Each Wood-N-Tap restaurant’s kitchen serves a menu of casual American food that ranges from burgers and sandwiches to pasta, pizza, and entrees. The eatery partners with farms from New Jersey to Maine to cultivate 100% all-natural meats for their homegrown burgers, which feature tender hormone-, steroid-, and antibiotic-free meats such as Wagyu beef, bison, free-range turkey, and pork. Chefs grill entrees including swordfish and bourbon-marinated grilled sirloin, as well as signature items such as mac ‘n’ cheese pizza and Bar Bites sliders constructed with bison, Angus beef, turkey, or a baseball.
Wood-N-Tap blossomed from the fitting combination of its owners’ skills—Mike scouts the locations, Phil markets the brand, and Wil and Kenny manage the daily operations of the various locations. More than a decade ago, after forging a friendship as strong as oak and a partnership as strong as steel-reinforced oak, the crew opened the first Wood-N-Tap location in 2002—and they have expanded to seven locations and counting.
Visitors to YoBamba Cafe can sate a whole smattering of cravings, and whether it's for something sweet or savory—it's always healthy. Following the motto "Eat well, grow strong," the menu lists small portions of healthful noodles, seafood, and soups that make up Japanese-inspired "compositions." Additionally, a dozen flavors of frozen yogurt are at the ready daily, and a toppings bar houses 48 kinds of edible accessories to jazz up sweet snacks.
Tempting as it is, wearing a pair of Tschudin Chocolates' high heels on the town wouldn't be a very good idea. That's because the footwear is an example of the custom chocolate sculptures the shop regularly makes for birthdays, weddings, and other special events. Yet Tschudin's chocolatiers don't craft every treat on such a grand scale. Using their stone-ground chocolate and local ingredients such as honey and herbs, they hand-make a rotating lineup of bonbons, truffles, ganaches, and caramels. And that handmade ethos extends into their baked goods as well, especially the doughnuts made from the shop's hand-layered croissant dough.
Rather than hiding their techniques from the world by only working in a vault, Tschudin's chocolatiers invite guests to witness their process firsthand during classes. These behind-the-scenes peeks reveal how the team shapes its treats. Tschudin's experts even conduct chocolate-making classes for those struck with inspiration, allowing students to temper and create their own treats.
The sauce-slingers at Papa John’s build their pies with fresh-dough crusts that are composed of high-protein flour and filtered water, hand tossed, and baked to a golden brown. Vine-ripened tomato sauce and specialty 100% mozzarella melts over extra large pizzas ($12) to which guests add toppings that range from locally sourced green peppers and onions to bacon and spicy italian sausage ($1 each). Patrons gape upward as a hawaiian-barbecue-chicken flying saucer hovers above the restaurant, beaming up all bacon, onions, grilled chicken, and pineapple within a five-mile radius ($16 for a large). Meanwhile, parmesan and garlic cling to breadsticks ($5.49), and honey-chipotle sauce lathers wings ($6.99/10-piece order). Icing drizzles the Cinnapie dessert ($4.99), whose twining of apple and cinnamon is sweeter than a kitten in sugar-coated footy pajamas.
A combination corner bar and haute cuisine restaurant, Christopher Martin's Restaurant and Pub keeps it local with cheeses from Colchester, ice cream from Milford, beef from Barkhamsted, and beers poured right behind the bar. A neighborhood fixture for more than a quarter century, the eatery's seasonal menus reflect their commitment to freshness and their unflagging creativity. Whether splitting orders of butternut-squash ravioli or creamy goat-cheese medallions in the dining room or clinking glasses of local brews over seafood pot stickers in the pub area, guests get a flavorful taste of New England living.