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Connecticut Shoreline (mainly from Branford to Old Saybrook)

I'm looking to my fellow hounds for restaurant recommendations on the CT shoreline. We enjoy all types of food - Cajun to Asian and everything in between, and are looking for casual places that are not too costly. Also, which dishes do you recommend?

I'd also like to hear about diners, breakfast/pancakes, hamburgers, etc., anything you enjoy eating out on the shoreline.

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  1. Consistent good food at good prices, unusual dishes blending Spanish and Italian flavors. My current favorite in the area.
    Bistro Mediterranean & Tapas Bar
    383 Main Street
    East Haven, CT 06512
    (203)467-2500 or (203)467-4300

    1 Reply
    1. Oh, and I forgot to ask who has the best apizza!

      1. Welcome fellow Queenseian(?) I was brought up there and still visit for good eats as often as possible.
        Best breakfast IMHO is the Waiting Station on the Green in Branford. Weekends are best, with great specials. Killer omelets, great home fries and pancakes.
        Pho Madison on Rt. 1 near Lenny and Joe's ,has really great pho, very affordable, great lunch.
        The Lobster Shack in Branford, The Clam Castle in Madison, both closed for the season, both with great food well worth going in the spring.
        A really good burger can be had at Tommy Sullivan's, also in Branford and generally all their food is very good and at bargain prices. The wings are good too.
        Best Pizza is tough. There's a lot of places that make good pizza, but Pepe's, Bar and Modern are really best and worth the trip to New Haven.

        14 Replies
        1. re: chefstu

          Do you go back to Queens just for the eats?

            1. re: chefstu

              I am getting the sense that there is not any pizza on the Shoreline that is real New Haven style and is like Pepe's and the others mentioned in New Haven.

              Is there any pizza on the Shoreline that is real New Haven style? How about The Red Tomato in Madison?

              P.S. I have not been to New Haven for the pizza yet.

                1. re: QueensTomato

                  I hate to break it to you but nobody makes a pie like Pepe's, Modern or Bar. I personally don't care for Sally's (to burnt and to long a wait). Places on the shoreline try and some are pretty good, like Marco's and Panicello's (sp?) in Branford, but the coal fired oven at Pepe's rules (red pie with anchovy and grated cheese or white clam, garlic and cheese). Also the potato, bacon and onion pie at Bar is worth the trip.

                  1. re: chefstu

                    How is the corned beef and cabbage at Tommy Sullivan's?

                    What places do you trek to back to Queens just to eat?

                    1. re: QueensTomato

                      I think everything at Tommy's is pretty good.
                      Maybe 7 out of 10.
                      We most often go to Flushing for dim sum or some other Asian then shop for a couple of hours.
                      We also go to Rego Park, Woodside(my hometown), Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, L.I.C., Lower East Side, ect. Usually with an ethnic place to eat or some specialty ethnic shopping.
                      On a recent trip we went to Austin St. for Lamb pastries and bread, LIC to a butcher shop, LES for donuts at the Donut Plant.

                      1. re: chefstu

                        There's a few places I'm curious about: Bufalina in Guilford (pizza in wood fired oven from Italy) Cafe Allegre in Madison, and New Orleans Restaurant in Westbrook.

                        I've found good Mexican is hard to find on the shore.

                        Yup, agree about Queens - Elmhurst for Thai food, Jackson Heights for Indian Food, LIC has great Italian food, Woodside for Irish food...

                        I guess the more populated the area the more choice there is and the more competition.

                        1. re: QueensTomato

                          Cafe Allegre is very good, and Bufalina is on my list of places to go to when in Guilford around dinner time.
                          The New Orleans restaurant in Westbrook is also known as "Creative Cooking". Its website is http://creativecooking.cc
                          It specializes in Cajun cooking. I tried it about three years ago and enjoyed an inexpensive cuisine not often found in this latitude, but my wife took a dislike to her blackened seafood and refuses to go back even though they have many other dishes. They offer a Sunday buffet.

                          1. re: DonShirer

                            I'm drooling over some of the items on that menu.

