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

janc Dec 9, 2012 05:37 AM

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. s
    sbxstr RE: janc Dec 9, 2012 07:42 AM

    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
      foodieX2 RE: sbxstr Dec 9, 2012 08:04 AM

      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
        magiesmom RE: foodieX2 Dec 9, 2012 08:29 AM

        the Red Lion has indifferent food.

        1. re: magiesmom
          foodieX2 RE: magiesmom Dec 9, 2012 08:44 AM

          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
            sbxstr RE: magiesmom Dec 9, 2012 12:18 PM

            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
              foodieX2 RE: sbxstr Dec 9, 2012 12:21 PM

              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
                magiesmom RE: sbxstr Dec 9, 2012 07:07 PM

                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
                  City Kid RE: magiesmom Dec 11, 2012 10:49 PM

                  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
              few RE: foodieX2 Dec 9, 2012 02:11 PM

              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
              kattyeyes RE: sbxstr Dec 9, 2012 10:33 AM

              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. r
              rbailin RE: janc Dec 9, 2012 10:17 AM

              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. c
                coldduck RE: janc Dec 9, 2012 12:41 PM

                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
                  Scargoe RE: coldduck Dec 9, 2012 04:53 PM

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

                  1. re: Scargoe
                    chervil9 RE: Scargoe Dec 10, 2012 06:23 AM

                    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. t
                  taboo RE: janc Dec 10, 2012 07:44 AM

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

                  1. s
                    scapegrace RE: janc Dec 10, 2012 05:41 PM

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



                    1. a
                      askeenan RE: janc Dec 12, 2012 05:29 AM

                      Sadlers ordinary in Marlborough is one of my faves for cozy atmosphere, good food and reasonably priced. My parents who live in nY go there every time they visit us in CT!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: askeenan
                        GreenGal RE: askeenan Dec 12, 2012 02:40 PM

                        I was also going to suggest Sadler's Ordinary. Plus they have excellent baked goods!

                      2. a
                        AikiLou RE: janc Dec 12, 2012 07:03 AM

                        Old Inn on the Green in New Marlborough, Massachusetts might be exactly what you want. There is no electric lighting...every room is lit by candles. There are fireplaces, and at this time of year, the Inn is especially festive. Peter Platt, who is a superlative chef, owns it with his wife. James Stahl is the wine czar, and Old Inn is the one restaurant at which I allow a staff member to make my wine choices...you tell James what you are looking for and your price point, and he will make you very happy.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: AikiLou
                          Berheenia RE: AikiLou Jan 4, 2013 12:07 PM

                          This week in Greater Boston there is a Groupon for 2 nights, 1 dinner, 1 lunch and 2 breakfasts at the Old Inn.

                        2. c
                          Cancan RE: janc Dec 12, 2012 09:15 PM

                          How about the Cobb's Mill Inn in Weston? The food has improved under the new owner and you can't beat the views. Many roaring fires too.

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