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Chimirri’s Italian Pastry Shoppe (Wethersfield, CT)

There was no white spinach pizza on my 2nd visit, but I did get another slice, okay 2 slices, of the red spinach pizza that I think may have been better than my first visit. I also took home a large Hartford Cream Pie that was quite good, but more than I really need so I am going to try freezing 1/2.

Formaggio Apizza (Southington)

1244 Meriden Ave

A few days ago I read that this pizzeria won the annual Southington Pizza Fest for the 2nd year in a row so plans were hatched to give it a try. We called ahead to order a large cheese pizza and were told it would take about 30 minutes. I printed off scenic, albeit incorrect directions from Mapquest and headed off. On arrival there was one person waiting for takeout and so I gave my name and waited. As it turned out, there were two large orders in front of me totaling well over $100. I finally received my cheese pizza and returned home following a more direct route. Immediately on opening the pizza I realized the crust was thin, but a bit thicker than I prefer, not a major problem. More of a concern was the crust which was dried out while lacking any discernible char. Though the pizza sauce and mozzarella toppings were okay, they were not nearly good enough to offset the disappointing crust.

Aug 28, 2015
westie in Southern New England

Noujaim Middle Eastern Bakery (Waterbury, CT)

1650 E Main Street

I did not know what to expect on entering this unassuming middle eastern bakery for the first time. I looked around and was surprised that there were not more baked goods on display so I ended up asking the owner if he had any spinach fatayer, a.k.a. pies? He said yes, so sight unseen, I ordered a pair. After he showed them to me, he placed them in a small paper bag. I inquired if he had spinach and feta fatayer? Yes was the response to which I responded, I will take 2. Lastly, I said is that baklava in the dessert display case? Yes, well give me 2 of those as well. On returning home the 2 of us, my wife and I, each had a spinach & feta fatayer that featured a light crust, a bountiful filling and wonderful, tangy flavor. Though the baklava was not as light as I am accustomed to, it was no less delicious. I asked my wife if she had luncheon plans for today, alas we will be sharing the last 2 fatayers. 2 final notes - prices are more than reasonable, actually crazy cheap, and the various types of pita looked mouthwatering. Will I be returning? I will give you 1 guess and no is not an option.

Aug 25, 2015
westie in Southern New England

Coastal Maine TR

You are right on the spelling. We also found prices on the high side, but the quality and service were excellent so I have no complaints.

On our first night I wished we had gone to Green Elephant as I originally intended instead of the Olive Cafe.

Aug 25, 2015
westie in Northern New England

Leone's Bakery & Cafe (Berlin, CT)

259 New Britain Rd

This bakery is a welcome addition to our town. Although it only opened for business last month, the owners previously operated St. Rita Bakery in Rocky Hill. I arrived shortly after the doors opened seeking breakfast pastries and found a selection of muffins, elephant ears, strudels and more. I purchased a pistachio and a lemon muffin that my wife and I shared. While waiting for my order to be bagged, I asked the owner about the difference between lobster tails and sofgliatelle which are both offered. He mentioned that a batch of sofgliatelle were in the oven and would be available in 10 minutes if I wanted to wait. The muffins were light in texture and well flavored. The sofgliatelle were a disappointment, crispy on the outside, but the filling was way too dense.

Aug 16, 2015
westie in Southern New England

Mint Thai Cuisine (Wethersfield, CT)

Yelp and tripadvisor are showing Mint as being closed.

Aug 16, 2015
westie in Southern New England

Chimirri’s Italian Pastry Shoppe (Wethersfield, CT)

I did not see the white spinach pizza, but will be looking for it next visit.

Mae Kong Thai

26 Main St, New Britain, CT

We again, third time, had dinner at Mae Kong and it was no doubt our best yet. We began with the crispy lemongrass chicken appetizer - deep fried chicken that was lightly battered and oil free served with a sweet chili sauce. My wife's entree was red curry with chicken. The chicken was tender and the vegetables fresh though the curry was probably a bit thinner and less complex than we have had elsewhere. I found my entree, pad prik khing, listed under the house specials. Stir-fried chicken, fresh string beans, red and green bell peppers and kaffir lime leaves in spicy red curry paste. A stunner both in looks and taste though be aware that there is a bit more heat than some of their other dishes. We each opted for brown rice that was both nutty and moist. Service continues to be both warm and efficient.

Aug 15, 2015
westie in Southern New England

Chimirri’s Italian Pastry Shoppe (Wethersfield, CT)

1075 Silas Deane Hwy

I was in the immediate area to purchase seafood from City Fish and decided to stop in this pastry shop. My intention was to bring home a Hartford cream pie that had recently been mentioned in a Hartford magazine article, but it looked a little too large for just the 2 of us so I settled on a pair of sfogliatelle. These were fresh with a crispy exterior, but virtually devoid of any filling. We fared better with our spinach and cheese Sicilian pizza slices that served as our lunch that day. These were much lighter and more flavorful than any I have had from the Big 3 (Modern, Dibacco, Mozzicato) on Franklin Avenue. Prices seemed more than reasonable and the staff was helpful. I am already planning a next visit which will include more Sicilian pizza and a pair of filled-to-order cannoli.

