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Mike Wolfberg's Guide to State of Connecticut Restaurants

PePe's Pizza
Wooster St., New Haven, CT
  This is a popular pizza establishment which has been rated as one of the best pizza places on the East Coast. It is a bit strange in that the only food it serves is pizza. Moreover, you order before you sit down, while you are in the waiting area. You are called into sit when your pizza is ready. This can be uncomfortable in very cold weather. I was not so impressed to pay the price of the lack of amenities, although it was perfectly good pizza. I think their specialty is a topping with white clams and garlic. I recall the available wine was very poor - perhaps only one house wine. I will not bother including directions on how to get there, but I do have them, so contact me if you want them.
Rein's Deli
Vernon, CT
  This is close to I-84 in Vernon, CT. The exit is #65, labelled "Vernon Center, Route 30". This place has fabulous nova lox (i.e., unsalty smoked salmon), which they cut fresh off a fish. You can call ahead and order this in case you are driving by. This is a place to buy takeout, but it is also a full-fledged restaurant. I do not recommend the restaurant in general, but I do recommend taking out the lox and the herring in cream sauce. Their bulk cream cheese is good too. Their sandwiches tend to be dry, except I like the corned beef Reubens. Their spicy meat-based chili is pretty good - a good lunch on the go.
Ruth's Chris
Newington, CT, 860-666-2202
  This is one of the high-priced chain of specialty steak restaurants found scattered about the country. I believe this one is the closest to Boston of all the restaurants. I have generally had very good meals in these steak houses, but the worst one I ever had was at this location. I ordered a porterhouse steak for one and it was much too thin and with a lot of waste; perhaps this was my fault, but they really should not have served such a poor cut of meat. I would return here if the occasion arose. I have had consistently better steaks in other Ruth's Chris establishments in Palm Beach and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. If you are in the Boston, MA or Providence, RI area, a better steak can be had at the Capital Grill.
965 South Main St., Cheshire, CT, 860-250-8888
  I have only been here once for top-notch dim sum. They serve this on Saturday and Sunday until 3:00 in a buffet setting. This is as good as dim sum gets in various Chinatowns.

To get there from Hartford, take Route I-84 West to I-691, which is past Farmington, between Cheshire and Waterbury exits, and take that one exit to Route 10 South. Take Route 10 all the way, going through Cheshire, passing a high school on the right, then turning right into Cheshire Shopping Center at a signal; there's a McDonalds on the left near that turn. The restaurant is at left far end. It's about 10-15 minutes from I-84 to the restaurant.a
Oronoque Plaza, Stratford, CT, 203-377-3505
  This is conveniently right off the Merritt Parkway (Route 15), across the road from the Sikorsky Aircraft factory at the South end of the bridge over the Housatonic River. Take exit 53 North or West towards Shelton, and go less than a mile to the Oronoque Plaza on the left. I enjoy the eggplant rolatini, which has sliced ham and ricotta cheese rolled with eggplant. Their Italian bread is homemade and good (not as outstanding as it was several years ago). This is not an elegant place - just a neighborhood popular spot. It also gets a good lunch business. They are open until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and until 9:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.

back to the top of this page This page, maintained by Mike Wolfberg, was last updated on August 23, 2008.