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Middletown, CT Restaurant Week

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chowmensch Oct 15, 2012 06:47 PM

Looking for some suggestions for Middletown Restaurant Week. It's this week. Anyone had any good experiences? How about some help, Katty?

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  1. BiscuitBoy RE: chowmensch Oct 16, 2012 08:23 AM

    Talk about low key! Places I'd suggest are Cafe56 - latin sorta inspired salads and sandwiches, try the Yucateca salad: peppitos, orange, carnitas and avo. Another good lunch option is NE Food Emporium - Huge selection of sandwiches and wraps (including build your own), salads, and crepes (crepes? ah whatever). Good dessert items for take away can be found here too, along with penny candy type stuff. Stella Doro - Following a strange Middletown tradition, this new Italian place is run by Bosnians, or Serbs, or whatever faction Yugoslavia is chopped into now. Great food and service, a little on the spendy side, but worth it. Other good Italian food can be found at Luce, and more moderately priced, Illianos. The best pizza, hands down in this area, is Mondo. Nora Cupcake - really tasty cupcakes, tho IMHO really expensive. At $4 each, the counter girl should sit in your lap and feed it to you. Places to avoid: Cold Stone - Overpriced ice cream, with an odd aftertaste, that NEEDS all those mixins to be palatable...Best bet is Praline's for ice cream. And talk about aftertaste, and required toppings, there's a new froyo place in town, riding the latest re-wave of frozen yogurt. I wasn't a big fan of it 15 years ago, and still not today. For the calorie hit, I'll stick with ice cream or gelato. Also to pass on, is the Canoe Club - Same old smelly building by the river. Good for summertime drinks, but that's it. Chicago Sams? Why is this on the site? It's a sports bar in Cromwell

    4 Replies
    1. re: BiscuitBoy
      ChefBoyAreMe RE: BiscuitBoy Oct 18, 2012 12:41 PM

      >>>Following a strange Middletown tradition, this new Italian place is run by Bosnians, or Serbs, or whatever faction Yugoslavia is chopped into now.<<<

      Actually, not that strange. My guess is they are Albanians, and if you look around the place, you might spot a red flag with a black, double headed bird spread -eagled on it.

      If you go to Arthur Ave in the Bronx, you'll see a lot of Albanian influence...they are the more recent immigrants moving into spots formerly occupied by Italians. They work in the industry, learn the trade, and set out on their own.

      1. re: ChefBoyAreMe
        BiscuitBoy RE: ChefBoyAreMe Oct 18, 2012 01:15 PM

        definitely NOT Albania....Hasn't it been around far longer than, say, Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, etc? Besides, a good friend of one the owners comes in wearing Islamic robes and headgear....and wasn't that part of the whole ethnic cleansing thing?

        1. re: BiscuitBoy
          ChefBoyAreMe RE: BiscuitBoy Oct 19, 2012 04:08 AM

          Hmmm, not sure. Albania does border right on Kosovo (which was part of Yugoslavia), and is about 50% Muslim. You could be right, but if I was a bettin' man, I'd be sticking with my hunch. I'll see if my sis knows...she lives in Middletown.

        2. re: ChefBoyAreMe
          kattyeyes RE: ChefBoyAreMe Oct 19, 2012 05:37 AM

          Sammy (of Luce) is a native of Montenegro, so sez the NYT.
          http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/25/tra...

          But not like folks at Luce, Fiore II or Stella D'Oro wouldn't outright TELL YA where they're from, if only you ask. Once a waitress at Fiore told us how to say "thank you" in her language. I forgot, tho'!

          I love all three restaurants--they do Italian food proud.

      2. kattyeyes RE: chowmensch Oct 16, 2012 09:05 AM

        I didn't even know we were HAVING a restaurant week and I live here! I find it strange (unfortunate, really) we're already IN the week in question and several places haven't posted their RW menus.

        http://www.connecticutrestaurantweek....

        That said, I'll second pretty much everything the Boy said above, tho' I DO like the crepes at The Emporium. Not much of a "night out," however--I think of The Emporium when I want to grab a light dinner on my own (crepe/salad) but find it best for lunch. Oh, and I don't need anyone to sit in my lap and feed me $4 cupcakes, but it's a funny visual...

        Stella D'Oro is definitely your best bet for something Italian. And where are Luce, Fiore II, Tuscany Grill, Mondo (not listed)? Not to take anything away from Stella D'Oro--we had great meals there, both lunch and dinner. I would highly recommend, no matter what's going on specific to RW. In fact, they'd be my top pick.

        I like Forbidden A LOT. Just grabbed lunch there this weekend. Their lychee cocktail (Drunken Concubine? It's been a while...) is outstanding; their hot and sour soup is always good. They tend toward the pricier side, so a prix fixe deal would likely be a good bargain. Not sure what their RW offerings are, tho'!

        I've only had bar nibbles at Esca, but their RW menu sounds like it might be worth a shot. I know many people weren't that impressed with it when it first opened, but that's what RW is for--to give something a shot you might not have otherwise tried.

        1. c
          chowmensch RE: chowmensch Oct 17, 2012 10:30 AM

          Thanks for the replies, Biscuit and Katty. I've looked at all the restaurant week menus and concluded that there's really nothing I crave so I've decided to skip it. Had a different experience than Biscuit at Stella D'oro a few weeks ago. Food was its usual high quality but the service was awful. Waited forever for entrees and for the check. One waitress was handling all the tables. There's rarely a lot of occupied tables there so I think they figured one waitress was all they needed. On this night, a weeknight btw, there happened to be customers at 7 tables and it was overwhelming for the poor waitress. Oh well, hope it does better than Stella D'oro 1 in Old Saybrook which is now closed.

          1 Reply
          1. re: chowmensch
            kattyeyes RE: chowmensch Oct 17, 2012 12:36 PM

            Oh, no! I think you're right--they must have gotten used to not so many occupied tables and thought they were covered.

            Anyway, tons of good food to be found outside RW, anyway. ;) And, I hope Stella D's fares better than it did in OS because the food is really outstanding.

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