                            1. re: DonShirer

                              Thanks for the link to New Orleans. Is the Sunday buffet worth trying if you don't eat pork?

                              1. re: DonShirer

                                My wife and I haven't been to Cafe Allegre for more than a year, but when we went in the past we found the food boring and poorly prepared, and the service awful. Perhaps things have changed ... Bufalina makes very good pizza (not to be confused with Pepe's style, but very good). Be sure you have a reservation, though: they have only a very few seats. They used to be BYO, but now they seem to have a wine list (we haven't been for a while, partly because every time we call they're full). Creative Cooking is a nice idea, but we weren't impressed with the execution. They never seem to have any customers -- I wonder how they have survived so long.

                                1. re: linguist

                                  Linguist,

                                  Which restaurants do you enjoy in the area in question?

                                  1. re: QueensTomato

                                    Cafe Routier is reliably good. Bar Bouchée is good, but rather expensive and not terribly comfortable. Le Petit Cafe in Branford,though we desperately wish Roy would change his menu more often. Liv's, especially for their wintertime Wednesday $1 oyster special. Clinton's Taste of China (and the even better new branch on the Green in New Haven). Hanami I in Clinton and II in Branford for Japanese. Chamard Bistro, where we've only been once but will definitely go back. In Guilford, Quattro's is good sometimes, best of the lot around the Green. Stone House is typically faintly disappointing, but not bad. Guilford Mooring for the view, the onion rings but not a lot more.

              1. Burgers-Hotwire in Westbrook
                Pizza-Pepes or Alforno in Old Saybrook
                Breakfast-JAMMS in Old Saybrook or Simon's in Chester
                Sandwiches-Old Saybrook Soup and sandwich
                Donuts-Beach Donuts in Westbrook
                Cupcakes-Sweets in Branford
                Asian- Pho in Madison
                Oysters-Liv's Oyster Bar in Old Saybrook(during happy hour)
                Pub food- Pennywise Pub in Old Saybrook
                Affordable Italian- Campania in Branford
                ENJOY!

                3 Replies
                1. re: jdgall

                  jd has good list for "casual". Add:

                  Breakfast-Christies in Westbrook
                  Asian-Som Siam - Old Saybrook
                  Japanese-Hanami- Clinton
                  Chinese-Taste of China-Clinton
                  Deli-al fresco- Edd's Place - Westbrook
                  Pizza - Brickhouse Pizza-Westbrook (or Al Forno)

                  1. re: jdgall

                    And the correct name is "Haywire Burger Bar" in Westbrook.

                    1. re: DonShirer

                      Maybe jdgall steals cars after grabbing a burger. ;) JUST KIDDING! Kind of a funny typo when you think about it.

                  2. In Branford

                    Yooki Yama on the town green has good sushi.

                    Siam Garden on the hill has decent Thai as long as you tell them not to make it sweet and you want it spicy.

                    I like Darbar for Indian.

                    Past Cosi is Italian and they make their pasta in house.

                    Ashley's for ice cream.

                    Lobster Shack has been mentioned.

                    We like Lenny's for fried seafood. Better clam at Clam Castle in Madison, but Lenny's has a much bigger menu. Great lobster.

                    For a splurge. Le Petite Cafe is very good.

                    Home is great for casual weekend lunches. Nice local beer selection there.

                    Go to New Haven for Pizza.

                    1. Sorry for the typos it's Haywire in Westbrook and Pennylane pub in Old Saybrook

                      1. Mejillones al Vino Blanco: P.E.I. mussels sautéed in a garlic, olive oil, parsley, tomatoes and white wine sauce. Served with a side of French fries. (enough for a meal)

                        Pappardelle de Mariscos: Homemade flat noodle pasta with shrimp, scallops, and lobster in a sun-dried tomato, shallot, and garlic sauce.
                        Paella Valenciana: Traditional Spanish paella with chicken, Spanish sausage, shrimp, scallops, mussels and calamari in a saffron broth.
                        Have had the mussels several times, usually get whatever the specials are......

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: femmedeau

                          To which place are you referring?

