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Any Soup Dumplngs near Hartford?

Szechuan Tokyo closed a year ago

Mother-in-Law's 96th Birthday Dinner in Center City

We want to stay right in Center City - around Rittenhouse Sq. area. We also want to stay within a reasonable budget - and all of the restaurants you just mentioned are sky high for that many people.

Jul 15, 2012
food maven in Philadelphia

Mother-in-Law's 96th Birthday Dinner in Center City

Oops. I forgot that little detail: 12-15 (with 3 kids under 3)

Jul 11, 2012
food maven in Philadelphia

Mother-in-Law's 96th Birthday Dinner in Center City

I live in Hartford, CT - and need some excellent tips on where to host my mother-in-law's 96th birthday dinner in Center City at the end of Sept.

Someone recommended Meritage, which has a prix fixe menu option for larger parties. Someone else recommended Estia. We don't want to spend thousands and thousands - but we'd love a private area/room so we can all hear one another talk.

Any suggestions?

Jul 11, 2012
food maven in Philadelphia

Two-day weekend Anniversary Eating Spree

Just returned to Hartford from a two-day weekend anniversary eating spree. Aside from noshing on goodies from Sullivan Street Baking (@ W. 47th and 11lth), Amy's Bread (chocolate/cherry rolls), and Laduree (assorted macarons), we chowed down at Danji (lunch), Boulud Sud (prix-fixe dinner), Nougatine (prix-fixe lunch), Sushi of Gari (W. 46th Street), and INK48 (breakfast).

Here's a short wrap-up:

Danji: Our lunch at this tiny, innovative Korean restaurant was a treat. The very small portions were still big enough for the 2 of us to share, so we enjoyed each morsel. The tofu/scallion dish, pork belly sliders, and rice bowl of the day were delicious. Our waiter was a bit aloof – but the food made up for him.

Boulud Sud: Our Friday night pre-theater prix fixe dinner was outstanding. The food was absolutely delicious, the portions were enormous (according to my standards), the breads were unique, our waitress and servers were warm and friendly (even after we had to switch tables a few times). All in all, our total dining experience was so relaxing and positive that we'll definitely return. After dinner, I recommended it to about 6 people - and one friend rushed to try it out (1/8) for Sunday brunch. She texted me that it was "really good." I thought it was better than good - definitely worth every penny.

Nougatine: I hosted my sister and brother-in-law for a double birthday lunch (1/8) and we all had delicious prix fixe meals. Our table was perfect, our waiter was as helpful as can be with food issues and all-around care - and the entire dining experience was relaxing and festive. The food was delicious (it's my umpteenth lunch there in the past few years) - and the birthday candles on the desserts were a great touch. I can't find one negative thing to say, which is a testament to the consistent service and food. We all left with smiles on our faces and very full bellies.

Sushi of Gari (theater district): This is our 4th time at Sushi of Gari, so we had high expectation; they weren't met. First off, we couldn't sit at the sushi counter (which I'd asked for in my Opentable reservation). The table offered was against a wooden barrier (my second of the weekend!), which was unacceptable to me. When I asked to move, I was told no. My husband spoke with the manager, who let us to move. Our Omikase tasting was fair, b/c there was nothing outstanding to knock our socks off. Our young waiter was delightful, though - but whomever was making our sushi must've thought we were run-of-the-mill "American" sushi-eaters, because the Japanese young women sitting next to us (at the table I rejected) got much more interesting selections than we did. We won't be returning.

INK48: breakfast was very good. My 2 poached eggs were served over a huge serving of baby cauliflower, turnips, carrots, Brussels sprouts (Nougatine served tiny ones, too - must be the new thing), and broccoli. Granted, we're talking major gas-producers, but the overall taste was yummy. The whole grain toast and jam were also tasty. Not as cheap as the on-the-road Starbucks oatmeal I always eat when I'm traveling - but the splurge was worth not having to walk outside to forage for my breakfast.

Sullivan Street Bakery
533 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036

Sushi of Gari 46
347 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10036

Amy's Bread
672 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036

653 11th Ave, New York, NY 10036

1 Central Park West, New York, NY 10023

346 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019

Boulud Sud
20 W 64th St, New York, NY 10023

864 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021

Jan 08, 2012
food maven in Manhattan

2 restaurants in 2 days: the good and bad

I agree with you, cwdonald - and I also think we should've been smarter and not ordered anything with "fresh" tomatoes. Our bad, eh?

Mar 29, 2011
food maven in Philadelphia

2 restaurants in 2 days: the good and bad

Branzino's food was tasteless and poorly prepared. I got some sort of veal (over-breaded and over-fried). The mozzarella salad was amateur - the tomato was ice cold and unripe and the cheese plastic-tasting.

