With its focus on European and Asian cuisine, Bistro Eighty Ates furthers the Eighty Ates group's mission to bring the experience of dining in a big city to a more intimate, small-town level. The menu assembles a menagerie of Italian-style chicken entrees, hearty steaks, and exotic seafood such as chilean sea bass and swordfish. To help patrons wash down these eclectic plates, a full bar serves international wines and colorful martinis.
Stewarded by three generations of the Morse family, the Colonial Restaurant & Pub continues more than 60 years of tongue-delighting tradition with a seafood and steak-heavy menu curated by executive chef Adam Dowd. Painted clapboard siding and stone accents conceal a pub with a spacious wooden bar more handsome than Cary Grant's side part and an elegant dining room where white-draped tables lounge by a fireplace situated beneath wrought-iron chandeliers. Dinners tempt taste buds with Italian-style pastas and chophouse steaks and fish, and lunch retells stories of bygone eats, with homestyle recipes including meatloaf and mac ‘n’ cheese sharing space with burgers and overstuffed sandwiches. Chefs cater outside events, and the restaurant's Sky Room plays host to showers, banquets, and luncheons celebrating the retirement of ’80s slang terms such as “gnarly” and “onomatopoeia.”
The eighth annual Oktoberfest hosted by the Vienna Restaurant and Historic Inn heralds the wintry months ahead with an evening of feasting and festivities. Doors and unlatch at 5:30 p.m., allowing guests to mingle while dipping their fingers into complimentary hors d’oeuvres. Admission grants guests a heaping helping of dinner, served at 6:30 p.m., and including bratwurst, knackwurst, spätzle, and an apple strudel dessert sweeter than the intentions of a kindergartner pouring cereal on his mother's bed on her birthday. Scoring the evening, the Stratton Mountain Boys, who have performed at Disney World, lend their Austrian melodies to the festivities.
The menu at 420 Main features a stunning array of hearty, expertly prepared concoctions. Dive into dining with a plate of seasonal oysters in a half shell ($2.50 each) or a bowl of creamy lobster bisque ($7). Moving on to the mains, the exquisitely marinated and seasoned 8 oz. venison ($30) is juicy, tender, and capable of quelling all medium- to large-sized appetite creatures, spotted throughout history peeking through the buttonholes of overcoats. Sink your eager chompers into a 10 oz. filet mignon ($30) or a fine non-steak dish such as the grilled Atlantic salmon gorgonzola ($22). All entrees are served with your choice of two sides, such as garlic mashed potatoes or broccoli au gratin ($4 separately). Inner-child sophisticates can be indulged with a heaping portion of three cheese-n-mac with fresh lobster ($19). Alternatively, satisfy actual youngsters with a kids’ meal such as pasta with red sauce ($7), served with one side and followed by a youth-sating ice-cream sandwich.
Rovezzi's Ristorante chef Christopher Rovezzi, who earned the top chef spot at the 2012 Worcester’s Best Chef Competition, stuffs his own sausages, simmers a homemade blend of Bolognese sauce, and cuts fresh fettuccine noodles. Hand-breaded chicken stays warm underneath a layer of mozzarella and house-made marinara in the chicken parmesan, and Australian lamb shank slowly braises in Sauvignon Blanc.
Chef Rovezzi keeps the menu fresh with the regular addition of new dishes—a process that has helped the restaurant garner a number of accolades, including Diners’ Choice Winners for best service and best food from OpenTable.
The large wood columns sprouting from the weathered wooden bar evoke the belly of a ship—no doubt a hat-tip to the pub’s namesake, the highly decorated Navy Admiral TJ O’Brien. The menu lets seafood and steaks romp beneath cloaks of sauce, on steaming pastas, or between slices of bread. Draft pints fill with suds from local breweries including Opa Opa and Bentley, and wineglasses shiver to the pulse of live music on Friday and Saturday. On the wrap-around porch, patrons loosen belts while trying to glimpse the Quinebaug River Reservoir or spot a majestic submarine periscope grazing in its natural habitat.