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March 6, 2014; Updated: 2:30 pm
A look at Osaka's storefront in East Lyme doesn't inspire much. It's part of a plaza of equally common-looking businesses, and Osaka's name only intrigues the casual passerby. Step inside, though, and you'll quickly forget the humdrum...
February 27, 2014; Updated: 1:11 pm
Where two Route 95 off ramps, Kings Highway and a very busy Route 1 converge in Groton sits a veteran of the local restaurant scene, Olio Restaurant and Bar.
In this tight little restaurant, you may be...
February 20, 2014; Updated: 2:31 pm
Everybody's trying to save a few bucks these days, so, with that in mind, we're suggesting some dishes that offer reasonable prices - and delicious taste.
February 13, 2014; Updated: 3:54 pm
It was a combination of the seemingly endless parade of snow/ice events and a long and irritating bout of cold/flu that recently caused us to seek the comforts and convenience of delivered food.
January 30, 2014; Updated: 2:13 pm
At least two truths come to mind when the topic is downtown Mystic. There are as many better-than-average places to eat as there are beautiful views of the river. And to eat at most of them, you're going to pay a premium.
January 23, 2014; Updated: 2:10 pm
This past summer, we were looking for a place to eat dinner in New London where we could enjoy the gorgeous weather by sitting outdoors. As we walked along Bank Street, I eyed one restaurant deck after another - all pretty much empty.
January 16, 2014; Updated: 12:52 pm
January inevitably has its wintry share of frigid, snowy and gray weather.
In other words, it's the perfect season to tuck into some comfort food. With that in mind, here are a few of those wonderful dishes recommended by our dining...
January 9, 2014; Updated: 11:51 am
No matter what the name is on the sign out front, it's one of the most familiar bar/grill locations in New London: the original and most iconic existence was as the Sundowner, but there have been subsequent, shorter ventures as Louie's...
January 2, 2014; Updated: 12:06 pm
Allow me to suggest one last dietary hurrah before any New Year's resolutions take effect. Tucked in a nondescript plaza just over the Westbrook border in Clinton lies Beach Donut Shop. Go there and take a deep breath just outside the...
December 26, 2013; Updated: 12:14 pm
'Twas the weekend before Christmas, and many guests had come for din-din. To replenish shelves with sugarplums, the whole town went to Tin Tin.
This delightful new, family-owned and operated bakery is...
December 19, 2013; Updated: 11:17 am
We'll begin with some controversy: I have located what might be the greatest sausage and peppers grinder of all time.
I exaggerate only a little, as I'm fully aware that such assertions leave a person...
December 12, 2013; Updated: 1:54 pm
You know how it goes: You're out doing your holiday shopping, running from store to store. You're cruising through your list when it hits you: Hunger. You have to eat before you return to browsing and buying. Where to go? Our food...
December 5, 2013; Updated: 12:52 am
The emperor Constantine ruled Rome from 306 to 337 A.D. His palace, which has housed a variety of restaurants through modern times, still stands in what is now known as Niantic Village in the community of East Lyme, Connecticut, USA.
November 28, 2013; Updated: 11:32 pm
The Westerly dining scene is so dynamic and eclectic, it's never a bad question to ask, "What's new?"
One answer is Amigos, a Mexican restaurant that has taken over the Canal Street space last occupied...
November 21, 2013; Updated: 11:23 pm
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...