Jimbo and Becky founded the first Poor People’s Pub in New Hampshire during a period of unemployment, later inspiring Brenna and Ross Audino and Bo Keating to carry on the tradition by opening up a sister location in Block Island. There, chef Ross’s no-frills menu spotlights comforting, housemade morsels such as german potato salad served in a warm skillet, half-pound hot dogs, locally sourced seafood, and pizzas festooned with stick-to-your-ribs toppings such as pulled pork. His culinary team also crafts plenty of gluten-free and vegetarian dishes to appease customers of every dietary stripe. Behind a bar forged from a 4-inch slab of pine harvested from Lovell Lake, New Hampshire, barkeeps and dislocated squirrels join forces to fill pints with frosty draft beers. The pub entices guests to stick around until its 1 a.m. daily close time with events such as summertime dance parties and Sunday brunches set to live music.
When Travis Dickey opened the first Dickey's Barbecue Pit in Dallas in 1941, he kept his menu small and simple, only cooking up beef brisket, pit hams, and barbecue beans, which he sold alongside potato chips, beer, bottled milk, and sodas. Dickey smoked all of his meat in-house, a practice that put his eatery on the map and one that his sons, Roland and T.D. Dickey, still rely on today.
The menu has expanded since Travis?s time behind the grill, offering plates and sandwiches that brim with eight kinds of barbecued meats, including spicy cheddar sausages, pork ribs, polish sausage, and Texas-style beef brisket and pulled pork that?s chopped to order. Several types of baked potatoes are piled high with meats and cheeses, which diners can wash down with a gallon of tea or Dickey's signature 32-ounce big yellow cup of soda. Staying true to the same spirit of hospitality, cooks always include a buttery roll; a homestyle side such as jalape?o beans and fried okra; dill pickles; and free ice cream with every meat plate.
Owner John Graham, an alumnus of notable Connecticut restaurants such as Constantine’s and Frank’s Gourmet Grille, opened The Hearsay Bar & Grille with his wife, Kellie. Located in New London, a town close to their hearts, the pair dishes up a menu of casual eats, from their signature lobster bisque to slabs of fall-off-the-bone pork ribs. An advocate for locally sourced spirits, The Hearsay is the first establishment in the area to serve Onyx Moonshine and Kra-ze Vodka, which, like Yale’s valedictorians, are produced in local fermentation tanks. Bartenders mix drinks with Grey Goose vodka and Johnnie Walker whiskey beneath the lambent glow of four widescreen TVs that entertain diners beside a rotating slate of disc-spinning DJs and acoustic crooners.
From Texas beef brisket to tangy Atlantic pulled pork, chef Chet’s culinary philosophy remains the same: it’s not the sauce that makes for good barbecue cuisine, but the stuff you slather the sauce on. To that end, Chet enhances succulent cuts of meat by enrobing them in piquant spices and curing them in his metal smoker behind the restaurant. There, spare ribs, wings, and hot links simmer for up to 15 hours before cozying up to southern sides such as mac 'n' cheese and sweet potatoes.
In addition to his cuisine, Chef Chet pays homage to the rural south by decking out his brick-red dining room with rough-hewn wooden booths, folk art, and wisecracking grandmas at every table.
Kim Serignese and Pete Zerio, the owners of Zerio's Old World Restaurant & Catering, serve up Sicilian- and New York?style pizzas, calzones, and grinders in a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. Bread for their sandwiches comes fresh from Arthur Avenue Bakery in New York.
Housed in a transformed 1880’s paper mill, The Adams Mill bears the name of international paper extraordinaire Peter Adams. Today, the multilevel red-brick building is a spacious restaurant, pub, and banquet facility, inviting guests to dine on appetizers such as baked brie, crab cakes, or fried calamari amid those exposed-brick walls. Diners can move on to light entree salads—such as waldorf or cobb—or sample fish and chips, burgers, buffalo-chicken wraps, or other upscale pub classics. Other entrees include teriyaki chicken, 12-ounce new york sirloins, or baked shrimp stuffed with a meta filling of shrimp, scallop, and crabmeat. The restaurant also offers gluten-free selections such as steamed salmon and pan-seared chicken, as well as vegetarian options such as vegetable risotto and zucchini parmesan. And if you’re at Adams Mill during a big game, feel free to grab a seat at the bar, where there are several flat-screen TVs.