Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Paul's Pasta - a pasta shop and restaurant on Thames Street in Groton - transforms flour and eggs into bowls of comfort six days a week at lunch and dinner.
November 14, 2013; Updated: 12:54 pm
As a longtime coffee lover, there are two types of eateries I love most: diners and dedicated coffee shops. Diners because the coffee flows uninhibited; coffee shops because their proprietors take the art of the brew seriously and dream...
November 7, 2013; Updated: 12:20 pm
Sometimes restaurant reviewers, or diners in general, are so busy checking out the new places that they forget the old standbys.
After a morning of apple picking at Whittle's Willow Tree Farm in...
October 31, 2013; Updated: 2:25 pm
Not long after we moved up here, we were in Manhattan with our friends Tracy and Anne Spillman from Little Rock - and by chance we stumbled across a two-story restaurant called Virgil's Real Barbecue. Their placemats sported a U.S. map...
October 24, 2013; Updated: 12:21 am
I have long been a devotee of Mystic Market, the Route 1 Mystic location, which opened in 2002.
I tell myself that I'm just getting a giant cup of their always delicious decaf or exploring their vast...
October 17, 2013; Updated: 3:11 pm
Now that the weather is turning truly autumnal, like clockwork these old bones crave comfort foods. It is the season of stews and starch, pie and potatoes - and steak.
Naturally, that also makes it the...
October 10, 2013; Updated: 12:56 pm
It took me a while, growing up, to get beyond the sophistication of the Taco Bell menu and realize that there is quite a bit more to Mexican cuisine - and its cross-border pollinations - than choosing between a burrito and nachos.
October 3, 2013; Updated: 12:28 pm
As I drive down Route 1 in Westerly, I've noticed the many cars in the lot of The Haversham restaurant, leaving me wondering what this version is doing differently than its failing predecessors. The sign by the road often touts cheap...
September 26, 2013; Updated: 12:45 pm
Something's happening in downtown Westerly.
The ratio of retail shops to restaurants and pubs has been turned on its head. As places to eat and drink multiply, a new downtown atmosphere is developing,...
September 19, 2013; Updated: 11:47 am
As cool weather leads us into autumn, we know what's coming: a winter in which we'll find comfort in food - great, big portions of food.
Thank goodness for those baggy sweaters and elastic-waist snow pants.
If you're already planning...
September 12, 2013; Updated: 12:12 am
I am a creature of rigidly patterned behavior and closely observed ritual.
A nut, in other words.
In that spirit, then - rightly or wrongly - I have for 15 years...
September 5, 2013; Updated: 12:41 am
The stock was so plentiful, we spent at least half an hour just perusing the shelves and cold cases during our first visit.
August 29, 2013; Updated: 7:22 pm
On ABC's "The Bachelorette," Desiree Hartsock had to pick her way through 20 or so potential mates before she got the real prize of the show, a visit to the Portuguese island of Madeira in
August 22, 2013; Updated: 12:37 am
Considering the economy, New London's restaurant scene is doing about as well as could be expected. Some are thriving, others are hanging on, and when one closes, another opens. The scene is dominated by pubs, pizza joints and ethnic...
August 15, 2013; Updated: 5:33 pm
What's in a name? It doesn't really matter, because any place that turns out food as wonderful as 4 Roosevelt Asian Bistro can call itself any darn thing it pleases as long as its chefs keep doing what they're doing.
August 8, 2013; Updated: 7:12 pm
In this fertile crescent of grinders, seafood and pizza, is it possible to have too much of a good thing?
Let me answer that for you.
No, it's not.
August 1, 2013; Updated: 7:52 pm
You've got to a love a restaurant that breaks down its core culinary mission thus: pie & suds. "Pie" meaning pizza and "suds" meaning beer. Lots and lots of pizzas and lots and lots of beers.
July 24, 2013; Updated: 9:01 pm
The folks who own and operate The Cooked Goose, an upscale yet casually beachy breakfast, lunch and catering establishment at 92 Watch Hill Road in Westerly, do a lot of things well.
The food is...
July 18, 2013; Updated: 12:10 pm
The only thing better than discovering a cool new eatery is discovering a cool, long-established eatery. Before I set up house in the Connecticut River Valley, I visited the area extensively and somehow never made it into Mike's Quality...
July 11, 2013; Updated: 1:47 pm
On Montauk Avenue in New London, just south of the L+M Hospital campus, is a snug building housing two small but hugely important businesses - to folks like me, anyway. One is the Yankee Clipper liquor store - hurray for beer! - and the...
July 4, 2013; Updated: 11:48 am
The hotel is gone, and it will be another summer before guests check in. But the restaurant is back, albeit under a heavy-duty, open-sided tent. The view is the same, though, and that's a wonderful thing.
June 27, 2013; Updated: 12:55 pm
It's not easy to sum up Guytanno's in Westerly. Many of the dishes showcase fresh, local seafood, but it's not a seafood joint. There are more than nine pasta choices on the menu, including a big, comforting bowl of linguini with both...
June 20, 2013; Updated: 11:39 am
Sure, pizza, salads and wraps are standard eats around the region, but it's always a pleasant surprise when a restaurant strives to make the common a little less so.
At the Common Loon in East Lyme,...
June 13, 2013; Updated: 12:16 am
In a strip mall in Norwich is a very fine restaurant - Fat Cat Grill & Bar - and the food is not only really good, it's just a pleasant, clean, nicely designed place to hang out.
June 6, 2013; Updated: 12:58 pm
About 4,000 people live in Salem, and I think I met most of them on a recent Friday night visit to 2 Brothers Restaurant & Pub.