                        2. Nellie Green's in Branford has always been fantastic even tho I've never been to the new one; just the original one back in the 50's.

                          1. Thank you everyone for your replies!

                            The apple cider and pumpkin donuts at Beach Donuts are soooo much better than any chain donuts. Their coffee is pretty good too.

                            Love Ashley's pumpkin ice cream.

                            Old Saybrook Soup and sandwich is a tasty welcome stop after shopping nearby.

                            Som Siam in Old Saybrook - both the food and service is wonderful.

                            At Pho Madison we had the Goi Con (Summer Roll), Goi Vietnamese Salad (Green Papaya Salad) Pho Tai (Noodle Soup with Beef) and Mi Xao (Vietnamese egg noodles with vegetables and seafood)and a savory Vietnamese pancake (can't recall the name) Everything was fresh, light and well prepared.

                            Can't wait to try all the suggestions :-)

                            50 Replies
                            1. re: QueensTomato

                              I second JAMSS, Saybrook Soup & Sandwich, & Liv's. I am often dining with a 6 year old, so I love Edd's in the summer for the outdoor seating/playground, but the food is either very good or very eh (hint: stick with the specials.)

                              We moved from Queens, too! And I haven't found good Mexican either. :(

                              1. re: eragavanis

                                Try Jalapeño Heaven in Branford on Rte 1. Hector is a great cook!

                                1. re: femmedeau

                                  Jalapeno has a cute website. I will take DH there for Fajitas.

                                  1. re: QueensTomato

                                    If you're interest in real Mexican food, JH isn't that. Its the basic platters of pseudo Tex-Mex food with refried beans and gloppy cheese. If you've been eating Mexican food in Queens, JH will be a disappointment. I would direct you to the Mexican food trucks in New Haven along 95 on the harbor for more authentic stuff.

                                    1. re: Bkeats

                                      What about Oaxaca Kitchen in New Haven? Was always curious.
                                      http://www.oaxacakitchen.com/

                                      1. re: Bkeats

                                        No sit down Mexican options in your opinion?

                                        Have you tried the Mexican food trucks in Madison?

                                        1. re: QueensTomato

                                          My favorite sit down Mexican is Taqueria Mexicana on the Post road in West Haven. Tongue, Tripe, Goat, Pata all my favorites. Three tacos and an order of guacamole to share is my perfect lunch with friends.
                                          When I'm in a hurry the Taco trucks on Long Wharf can't be beat. Currently the RED Ixtapa truck is my fav.

                                          1. re: chefstu

                                            No intel on Oaxaca Kitchen? Mind you, I don't love all the parts and animals you do on my plate. ;)

                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                              Oaxaca Kitchen is OK, and pleasant enough inside, but the menu is somewhat limited and nowhere near as creative as I originally expected on the basis of Thaali. Certainly no weird animal parts.

                                              1. re: linguist

                                                Thanks! "No weird animal parts" is a plus for me, but "OK" won't make me rush there.

                                              1. re: QueensTomato

                                                There are several trucks there. Various names with at least two that have ixtapa in the names. One is a trailer with fancy graphics on it. I've tried many of them. Just go explore and find a favorite. The tacos are cheap at 1.50 each.

                                                1. re: QueensTomato

                                                  Yes the one in the middle picture with the red trim. They have all kinds of toppings for your taco's below the window on a shelf. As Bkeats says many trucks, all pretty good, all very cheap 1.25 or 1.50 a taco, 6 or 7 for a well filled burrito.
                                                  Please do yourself a favor, when you want to try a sit down place Taqueria Mexicana is the real deal.

                                                  1. re: chefstu

                                                    Yes, I see that red trim truck in the photo has Mexican Coca Cola in glass bottles in their beverage bin! Love either that or a good horchata. Will definitely try them.

                                                    1. re: QueensTomato

                                                      I usually get horchata @ Taqueria Mexicana, its so good.

                                      2. re: eragavanis

                                        I ADORE Connecticut style lobster rolls.
                                        I've heard good things about Edd's lobster rolls. How do they rate?