Aug 15, 2015
westie in Southern New England

Chada Street

Opening date is August 15th according to a posting on its facebook page.

Aug 12, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

PizzaPie (Plainville)

443 East St

I periodically find myself in the area at lunch time looking for a small bite from a non chain restaurant. In the past, I would stop in for a slice of pizza at the now defunct Empire Pizza so I was happy to learn that PizzaPie had opened and was using the same wood fired oven. My wife and I decided to give them a try and I was delighted on entering to discover the new owners had remodeled the restaurant; cleaned it up, discarded the ice cream section and added new tables. There were a few varieties of pizza available by the slice, but I chose cheese. For $5 plus tax, I received 2 large slices and a soda. So far so good, but the pizza crust was limp rather than crisp and the toppings were average at best. Maybe others will disagree, but my search for a mom and pop restaurant in the immediate area continues.

Aug 10, 2015
westie in Southern New England

Coastal Maine TR

My apology for any confusion.

Aug 10, 2015
westie in Northern New England

Coastal Maine TR

Thanks Dave - I agree that the photos add a lot to the comments.

Aug 10, 2015
westie in Northern New England

Coastal Maine TR

I had pretty much concluded that Boone's would be for happy hour only.

Aug 10, 2015
westie in Northern New England

Coastal Maine TR

I agree with you. I had planned on dining at the Green Elephant that night, but made a last minute switch. I won't make that mistake the next time we visit Portland.

Aug 10, 2015
westie in Northern New England

Coastal Maine TR

Joanie - Yes it was Galyn's. They need a new recipe for the Frenchman's Bay stew

Aug 10, 2015
westie in Northern New England

Bread of Heaven Bakery (New Britain)

The Bread of Heaven Bakery turned out to be The Bread of Stale Bakery. I stopped in after discovering my favorite (Kasia's) bakery was closed for vacation. There was a couple in front of me so I had time to check out the display cases and noticed most of the desserts were in plastic containers suggesting they probably were baked off premises (Waterbury?) and not particularly fresh. At this point I should have taken my business elsewhere, but a few breakfast baked goods resting on trays looked like they were fresh so I ordered a pair of turnovers, strawberry and apple. On taking the turnovers out of the bag, I realized each was as hard as a rock, maybe even harder. Rather than trashing them immediately, I softened them in the oven, but after a few bites I realized the major problem was just a smear of jam was in each. The remainder are now residing in our garbage can.

Aug 10, 2015
westie in Southern New England

Coastal Maine TR

Emilitsa, Portland

We visited this upscale Greek restaurant on the last night of our recently concluded vacation. After being provided menus and ice water, a delicious amuse bouche of seasoned toast points with a lentil puree was delivered to our table. My wife's choice for an entree was free range chicken breast marinaded in olive, presumably Greek, oil and lemon, oregano and garlic that was skewered with onion and red pepper and served with spanakorizo (Greek rice) and tzatziki. I chose swordfish skewered with red onions, sweep peppers, and zucchini that also was served with spanakorizo and skrothalia (a puree of potato and garlic). Though souvlaki is generally considered fast food, these were upscale and a total taste delight. Service was also a cut above to the extent that the wait staff unskewered our food. This was a fitting conclusion to our foodcentric vacation. 4 Forks

Aug 09, 2015
westie in Northern New England

Coastal Maine TR

David's Restaurant, Portland

Though the interior was less than impressive, I have been led to believe that this one of the better restaurants in downtown Portland, but we were there for the happy hour that runs 3-6PM daily. Though the bar was unoccupied on our arrival, it quickly filled after a group of business people began arriving. My wife enjoyed a pair of Placido pinot grigios while my wine of choice was Hidden Crush cabernet sauvignon. Priced at only $4 per glass, I recommend both. We also enjoyed a bowl of PEI mussels cooked in a tarragon, white wine and butter sauce along with a garlic knots that proved to be addictive.
4 Forks

Aug 09, 2015
westie in Northern New England

Coastal Maine TR

July 22

Wild Oats Bakery & Cafe, Brunswick

On our way back from Bailey Island headed for Scarborough, we found ourselves in Brunswick at lunch time. The posted menus at this busy restaurant includes a wide variety of sandwiches, salads, wraps and soups, but our decision proved easy after my wife pointed to the spinach and feta quiche sitting in the display case. It took awhile for our slices to be reheated which only served to whet our appetites. Scrumptious with a capital S. 4 Forks

Aug 09, 2015
westie in Northern New England

Coastal Maine TR

Long Grain, Camden

You won't find a sign, the exterior is run down, reservations are mandatory, and the interior is crowded, but do not let any of this deter you from dining at Long Grain. Do make reservations in advance a few weeks in advance or expect to be turned away at the door as we witnessed over and over on the Tuesday night of our visit. All expect a delay after ordering because the locals and vacationers in the know call for takeout which backs up the kitchen. We witnessed a young threesome who sat for an hour at the bar before receiving their orders. We were a little more fortunate with my wife ordering chiang mai curry noodles, aka kai soi, with chicken and I, the pad ke mao with chicken (stir fried wide noodles with basil, organic kale and mushrooms). We have had both dishes in the past and this year's version did not disappoint though my wife felt hers was a bit too hot.