Before sitting at a booth, however, I had to navigate the confusing...
May 30, 2013; Updated: 7:03 pm
The Westerly dining staple 84 High Street Café has moved around the corner and become 84 Tavern on Canal, and along the way, it seems to have lost a bit of its identity.
With its small dining...
May 23, 2013; Updated: 12:14 am
Know what's better than a tavern? A taverne. There's something about that extra "e" that says "beer, grog, stew, warmth, repeat."
May 16, 2013; Updated: 5:07 pm
In 1983 I was sitting in a diner in Odessa, Texas. It was about 3 a.m. or so, and I was buying Carlos Cavazo breakfast. Even though he was the guitarist for Quiet Riot, who were on their first national tour behind the "Mental as...
May 9, 2013; Updated: 1:39 pm
The public is welcomed heartily, not only to enjoy a cocktail or a meal, but to wander around the inn's common spaces, sit a spell by the fireplace, or take in the sweeping view from the second floor deck.
May 2, 2013; Updated: 1:28 pm
For some, like me, it isn't home until I find Ye Ole Reliable Pizza Place - the sort of institution that makes the same tasty pie over and over again, and it never changes, no matter who makes it. That's right: Aside from proximity to a...
April 25, 2013; Updated: 11:56 am
The first hint that the Wood River Golf Course is full of surprises is the name of the restaurant: 11th Green Restaurant and Pub.
Aren't the pubs at golf courses called the 19th hole?
April 18, 2013; Updated: 1:52 pm
You've been in shoe boxes larger than the Rustic Cafe in East Lyme. That's okay; the folks there like it that way.
Yes, with its cheery blonde wood paneling and ceiling beams, a crowd of reliably...
April 11, 2013; Updated: 1:44 pm
It's one of the all-time great sayings, up there with "Cogito ergo sum" and as rote as the lyrics to "Jingle Bells."
"Gee, restaurant prices always seem higher in a casino."
April 4, 2013; Updated: 2:04 pm
If you're feeling peckish while traveling through the area on I-95 but you want to stick close to the highway, you'll likely be glad to find the Mystic Diner.
The big, brightly lit restaurant attached...
March 28, 2013; Updated: 3:09 pm
Just when we all thought hibernation season was over, more snow and frigid weather settles in throughout the region. No problem: if you still crave hearty, body-warming, winter-time comfort foods, consider a trip out to La Luna in...
March 21, 2013; Updated: 2:24 pm
Westerly has long established itself as one of the top dining destinations in the region. But the scene is far from stagnant, and lately there's been a kind of musical chairs going on.
One of the real...
March 14, 2013; Updated: 12:01 pm
Even the pre-packaged fortune cookies were good!
Seriously: they were fresh, crisp and flavorful. And, if the extracted slips of fortune-y paper were more aphoristic than actual assurances about the...
March 7, 2013; Updated: 1:22 pm
Tucked next to the Metal Trades Council office and nearly in the shadow of the big green General Dynamics shed, Friendly Thai Bar and Restaurant casts a warm yet exotic glow on this hardscrabble stretch of Poquonnock Road in Groton.
February 28, 2013; Updated: 2:41 pm
Contrary to Hash House a Go Go's fantastic name, you probably won't be "go-"ing anywhere too soon after your meal. Giant portions of carb- and bacon-rich dishes will do that to a body. So be warned: if you go out to eat at Hash House,...
February 21, 2013; Updated: 3:43 pm
When deciding where to go out to dinner, we often start with location. We'll pick a town, maybe Westerly, Mystic or New London, and run through a list of our favorite restaurants.
Which is why, I'm...
February 14, 2013; Updated: 12:19 am
It's a rare occasion when a new restauranteur in the area opens something that isn't a pizza joint. It's even more obscure when the focus of a new restaurant ventures into the realm of barbecue or Cajun. Or both.
February 7, 2013; Updated: 12:03 am
If you haven't been to Somewhere in Time Café, then you are in for a treat.
This Old Mystic diner-esque café would fit right in on Guy Fieri's popular Food Network show, "Diners,...
January 31, 2013; Updated: 3:17 pm
At the height of winter in New England, warm exotic climes offer tantalizing escape or, at least, the stuff of great reverie.
Take Trapiche, a city and winery in Argentina, land of the tango, the...
January 24, 2013; Updated: 3:09 pm
It's not often a 57-year-old man walks into the Book Barn Mid-Town location in Niantic and asks to borrow 12 Hardy Boys books. That's what happened, though. No point in trying to explain why, but I'll say this: I'd forgotten what a...
January 17, 2013; Updated: 5:10 pm
One of the most famous episodes of "Seinfeld" is about some misanthrope who makes really good soup. As everyone now knows, the dude - known on the show as "the Soup Nazi" - is actually real and so are his soups.
January 10, 2013; Updated: 11:23 am
Surely everyone has a short list of unforgettable, life-changing moments.
Etched in time, we carry these memories in a virtual lock box, close to the heart: the awkward first kiss, the nervous...
January 3, 2013; Updated: 11:48 am
It's possible I'm the last person on the shoreline to sample the goods at TJ's Restaurant and Pizza in Old Saybrook.
At my mother and stepfather's recommendation, I headed to TJ's - situated in Old...
December 27, 2012; Updated: 3:23 pm
One could argue that bringing an Italian-American restaurant to Westerly is like bringing sand to a post-Sandy Misquamicut Beach. Interestingly enough, though, the offerings at Trattoria Longo Meatballs & Martinis, which opened in...