Since Lombardi's opened its doors in November 2012, chef Michael C. Pellizzari has breathed new life into Old World cuisine by creating a menu of authentic Italian dishes with a modern twist. Michael and his team reach for savory meats and fresh pastas to create each artfully plated entree—from a three-meat pasta with buffalo mozzarella to sesame-seed-crusted salmon—many of which ooze with the distinctive flavors of fine Italian herbs, fresh housemade sauces, and sautéed vegetables. Chefs also take advantage of the cozy eatery's terra cotta oven, which bakes up pizzas topped with capers, seafood, and spicy hot oil a wood-fire taste, while waiters pour a bevy of beverages from the bar's endless supply of liquor, wines, and imaginary barrels filled with moonshine.
Behind red slats resembling barnyard doors, a weathered painting of the US flag proudly hangs, exuding patriotic charm. These rustic touches carry over to O’Shea American Grill’s menu of hearty comfort food lovingly created from scratch. Though the majority of its pages broadcast traditional American eats such as ribs, burgers, and steak, the menu also branches out into dishes such as pizzas and paella packed with chicken, shrimp, and chorizo.
The large wheeled coffee cart at Lena's Cafe and Confections never actually goes anywhere, but it does make for a rustic centerpiece in the dining room, where visitors gather for homemade breakfast, brunch, and lunch. Each weekend, a lineup of brunch specials rotates, featuring items such as pecan-pie-stuffed french toast one week and a seafood omelet stuffed with lobster, crab, shrimp, and fresh veggies another. On weekdays, lunch does bring some specialty salads and veggie wraps, but for the most part, it's no less hearty—corned-beef reubens, meatball panini sliders, and half-pound burgers ensure an equal-opportunity work environment for takeout boxes.
On any given night, Damon's Tavern is bound to be showing every patron's favorite sport. That's not just because the double-sided bar alone is outfitted with 43 high-definition TVs, but because each of the tavern's booths come with their own television, too. The TV setup has earned Damon's raves from Hartford Magazine, which named the tavern the Best Sports Bar in 2012 and 2013.
The tavern's dining options are equally praiseworthy. Its extensive menu includes upscale twists on bar food classics, from macaroni and cheese tossed with lobster and shrimp to house-roasted pulled pork topped with barbecue sauce and carolina vinegar slaw. Twenty-four draft beers complement hearty feasts, as can wines by the glass and bottle or classic cocktails like whiskey sour and tom collins.
SBC Restaurant & Brewery lines up an inviting smorgasbord of comfort food to be devoured alongside an arsenal of brewed on-site beers. Take in the expanse of the appetite-assassinating lunch menu (served from 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m.) and try not to set off the fire alarms while your head smokes with indecision before easing yourself in with the SBC calamari, which comes prepared three ways: crispy with marinara and rémoulade, fried with hot peppers and artichoke hearts, and sticky with a sweet chili Sriracha glaze ($6.99). Follow that up with the crispy chicken salad, festooned with mandarin oranges, grape tomatoes, gorgonzola, and honey white balsamic vinaigrette ($12.99), or the margherita pizza topped with sliced fresh tomatoes, garlic, mozzarella and basil ($10). SBC burgers are 8 ounces of natural custom-quality beef served on a handmade roll and topped with american, provolone, cheddar, swiss, fontina, or mozzarella cheese ($7.99).
Since 1986, wine experts at GrapesWine.com have dutifully tasted and compiled a handpicked selection of domestic and imported fine wines. Their easy-to-navigate site aids patrons with recommendations, including a list of the best wines under $20. Rotating picks of the week, hand selected by the shop's proprietor, John Caplan, include a vast array of reds, whites, rosés, ports, and dessert and sparkling wines, all of which hail from across the globe, from California to South Africa. Aspiring connoisseurs attend popular wine tastings, led by knowledgeable taster Jim Winston as he recounts the flavorful notes and fragrant bouquets of countless varieties. In-state customers can create a case of favorites and take advantage of free shipping or pick up at a later date.