Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Kosher >
Dec 11, 2013 03:30 PM

Connecticut - Seeking current knowledge of restaurants

Does anyone have current knowledge of Kosher restaurants in CT in the Fairfield or New Haven area?

Looking for nice place to have dinner with a rabbi and his young family.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I meant to post about this long ago, but never got around to it. I'm not so knowledgable about CT geography, so I'm not sure how far Stamford is from where you want to be, but I would highly recommend Navaratna. My husband and I have now been there three times, and love it. It is authentic Indian food, a restaurant owned and operated by Indians. However, clearly not everyone is going to like such a place, because Indian food seems to be a "love it or hate it" type of cuisine. If it's not up your alley, Kosh, also in Stamford, was a perfectly fine place to eat, and is a far more "middle-of-the-road" choice.

    10 Replies
    1. re: queenscook

      Thanks! Kosh seems to be a better choice for these non-adventurous eaters...but I was concerned that Kosh had closed because their website is way out of date.

      1. re: ellkay

        I was there in late August; I assume it's still open, but I'd give a call to check.

        There is also Claire's in New Haven, but that's also a bit out of the ordinary. (Not as much as Navaratna, though.)

        1. re: queenscook

          definitely closed

          and while Claire's is good dairy/veg food it is a dump (I'm a New Haven Native and friend of the owners) OP wanted a 'NICE' place tohave dinner with the rabbi and family.

        2. re: ellkay

          Kosh has bit the dust. Management changed last summer and they closed for renovations (kiss of death) Rosh HaSahanah time, claiming they'd reopen in October. As of Nov 30, still locked up tight. Mrs. B is a realtor and the space is available for lease according to a search on her CID boards

          1. re: bagelman01

            Sad to hear about Kosh. Really did enjoy the few times I was there.

            Navaratna is fantastic - highly recommended.

            Pizza in Waterbury is disgusting.

            Shuman's Deli in Bloomfield is alright, but the place is hardly ever open.

            Claire's is alright, but eh.

          2. re: ellkay

            Like bagelman said, Kosh closed for the holidays and hasn't reopened. I think the issue is that they don't realize there's a demand. You can let them know here, assuming they check it once in awhile:

            1. re: tamarw

              I think they have the demand measured fairly well from their previous sales numbers.

              1. re: avitrek

                Did you hear about closure of Eli's in DC? They even had a petition.

                My guess--and I could be completely off here, not knowing who is involved with the place--is that they closed for the summer with the intent to open again later (their previous sales numbers supported this, clearly, since that was the communicated intent), realized the burden of maintaining an eatery was a weight lifted off their shoulders once they stepped away and had time to think, and didn't envision that it would cause any ripples in the community. Like someone in my neighborhood (which is a hop, skip, and jump away) surmised, they don't seem to realize that they left a pretty significant void in Stamford. I get that they left some void, but it doesn't just affect Stamford but the neighboring communities inclusive of NY/Westchester.

                Again, this is totally conjecture, but other people have made similar assumptions with respect to the lack of acknowledgement of the demand.

                1. re: tamarw

                  They weren't closed for the summer, if you consider August as part of the summer, because my husband and I were there only once, and I remember it was late August (the 20th, to be precise).

                  1. re: queenscook

                    Ah, semantics.

                    Meaning the late summer before the chagim (September). I know they were open in August ;)

        3. There is NO PLACE NICE to have a kosher dinner in New Haven or Fairfield or Waterbury or West Hartford either.
          If you want nice, then one must trek to New York state. I was not a fan of Kosh in Stamford, but as they closed for renovations Rosh HaShanah time and never reopened it's no longer an option..

          I've lived in South Central CT almost 60 years and no nice kosher restaurant has survived. Today all that is available is a fair sandwich at the kosher butcher in New Haven (lunch only) or vegetarian food at kosher goyishe places suck as Claire's or Edge of the woods (both dumps) in New Haven. A meal at the Slifka Center at Yale (when school's in session)
          Bad pizza in Waterbury and passable deli in Bloomfield.

          There is also an Indian restaurant in Stamford under the Vaad of Fairfield County, but I've never been-not a cuisine I like.

          13 Replies
          1. re: bagelman01

            Bagelman, I like Claire's! It's not "a dump" It's retro. Like a set for a movie set in a veggie restaurant at the edge of an American campus c. 1970.

            The food is good. The place is clean. And it's right off the highway exit and just steps from the campus and major museums.

