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.
Bridge Street Live offers a bevy of entertainment options in an inviting art-deco setting. On October 1, former subway musician Lipbone Redding will purse his namesake to produce wave after wave of brassless trombone sound. Nicknamed the "Human Sweet Box," Redding delivers a unique brand of jazz, blues, jam, and soul. Warm up your laughbox for Comedy Night on October 8, which features DJ Hazard, a founding member of the infamous Ding Ho Club. Also taking the stage is Moody McCarthy, who has been known to craft jokes out of whatever material is most abundant, be it wood, soap, thin air, or overweight air. The third available show, on October 9, sees traditions of Charlie Parker fused with the electric style of Miles Davis to create the distinctive sounds produced by the Isaac Young Quartet. Witness an enjoyable evening of bass lines and completely unsquare jams.
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 1990, 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.