Tuesday, June 7, 2011

6/4/11-Fat & Happy Bar and Restaurant, Newington, CT

Out to dinner with Jill and Cory to this semi-new restaurant (it is the old 99 house....and if you've ever been to a 99, when you step inside you'll say "Oh yeah...."). They have tried to mask the 99 look by changing a few things around to make it look more modern, still a comfortable atmosphere.

We decided to start with "Robin's Queso Dip"--ground sausage, jalapeños, tomatoes and cheese served with seasoned tortilla chip--I think we were all disappointed by this. It tasted just like jarred queso you get at the store with a few things added into it and if by "seasoned" tortilla chips they mean with salt, then yes, otherwise nothing remarkable. Although it was a large portion, it should not have been priced so high--maybe $4-5 would have made more sense to us.

On to our entrees! Cory had the Shepard's Pie-ground beef and lamb mixed with carrots, onions, peas and gravy topped with whipped potatoes, Vermont aged cheddar baked to a golden brown--the cheese baked over the top made this dish look great and it must have been good because it disappeared! Jill had a build your own burger, which she seemed satisfied with. Tom had Fish and Chips--traditional pub-style beer-battered white fish (fresh catch of the day) house-made French fries and fresh tartar sauce--he had actual good sized portions of fish, nicely fried, and he polished his plate as well. I had the Open-faced Steak Sandwich-caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, beef gravy and Vermont aged cheddar cheese.--slightly too overcooked for my liking, but really nice flavor from the onions and the beef gravy (I omitted the mushrooms). I would have preferred if the bread underneath had been toasted first to give my sandwich a fighting chance from getting too soggy and next time would probably request that. The fries were "hand cut" and pretty good.

Overall, average experience. I'm glad to see another non-chain restaurant in this town, giving the residents even more options. I hope that they grow and improve--they have some tough competition in the area. It is good for a quick bite but I wouldn't go out of my way if I wasn't in the area.


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