Executive chef and owner Matthew Guiffrida infuses contemporary fare with an innovative spirit in Muse Restaurant & Aquatic Lounge’s menu, which has been lauded in the New York Times. Not Ya Mama’s meatballs ($12) dress up the savory spheres in four varieties: Asian-style with sweet-and-spicy chili sauce, Italian-style with pomodoro sauce and shaved parmesan, a Thanksgiving-inspired treatment with a cranberry and caramelized-vidalia-onion compote, and standard swedish. Upscale couch potatoes can surround themselves with elegance without sneaking into a king's blanket fort as they feast on The T.V. Dinner, which consists of milk-fed-veal meat loaf with grilled portobellos and homemade ketchup glaze ($26). The Breakfast 4 Supper cloaks black-pepper-and-parmesan french toast with chipotle-maple syrup, served alongside sweet-potato corned-beef hash, a poached egg, and béarnaise sauce ($24). Simply Grilled entrees give new york strip or Atlantic salmon a more minimalist treatment and an entourage of garlic-infused whipped potatoes and grilled asparagus ($29).
One of the perks of eating at a restaurant is that chefs have all the ingredients for your meal ready to go. But that's not always the case at Hampton Lady Beach Bar & Grill. Here, chefs will happily prepare whatever diners catch during daylong fishing excursions aboard the eatery's namesake boat, the Hampton Lady. Of course, guests aren't required to catch their own dinner. Cooks whip up fresh-caught buffalo-style calamari, fill 1.5-pound local lobsters with housemade crabmeat stuffing, and even crown Angus burgers with grilled shrimp. Each maritime feast unfolds amid flat-screen TVs inside the dining room, or outside on Hampton Lady's patio, which offers picturesque ocean views.
Swathed in muted earth tones, the interior of Common House Kitchen & Bar is chic but low-key. That's good, because it keeps the focus on the food: an all-day menu of classy and contemporary American cuisine. Signature items include crab cakes spiked with lump crabmeat over a red pepper aioli, and colorful beet sliders served with goat cheese and tender greens. Located inside the Sheraton Hartford South Hotel, Common House is also open for breakfast. Then, chefs plate up classics such as eggs benedict or new dishes with a creative twist?such as corn-flake encrusted French toast with bananas and strawberries.
Daniel Carmody's Restaurant & Public House treats patrons to ice-cold beers paired with a spread of hearty plates home-made with fresh ingredients, from beer-battered fish and chips to rib eye steaks and spicy chicken wings. As they laugh with friends and sip frosty brews, guests watch sports on an arsenal of 25 televisions, or dance and sing along to live music each Friday and Saturday night.
At Rudi’s Bar and Grill, it's easy to lose track of time when faced with the eatery's combination of sports, beer, and finger-licking grub. Ten TVs encircle the bar, surrounding the place in the sights and sounds of the season’s sports, from basketball or football to competitive snowball fighting. Hungry customers can thwart their stomach’s growls with a menu of classic American bar fare. Appetizers such as fried mac and cheese, spinach dip, and sliders precede traditional and boneless wings, black-and-blue cheeseburgers, and pulled-pork sandwiches. On weekends, live music permeates the crowd, which grows throughout the night thanks to a lack of cover charges.
There's always something going on at Village Idiot Pub, where drink specials abound and live music takes the stage each weekend. A menu of pub grub tempts diners with starters such as lobster wontons and mac 'n' cheese wedges, along with beefy burgers topped with bacon and jalapeños. For finger-licking eats, the pub also prepares chicken wings in 11 sauces, from trademark buffalo to the super-spicy atomic.