Great American cuisine with some twists and classics. Excellent atmosphere for a dinner with your significant other or friends. Family friendly as well, especially on weekend days or early evenings when there is a chance to see the planes taking off and landing.
Lanza Restaurant's chefs plate a menu of authentic, upscale Italian dishes as guests drink in live entertainment. Taking inspiration from matryoshka dolls, diners can fill bellies with stuffed selections such as the ricotta-stuffed ravioli ($11.95) and the eggplant rollatini, in which a trio of ricotta, provolone, and prosciutto crowd into a golden eggplant topped with mozzarella and marinara ($13.95). In the veal piccata, a sautéed veal cutlet bathes in herbs, capers, and a luxurious lemon-butter sauce ($17.95), and the swordfish oreganto pairs a sautéed swordfish steak drizzled in roasted-garlic butter sauce with potatoes—Italy's most famous carbohydrate ($18.95). As diners captivate taste buds with savory sauces and pastas, live music and comedy acts thrill eardrums on Lanza’s stage, and a dance area lets couples practice for upcoming line-dancing marathons.
Having already earned back-to-back spots on Connecticut Magazine's Best of Connecticut in 2009 and 2010, Liquid Lunch keeps bellies full and spoons out of the unemployment line with a slurp-worthy twist on midday meals. Culinary Institute of America graduate and owner Fred Bialek and his wife, Michele, were inspired to open the first Liquid Lunch in 2004, when they'd grown tired of lunchtime standards such as pizza, burgers, and lightly salted printouts of old PowerPoint presentations.
Today, at Liquid Lunch's still-growing roster of locations, a rotating lineup of gourmet soups cascades across the menu alongside six staple soups, including vegetarian lentil and split pea with ham. For an extra crunch, diners can plunge fork-first into salads, or explore healthy Sammiches, which escort taste buds around the globe with names influenced by their ingredients and spear-pickles engraved with necessary passport information.
Draft House entertains patrons with 10 beers on tap, 10 H-D TVs bedecking a spacious dining room, and a full menu of bar favorites. Perk up palates with a basket of jalapeño poppers stuffed with gooey mozzarella ($9), or purposefully slip and fall into an order of pulled-pork or cheeseburger sliders, which are cushioned with fries for safety ($9). A Cajun-spiced tilapia sandwich with mango ketchup and mixed greens unveils one of the millions of sophisticated tastes the world’s oceans contain beyond saltwater cider and kelp fritters ($11). For meatier-minded appetites, the Draft House burger delivers a gut-gratifying helping of caramelized onions, mushrooms, and mozzarella ($10), and chicken marsala with mashed potatoes sends tongues into reveries of delicious meals of yore ($14). Accent your rib stickers with one of Draft House’s brews, a candy-flavored martini, or a glass of wine.
The Rocco boys' love for pizza started in the Bronx, where they worked at their father’s pizzerias from a young age. Now, brothers Joe, Mike, and Frank are continuing their family's tradition at 10 locations of their own invention—all flaunting the Planet Pizza name tag.
A man can't build such a pizza universe without some serious pies. But inspiration isn't a problem for the Planet Pizza culinary team, who've molded more than 30 toppings into about 25 specialty circles, all available on gluten-free and whole-wheat crusts. In addition to specialty pizzas, the cooks concoct other menu choices such the compo salad with baby field greens, grape tomatoes, candied walnuts, gorgonzola, and dried cranberries or the buffalo chicken wrap loaded with strips of crispy chicken, lettuce, tomato, spicy wing sauce, and chunky blue cheese dressing are more convincing than Pluto as a mature planet.
Lauded in the New York Times for its "clean and delicate" flavors, Peking Duck House's menu earned the restaurant a coveted spot on the list of the 100 best Chinese restaurants in the country. The kitchen's Cantonese-style dishes come courtesy of Chef and owner Harry Wu, who––according to Times reporter Stephanie Lyness––often appears tableside to serve his signature Peking-duck dish. The namesake feast––available as a whole or half duck––arrives in two distinct courses, opening with crispy, grilled slices of duck, waiting to be snuggly wrapped up in homemade crepes, sprinkled with scallions, and drizzled with a special sauce. Then, colorful slivers of seasonal veggies are sautéed with more tender morsels of meat, and paired with a side of rice, which may be eaten or thrown at nearby newlyweds.
Other Cantonese favorites include classics such as kung-pao chicken and pan-fried dumplings as well as house specialties such as clams in a spicy black-bean sauce. Spicier dishes are noted with a tiny chile-pepper icon to warm sensitive taste buds or hungry snowmen, while five steamed entrees are prepared sans salt, oil, or cornstarch to cater to the calorie-conscious.