Each Wood-N-Tap restaurant’s kitchen serves a menu of casual American food that ranges from burgers and sandwiches to pasta, pizza, and entrees. The eatery partners with farms from New Jersey to Maine to cultivate 100% all-natural meats for their homegrown burgers, which feature tender hormone-, steroid-, and antibiotic-free meats such as Wagyu beef, bison, free-range turkey, and pork. Chefs grill entrees including swordfish and bourbon-marinated grilled sirloin, as well as signature items such as mac ‘n’ cheese pizza and Bar Bites sliders constructed with bison, Angus beef, turkey, or a baseball.
Wood-N-Tap blossomed from the fitting combination of its owners’ skills—Mike scouts the locations, Phil markets the brand, and Wil and Kenny manage the daily operations of the various locations. More than a decade ago, after forging a friendship as strong as oak and a partnership as strong as steel-reinforced oak, the crew opened the first Wood-N-Tap location in 2002—and they have expanded to seven locations and counting.
The chefs at Gio's Restaurant & Lounge cater to virtually every taste with a menu of eclectic international and American cuisine. They craft hearty pizzas with freshly kneaded dough, whole-milk mozzarella, and signature red or white sauces, as well as 24 toppings such as ricotta cheese, bacon, and hot peppers. The cooks spend the rest of the mealtime hand-battering buffalo wings, shaving off slices of gyro meat, and grilling half-pound burger patties over one of the kitchen's many Bunsen burners. Neutral-toned walls and plenty of open space help to create a welcoming ambience in the dining room, while the lounge area's red sofas, flat-screen televisions, and pool table encourage diners to stay for a bit after eating.
Though the world has changed in the decades since the Inghilterra family immigrated to the United States, the clan's Old-World recipes and traditional values have not. Named for the newest crop of Inghilterra kids, Bella and Anthony, the eatery invites patrons to spool fresh pasta or build topographical maps of Italy in a hand-tossed pizza pie baked "like Momma used to make."
The restaurant culls fresh italian sausage and bread from neighboring local businesses, then uses the treats to insulate hot grinder subs and hearty calzones. The Inghilterra crew also encourages lingering four nights a week by hosting live music and using extra-sticky cheese.
When The Saybrook Fish House Restaurant first opened in 1978, its chefs would scrawl their menu on brown paper bags each day, constantly updating dishes according to the freshest catch available. Today the menu is printed, but the chefs continue to follow in their predecessors' footsteps by serving only freshly caught seafood from New England waters.
Amid the wooden panels and hanging lanterns of the restaurant’s four cozy dining rooms, baskets of fried seafood meet with iced clams and oysters from the raw bar. The staff provides full meals complete with warm bread, salad, and fresh fruit, along with a hot towel and an original poem written by the busboy.