As the aroma of fresh baked cookies, pies, and cakes wafts through the air at Hannah’s Catering & Bakery, one might wonder where the eponymous baker is. However, the person responsible for the appetizing scent is not Hannah, but rather Margaret Jacobs—Hannah’s great-granddaughter. Surrounded by her great-grandmother's Irish cooking, Margaret learned the ins and outs of the kitchen at a young age—including how to avoid getting locked in the fridge—and developed a deep passion for cooking, a passion she later transformed into a career. In 1989, the Culinary Institute of America grad opened up her own shop in Torrington, naming it in honor of her biggest motivator, Hannah. There, she churned out decadent baked goods for two decades before moving her bakery, café, and catering shop to Litchfield.
Today, Margaret fills boxed lunches or sticks and bindles with hearty chicken-salad, roast-beef, and vegetarian sandwiches, each stacked atop marble-rye, white, or wheat bread. She creates soul-warming soups and chowders, fresh-from-the-oven pot pies, and hearty platters of mac 'n' cheese. For dessert, a glass bakery case showcases freshly baked and elegantly decorated cakes—such as red velvet, mocha raspberry, and classic carrot—and tempts passersby with cream puffs, fruit-filled strudels, and nearly 20 types of pies, from blueberry to mincemeat.
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.
The Crown Market stuffs its shelves with food prepared fresh daily, including meat, produce, and kosher grocery items supervised by a diligent duo of rabbis. Crown’s to-go department comprises a rich variety of pre-prepared fare, such as rotisserie chicken ($5.49/lb.) and noodle kugel ($5.99/lb.) that remain studiously separated from their kosher counterparts and travel with ease from market to table or underground lair. Chomp on a hearty sandwich from the New York–style deli, stuffed with fillings such as chunky chicken salad ($6.99) or hot pastrami ($7.99) and escorted by a pickle and a choice of coleslaw, potato salad, or macaroni salad. Freshly cut watermelon ($0.69/lb.) holds court in the packed produce section, and scratch-baked brownies ($1.49 each) and black-and-white cookies ($1.69 each) coexist comfortably in the full-service bakery, squabbling only over dishwashing duties.
For more than 50 years, the Wolfs have run Bloomfield Bicycle & Repair Shop, outfitting cyclists with the bikes best suited to their customers’ needs such as Schwinn mountain and Jamis street bikes. They can even pair up couples with tandem bikes and the pedal-weary with electric bikes. Besides slipping cyclists into bike shoes, gloves, and vests, they also mend and maintain all kinds of bikes, from traditional two-wheelers to electric bikes and scooters.
Jesse Camille's Restaurant combines the name of its cofounders?Larry Erickson and Camille Perugini?which is the also the name of Erickson's daughter. The families likewise combined their nearly 50 years of restaurant- and hospitality-industry experience, creating a casual space everyone could enjoy. Their kitchen puts a modern twists on Italian and American classics, such as New England clam chowder, Boston-style BBQ steak tips, and a signature pumpkin ravioli with proscuitto, apricot, and sage butter.
Like its menu, Jesse Camille's ambiance is made to order. The sports bar, for instance, has bar-style seating and plenty of televisions, while the classic dining room boasts a fireplace for a cozy meal. When weather permits, diners spend most of their time on the awning-covered patio, enjoying their dishes with a side of sunshine.
LaRosa Marketplace's enthralling story chronicles the restaurant's growth over four generations from a garage-based sausage shop to a purveyor of delectable sandwiches, wraps, fresh salads, and house-prepared meats. Sate midday pangs with a panini sandwich such as the panino parma, an assemblage of parma prosciutto, veggies, fresh mozzarella, basil, and olive oil packed and grilled into crusty diamonds of flavor perfect for winning a stomach's love ($7.50). A roster of grinders challenges chompers with mounds of savory ingredients such as veal cutlet, sweet or spicy soppressata, marinated beef, and eggplant ($7.50–$9 for a half). Weekly specialties incorporate LaRosa's homemade sausages, made from lean meat with no additives, into dishes such as Thursday's roasted Italian sausage with orrechiette pasta and broccoli rabe ($8.99). Meat eschewers and veggie chewers frolic through a salad menu that includes the antipasto salad, which opens taste buds and pollinates tooth flowers with marinated mushrooms, artichokes, olives, and roasted peppers in a meadow of romaine lettuce ($7.50).