The rural Irish village of Gleann Beithe stands across the ocean from Hartford, but according to the road sign inside Hanafin’s Irish Pub, it's only 18 kilometers away. Built from heavy wooden beams that gleam in the light of hanging lamps, the pub mirrors Ireland's public houses in appearance and spirit. Here, guests socialize, imbibe Irish whiskeys and draft beers, and dine on traditional Irish meals, such as corned beef and cabbage. The cooks add an American twist to tradition with dishes such as Prince Edward Island mussels in Guinness cream sauce and potato pizza topped with mashed potatoes, green onions, and aged cheddar. To entertain guests as they nosh, large screens broadcast football games and bare-handed boxing matches between major-network weathermen. The pub also holds a trivia night that won a spot on CBS Connecticut's Best Bars for Trivia Nights list.
Plan B Burger Bar boasts a bevy of natural burgers that have received the a-okay from Certified Humane, ensuring that every beefy bite is pure, pristine, and chemical-free. Make friends with the menu and opt for one of the restaurant's 20 burgers, each hand-ground on the premises daily and served with a choice of fries or organic greens. Customer favorites include the bacon cheeseburger ($10.99), with American cheese, caramelized onions, and garlic mayo; the appealing appetizer of three mini cheeseburgers ($9.59) with parmesan fries; the blue-cheese burger ($11.99), topped with caramelized onions and bourbon barbecue sauce; and the signature Tavern Classic ($9.99), topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, and Plan B's special sauce. Non-bunned plates include a lobster mac ‘n’ cheese ($19.99), spaghetti and meatballs ($12.99), and grilled salmon ($15.99).
Rooftop120 welcomes visitors into a high-class cosmopolitan atmosphere of year-round rooftop seating, potent martinis, fresh oysters, and seasonal dishes that showcase a variety of culinary styles. The bill of fare promises beers, wines, and cocktails paired with fresh ahi tuna, truffle-tinged fries, heirloom-tomato salads, and other small plates made from local produce that earned accolades from the Hartford Advocate as one of the best new bars, restaurants, and outdoor-dining destinations of 2012. Live bands or piano music set a soundtrack for nights out on the town, and sports packages keep fans informed of the latest on-field exploits and product endorsements from their favorite athletes. The seasonal menu and adaptable space keep guests comfortable and satisfied throughout the year, as they gather around the crackling fire pit and dine on butternut-squash soup in colder months or sip refreshing cocktails on the open-air patio in the summer.
Patrons shouldn't be fooled by the sleek white and grey exterior of Sakura Garden—there's plenty of color inside. Through the doors, blossoming pink cherry trees mark a path to the dining room, where a sea-blue glass ceiling hints at the variety of oceanic fare served up at the all-you-can eat buffet. Here, wall-mounted fish provide pairing suggestions as diners dish up hot items such as steamed snow crab legs and teriyaki salmon, as well as cold options such as shrimp cocktails. Seafood also reigns supreme at the sushi bar, where chefs slice sashimi and create rolls fresh to order. After guests have filled their plates, they continue on to the softly-lit dining room, where red lights cast a glow on murals depicting misty, pastoral vistas.
A full bar offers Japanese beer and a selection of sake, and a private room is available for events and special occasions. The buffet is closed from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and happy hour runs from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Studio lighting illuminates the colorful paper umbrellas hanging from the ceiling at Siam Glastonbury, sending red and yellow hues to the plush leather booths below. Amid this warm ambiance, waiters flit from the kitchen to the tables with heaping dishes of fresh, MSG-free Thai favorites. Dumplings and spicy soups pave the way for four types of fried rice, six noodle dishes, and seven curries, all of which come with your choice of nine proteins, including pork, shrimp, and duck.
At Min Ghung Asian Bistro, bartenders shuffle back and forth in front of the sake wall, a towering display of premium sakes illumed by neon-lit shelves. The impressive selection of spirits accompanies a menu populated by Japanese and Korean entrees with meats or tofu drizzled in a variety of marinades. A separate sushi menu boasts hand-rolled creations that encase everything from apple and mango to egg custard and sea urchin.
Inside the dining room, a rotating selection of art hangs upon crimson walls. Each piece purchased sponsors Min Ghung's Art in Red Room program, which aims to increase awareness of work by local artists. Outside, strings of colorful paper lanterns decorate a patio freckled with sun sifting through nearby tree branches or flocks of cheesecloth flying overhead.