French-style bistro cuisine is The Grande’s specialty. The restaurant gets its ingredients from local farms and fisheries, who deliver organic meats and veggies whenever possible. The bistro’s wine list similarly emphasizes organic and sustainable wines from all over the world.
The Puiia family, native New Yorkers, dreamed up Between Rounds' menu in 1990, and ever since they have skillfully prepared its freshly made sandwiches and baked goods, in the process enticing the palates of reporters from Better Connecticut. Each day, bakers whip up signature New York–style bagels in a variety of flavors before pairing them with cream cheese, cobbling them into breakfast sandwiches, or hurling them in impromptu games of ultimate frisbee. Hailing from the lunch roster, freshly baked flaky loaves and rolls surround premium deli meats and cheeses as baristas grind fresh beans for gourmet coffees and specialty espresso beverages. The arena in which the bakers and baristas operate sparkles with the sunlight pouring over the tabletops of the colorful, WiFi-saturated dining room, and a drive-thru window allows customers to enjoy meals without leaving their cars, vans, or sleds.
Part diner, part living room, R House Restaurant combines classic Americana with the comfort of home. Its black-and-white checkered floors run up to the dine-in counter and butt up against the base of the working stone fireplace, whose hearth hoists a sign that reads family.
The nearby tables groan under the weight of homestyle food, including stacked sandwiches, 11 types of hot dogs, and fried platters. R House also serves breakfast all day, topping waffles with sweet fruit compote or wrapping kielbasa sausage and swiss cheese in the fluffy folds of an omelet. When it’s warm out and there’s no threat of killer butterflies, the dishes are whisked outside to a seating area that is pet friendly.
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-caf?, 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 cappuccino or caf? 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.
Before catching a thrilling blockbuster or whimsical cult classic at Spotlight Theatres, hungry moviegoers drop into Front Street Bistro—the sleek American eatery located in the theater’s lobby. Smartly dressed servers bustle about the cushy booths of the airy space, balancing trays of artisanal flatbreads, sizzling burgers, and Mediterranean-inspired specialties. Behind the bar, mixologists dole out glasses of specialty martinis, muddled cocktails, and drafts of craft beer. After dinner, the theater invites guests to bring drinks or a bottle of wine into the theater to sip on while watching a film.
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.