Inside of Red Hen, an Old Saybrook bistro that opened in late 2012, plates of Mediterranean-inspired fare share table space with American classics. Chefs thoughtfully choose the ingredients for these dishes, taking care to procure free-range chicken and sourcing seafood from nearby Little Narragansett Bay.
Besides comforting, yet upscale entrees, the bistro also features a tapas menu that traffics in small plates. These shareable morsels can pair with 30 wines by the glass or quartino, and sips of craft beer and cocktails.
Recently named the state’s best family dining restaurant by Connecticut Managzine, Chips’ Pub III fills the bellies of its guests with steaks, seafood, and other homestyle dishes. An impressive list of 15 hand-pressed burgers, each char-broiled over an open hearth, dominates the menu, which also features Chips’ specialties such as the Primo prime rib with housemade horseradish, and platters of scallops, shrimp, and calamari.
While Chef Shelley DeProto draws from an arsenal of authentic Mexican ingredients ranging from ranchero sauce to verde rice, the bartenders primarily depend on only three ingredients: lime, salt, and tequila. Pulling from shelves lined with various tequilas, they fill shot and margarita glasses with the south-of-the-border libation to complement Chef DeProto's slow-roasted pork carnitas and carne asada burritos stuffed with grilled steak, portabellas, jack cheese, and ranchero sauce.
Chamard Vineyards spans 20 acres of lush, vine-laden landscape, providing fertile ground for grapes to outgrow their fruity shells during their metamorphosis into palate-pleasing beverages. Local folk maestros take the stage during live-music showcases, laying down a soundtrack for guests as they sip wine such as one of Chamard’s regal chardonnays, culled from grapes growing on nearby shorelines. The cabernet franc provides a naturally rosy blush for snowmen attempting to fit in with humans, and pairs well with a selection of cheese, charcuterie, and pate available for purchase during the performances. While not included with this Groupon, Chamard Vineyards piques curious palates with wine tastings held prior to singer-songwriter performances as well as on other evenings.
In the kitchen of Nuzzo's Apizza, third-generation pizza maker Barry Nuzzo and his team of cooks prepare thin-crust New Haven-style pizzas and Sicilian-style pies layered with ricotta cheese. Patrons can choose from toppings such as bacon, clams, or red peppers roasted on-site, or opt for a specialty pie: the Eggplant Rollatine, for example, which combines eggplant, marinara, ham, ricotta, and Parmesan. The cooks also make gluten-free pizzas, pasta dishes, and submarine sandwiches.