Severe hunger causes sane diners to consume shocking meals, such as old boxes of baking soda or dollops of caviar served without the traditional accompaniment of crème fraîche. Avoid desperate binges with today’s Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of upscale fare and drinks at Matthew’s Restaurant in Farmington.
The culinary wunderkinds at Matthew’s Restaurant usher upscale fare into diners' mouths, crafted from hand-selected fresh fish and fine cuts of meat. Sweet corn and spicy crab bisque ($7) limber tongues for a dinner of New England butter-poached lobster ($32) or beef wellington ($30), complete with a caesar salad prepared tableside as the ghost of Julius Caesar invisibly nods his approval ($8/person, minimum two diners). Nosh on small plates of fried calamari ($11) and fresh jumbo-lump crab cakes ($13) from the pub menu, or lunch on sandwich selections including the classic Reuben ($11) and the oyster po boy ($13). Classic brunch fare, served Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., includes eggs benedict ($12.95) and a crusty cadre of scones, muffins, breads, and assorted jams.
Matthew’s Restaurant, set back from the watery banks of the Farmington River, showcases an outdoor patio where diners can relax under the moon or on top of stars they've stolen from the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The restaurant also understands that eating meals in silence can cause lethal staring contests, which is why it hosts live music every Wednesday and Thursday evening.
"Now listen up," insists Connecticut Magazine. "Matthew’s tableside Caesar salad has to be the best in the state, if not the country." It's hard to argue with that claim. Starting with torn hearts of romaine lettuce, the salad is made right next to your table, which gives you the chance to catch the distinct aromas of garlic croutons and parmesan cheese before each is thrown into the mix.
Executive Chef Greg Marcuson's culinary talents, of course, extend beyond salad. In fact, they're visible throughout Matthew's menu, in the Berkshire lamb shanks he braises for eight hours and in the cheddar grits he pairs with jumbo shrimp tossed in a barbecue dry rub.
But even the food can't claim sole responsibility for Matthew's popularity. Credit is also due to the restaurant's idyllic location, which includes a spacious outdoor patio with a stunning view of the Farmington River and its kindly fish god.
55 Mill St.
Farmington, Connecticut 06085