Monday, May 16, 2011

5/15/11-Luce, Middletown, CT

We were craving a new experience and since I was away last night, finding one was the least I could do! We headed to downtown Middletown with 2 places in mind--Luce and Esca. We started with Esca but quickly found that they only serve the dinner menu on Sundays! Not in the mood for dinner quite yet, we went across the street to Luce and I'm glad we did!

It was very quiet when we arrived (the main roads being blocked off probably didn't help traffic very much) and were seated by the windows. Inside, the decor was dark with a romantic, upscale feel and a fireplace that must be lovely in the winter. Service was quick and efficient, with beverages and bread being brought to our table shortly after sitting. Tom was intrigued by a special that they had available--striped bass with mussels and clams with garlicky spinach in a fra diavolo broth--I am trying to get better about tasting seafood, so I tried a bite and really enjoyed it. The bass did not have a strong fishy taste, the fra diavolo broth really complimented the dish. I had the Chicken BLT Sandwich,with applewood smoked bacon and a dijon aioli--the chicken was perfectly grilled and there was a mound of bacon on my sandwich! Accompanying the dish was a mix of regular and sweet potato fries and a dill pickle slice, all very nicely presented. We had an excellent lunch and would be happy to return!

5/14/11-Laskara, Wallingford, CT

Admittedly, we've been avoiding this place. Tom's parents had been here a few years ago and didn't particularly care for the place so we put it off. Tonight, however, I didn't make the plans--we celebrated Kelly's bachelorette here and I'd say it was a nice dining experience.

We all started with a round of martinis and other assorted alcoholic beverages (I don't know why I keep trying martinis, I think it is because I hope I'll like them someday but I really just don't care for the straight up vodka taste). We did not order apps because we had some at our previous location, so on to our entrees--I could not even begin to remember what everyone had but it will suffice to say everyone seemed to enjoy what they ordered. For myself, I figured I'd go with something different, something Mediterranean considering that is the cuisine they are known for, so I ordered the special--Pastichata (slow cooked veal over rigatoni in a plum tomato sauce)--Melissa ordered the same and we both felt that the veal was very "beefy" in taste, not at all what we expected, however the dish was enjoyable. Dinners came with family-style bread and salad as well. We were all full and didn't order dessert but the staff came out with a complimentary piece of baklava--I was so excited to have this and I now am making it my mission this summer to attempt it because it was so good!

Overall, the evening was a success! Kudos to Melissa for planning a lovely evening for the bride-to-be!

4/23/11-Taste Restaurant & Lounge, North Haven, CT

We hadn't heard much about this place, but we had a deal and it's not too far from us, so we popped in on this dreary Saturday night. The space is small but beautifully decorated with gorgeous paintings of dress mannequins done by the waitress we had tonight! Her talent is astounding and it is wonderful that she is able to showcase her work (and sell it).

We started with the pork potstickers, served with a ponzu dipping sauce--the sauce was lovely, really complimented the potstickers, nicely plated as well. Then for our entrees--we both chose pasta dishes, which unfortunately I cannot remember the description of--however, I do remember that we both enjoyed our dishes and the main point we walked away with from Taste was portion size--everything was perfectly portioned and we left feeling satisfied and craving dessert instead of overstuffed and unable to move! This place is worth a look if you're in the area and unsure of where to go.