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Dec 9, 2012 05:37 AM

Looking for Dinner at "old country inn" - good food, roaring fireplace!

I'm looking to take our family to dinner near Westport, CT (would travel 1/2 hour from there) for the holidays and would like one of those old, beautiful country inns with roaring fires and great food. Any suggestions? (Would like not to need to sell the house for it, but money is not really an object).



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  1. I would be interested in responses to this inquiry, but would not limit it to the Westport area. With the dreary weather we seem to be having, I was thinking lunch before a roaring fire would be great. I'm in central Conn, but the entire state is within an hours drive or so. So any suggestions would be welcome. Thanks.

    9 Replies
    1. re: sbxstr

      What about the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge MA? Thats about an hour or so from central CT.

      Theres always the Tap room at Griswold Inn in Essex. IIRC, they have a nice fireplace.

      You can have drinks and apps but not sure about a full meal at the Longwood Country Inn-their bar/lounge has a nice fireplace.

      1. re: foodieX2

        the Red Lion has indifferent food.

        1. re: magiesmom

          Its passable and some things are actually pretty good. Last time I was there I had a nice butternut soup and the pork loin. While not haute cuisine it was quite good.

          I have heard good things about their new "sustainable" menu (basically farm to table) but have not tried it.

          1. re: magiesmom

            We like the Red Lion a great deal, but it is a pretty busy place and not particularly intimate. The Lion's Den does have seating near a fireplace and we've eaten there often. We've been spending a couple of days there over the last few years and plan to do so again next month. We're thinking you are being a little harsh re the food served there. Given the scale of the operation, we were actually expecting "indifferent" food but have been pleasantly surprised. We'll see in January.

            1. re: sbxstr

              If you try one of their sustainable menu's please report back! I would love to get out there and try it but it's unlikely I will get there before spring. I have heard good things but only second and third hand.

              1. re: sbxstr

                I haven't tried the sustainable menu, but I stand by my assessment of the regular menu.
                But I know some people like it.

                1. re: magiesmom

                  I agree with you, magies mom re. the food at the Red Lion Inn but I would go further to say it's rather awful. And I had one lunch at the Lion's Den that was virtually inedible. I would suggest Old Inn on the Green in New Marlboro, MA or Stagecoach Tavern in Sheffield, MA.

            2. re: foodieX2

              Ditto on the Griswold Inn - walk down to River before or after.....deckedout for holiday and not sure about lunch - but they have roving carolers at most dinner times in Dec

            3. re: sbxstr

              There's a roaring fire this time of year at Sharpe Hill Vineyard, but you'd need to request the table in front of it specifically. Note: you must secure your reservation in advance with a credit card, so if you'd like to get there this month, you might already be too late, but give it a try. It's always a holiday treat and one of my personal favorite places in the whole state.

            4. There's Thomas Henkelmann/Homestead Inn in Greenwich which has fine cuisine and will certainly leave a small dent in your wallet. Never been there myself (but I'm saving up for it). There's a photo on their website of a fireplace in a dining room.

              A more affordable option might be the Redding Roadhouse in West Redding (corner of Rts. 53 & 107). Not exactly a beautiful country inn in the traditional sense, but it's a suitably ancient tavern under new management, a new chef and recently restored/renovated. They have a fireplace in the dining room and the food is good and a cut above usual tavern fare.

              1. If you'll settle for good food instead of great, I'd recommend Curtis House in Woodbury. It's a very old inn, much beloved by plder couples who like roast turkey, beef, pork and lamb but can't really handle a whole roast all by themselves. Could be fun for a family get-together. The fireplace casts a lot of heat.

                2 Replies
                1. re: coldduck

                  I'd second the motion for Curtis House. Good straight up food in a old time atmosphere.

                  1. re: Scargoe

                    My sister had a terrible meal at the Curtis House. She was suspect by the lengthy menu that had so many items it seemed like a diner and wondered how they could possibly have so much variation and keep up quality. She figured roast turkey would be a safe choice. She received thickly sliced "deli" turkey, not real turkey but formed, sandwich slices. Inedible. I find most of these suggestions are way out of the Westport area. And my meal at the Red Lion Inn was way overpriced and substandard. I know what morels mushrooms are and was not pleased with the white mushrooms I received with my entree. Certainly would not recommend driving all the way up to Stockbridge from Westport for that. Wish I knew Fairfield Co. better to make a fireplace suggestion. But if you are up in the Berks, The Old Inn on the Green is a stellar, yes expensive, restaurant with 2 lovely fireplaces.

                2. La Cremaillere is in Bedford but SO great. Feels like you were transported to Provence and the food is wonderful.

                  1. What about Stonehenge or Bernard's in Ridgefield? Both are excellent and both have fireplaces.