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Premium Content Welcome to town, Our Little Kitchen

 April 17, 2014; Updated: 9:44 am

In our New London neighborhood, we're a block away from almost all the essentials of life. (The only thing missing is the bar in the old Lighthouse Inn, which remains a significant loss to the charm and spirit of Life Itself in the Sixth...

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Premium Content Pizza lovers, meet Otto

 April 10, 2014; Updated: 2:49 pm

One almost regrets devouring the steaming hot pizzas that emerge from the oven at Otto in Chester. Crafted with care, with careful consideration for each ingredient's role, they are edible works of art.

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Premium Content Restaurant review: Mystic's latest watering hole celebrates local history

 April 3, 2014; Updated: 9:34 am

At the Engine Room, Mystic's trendy, new bar and restaurant on Holmes Street, it's really all about the space.
Opened New Year's Eve by the same folks that run the widely acclaimed Oyster Club on the...

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Premium Content Big fun to be had at Little Man’s Diner

 March 27, 2014; Updated: 2:21 pm

Few of us ever stick with Plan A.
Indeed, if I were still on my Plan A, I'd be teaching Tai Chi to retirees in Naples right now instead of writing this review. Of course, the irony of an improvised...

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Premium Content Langley’s serves up bogey-free meals in Waterford

 March 20, 2014; Updated: 11:18 am

Last week we set out to test one of my dining out axioms: Golf courses usually have excellent food.
My theory is that, because it's difficult to be profitable as a golf course, they need to lure...

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Premium Content India Grill: A fine food option in Norwich

 March 13, 2014; Updated: 2:48 pm

It's only fair that each community in southeastern Connecticut has a reliable Indian restaurant. After all, each town has 26 reliable pizza/grinder restaurants, so at least one nearby Indian joint isn't too much to ask.

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Premium Content East Lyme's Osaka a culinary getaway

 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...

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Premium Content Olio: Still tasty after all these years

 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...

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Premium Content Looking for a meal deal?

 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.

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Premium Content Time for take out? Try Empire Pizza

 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.
It...

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Premium Content Restaurant review: Small is beautiful at Anthony J's

 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.

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Premium Content Cold beer and spicy wings a sure bet at Hot Rods

 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.

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Premium Content ’Tis the season for comfort-food favorites

 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...

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Premium Content A tangy taste of Ecuador in New London

 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...

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Premium Content A dozen reasons to stop off at the Beach

 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...

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Premium Content A wonderful world of baked goods at Tin Tin

 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...

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Premium Content Get on the Italian Express right away

 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...

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Premium Content Where to grab a bite when holiday shopping

 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...

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Premium Content Restaurant Review: New incarnation for Niantic's Main Street Grille

 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.

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Premium Content Restaurant review: Amigos brings the party to Westerly's Canal Street

 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...

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Premium Content Restaurant review: Paul's Pasta marks 25 years of getting it right

 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.

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Premium Content A Koffee revolution in Old Lyme

 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...

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Premium Content DPI: Still cookin’ after all these years

 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...

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Premium Content Virgil's Real Barbeque is aptly named

 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...

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Premium Content Mystic Market's latest lure: pre-packaged meals

 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...

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Premium Content Steak Loft remains Mistick’s olde reliable

 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...

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Premium Content Don't wait till tomorrow to visit Mañana Cafe

 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.

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Premium Content The Haversham restaurant: More than just a great place to watch the game

 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...

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Premium Content Westerly welcomes a fine addition: The Brazen Hen

 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,...

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Premium Content Food glorious food: Some of this year’s faves

 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...

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Premium Content Restaurant review: Loving the lunches at The Shack

 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...

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Premium Content Restaurant review: Find your Bliss in Westbrook

 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.

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Premium Content Restaurant review: Chicken and more, done right, at Chicken Busters

 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

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Premium Content Restaurant review: Fresh and flavorful come together at Gaspar's

 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...

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Premium Content Restaurant review: It's a flavor-fest at 4 Roosevelt Asian Bistro

 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.

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Premium Content Restaurant review: Mi Casa doubles the pleasure with New London restaurant

 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.

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Premium Content Restaurant review: Pizza and beer? Yep, that 'Works'

 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.

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Premium Content Restaurant review: The Sea Goose is a fabulous new dining option

 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...

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Premium Content Dine-in, dine-out delights at Mike's Deli

 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...

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Premium Content Bobby B’s: The basics served up just right

 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...

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Premium Content Restaurant review: Celebrating Misquamicut's rebirth at the Andrea

 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.

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Premium Content Guytanno's thrives with reliably delectable food

 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...

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Premium Content Enjoy ‘Common’ — and uncommon — fare at East Lyme eatery

 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,...

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Premium Content Restaurant review: You don't have to be a fat cat to dine at the Fat Cat

 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.

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Premium Content These two brothers understand recipe for success

 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...

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Premium Content The redoubtable 84 High Street has morphed into 84 Tavern on Canal

 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...

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Premium Content Tuck in at Oliver's Taverne

 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."

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Premium Content Norm's: Diner fare for the long-term fan

 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...

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Premium Content Restaurant review: A superior experience at the Weekapaug Inn

 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.

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Premium Content Illiano’s makes it easy to grab good pizza

 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...

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