The cooks at Piccadilly Pub Restaurant bake, fry, grill, and assemble a medley of sandwiches, seafood platters, and other comfort cuisine. Haddock fillets take a dip in a light beer batter before trans-fat-free oil cooks them to a golden crisp, and fries and coleslaw cuddle up beside them in a dish of fish 'n' chips ($11.69). A dozen seafood platters harvest additional ocean occupants, including lobster, salmon, shrimp, and mermaid-grown sea vegetables. Baked bowls of shepherd's pie ($9.59) and chicken pot pie ($8.99) release a flood of steam after knives and forks cut into the blistering combination of seasoned meat and vegetables. A different house-made soup holds court daily ($3.50–$4.50), and the soothing staples of Piccadilly clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl ($7.99) and lobster bisque ($4.59–$7.99), taking their middle-school yearbook inscriptions to heart, never change.
From their outpost near the academic halls of the University of Connecticut, the chefs at Sgt. Pepperoni spin hand-tossed pizzas in the style of New York’s great pizzerias. Friends split a 16-inch cheese pizza, baked on handmade dough and blanketed with mozzarella cheese and house-made sauce. Divvy up eight breadsticks splashed with savory sauce from a cup of marinara sauce, or use them as swords to duel for the last slice of pizza. Sgt. Pepperoni’s sentries stay on watch for rumbling stomachs until at least 2 a.m. every night, quenching appetites brought on by late-night study sessions or hunger strikes in protest of Daylight Savings Time.
There’s nothing old-fashioned about Asia Grill & Sushi’s dining room, with its curved bar area bathed in neon light and its ceiling speckled with orbicular chandeliers. Flat-screen TVs dominate patches of wall, allowing diners to catch up on the latest news or watch local sports. Fittingly, the restaurant’s specialty rolls are also quite modern and sports-themed. One of many team-named options on the roster, the Patriots roll is filled with lobster, cucumber, and avocado before being covered with two types of tuna, tobiko, sweet sauce, and spicy mayo. Meals also emerge from steamy woks, including sirloin steak that’s glazed with a flaming black-pepper wine sauce. Other entrees include crispy tender peking duck and lobster cooked with black-bean or tamarind sauce.
Every Sunday, the culinary commanders at The Mansfield General Store line the shop’s wooden clapboard walls with classic brunch dishes. French toast serves as a crispy pedestal for scrambled eggs and bacon, which patrons can garnish with syrup and butter slung from dainty cut-glass dishes. Strawberry rivulets cut channels through fluffy pancake stacks and cornbread. Additionally, health-conscious diners can concoct a wholesome fruit, yogurt, and granola parfait. For dessert, forks pierce a crackly crust before sinking into the apple crisp’s gooey center.
A hodgepodge of truffles, caramels, fudges, and ice cream treats greets confectionary cravers and ice cream screamers at Hilliards House of Candy. Peruse fine chocolates as soft as hazelnut figaro ($11.75 for 8 oz.) or as hard as peanut-and-caramel jazz squares ($11.75 for 8 oz.). The buttery cashew brittle ($9.50 for 8 oz.) gives teeth a challenge, and the Grand Marnier truffle ($2.20) intrigues the taste buds with orange liquor flavor and chocolate ganache. Hilliard's serves its ice cream cones, sundaes, and frappes until October 31, but after that you can still pick up a pint ($5.95) or a quart ($8.95) to take home or bring to a lonely mailman.
Named for chef Mario Sanfilippo's native Italian town, Porticello Ristorante showcases authentic Italian dishes prepared from traditional recipes. Couples share appetizers such as cantaloupe wrapped in prosciutto di parma, a bite that is both sweet and salty like a lollipop's tears. Entrees include the mozzarella-topped veal saltimbocca with mushrooms and sage and the grilled swordfish with hints of lemon, basil, and garlic. Among pastas, gnocchi sorrentino incorporates fresh tomatoes and marinara, and pasta norma dresses penne with fresh basil, plum tomatoes, and caper cufflinks. For dessert, chantilly cream softens flaky pastry dough and diffuses the tart zing of wild berries to create frutti di bosco. Alternatively, spumoni layers cherry, pistachio, and chocolate ice cream to commemorate the flavors of the Italian flag.