French-American cuisine and sumptuous wines make their home in Epernay Bistro's casual fine-dining atmosphere. Chef and owner Peter Wroe forages for the freshest produce from local growers and irate farmers' carrot patches to craft a dinner menu that highlights seasonal ingredients. Inventive evening entrees include the provence-lamb stew over herbed noodles ($20) and a seared-sea-scallop chowder that marries onions, carrots, and celery with red potato and bacon ($23). Meanwhile, the house-made country pâté with dijon and cornichon represents the more traditional end of the fusion spectrum ($10).
As the heir apparent to three generations of cooks, Rose Foote’s decision to follow in their footsteps was no surprise. Her journey started when she worked at her parent’s restaurant at the age of 9, and it continued in 1995 with her catering service, and, eventually, a culinary tour throughout Tuscany. All of these influences can be found in her inventive breakfast, lunch, and brunch menus at Bella’s Café—Rose describes the resulting theme as “European roots with contemporary flair.” An illustrative example is the eggplant ciabatta, a unity of grilled eggplant, fire-roasted red peppers, gooey melted mozzarella, and spicy arrabbiatta sauce.
The food isn’t the only aspect of Bella’s Café that blends a classic European aesthetic with contemporary influences—the décor adheres to that theme. Burnt yellow hues give the walls a rustic look, and framed prints and paintings remind guests that they don’t have to sculpt their French toast into a bust of Napoleon playing with his food to see beautiful art.
The epicurean alchemists at The Asylum Cafe populate their menu with New York–style pizzas, pastas tossed with fresh tomato sauce, and thickly stacked sandwiches. An opening act of little neck clams simmered in white wine ($9.95) warm up the audience before a 14-ounce Angus rib eye shares the stage with garlic mashed potatoes ($24.95). On its way to becoming a lasagna pie laden with hamburger, ricotta, and parsley ($17 for small; $20 for large), pizza dough endures punches more stoically than a pillow auditioning to be the fourth Stooge.
Consuming between 9 and 13 servings of vegetables and fruits each day can seem like a daunting task. But Robeks turns what could be a chore into a delicious pastime, standing behind the idea that you shouldn?t have to sacrifice taste for a nutritiousness?or vice-versa.
Their selection includes a wide selection of good-for-you raw juices and hot beverages, including low calorie, dairy-free, raw options; a kids menu; and seasonal items. Blended smoothies incorporate bananas, blueberries, strawberries, mangos, and other fresh fruits. Hot cider teas are crafted with hand-selected farm-fresh apples, pears, and lemons that are then freshly juiced to order, mixed with your choice of hot green or black tea, and finally accented with a dash of cinnamon and a drizzle of raw honey. Performance Coffee, meanwhile, is specially designed for the elite athlete in all of us, and features a unique blend of energy-boosting organic coffee, premium grass-fed butter, and coconut oil that helps boost mental focus. Elsewhere on the menu, tasty muffins and cookies, breakfast bars, and other gourmet snacks help customers adhere to a healthy lifestyle without hiring an apple tree as a personal trainer.
Hailed by none other than the New York Times for eclectic dishes that combine “a homey touch with a dash of originality,” The Pine Social throws a sophisticated spin on traditional American comfort fare. Chandeliers cast a soft glow on tables situated side by side within the tavern-like restaurant and lounge, which anchors its menu on free-range meats, ocean-fresh fish, and locally sourced produce. The kitchen’s homemade sausage and slow-braised beef short ribs are not to be missed, based on their own merits as well as their shared ability to whet palates for the dessert menu’s warm apple spring rolls. Sips of aged scotch and spiked, hot apple cider thaw jaws frozen agape at the tavern’s dark-stained walls, rustic wooden accents, and plush furnishings. Light from high-definition TVs glints off the bar’s full-service spirits station, beside which guests can treat their ears to music that pours forth from live bands on Thursday and Friday nights.
For a half century, the Fascia family tree has been made of solid chocolate. John and Helen Fascia first began making the treats in 1964, with their three daughters helping out in the family's kitchen. Eventually, the business grew out of the house and today the Fascia's chocolates can be found throughout Connecticut and at their central Waterbury factory. The family still leads the team and continues to make small batches of hand-crafted chocolates as well as other treats?including authentic gelato made on-site.