                                        1. re: QueensTomato

                                          You'll have to wait out winter for Lobster Landing in Clinton to reopen. IMHO they have the best lobster roll on the shoreline. Nice venue also, right on the water

                                          1. re: jdgall

                                            Wait, jdgall--I thought Lobster Landing was open through New Year's Eve? Queens Tomato, they serve my mom's fave lobster roll as well. Give a call to see.
                                            https://plus.google.com/1030585101839...

                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                              Just called Lobster Landing. They are open through New Year's Eve and will reopen approx the 2nd or 3rd week of April. Great! Just one question, Where do you go during their down time for a lobster roll fix? Lenny & Joe's??

                                              A related question that is probably fodder for another post: Where's the best place to buy fresh seafood (including Wild Alaskan Salmon) to cook at home?

                                              1. re: QueensTomato

                                                Yes, my mom's 2nd favorite (and long-time running fave before she discovered Lobster Landing) is Lenny & Joes'--preferably the Westbrook location. She also recently enjoyed a lobster roll at the Daniel Packer Inne in Mystic, which she gave top billing over them all, but that's a bit out of range for you. :) Me? I'd make an excuse to wander around Mystic Village, buy some fudge at Franklin and make the trip worthwhile.

                                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                                  Daniel Packer Inne - yes! I had lunch with sis there a couple of summers ago and had the lobster roll :-) IIRC sis ordered scallops and was very happy. We enjoyed it very much.

                                                  Is the food better at the Lenny & Joe's Westbrook location rather than the Madison location?

                                                  1. re: QueensTomato

                                                    When I just called to ask, Mom said she does prefer the food in Westbrook. Plus, I think only Westbrook serves fried oysters, which are another of her faves. I also prefer to sit in Westbrook on the big screened-in porch when the weather is nice. :) She's been going there since the 80s, so I figure she's a good source. Me, I didn't realize the food was so different by location!

                                                    1. re: kattyeyes

                                                      On another website I saw this: "Lenny and Joe have franchised this particular location (Madison) to a loyal manager."

                                                      I don't know the history of Lenny & Joes, or if this is true. It's just what I read which could explain the difference?

                                                2. re: QueensTomato

                                                  Great fresh seafood, best on shoreline is Atlantic Seafood route 1 in Old Saybrook. They usually have Salmon from Norway, Ireland, and Alaska.

                                                  1. re: jdgall

                                                    Wow, their website states that they are the #1 destination in CT for Salmon! Thanks for the tip!

                                                    Is the apizza from Alforno, Old Saybrook like the apizza from Pepe's?

                                                    1. re: QueensTomato

                                                      I leave that for jdgall to answer, but no, I think it's better. I hate to start a pizza fight, but I love Alforno and think it stands on its own outside of New Haven. It is definitely worth trying. They have nice wine by the glass, too.

                                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                                        Alforno's is different from Pepe's guess I'd say more upscale and different varieties. Katteyes is right it really stands on it's own. Give it a try and you can hit Atlantic Seafood just up the road.

                                                        1. re: jdgall

                                                          +1 on AlForno
                                                          My wife used to buy seafood from Atlantic, but now goes to Old Saybrook Seafood (1/2 mile east on other side of road). I haven't noticed any change in quality.

                                                          1. re: DonShirer

                                                            Why did your wife change to Saybrook Seafood from Atlantic?

                                                            1. re: QueensTomato

                                                              Followed the original owners to their new venue.

                                                      2. re: QueensTomato

                                                        Because they say a picture's worth a thousand words...you tell me what you think. ;)
                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7261...

                                                        I say go. Go soon. Go often. I would if it were closer! ;)

                                                        1. re: kattyeyes

                                                          Great photo - that pizza looks delicious! I will go there soon.

                                                          I've been hearing the term "Greek Pizza" here and there and in sort of a negative way. What the heck is it, and are there any good tasting examples of it on the shoreline?