Tinto was delightful. The food was way, way too salt-saturated, though - which I mentioned to our friendly and helpful waiter. He said that Garces is a salter - and that returning diners often ask for less salty preparations. Since it was our first time there, I didn't realize this would be a problem (for me)...but I persevered and ate our 9 different delicious (but over salty) tapas, then licked my fingers (and plate) clean.

Mar 28, 2011
food maven in Philadelphia

2 restaurants in 2 days: the good and bad

My husband and I are in town from Hartford, CT to watch and root for the UConn women's basketball team.

Sunday night we tried an early dinner at Supper. The food was good, but not outstanding. The portions were ridiculously small for the price - and the bacon-centric taste of everything annoyed my tastebuds. Their music playlist, on the other hand, was outstanding. Go figure!

This afternoon I met an old friend at Branzino for lunch, and the food was so awful I can't find the words to describe its awfulness. It's been praised on Chowhound and Yelp...but I'm at a loss as to what anyone ate there that was palatable.

We're off to Tinto, now. I'm hoping the 3rd time's the charm.

Mar 28, 2011
food maven in Philadelphia

Nat Hayden's Barbecue Windosr, CT

My husband and I checked out Nat H's bbq this summer and were underwhelmed, to put it mildly. Everyone was friendly and the service was excellent, but the bbq ribs were just eh. Nothing special.

Four Nights and Days of Food in San Antonio

Thanks! Honestly - I thought I owed it back to Chowhound to report on my nibbles - b/c without the posts that I scoured before leaving for San Antonio, I'd never have been led in the right direction. Instead, I'd have withered away from being stuck at the commercial, touristy, yucky places that surround Riverwalk. I bow down to Chowhounders for helping me find good eats wherever I go.

Apr 09, 2010
food maven in Texas

Four Nights and Days of Food in San Antonio

My husband and I just spent 4 days and nights in San Antonio at the Final Four - so here's a short report of the eats my husband and I scavenged (on foot, water taxi, or trolley - we didn't have a car) as we waited for the UConn women to win the NCAA championship, which they did, thank goodness.

Day 1 Dinner: We walked along the river from the Hyatt Regency (in the thick of things) to the Pearl Brewery (about 5 miles, I was told - but I'm not sure how far it really is by foot), and had an early Sat. night dinner at Sandbar Fish House (200 East Grayson). The food was delicious (we adored the ceviche), our fish entrees were fresh and the waitstaff was incredibly friendly and relaxed. Let me warn you - it's pricey for seafood - but worth the cost, considering how pedestrian I thought most of the Riverwalk restaurants are. My feet were so sore (I wore flip-flops - stupid of me, I know) that we took the River Taxi back to the hotel, instead of walking again. I highly recommend this mode of getting back and forth, if you're staying at a hotel on the Riverwalk.

Day 2 Brunch: We took the River Taxi back to the Pearl Brewery so we could try out Easter Sunday brunch at Il Sogno Osteria (which had just been written about in the Sunday Times travel section). It is behind (or in front of, if you're coming by car) the Sandbar (they're sister restaurants). I'd stopped in on Sat. night to check out the brunch menu - and the manager was kind enough to give me a copy of it, fresh off the printer. The food was, again, delicious. We tried 5 different "salads" or apps (they're served in small, square dishes. The mussels were yummy). Our main courses (my husband got a small artisan pizza and I got pasta Bolognese) were equally tasty and fresh. They make their own pasta - which you can watch them churn out.

Day 2 Dinner: We ate at the Alamodome. What a disaster. The food wasn't food - it was cardboard crap. Even the ice cream bar dipped in chocolate and then jimmies/nuts was tasteless. Luckily, UConn beat Baylor - so we didn't mind so much.

Day 3 Lunch: We walked to Restaurant Insignia, the small, industrial-designed restaurant that's attached to the Fairmount Hotel (401 S. Alamo St). It wasn't open yet - but the waiter answering the phone inside came out to talk to us and tell us all about its food and the nearby neighborhoods. We ended up taking the trolley to the King William area to check out Guenther House, which was highly recommended for brunch, because they serve breakfast all day. The menu didn't turn us on, so we didn't eat there. Instead we walked around the gentrified neighborhood and oohed and aahed at the beautiful mansions. Then we walked back to our hotel and had lunch at County Line, the only bbq place within walking distance of our hotel (remember, we didn't have a car to try out a better place: 2 Brothers). The food was blah - bad, run-of-the-mill tourist stuff. I was upset that I didn't get some good Texas bbq brisket - but them's the breaks.

