Krust Middletown CT
First off, I think the guys from Krust are awesome. Check out the article from the Hartford Courant to read about their story. In a nutshell, these guys were friends from work who shared a dream of one day opening a restaurant and began to follow through on their vision and have opened Krust to largely great fan fare. Neither of the owners have any restaurant experience and when we first visited, deep down I sort of half-expected to see some chaos or inexperiences showing in the operation but everything moved smoothy and both owners had smiles on their faces and really seemed to enjoy what they were doing.
The bourbon selection is really spectacular. Some people have commented that Plan B has a bigger selection but I don't think that's possible. The list is huge here and has plenty of bourbons that you wouldn't find at Plan B. I had ordered a mid-to-high-end bourbon from the bartender and the owner came by to drop it off personally and asked if I ever had it before because he felt it was really special. I had read he is very enthusiastic and can talk at length about almost all the bourbons so if you're a bourbon drinker, you'll enjoy yourself here and probably learn some things that you didn't know before should you engage the owner in a conversation.
The pizza was OK. I had been on the fence about how I felt about it but ultimately I don't think it's something I'd return for. The pie's are in the $12-$14 range and probably wouldn't feed two. I was adequately full when I finished my pie and brought two small pieces home. The crust had a nice crunch with some chew. I got the roasted brussels sprouts pie and I think it just lacked a bit of star power, and out of the three pizzas my party got, it was my least favorite. You'll get some char on various points of the undercarriage of the pie and the combination of the charred crust and the char of the sprouts in certain bites was just too unpleasant.
I would consider $14 for an individual pizza on the high end of the spectrum and don't think I got a premium pizza for the price. I recently read that the owners would like to start making their own pancetta in-house, and if thats the case, if they began making their own pancetta and down the line their own mozzarella and ricotta and using farm/garden fresh produce when it's in season, I think I could justify the price more for their use of high end ingredients. For two couples to go out and each get a pizza, we're talking nearly $60 on pizza alone. I understand splitting a $25 party size pizza from your favorite town pizzeria is a little different story but I didn't find the flavors and quality here to warrant the premium pricing.
A lot of people have commented on the small, cramped space and I would have to agree. I realized how lucky we were to have gotten there early to grab bar seats in front of the wood burning oven. I've heard that they are looking to expand and I think that would serve them well.
The bar area is very handsome, with the bourbon bottles illuminated by the shelf lights. I really wish they had painted or stained the plywood floors; there's just this incomplete look to it. There are hooks underneath the bar for women to hang their purses which is a nice touch. The bar seats don't have backs to them and weren't very comfortable.
For two guys with no experience, I think they are doing a great job. I think they will continue to get better and improve because the passion is there with them. I'd give them two stars which would equate as an 'average' rating for me. Ultimately I would return if in the area for drinks but would pass on food. I wish them luck.
stopped in there two Sat's ago the bartender did'nt know what a press was ( an old standard ) they did'nt have one of the higher end van winkles. Once seated it was so dark you needed a flashlight to read the menu, wicked small print. The pies were a bit undercooked,it was very busy, waitress very inexperienced. i would try them again on a weeknight to see if the experience is any different. the place has potential.
Totally appreciate your review and your honesty--I was wondering who among us would be the first to hit Krust. We tried to get there for drinks last night and it was already jammed fairly early on.
I did see the article about them in The Courant and love their story, too. What is not to love about living your dream? But I must also admit, every single pic I've seen of one of their pies has done absolutely nothing to draw me in. NADA. I'm sure we'll get there eventually, too, just to give it a shot, but for now, my heart belongs to Mondo for pizza in M'town.