                                                          1. re: QueensTomato

                                                            Greek Pizza - electric oven abomination with a crappy crust, odd spices, and cafeteria grade sauce. A hard sell in this area, where quality pizza is common. You'd probably get a better pie at dominos (tho I've never been, any domino experts, feel free to chime in).

                                                            Kinda like getting a knish at a Chinese takeout joint, or chicken parm at an Indian place. The Greeks have a great diner niche, but their pizza? Meh. Life is too short to settle for bad pizza

                                                            1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                              Where are these "fusion" knishes of which you speak? ;) Then again, I'd eat a Reuben egg roll. Seriously, I hesitated to answer as I suppose from a distance it would sound anti-Greek...but it doesn't seem pizza is their strong suit--at least not 'round heah. Tho' I ate plenty of it at Alpha as younger me, playing Ms. Pac-Man with my Keigwin friends.

                                                              HOLY SMOKES, they still have Ms. Pac Man?! We should go for lunch for ol' times' sake. And the salad with the cold cuts! Memory Lane!

                                                              http://www.yelp.com/biz/alpha-pizza-h...

                                                              ETA: Please bring quarters--I spent all my change on bacon at Meadow Meat this morning. :)

                                                              1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                                BB,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
                                                                Having worked at Pizza P*l (not alloowed to name the pllace on CH even if closed for 15 years) on Fitch Street in New Haven in the mid 70s as their accountant/bookkeepper, I was also taught to make the pizza.

                                                                They and many Greek owned pizza places in CT use Blodgett or Bakers Pride Gas pizza ovens, NOT electric.

                                                                The dough is sweet made with high gluten flour. The balls are opened by a dough sheeting machine, not by rolling by hand. The dough is then stretched in oiled round baking pans and put in racks in the refrigerator. When an order is placed a pan is pulled, sauced and topped and baked. It is not unusaual for the dough to be sitting 48 nhours in the pan before baking, uncovered picking up all kinds of odors from the walkin, getting, gummy and old.

                                                                This makes for a bad product.

                                                                Other common 'tricks' used by the Greek pizza places:

                                                                They shred in 1lb of cheap block orange cheddar to 25 lbs mozzarella to raise the burn temperature of the cheese.

                                                                DO not order anything made with cooked tomato sauce if you are either a vegetarian or don't eat pork products. I was taught by the owner to prebake a case of bacon at a time, then we'd separate the bacon on sheets of freezer paper on sheet pans. The bacon grease left in the large roasting pan would be used to start the cooked sauce, as it was cheaper than buying vegetable oil. The bacon grease was also used with veg oil in the same large roasting pan to oven fry breaded eggplant slices.

                                                                Today, many Greek Piza places between New Haven and Bridgeport are actually owned and operated by Turks and are open Xmas.

                                                                BUT>>>to quote my late father: NEVER ORDER ANYTHING ITALIAN AT A GREEK OWNED RESTAURANT!
                                                                It may look beautiful, but one taste and you know it's not the real thing.

                                                                1. re: bagelman01

                                                                  Veddy intedesting. I wonder how long before someone shows up in defense of Greek pizza? ;) Gawd knows nothing gets this board goin' like a good pizza war! So game on.

                                                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                    I used to love the Greek pizza @ Broadway pizza when it was downtown. Sometimes I get in the mood for a thick crust pie and a good one is hard to find. When I was a kid we used to go to the barber shop in Astoria and around the corner was an old Italian bakery with a huge 2 story rotary oven that make the absolute BEST Sicilian thick crust pizza. I still dream about it over 50 years later.

                                                                    1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                      Hee! My husband is Greek and likes Greek pizza. If we are getting take out here in OS, he will come home with TJs if I let him (Greek guy owns it, not Turk, I assure you!) and if I am picking it up it comes from Pizzaworks (which he doesn't love.) its our own in-home pizza battle.

                                                                      I made the sad, sad mistake of ordering moussaka at a Greek pizza place here in town. Again, they were definitely. Greeks, so I assumed their moussaka would be, ya know, moussaka. You all probably know this, but apparently there is a meatball eggplant parm thing that they call moussaka in these parts? I nearly cried...