Day 3 Dinner: I'd made a reservation at Biga on the Banks - but I cancelled it, after checking out the menu. I'm not a big fan of iceberg lettuce wedges, which were on their prix fixe dinner menu. Instead, we walked back to Insignia, and the waiter we met earlier in the day was so happy to see us he waited on us. First we had the salsa fresca with lime tostadas, which we scarfed down. Both the salsa and the chips were homemade and fresh-tasting. I had their unbelievably delicious and juicy brisket burger (don't miss it). My husband had their Barbacoa, cilantro, yellow onion and fresh avocado pizza. We'd never heard of barbacoa, but it was close to beef cheeks/brisket, and we both agreed that it was great. My husband also had two of their signature drinks - one with sour cherries and vodka, which I loved. I can't remember the second one (maybe a margarita?).

Day 4 Lunch: We walked to Azuca Nuevo Latino Restaurant (713 S. Alamo), which was a few blocks past Insignia. The ceviche trio was not very good (they took it off the bill when I said it didn't work for me - no hassles or questions asked). The spicy gazpacho andaluz (an extra $3 with the fish taco entree) was very good, though. The three fish tacos my husband ordered were large enough to share (since I didn't eat the ceviche). The place is friendly and colorful, but I didn't think our lunch was outstanding. Maybe we ordered the wrong things - maybe it's better for dinner. I'm not sure - but I'd try it again if I ever returned to San Antonio, to find out for sure.

Day 4 Dinner: We ended up eating at Boudros, a touristy place on the Riverwalk, known for tableside-freshly-prepared guacamole, because we had to eat quickly and early before the basketball game. I'd checked out their menu earlier and was totally unimpressed - but we went, because the ESPN TV crew (Rebecca Lobo and Doris Burke were the only people I recognized) ate there, and my sister said it was her favorite place in San Antonio. Again - we were not impressed. The guacamole, which cost $8.50, was made with ONE avocado and filled in with salsa. I was going to get it, but then the woman at the next table offered me a taste of hers, and I thought it tasted ho-hum, no-big-deal - so I told my husband it wasn't worth ordering. We shared the blackened fish fillet of the day and a tomato-gorgonzola salad (it was bland) - then quickly left - unsatisfied. The Blue Bell Creamery ice cream we took out a few doors down, up a flight of stairs, was excellent, though.

We didn't get to try Le Midi (301 E. Houston St.) for it's happy hour special apps and wine or prix fixe dinner, because it was too far to walk. We didn't try Bin 555, The Cove, Paloma Blanca or Yum's Bakery, either, because we didn't have a car.

Biga on the Banks
203 S. St. Mary's St., San Antonio, TX 78205

Bin 555
555 W Bitters Rd Ste 110, San Antonio, TX 78216

County Line
111 W Crockett St Ste 104, San Antonio, TX 78205

Guenther House Restaurant
205 E Guenther, San Antonio, TX 78204

Tre Trattoria Downtown
401 S. Alamo, San Antonio, TX 78205

Apr 08, 2010
food maven in Texas

Chowish meals between Hartford and New Haven (and beyond)

I agree with Waquoit's recommendations, except for Max Fish, which I've had 2 bad meals at in the past. My husband just brought back some relish from Blackie's - what a small world!

Bricco's Prix Fixe "Old World Italian" dinner special

Don't miss Monday and Tuesday's $28 f5 course feast at Bricco's in West Hartford. We ate there last night (Sunday, 2-12-10) and couldn't believe how delicious everything was: our first course, arancini (rice balls), was light and tasty; our second course, eggplant rollatini/clams casino, which we shared, was delish; our third course, garlic bread and salad was OK (and a huge portion), but nothing special; our fourth course, veal scallopini/manicotti, which we also shared, was outstanding; our fifth course, lemon ice/bocce ball was a perfect ending to the huge meal we scarfed down. There are a few other things to choose from for second, fourth and fifth choices - so check out the menu for yourselves at

This is the third special prix fixe dinner Bricco's has offered - and I can't wait for the next one.

Max Fish in Glastonbury, CT

I was so underwhelmed by my visit to Max Fish that I decided that I would never return. The food was terrible the night I was there - and it was so darned noisy that the four of us could barely hear one another.

Private Dining Rooms in Hartford

Max's downtown restaurant has a private dining room. So does Max's Oyster Bar in West Hartford.


I don't think your review was harsh. I think it was accurate. I had a fantastic prix-fixe early dinner at Nougatine in March - and a very blah regular dinner there on Sat. night. I got pan-fried cod (it was OK), while my husband got the $68 chef's tasting menu. The signature tuna tartare was delish - as was the tiny amuse (cold pea soup?), but the rest of the meal was average. My husband's slow-cooked salmon tasted bad to my taste buds, and the so-called tenderloin was very small and thin, and cut through into many almost-pieces (weird, in my opinion). It was also oversalted - plus, it didn't look or taste like tenderloin to me.

