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).
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.
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).
OceanView Bistro’s BYOB policy doesn’t apply to its chefs, who use wine as an ingredient in several dishes, including a chicken stew marinated in red wine and mussels sautéed in white wine. The bistro's dinner menu boasts an all-French lineup of escargot hors d’oeuvres, stews, seafood, and dessert crepes drizzled in lemon or orange sauce and served with scoops of ice cream. During breakfast and lunch hours, the chefs shift gears from French to American and serve up deli sandwiches, burgers, and pancakes.
With a white-picket fence around its perimeter and an American Flag waving from its bay windows, Boulevard 18 Bistro & Wine Bar might look like a great place to raise a family. But instead of embodying the American Dream, this 1860s Georgian landmark holds a little piece of Paris inside. Chef and co-owner David Raymer transports palates across the Atlantic by pairing more than 80 French wines with traditional entrees. And, much like in a Parisian bistro's kitchen, the focus here is on the craft. Chef Raymer creates country pâté and cures gravlax in house, and even stuffs his own sausages with flavors such as merguez or boudin blanc. The result: French classics with a modern twist, such as grilled mustard-seed-crusted leg of lamb with ratatouille or a duck confit salad.
An antique map of Paris covers the wall of the dining room so that guests never forget where the flavors they're tasting came from. But it also helps tie the room together. The map's curving, cobblestone avenues guide eyes toward the scarlet booths and hardwood accents. Boulevard 18 Bistro & Wine Bar also offers a seasonal dining patio with views of the village fire station where Chef Raymer buys the flames to fill the fire pit.