                                                                      1. re: eragavanis

                                                                        That is so funny--both your in-home pizza battle and the "meatball eggplant parm thing that they call moussaka in these parts!" Oh, that's so not nice. :)

                                                                        1. re: eragavanis

                                                                          Then would you say that TJ's is an example of a good Greek Pizza?

                                                                          Sorry about your Moussaka. I'd cry too. That is so surprising being that it came out of a Greek restaurant.

                                                                          Have you found any good Moussaka since? How about Pastitsio? Boy I could go for some with lentil soup & Greek salad to start and finish off with some warm Galaktoboureko. Sigh...

                                                                          1. re: QueensTomato

                                                                            You can find good Greek north of the shore, if you feel like taking a ride up the Berlin Turnpike. I myself am a major galaktoboureko kinda gal. And spanakopita. And gyro. And. And. And.
                                                                            http://www.cavostavern.com/

                                                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                              The menu looks authentic and tasty, but unfortunately, that is about an hour away by car. I will keep them in mind for when I am in that area.

                                                                              I see they make pizza too!

                                                                              1. re: QueensTomato

                                                                                HA! Remember what we told you about the pizza! Their galaktob...is OUTSTANDING as are their gyros, so hopefully someday when your travels take you up this way...

                                                                            2. re: QueensTomato

                                                                              Honestly, I don't know what would be good Greek pizza. It has a thick crust (almost deep dish style), and the sauce is...idk, sweetish?

                                                                              The mock moussaka is apparently common at pizza places in this area. Now that I have experienced it, I keep seeing it on the menu. I honestly considered going back and asking them why they call this moussaka, since they surely know what moussaka is, but couldn't figure out how to do it without sounding obnoxious. I need to get my husband in there so we can ask in Greek, I think we might get more info that way. I so wish we had Greek food nearer than Berlin!!

                                                                          2. re: kattyeyes

                                                                            Not trying to start a war...............just explaining Greek Pizza as I know it and was taught to make it by the late Alex Zachariades......................
                                                                            If it's fresh, Greek Pizza can be enjoyable, it's just not apizza.

                                                                            1. re: bagelman01

                                                                              I know you're not--and hope you know I mean it all in good fun. You know we LOVE to talk pizza here. Maybe we'll learn a new place or two to try.

                                                                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                Here's a pizza place that we really like that hasn't been mentioned on this thread: Brickhouse Pizza in Westbrook. It's right across the street from Lenny and Joe's. Chef is quite creative and they also offer Italian entrees and apps.

                                                                                Also, for sandwiches and grinders, try Mike's in Old Saybrook and Salemarco's in Madison.

                                                                                We also like Red Hen and Fresh Salt in OS and I disagree with the comments about Cafe Allegre in Madison. I enjoy the food there and find the service excellent.

                                                                                1. re: chowmensch

                                                                                  Typo/Brain Fade Correction

                                                                                  It's Saldamarco's and it's in Clinton, not Madison.

                                                                    2. re: kattyeyes

                                                                      Happy New Year!

                                                                      Sis & I had pizza at Alforno over the holidays and we really enjoyed it. I had half anchovies and half wild mushroom on my pizza and it really hit the spot!

                                                                      1. re: QueensTomato

                                                                        EXCELLENT--so glad to hear! Happy 2014 to you, too! :D

                                                    2. This should probably be another thread, but since you all enjoy good food as much as I do, I will ask anyway.

                                                      Where do you like to get your groceries (mainly in the Branford to Old Saybrook vicinity) Stop & Shop, Shop Rite, Bishops Orchards, Big Y? Do you shop for staple foods in different places, like fruits/veg in a produce market, meats in a meat market, etc.

                                                      9 Replies
                                                      1. re: QueensTomato

                                                        For great meats and outstanding beef you cannot beat Bliss Gourmet in Westbrook. They also have a great selection of prepared foods, fish, pastry, and take home dinners. I especially love their steaks.

