Sunday, February 24, 2013

2/15/13-Leon's, North Haven, CT

Tom and I had visited Leon's when it was located on Long Wharf and had an incredible dinner, so we were excited to see that they located closer to us! On a particularly stressful day, we decided to treat ourselves and head out for a nice lunch. The new space (the old Hollywood Video) is large with both classic and modern touches (but what is with the fake ivy on the back corner wall? Just tacky.) All the servers were in classic black and white attire and the head chef could be seen roaming about and visiting with a few tables.

Water glasses were filled and warm, crusty bread was brought over. For my lunch, I went with the Bucatini all'Amatriciana. Portion size was perfect but I wasn't too thrilled with my choice. The pasta (in the description says it is housemade) was undercooked and crunchy almost at times. The sauce was a little chunkier than I would have preferred but I did appreciate the good amount of pancetta, giving the dish the salty and smoky tones. Tom went with the Chicken Zingara, which was definitely a hit. The whole dish was perfectly cooked and seasoned--loved the subtle fennel sausage and the flavor of the pan sauce that tied everything together.

The highlight for us was the head chef walking around with tasting plates of Scungilli (conch in a marinara sauce)--very nice to try something off the menu!

We decided to splurge a bit and get dessert, but to go. I ordered the Biscotti plate, which came in a good sized takeout container. Uhh, where was the biscotti?? I was lucky if there was 6 small chunks of biscotti floating around in this large container. I am almost always tolerant but this looked awful. I sent it back--for $6, I expect a few full-size pieces of biscotti for dunking and enjoying.

Overall, not a bad experience but also, not great. After having dinner at the Long Wharf location, I expected better. Maybe a few kinks to work out still with the new place.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

11/30/12-Matthew's Restaurant, Unionville, CT

A lovely dining experience!

Tom and I decided on dinner here before taking in a theatre performance. Finding the restaurant is tricky since it is in an odd location, but follow the signs to the parking lot around the back of the building which will bring you to the restaurant's door. They have a patio, which I'm sure is lovely in warm weather but since it was late November, a table indoors for us. The waitstaff was very attentive, filling water glasses and bringing fresh ciabatta style bread to our table. They have a Louisiana-style grill menu for the specials this month, which is fitting since the owner has roots there. Speaking of, Matthew himself was seen making tableside caesar for another party and was consistently involved in the dining room, checking on customers and helping his staff--always nice to see this.

For my dinner, I decided to go with the Louisiana mixed grill--herb crusted lamb chop, andouille sausage with house mustard sauce and a petite filet, cajun blackened with a demi glace, all served with chive whipped potatoes and fresh veggies. Wow. This plate had it all! The filet was my favorite--cooked perfectly to my order of medium rare, with a nice flavor from the blackening. The chive whipped potatoes were a perfect accompaniment, and the carrots and asparagus was also a nice touch. Tom went with the NY strip steak--also cooked perfectly to his liking. The steak was very tender and he had a great portion of sauteed spinach and potatoes.

I wish we weren't full by the end of this delightful meal because I wanted to have those beignets, but maybe another time. Service was professional and very efficient in taking care of the dining room patrons, topping off an excellent experience. Would definitely come back!

11/29/12-Michael's Deli, Cheshire, CT

Had some job training near home today, so got to have lunch with the hubby on my break. We decided to check out Michael's Deli. It had a comfortable, homey feel to it with a few tables for the lunch crowd. There are specials posted on their website everyday, so I already had an idea of what I wanted today. We shared the cheeseburger soup--chock full of ground beef and diced tomatoes that gave it a nice, hearty texture and flavor. I had the chicken caesar asiago wrap--not sure where the asiago was since it appeared to have american cheese, so the wrap was average, nothing special. Tom had the Junior's favorite--grilled chicken, roasted red peppers, pesto mayo, provolone cheese and greens--very enjoyable!

A nice place to stop instead of the usual lunch choices. Business was steady the entire time, which is always a good sign!

Monday, November 26, 2012

11/23/12-Spicy Green Bean, Glastonbury, CT

Tom and I headed out to lunch with Jill and Cory. I've been talking about wanting to go back here since a Yelp event a few months ago, so I'm glad we finally made the time. Even though it was pretty busy when we arrived, we got a nice big table by the window.

Jill and I both got the "Big Bangin Monster Steak and Cheese"--and it was all of that and more. Real steak, cooked up perfectly with a great spice blend that gave it an amazing peppery flavor, caramelized onions, cheddar cheese, mayo, lettuce and tomato on a hefty roll, served with fries (regular for me, sweet potato for Jill). The steak sandwich was delish and was the envy of Tom--but where was the mayo? There could have been more cheese, too--there was a barely there sprinkling of cheddar melted atop the steak. These two things didn't stop me from enjoying this sandwich. I want another one right now, just thinking about it.

Cory and Tom had burgers--Cory's all-American burger must have been good, since it was inhaled. Tom went with the Chimi burger, which had the house chimichurri sauce on it--but where was the sauce?? A very, very light coating of chimi sauce was found upon opening up the burger, but it really couldn't be tasted because there definitely wasn't enough of it. Tom also ordered a roast beef sandwich to go, and he had the same problem again--he ordered it with a garlic mayo and it was barely there. It seemed that maybe the kitchen just does a small squirt in the middle of the burger/sandwich and doesn't layer it out to the sides of the meat and bread--we all love creative condiments, so let them shine! Next time I will be sure to order an additional side of the sauce to meet my particular taste.

Oh and the fries were incredibly good! I don't know how they make or season them, but they are damn tasty and addicting! The sweet potato ones were ok, nothing special, especially in comparison to the regular fries.

Service was friendly (and even hooked us up with cookies because of the Yelp check-in!) and we were all stuffed by the end of lunch. We will definitely return!