Within the stately Litchfield Inn, Bantam Bistro's executive chef Jonathan Gyles lends Italian flair to gourmet American dishes crafted from local and organic ingredients, such as mushrooms from Mountaintop Mushrooms and cheese from Cato Corner Farm. The expansive menu includes dazzling charcuterie platters, fillets of Atlantic salmon and tails of Maine lobster, and pastas such as bucatini and agnolotti. Barkeeps pour sips of more than 118 wines and muddle peaches into Bantam's signature take on the classic old fashioned, whose amber tones glow in the flickering light of tabletop candles in leaf-etched votives. The dining room’s brick-lined fireplace gives chefs a cozy place to store canapés shaped like Christmas stockings, and sparkling chandeliers twinkle above Sunday brunch dishes nestled inside pristine silver chafing dishes.
Pink- and cream-colored stripes line the walls at S&S Sweet Treats, echoing the appealing hues of the sprinkle-studded cupcakes and cakes that emerge from the kitchen. Scoops of ice cream, cookie-crunch ice-cream cakes, and root-beer floats are just a few of the restaurant's other specialties. Not every treat at this eatery is sweet, however; grilled cheese sandwiches and bread bowls filled with steaming soups round out the menu.
With the help of her grandmother, My Dream Cupcake's founder Julie L. learned to bake mouthwatering cupcakes at age 6. She discovered a natural passion for baking, and over the years, family and friends gushed with praise for her handheld treats. Since 2010, she's shared her gift with the public, crafting made-to-order cupcakes using quality chocolates, vanilla bean, and farm-fresh eggs. She eschews shortenings, oils, and prepackaged mixes, which ensures her desserts are free of trans fats and preservatives. In addition to their decadent taste, many of her desserts look almost too appealing to eat, such as her ornate children's birthday cakes and the cupcakes she frosts to look like hydrangeas and roses.
Cuisine Type: Italian fusion and a pastry shop
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 11?25
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Grinders, paninis, and hot dinners
Delivery/Takeout Available: Yes
Outdoor Seating: No
Pro Tip: to avoid the line, you may call ahead with an order
When Avventura first opened in 1969, it was a serviceable, all-purpose neighborhood grocery. But the owners decided to concentrate on housemade food and pastries, and it's now what the New York Times calls a "first-rate delicatessen and pastry shop."
Its menu of Old World Italian and American fusion food satisfies discerning palates with paninis topped with imported prosciutto and mozzarella, hot and cold grinders, sauce-smothered pastas, and chicken entrees. Other housemade options include stuffed breads and pastries, which are made onsite daily. Even its salad bar comes chock full of house-made toppings, including the popular marinated chickpeas.
Middlebury's Best Yogurt, Smoothies, and Ice Cream fashions frozen treats of both the sensible and decadent variety, cooling palates with everything from nonfat, sugar-free frozen yogurt to rich cones of ice cream. Past a storefront decorated in neon lights and ice-cream ads, a freezer case lined with potted plants invites visitors to pick out their favorite flavor of frozen treat. Pineapple, banana, and berries add a splash of tropical flavor to smoothies, and ice-cream cakes celebrate birthdays better than playing pin-the-tail-on-Doug.
Alexandra and Romeo fell in love in France over cups of flour and sugar as Romeo completed his professional boulanger and patissier training. Today, the couple recreates quintessential French flavors in their West Hartford bakery-caf?, where the menu kicks off with breakfasts of pain au chocolat and almond croissants. For lunch, chefs build sandwiches such as Le Brie with cheese and butter, and the Eiffel, whose roasted chicken breast, carrots, and cucumber stands 324 meters tall. Desserts such as macarons and chocolate-hazelnut mousse cake pair with a cappuccino or caf? au lait to round out each meal.
La Petite France also rolls out its portable crepe cart to special events throughout the area, where French-speaking chefs (upon request) whip up sweet or savory crepes for parties of 20 or more.