                                                        1. re: QueensTomato

                                                          Not much difference between the superstores. Among the smaller ones, besides Bliss (mentioned above) there is Foodworks (they call themselves the "natural" store) in Old Saybrook. For cheese, Fromage in O.S. and The Cheese Shop in Centerbrook have great selections, and gourmet food choices as well. Pasta Vita in O.S. has good prepared entrees and sides, mostly Italian. Edd's Place in Westbrook has take-out dinners as well as an eat-in gazebo. O.S. Seafood and its predecessor Atlantic Seafood both have good, well, seafood. For bakeries, try Take the Cake in Guilford, or Dagmar's Desserts in O.S.

                                                          1. re: DonShirer

                                                            Foodworks is in Guilford, too: quite a big store. Also in Guilford, Four-and-twenty Blackbirds is the queen of shoreline fancy bakeries. The relatively new Dough Market is good in a somewhat less upscale style. Star Fish Market is good for fish (though not always a great selection) and various "gourmet store" products. Pasta Avest, a little further east on rte 1, has very nice Italian takeout (or eat in), some pastas and chicken dishes in a cooler for grab-and-go. Forte's butcher shop has some nice things, but I've been disappointed at times, especially with beef and veal (for which, I'm afraid, I go all the way to Whole Foods in Orange). Actually the Guilford Food Center on the Green has quite a good butcher department, and less attitude than I sometimes see at Forte's. We live not far from Bishops, and it's more or less our neighborhood market, but beware of their prepared foods, which are not in fact prepared there and ate generally full of noxious substances with numbers in their name.

                                                            1. re: linguist

                                                              Thank you for the input.

                                                              During the holidays I stopped in Pasta Avest for a quick bite and enjoyed their pizza and Italian Wedding Soup. The place was busy and the staff was very attentive. Will definitely go back.

                                                              I did note that the prepared foods at Bishops have a lot of chemistry going on, although their soups are pretty good - no notable chemistry. I was hesitant to buy their apple cider donuts. They don't look as tasty as the apple cider donuts from Beach Donuts.

                                                          2. re: QueensTomato

                                                            Shop Rite in Clinton is notably less expensive than Stop & Shop in OS. They used to have far better produce, too, but that hasn't been the case for months. They also have a better selection of "bakery" breads and ethinic/specialty items ( but nothing like we got in the city.). And speaking of produce, one thing I loooove about this area, over NYC, is the local fruit in summer. Do yourself a favor and pick strawberries in the spring and peaches late summer. To. Die. For. (But youwill never enjoy a supermarket peach again...)

                                                            1. re: eragavanis

                                                              I wish we had a Shop Rite! We used to when I was growing up. Better prices for sure.

                                                              And a big YES to our local produce. Find your favorite farm stand(s) locally and frequent them. I like the one in OS near the car dealerships with the giant painted corn sign that says NATIVE. It's Scott's Farm Store and the sign has a pic of an apple on it with "LIVE HAPPLEY." You will get no better corn, tomatoes, lettuce, rhubarb, ANYTHING unless it grows in your own yard or a friend's (but maybe not even then). :)

                                                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                That is literally down the road from me, Katty! Walking distance from my house. Next time you are around, ping me and I will buy you a cup of coffee.

                                                                I pick my peaches at a farm in Deep River owned by a separate branch of the Scott family. I make jam every summer. My city friends and family think I'm going some kind of rural witchcraft, but they all beg for a jar (they don't know its pretty easy to do!)

                                                                1. re: eragavanis

                                                                  Very sweet of you--thanks! :D If you say hello on my blog, we can get in touch (just leave a comment).

                                                                  http://kattyskitchen.wordpress.com

                                                                  1. re: eragavanis

                                                                    We've moved a discussion of making jam to the Home Cooking board. You can add your input here http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/962896

                                                            2. Happy New Year Queens Tomato, just wanted to see if you wanted to tag along with our group on our next trip into Queens sometime this month?

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: chefstu

                                                                Happy New Year to you too Chefstu! Thank you for the invitation! For the moment my work has me stuck outside of CT, with a weekend from time to time on the Shoreline. If there is a way to contact you we can set something up in the future.