Aug 09, 2015
westie in Northern New England

Coastal Maine TR

Laugh Loud Small Big, Rockport

We spent 3 nights vacationing in the immediate area during which this bakery was closed for two of them. I accept responsibility for this scheduling fiasco, but made amends by arriving early on our last full day. The assortment of cupcakes made choosing one difficult, but we settled on the salted caramel and toasted coconut, sharing each. OMG – both were excellent though if I was on death row and had to choose just one, it would be the salted caramel. Or maybe it would be the lemon cured filled that we so enjoyed the year before? BTW - the owner was genuinely friendly and helpful. 4 Forks

Aug 09, 2015
westie in Northern New England

Coastal Maine TR

July 21

Wasses Hot Dog, Rockland

I try to make it a point to stop for a hot dog at Wasses whenever we are vacationing in the immediate area. I learned long ago that unless you specify otherwise, ordering a hot dog means it will be finished with mustard, relish and grilled onions. Prices remain acceptable and the lines continue, but both this day's dog and onions could have remained on the grill longer. 2.5 Forks

Aug 09, 2015
westie in Northern New England

Coastal Maine TR

In Good Company, Rockland

We enjoyed several excellent meals at this small restaurant cum wine bar in the past. The menu changes frequently depending on what is fresh and the number of entrees offered each night is limited to a handful. I was surprised that bread was not offered since I could see a few loaves from Atlantic Baking Co. resting on the bar. On this visit we both chose baked halibut that came with kale, new potatoes, zucchini and carrots in a tarragon and butter sauce. Because the kitchen is small and the restaurant busy most nights, the wait for entrees tends to be long, but the results make it forgiveable. 4 Forks

Aug 09, 2015
westie in Northern New England

Coastal Maine TR

Celladoor Winery at the Villa, Lincolnville

On a weekday afternoon we stopped by this winery and were impressed by both the beautiful grounds and villa. I took a quick walk around the dining and function rooms that were open to the public while my wife checked out the gift shop. We eventually settled in at the bar where Jim, our bartender, provided a list of their wines available for tasting and told us to choose any 4. He discussed each wine as he poured samples and eventually poured a 5th. According to him, all the grapes grown on site are used for champagne which I did not find in the gift shop. The grapes used to produce the wines available for sampling and purchase all had origins elsewhere, primarily California. Though my wife and I tried a total of 7 different wines, we found all but one too light and fruity and the other off tasting. We had planned to purchase a few bottles to take home with us, but nixed that plan. Don't worry, we did not leave empty handed because a collection of chocolate truffles caught my eye so we ended up purchasing four and each was excellent. 2.5 Sips

Aug 09, 2015
westie in Northern New England

Coastal Maine TR

July 20

Graffam Brothers, Rockport

We pulled into the parking lot of the Graffam Brothers seafood shack seeking chowdah and were told we had cross the street to the seafood market. We found a ceramic slow cooker on a counter where we ladled out cups of haddock chowder that we enjoyed on the picnic benches at the seafood shack. 2.5 Forks

Aug 09, 2015
westie in Northern New England

Coastal Maine TR

Fresh, Camden

We made advance reservations but based on the number of tables occupied and the location where we were seated I would conclude none was necessary or made a difference. My wife ordered lamb moussaka - crusted eggplant, San Marzano ragu, nigella bechamel and shaved feta. The skewered lamb was small in terms of both quality and quantity while the moussaka proved to be too rich for her. I fared better with moqueca - a Brazilian stew of haddock, salmon, mussels, clams, coconut milk, palm oil, lime, cherry tomatoes, cilantro and rice. 2.5 Forks

Aug 09, 2015
westie in Northern New England

Coastal Maine TR

Did I mention the $5 apps? We enjoyed each of the three we ordered: beet and goat cheese flatbread, arancini and a margherita flatbread. Regrets? Yes, we never ordered the mussels. Will we be back next trip? You betcha. 4.5 Forks

Aug 09, 2015
westie in Northern New England

Coastal Maine TR

40 Paper, Camden

All you really to know about the happy hour scene in Camden is 40 Paper. All drinks are half priced between 4PM and 6PM with a variety of appetizers priced at $5. During our 3 night stay in the Camden area, we stopped in 3 times for happy hour - consider that a recommendation. Happy hour has  become more popular since last year so finding space at the bar proved to be a crap shoot. What are the best mixed drinks to order you ask? Well it is like your children, I would be hard pressed to choose my favorite from the drinks sampled: pesca, Moscow mule, ginger cilantro margarita, or mojito. Based on sheer numbers, I would choose the Moscow mule, but don't let the other ones know.

Aug 09, 2015
westie in Northern New England

Coastal Maine TR

July 19

After a morning in Acadia National Park, we stopped shortly after departing Mount Desert Island at a roadside stand that I thought was named Hot Dog Heaven based on its roadside sign, but a Google search came up empty handed. In any case our hot dogs were no better than average. 2.5 Forks

Aug 09, 2015
westie in Northern New England