Specializing in the art of chardonnay, Chamard cultivates varietal grapes on 20 acres of gently rolling vineyards, unleashing an assortment of palate-pleasing wines. Bring a guest and relish the ambrosial aromas and mouth-uplifting flavors of chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, merlot, and cabernet franc blends created with time-honored winemaking methods and state-of-the-art graping equipment. Grasp a Riedel glass and try five wines while overlooking the pond on the deck, warming up by the tasting room's fire, or hiding in one of the cellar's wine barrels. After sampling fermented grape serums, customers can activate the power of a 15% discount to purchase a bottle of wine ($12.99–$24.99) for enjoying at home or christening a new caravel.
Restaurateurs Linda and Everett Reid orchestrate a multitude of seasonal dishes menu into a flavor symphony at the French-influenced L & E, garnering a feature in the New York Times. Appetizers such as Cape Cod Bay oysters ($3.25 each) welcome diners to tables covered with the original work of local artists, while seasonal entrees have included delicacies such as pork osso bucco with pink lady applesauce and celery root hash ($22) and pan-seared Atlantic fluke with fingerling potatoes and oyster and lobster mushrooms ($24). Delve into the extensive wine list to pair any entree with a glass of vino such as 2008 Le Vissoux Beaujolais ($7.75) or Domaine Talmard chardonnay ($8.50).
At The Brasserie, chef Patrick Jean captures a balance between gourmet and relaxed dining, reflected in a menu bearing delectable but unfussy European-bistro-inspired fare. Unlike the timid american burger, which cowers inside a bun under a blanket of cheese, the french burger ($9 for lunch, $10 for dinner) invites public scrutiny while showboating around in a cape of savory black pepper, white mushroom, or blue cheese sauce. Seafood dishes unite unlikely plate mates, such as the tilapia ($18.95 for dinner) festooned with mango, cilantro, and lemon sauce, resulting in a combination bolder than the font of an angry letter typed by a 12-year-old. The most important hybrid meal of the day, brunch fuels bellies with a array of midday munchables, such as pancakes ($7+), including banana, chocolate chip, and blueberry, eggs florentine ($10), or the brunch platter, which comes with a waffle, pancake, piece of french toast, and an omelet ($14).
Ballou’s Wine Bar revolves around three prized delicacies: chocolate, wine, and coffee. From those staples, dozens of indulgent dishes ensue, including chocolate, Nutella, and peanut-butter-chocolate fondues and homemade truffles developed by Debbie, half of the husband-and-wife team that runs Ballou’s. Her chocolate fondue and homemade truffles are so deliciously decadent that they’ve earned the wine bar a spot on the Best of New Haven Reader’s Poll list for best desserts. In addition to rich desserts and froth-capped cups of cappuccino, guests can order wines from local and international vineyards, as well as a wide selection of pastas, sandwiches, and flat breads.
As the heir apparent to three generations of cooks, Rose Foote’s decision to follow in their footsteps was no surprise. Her journey started when she worked at her parent’s restaurant at the age of 9, and it continued in 1995 with her catering service, and, eventually, a culinary tour throughout Tuscany. All of these influences can be found in her inventive breakfast, lunch, and brunch menus at Bella’s Café—Rose describes the resulting theme as “European roots with contemporary flair.” An illustrative example is the eggplant ciabatta, a unity of grilled eggplant, fire-roasted red peppers, gooey melted mozzarella, and spicy arrabbiatta sauce.
The food isn’t the only aspect of Bella’s Café that blends a classic European aesthetic with contemporary influences—the décor adheres to that theme. Burnt yellow hues give the walls a rustic look, and framed prints and paintings remind guests that they don’t have to sculpt their French toast into a bust of Napoleon playing with his food to see beautiful art.
The epicurean alchemists at Lena’s Café and Confections assemble inventive and classic brunch dishes that mingle with rotating brunch specials on Saturdays and Sundays. Patrons imbibe a piping-hot cup of coffee or tea while waiting to plop down at tables supporting norwegian salmon or prosciutto-ham omelets. A Wake-Up platter bearing grilled new york strip steak, texas toast, and a ringing alarm clock lifts heavy eyelids, while brunchers clink their glasses of champagne to toast the mozzarella-stuffed belgian waffle festooned with fresh basil. Slices of golden challah french toast, sprinkled with chocolate chips, may conceal sweetened ricotta, and a toasted bagel with cream cheese and lox can tell no lies with its open face. Those who opt for the dining credit can fork into the fresh avocado and turkey sausage of a Gold Coast omelet or the light, fluffy french-toast soufflé—challah swirled with cinnamon and maple syrup and slathered in crème anglaise. Midday diners salivate at the sight of sesame-ginger-drizzled greens cushioning peppercorn-encrusted tuna, the feta and calamata olives of a european burger, or the background choir of Pavlovian bells.