Singled out for having the state's best clam chowder in Connecticut magazine's Best of Connecticut feature, Close Harbour hooks customers with a menu anchored in mouth-watering seafood. Start with crab-and-parmesan-stuffed mushrooms ($7) or pull out your scrimshaw spoon for New England, Manhattan, or Rhode Island clam chowder ($4/cup). Filet of sole stuffed with lump blue-crab meat ($18) reconciles the sea's two most notorious enemies, and swordfish cipolla parries a seasoned swordfish steak with a heaping helping of caramelized onions ($17). Resist flatware hegemony by getting your hands on a toasted roll topped with butter-sautéed lobster (market price), or give in to the powerful lettuce lobby with a pan-seared sea-scallop salad ($14). Any fish in the joint can also be baked, grilled, broiled, fried, or seared and plated with stir-fried veggies for $15.
Popular among Yale professors and local seafood connoisseurs, #1 Fish Market satisfies discriminating palates with its fresh shellfish and sushi-grade tuna, while a lineup of pre-prepared dishes, such as Rhode Island clam chowder and homemade lobster bisque, delights visitors with a taste of hearty New England fare. The market's ever-changing stock always features a variety of fresh-caught fish, such as scallops, sole, halibut, and cod, as well as a selection of frozen items that presents guests with more exotic feasts of Chilean sea bass, octopus, and Alaskan crab.
Bishop's Orchards was established in 1871, when the first of six Bishop generations began filling shoreline bellies with fresh-from-the-farm fruits and vegetables. Today, having withstood 140 years worth of technology changes and weather disasters, the orchard continues to thrive, currently growing crops on more than 320 total acres—313 of which are family-owned. In 2005, the orchard stretched its homegrown empire into potable territories with the birth of a winery, which produces more than 15 wines using the farm's fruit. Not to be outdone, the orchard's market is still a year-round source for fresh produce more than a century after it sprouted into a humble roadside stand from a single appleseed.
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).
March Farms's hospitable agriculturists welcome families to a third-generation farm for autumnal activities as well as just-picked produce and fresh-baked treats. Admission grants visitors unlimited meandering through the sky-high stalks of a 5-acre corn maze. After picking a duo of gorgeous gourds, set up a picnic beside the hayloft playscape—a farm fantasy land complete with a miniature hayloft, schoolhouse, and playhouse, as well as a 450-foot tricycle track on which kids can pedal recklessly without worrying about state speed limits. Alternatively, treat noses to the aroma of the centrally located market and bakery, stocked with vegetables and fruits, such as a 4-quart basket of apples, fresh from Mother Earth's renewable cupboard. Baked treats are available daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with delicacies including a six-pack of cider donuts or a three-pack of large cookies.