Sunday, November 29, 2009

11/28/09-Rossini's Italian Restaurant & Pizza, Cheshire, CT

Both of us had a long day--me with work, Tom with moving furniture--and we were craving something hearty. It has been quite a few years since we'd been to Rossini's and I am glad we finally returned. The place was jammin, both in the dining area and the takeout section. Quickly seated, our waitress was very pleasant, helpful and efficient. Tom had the eggplant parmigiana, which was served with a side of pasta, a salad and rolls--the eggplant came out piping hot and plentiful. I had the veal parmigiana grinder with a side salad--the grinder was huge and really hit the spot (if I had a complaint, it would be that my small side salad that I ordered was $4, but so it goes). We both left stuffed and happy, with takeout containers to enjoy the next day. This is a very friendly hometown pizza joint with a laid-back, comfortable feel- I hope we don't take a few years till our next visit!

11/21/09-Los Mariachis, Wallingford, CT

I apologize for the lateness on this review--I didn't realize I forgot to blog! I digress.

We decided to grab a quick dinner before heading to the casino to see Jimmy Buffett (AMAZING!) rather than trying to get a seat at Margaritaville with the rest of my parrotheads and what better to get than Mexican?! The restaurant was relatively empty and we were told to pick a table. The dining area is very brightly decorated with art and other items from Mexico, along with a banner or two for Corona. Our waitress brought over a basket of tortilla chips and two salsas--a spicy red and a tomatillo. Tom and I were both privy to the red--I wouldn't even call it a salsa, rather a red sauce. One of the specials for the evening was a chipotle chicken quesadilla, which we were so glad we tried--bursting with flavor, nice and smoky with a good amount of heat yet not overpowering. For entrees, Tom had the supreme steak burrito--it was HUGE and delicious--chock full of rice, beans, steak, lettuce, tomato, sour cream and cheese. My entree was the flauta dinner (no beans for me!) and it was a good choice. Overall, this is a good place to get a quick dinner at great prices. Considering we live right down the street, I am sure we'll be back!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

11/13/09-Imperial Caribbean Restaurant, Cromwell, CT

Had the pleasure of a revist this evening and dinner was lovely. This place is still pretty slow, only one other table when we arrived at 730 but they seemed to be doing a decent take-out business. We picked our table and quickly had our beverages brought to us. For appetizer, we couldn't resist having the festival dumplings with their creole dipping sauce--hot and crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. I think I would totally get an order (or 2...) for takeout and bring em home to surprise Tom! Our salads then arrived with a spicy balsamic vinegar and plantains on top. For our entrees, Tom had enjoyed my Curry Chicken so much last time that he ordered it this time--and cleaned his plate! I tried the Jerk Chicken which had a nice amount of heat on the back end of the bite. I tried the Mac au Gratin as my side instead of the rice and beans but it wasn't my thing--strong cheese with an interesting flavor (not sure what it was) but Tom really enjoyed it, so I guess you'll have to try it for yourself! As usual, we stuffed ourselves so there was no room for dessert--a successful dinner, if I do say so.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

10/31/09-The Mill at 2T, Tariffville, CT

Went out on a whim this Halloween's night up to Simsbury to have dinner at the Mill at 2T and my goodness, what an experience! A very unassuming, small place with room for only a few tables and a small kitchen. We were greeted by Kelleanne, who was very pleasant and she showed us to the last 2 seats at the "bar"--really, it was adjacent to the open kitchen and we had the pleasure of chatting with Chef Ryan all evening and it allowed us to preview the menu options. Chef Ryan explained that the menu changes daily and if there was something that caught our eye, we should go for it because odds are, it wouldn't be around again for a while--that's all he had to say for us to try something out of the ordinary, though I don't think I would call any of his creations "ordinary"--they were incredible and very well thought out.

I ordered a glass of Pino Gris and Tom had a Blue Moon and we were brought a basket of popovers to start--freshly made and fantastic! While watching them work, we decided on our starters--I had the Mixed Baby Greens from Starlight Gardens, Beltane Farms Goat Cheese,Candied Walnuts, Cranberry Confit, Maple & Cranberry Dressing--the greens were fresh, the cheese was creamy and strong and it all worked very well. Tom had the George’s Banks Scallops-Corn and Celery Root Hash, English Pea Emulsion--they were perfectly cooked and accented nicely by the peas. After going back and forth on the menu options, we finally decided--I had the Braised Pork Osso Buco with a red wine reduction and asparagus--it was fork tender and just fell apart in my plate. I've never had Osso Buco before but I think this was very good. Tom chose the Wild Boar Tenderloin, Black Pepper Fries, Brussel and Corn Succotash--his dish was amazing, very well executed--the boar was cooked medium-rare and was not too "gamey" like I thought it might have been--this was a clear winner for us.

We could not let a dining experience like this go without ordering dessert! This was an easy choice--Chocolate Pot de Creme--I swear I died and went to heaven, it was beyond my wildest dreams--rich, creamy and topped with fresh whipped cream. Can I go back just to order this again? It was the perfect ending to a fantastic dining experience. To top it all off, the couple next to us was nice enough to share a few bites of the other 2 desserts on the menu--the Apple Brown Betty and the Warm berries with mascapone cheese--both good, but nothing beats the one we chose. We thanked Ryan and his partner as we were leaving for a great meal--we'll be back, I promise. Next time we'll make reservations--for the bar, of course.