Thames River Greenery unites the fineries of several artisans in the New London community to festoon patrons' lines of vision with an intricate blend of floral arrangements and gifts. Brighten rooms and nourish pet honeybees with floral bouquets such as the spring oasis ($50+), which brings together tulips, hot-pink spray roses, purple mokara orchids, and seafoam statice in a glass cylinder vase. Boxed chocolates ($9.99+) and stuffed animals($9.99+) can be added to arrangements to provide flowers with comfort and sustenance during car rides to their new homes. In addition to plush and prismatic gifts, Thames River carries its own line of wine and spirits ($10+) as well as an array of imported cheeses ($8+). To complement meals with new and interesting flavors, customers can take home a tote of Stonewall Kitchen specialty sauces ($29.95+), including wasabi-ginger sauce, coffee-caramel sauce, and sun-dried tomato-and-olive relish.
At Dev’s, owners Candace and Bunny manifest their vast travels into worldly cuisine, fusing culinary traditions from Spain, Asia, and the Mediterranean into one exotic menu. An expansive lineup of contemporary tapas helps to kick start meals with sharable bites of miniature sweet rock crab cakes with remoulade ($4.75) or toasted goat cheese, honey, and almonds on crusty crostini ($7.25). Come entree time, traverse the peaks of creamy ricotta and ebbs of tomato sauce arranged in luscious layers to form vegetable lasagna ($14.50). Or, reel in mouthfuls of mussels, shrimp, and clams on a plate of seafood Italiano, piled high with linguine and spicy tomato broth ($19.25). Between bites and juicy bits of Placido Domingo–related gossip, parched pipes find refreshment in various wines and cocktails, such as a full-bodied Kendall Jackson chardonnay ($9/glass) and piquant swigs of a red-sangria martini ($9). Adding to the festive air, Dev’s currently features live music on Friday and Saturday nights and is also in the process of hatching menus for both brunch and lunch.
Recognized as one of New England’s top cozy eateries with a 2010 Yankee magazine Editor’s Choice award, Brie & Bleu brings teeth and people together with a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Embark upon delights such as Midnight Moon, an aged goat cheese ($23/lb.), or the Marcona Almonds, roasted in sunflower oil with a touch of sea salt ($18/lb.). Additional options include the Tome de Savoie ($18/lb.), La Tur ($12 each), and the European Olive Medley ($8/lb.).
Hot Rod Cafe halts the hankerings of hungry patrons with a menu sporting an array of hearty dishes, including more than 25 varieties of buffalo wings ($5.50/six). Wing fiends can flap their taste buds toward meaty morsels endowed with flavors such as chipotle barbecue, garlic parmesan, and spicy teriyaki, or they can opt for Cajun dry rub, the mystical blend of spices from which all Louisiana gator wrestlers derive their power.
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.