

              I do agree with Firebox, Bricco and Grants (both in W. Hartford). In addition, I have never had a bad meal at a restaurant from Max Restaurant Group- in Hartford that would be Max Downtown and Trumbull Kitchen. Also, I adore On20, especially if someone else is paying or it can be expensed ;) I haven't been since their former Exec. Chef left and I hope changes are minimal.

              1. re: mels

                The OP said "I think we are looking for more down and dirty over heels and ties". Both my recs qualify, more so than Firebox or the Max group. I have been to City Steam twice in the past 2 weeks and had great service and hot food.

                1. re: mels

                  too true on all counts mels

              2. Okay how about best pasta house (Southern Italian)?

                7 Replies
                1. re: CHtongueEEK

                  I don't know how authentic it is, since I've never been to southern Italy, but Salute makes some darned fine pasta dishes.

                  1. re: ratbuddy

                    Agree with you ratbuddy (for a change) and prices are moderate

                  2. re: CHtongueEEK

                    Hard to beat First and Last Tavern - 939 Maple Ave, Hartford (original location since 1938)

                    1. re: Clams047

                      Ding ding winner

                      Been going to this place for a very long time and the food remains excellent. Cant speak to other locations. When I am driving past Hartford, I almost always stop in to grab a large white clam pie to bring home. I think its even better than Pepe's.

                      I like Carbone's as well, but its a bit overpriced for what you a get. Bricco's is nice, but give me the south end over West Hartford center any day.

                    2. re: CHtongueEEK

                      Salute and Vito's by the Park, both in Hartford.

                      1. re: chowmensch

                        I am surprised no one suggested Carbone's for Italian

                        1. re: Tinkerbelldee

                          Carbone's is quite excellent, but more northern than southern menu (wouldn't consider it as a "pasta house". Different menu / more pricey vs. the more basic First and Last Tavern. Guess it depends on which menu is preferred.

                    3. I really like Ficara's. Great little family owned place. But a huge word of warning, it is slow. Be prepared for a long drawn out meal. A must app is the Mozzarella in Carrozza, it's like a pie of fried cheese and sauce.