            I admit that my fondness may be slightly tinged by sheer relief at the prospect of hot, fresh, good kosher food whenever I'm stuck in New Haven. But I really do look forward to eating there.

            1. re: AdinaA

              I'll second AdinaA's vote for Claire's. Although it's cafeteria style, the food is good, and the place is somewhat unique. Based on my experience with Shuman's Deli, I wouldn't recommend it. Don't know anything about the Indian place. Please note that these comments are based on a visit to the area about 1 1/2 years ago.

              1. re: Bzdhkap

                This is why I said the deli is only fair, BUt it is the only kosher deli under supervision in the whole state. BUT I can drive to NY in about the same time as Shuman's, so why bother?

                Again, I'm biased. I LIVE in south central Connecticut and have for almost 60 years. I seen all the different kosher eateries come and go (even owning one). The only kosher eateries (besides those inside old age homes and schools) that have survived are non-Jewish owned establishments that happen to be kosher (Claire's, Edge of the Woods, Navaratna) but don't depend on Jews for their livelihood.

              2. re: AdinaA

                I eat at Claire's at least three times a month and have for more than 20 years (New Haven Native). BUT it is a dump. Especially not a 'NICE' place to take the rabbi and family to dinner as OP requested.

                In general it is NOT a family dining destination for local kosher families, more a quick stop for adults who are working in downtown and have to eat. When i'm in New Haven Superior Court, it's a quick fix, but usually I try to arrange lunch at The Slifka Center at Yale. Cleaner look, closer to court and I'm not embarrased to bring a client or meet another attorney.

                1. re: bagelman01

                  Claire's is not a "nice" place, but we've been there several times and really enjoyed it.

                  1. re: cheesecake17

                    Cc17...I am in no way denigrating the wonderful food that Claire Criscoulo has provided for decades. I eat there and love the owner. I was specifically responding to the parameters set by the OP.
                    That said...I have been in the hospital since Thursday noon living on IV drips. I hope to be on clear liquids tomorrow and released by Tuesday able to eat solid food. As much as I favor fleischiges;
                    a takeout order from Claire's will be picked up by my daughter to greet me when I arrive home and I shall enjoy it.

                      1. re: AdinaA

                        Thanks...they pulled the ng tube tonight and I got to drink apple juice. Tomorrow clear liquids. But at least I can read about what I can't eat on CH.

                        1. re: bagelman01

                          Oh, well, if you're just sitting there with nothing to do, and the closest you can come to food is to read about it, we really should exploit the opportunity to get you to write out some good recipes - like that great oven-baked corned beef of yours that I did for Shabbat a few weeks ago.

                          I, for example, would love to have your favorite recipes for chicken for Shabbat lunch - cold or "dry" enough to reheat on a blech.

                          But that would be greedily taking advantage of your situation. Plus you may not be that bored yet. So, just get some rest and I'll have your speedy recovery in my prayers.

                          1. re: AdinaA

                            Funny you mention that recipe; I tried it this Shabbos, and we didn't really like it. The meat was pretty chewy, and not really as tender as I thought it would be. Is there a special cut I should be looking for? I just bought something labeled "corned beef."

                            1. re: AdinaA

                              I'll have to wait til I'm home to respond.

                              #1 hard to type much on a Kindle
                              #2 I almost never use a blech. We have Thermador warming drawers built in in both the kitchen and dining room and that is quite different. I'll have to think about it and look at some of my old recipes 'from a different life, with a different wife in a different house...............................

                              Thanks for your prayers. Off the IV, on liquids may get out soon and then schedule elective outpatient surgery.

                              1. re: bagelman01

                                Very glad to hear that you are on a path to recovery. Refual shleimah.

                        2. re: bagelman01

                          Ah ok, I get it. There's a time and a place for every restaurant.

                          Refuah shelemah!

                2. Just was at Yale with my daughter for a residency interview and we ate at the Hillel House (Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish life at Yale University - Slifka Dining). You pay when you enter after that it is buffet style (all you can eat).

                  80 Wall Street
                  New Haven, CT 06511
                  Telephone: (203) 432-1134


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: MartyB

                    Thank you all for weighing in.

                    It is a sad situation indeed - I work in New York so of course we're spoiled by the easy availability of kosher food of all varieties and in all types of places.

                    I knew the situation would be different in CT but I did not realize it would be this rough. We might still try Claire's (who knows, different people react differently,) and the suggestion of the Hillel at Yale is definitely interesting.

                    Again my thanks for your efforts.