Culinary man-about-town Jay Powell sates the masticating masses with Uncle Jay’s Twisted Fork’s menus of breakfast, lunch, and dinner staples and ever-evolving specials. Rouse a pack of slumbering incisors with the french toast stuffed with cream cheese and strawberries ($6.99) or the steak-and-cheese omelet ($6.99). Adventurous tongues can traverse the capery peaks of chicken piccata ($7.99 lunch, $12.99 dinner) or the potato-laden depths of the shepherd's pie ($5.99 lunch, $9.99 dinner). Homemade desserts refill bodily sugar tanks, enabling energetic diners to execute a series of cartwheels around the building. A friendly, casual atmosphere pervades Twisted Fork, eliminating the usual denim-cummerbund rental necessary for stuffy lunchtime dining.
One step inside The Epicurean Bistro & Wine Bar and visitors are transported to a French village complete with tiled awnings, lampposts, and yellow-brick walls that ascend into a sky-like ceiling. The authentic French atmosphere was created by founding partner Claire, a French-Canadian and consummate traveller, and French-born executive chef Dominique Brialy, whose training has taken him all over the world. Working together, their restaurant was named named Best French by Metroland in 2012, won the Award of Excellence in 2013 from Wine Spectator, and earned a mention in the inaugural edition of Best Chefs America. They pour attention into the eatery's details, from the rustic wall sconces to the sage-scented parsnip purée that accompanies the roasted venison. Claire's husband and business partner Sandy has curated a wine cellar filled with 2,200 bottles from every region of France and internationally sourced varietals that complement every meal. Guests may also order from a full bar that features an extensive craft and imported beer selection, as well as an array of whiskeys, single malts, and bourbons.
Crepes Tea House is a cozy, sun-drenched eatery that offers homemade crepes, more than 100 varieties of tea, and Eastern European specialty dishes for every meal of the day. As customers sink into one of the cafe's big, plush couches, artisan chefs make savory crepes with beef, pork, and turkey, or sweet ones with fresh fruit, warm chocolate, or honey. Items such as zucchini, potato, or farm-cheese pancakes and Polish sausage are served at breakfast, while lunch sees plates of Siberian pelmeni dumplings packed with ground beef and stacked to form a wall that can be seen from space. At dinner, the restaurant's chefs glaze fresh salmon with honey and pan-fry whitefish and tuna cutlets until golden brown. Whether patrons carry a conversation at one of the eatery’s tables for a full meal, or settle at the sleek bar for a quick cup of tea or coffee, the teahouse’s vibrant orange walls and floor-to-ceiling windows make for a comfortable experience.
The chef at Nora’s Restaurant & Lounge crafts a regularly changing menu of juicy steaks, fresh seafood, and homemade pastas. The elegant dining room features exposed ceiling beams, heavy ruby-colored drapes, and French doors leading to the bar area. While taking in views of Lake Congamond, guests sample fresh basil-gorgonzola bread or clams stuffed with lobster meat and topped with horseradish cream sauce. A slightly more casual pub menu available at the bar includes selections such as beef tenderloin sliders, pierogi, and fresh bruschetta you can pair with draft brews and wines.
Using a wealth of fresh ingredients that includes choice cuts of beef, poultry, and seafood, The Villa Rose's culinary team whips up a menu of authentic, made-to-order Italian specialties. Items range from the chef’s italian chicken rolls and pan-seared scallops glazed with orange ginger sauce to shrimp and garlic linguine. Diners can choose from a hearty selection of of wines to wash down meals, which unfold in The Villa Rose's intimate dining room or a private room that accommodates receptions, weddings, and banquets of up to 175 guests.
The restaurant hosts events from live music to manicures courtesy of Accent Salon personnel. The lounge entices guests nightly with sports on high-definition flat-screen plasma televisions and lottery games such as the classic Buy This Numbered Card.
Alexandra and Romeo fell in love in France over cups of flour and sugar as Romeo completed his professional boulanger and patissier training. Today, the couple recreates quintessential French flavors in their West Hartford bakery-café, where the menu kicks off with breakfasts of pain au chocolat and almond croissants. For lunch, chefs build sandwiches such as Le Brie with cheese and butter, and the Eiffel, whose roasted chicken breast, carrots, and cucumber stands 324 meters tall. Desserts such as macarons and chocolate-hazelnut mousse cake pair with a cauppuccino or café au lait to round out each meal.
La Petite France also rolls out its portable crepe cart to special events throughout the area, where French-speaking chefs (upon request) whip up sweet or savory crepes for parties of 20 or more.