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.
City News caters to stogie-savvy shoppers with its well-stocked humidor, filled with a wide selection of cigars from a variety of brands. Patrons looking for sturdy materials can build a smokeable bunker out of Brick House Robusto cigars ($6.50), and imported Lochem ($12.50) lip logs, hand-rolled by master cigar-makers in Nicaragua, please choosy palettes. Puff on selections from Davidoff Marrakech ($18.50) and the Avo Heritage series ($9.50), or pair a bold Ashton VSG ($17.50) with a special brandy or a very special Brandy single.
Savory scents of chicken wings drift through the dining room at Hot Rod Cafe, where chefs sauce up a menu filled with more than 15 varieties of bone-in beauties. Slather mouths in Scovilles of extra hot buffalo or spicy teriyaki, or shake hands with the more hospitable flare of the Southern fried wing and its honey barbecue cousin ($10.95 for 12). Instead of building bone yards, diners can stage a savory stare-down with the intimidator burger and its pound of double beef patty layers, which sport fists of gooey cheese, bacon strips, and its own boxing ring of onions ($12.95). Others may slow dance with forkfuls of zesty barbecue chicken salad ($10.95) or hold hands around a philly cheese wrap, oozing compliments of freshly shorn steak and green peppers ($9.95). Wash down meals with an array of specialty cocktails ranging from traditional beers to house-made sangrias.
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.).
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.
The ocean's bounty makes its way into most of the dishes at Stone Fleet Tavern, from the lobster quesadillas to the seafood pot pie stuffed with scallops and shrimp. Reminders of the sea pervade the wood-accented dining room as well, where two large oars decorate one wall and a grizzled captain places umbrellas in your drink. In addition to its seafood-centric food, the tavern also plates steak, burgers, and vegetarian eats including pasta and sandwiches.
The cooks at Tio Rodrigo’s Mexican Grill melt, grill, and sauté selections from a menu of Mexican standards to order. Rice, pinto beans, corn, and meat or veggies overflow from mission-style rolled burritos ($8.95–$10.95), so named for early Spanish missionaries' habit of bundling guacamole inside their tunics for warmth in the New World. A trio of corn tortillas safeguards steak, chicken, or cheese in the enchiladas ($7.95–$11.95), and pintsize patrons can nibble less-spicy mini meals from the kids' menu, opting for a cheese quesadilla or grilled chicken with rice and beans ($4.95–$6.95 each). House-made red and white sangria, Mexican beers, and margaritas made with fresh fruit juice and a choice of more than three dozen tequilas ($8+) accompany meals taken before a game on one of the widescreen TVs or on the patio.