My husband was underwhelmed, to put it mildly. I was disappointed.

May 04, 2009
food maven in Manhattan

Top Hartford kitchens

On20 now serves Friday night prix fixe AND chef's tasting menu dinners, but check their website to see if they're being served every Friday. I think On20 is Hartford's answer to Per Se!

My favorite lobster roll is made at Lenny and Joe's in Madison, CT - even though every time I eat one I swear I'll never eat one again (too much butter).

Firebox has some great specials during the week, as well as live, local Bluegrass music on Sunday from 5 or 5:30-8 in the bar area.

Bricco's fried calamari and melt-in-your-mouth short ribs are consistently wonderful.

Caseus, New Haven--grumble

I agree - the cheese plate is ludicrous. I snorted loudly when it was served to 3 of us. There was no way those little specks of cheese were worth FOURTEEN dollars. I thought the food was so - so...and that the teeny-tiny portions were an insult. I've decided not to return, even though my daughter insists she's had a good meal there.

Business Lunch in Hartford

It's called On20 and their prix fixe menu ($35 for 2 courses plus dessert) is outstanding. If you have hours to spend, you can call and ask for the special chef's tasting menu for lunch and you'll be treated to at least 12 courses or more of innovative dishes.

I just got back from eating my way through Paris - and here's what I tasted

That is so sweet. After spending a ton of money on this trip - it won't be soon!

Nov 08, 2008
food maven in France

I just got back from eating my way through Paris - and here's what I tasted

Oops. Forgive me for mixing up Laduree (I visited the one on rue Jacob - but the line was too long, so I didn't try their supposedly top-notch macarons) with Dallyou (which is near the Luxembourg Gardens).

I also bought (and then returned to buy again) exquisite lime-infused caramels from Patrick Roger's chocolate shop at 108 Blvd. St. Germain. I offered one to my seatmate on the airplane ride home, and she swooned with me as they dissolved in our mouths at the same time.

Nov 06, 2008
food maven in France

I just got back from eating my way through Paris - and here's what I tasted

Dear French Foodies,
I rented an apartment (near Notre Dame) with 4 other women who weren't foodies, which is why I didn't get to eat in as many of my Chowhound-researched finds as I'd imagined I would. This means that each night I had to go along with the group's choices, which never met my food-obsessed standards. Unfortunately for me, the group was more interested in pigging out on desserts than in sampling what I like to call GREAT FRENCH FOOD.

Since we were staying right down the street from (1) Eric Kayser's organic bakery, I sampled his brioche loaf (I only scored one small piece - the 4 others grabbed and gobbled when I left the room for a minute), his whole wheat and regular baguettes, and a few of his desserts (not that great, in comparison with the outstanding (2) Pierre Herme work-of-art desserts and delicious macarons). Kayser's croissants (which we ate every morning) were always excellent.

I had some (3) Berthillon ice cream (apricot and mango), even though it was chilly and cold outside and I was the only person eating ice cream as I walked along the streets towards Notre Dame. Everyone else was eating hot crepes, which I never got to try, darn it.

I grabbed a falafel (with hot sauce) from (4) l'as du Falafal, the famous falafel place in the Marais (we went early Sunday - so the line wasn't that long), which we ate in the Place de Vosges, sitting on a bench, people-watching.

I tried the macarons from (5) Laduree (across from the Luxembourg Gardens), and had to go back for more, because they were so mouth-wateringly yummy (chocolate was my favorite). I also tried the macarons from (6) Pierre Herme - and especially adored both the passion fruit and chocolate. I was on a mission to try as many different macarons as I could, I guess, but I was too full to eat any more, so I gave up early on. I also had my favorite apple pastry from (7) Poilane on rue du Cherche Midi. They're on your left, sitting on the wooden counter under the window as you walk in the front door. Don't miss them.

We ate lunch in 3 museum cafes: (8) Cafe Marly at the Louvre (great location, but too expensive and not worth the price - 22 euros for a simple piece of chicken breast with a little salad on the top; 14 euros for soggy, cold haricot verts with a sprinkling of diced red peppers);
(9) Musee d'Orsay restaurant - cheaper than the Louvre, and much more innovative. I had dourade in an orange-butter foam sauce, with charred endive - delish; and (10) The Tea Room @ the Musee Jacquemart Andre, where I had quiche, salad, and dessert (4 of us split our desserts, so we each got to taste more).

I took myself out to lunch at 3 cafes recommended either here or in Clotilde's Edible Adventures (she has a webpage: Zucchini and Chocolate): (11) Chez L'Ami Jean (near the Eiffel Tower) - expensive @ 43 euros for the formule lunch, but cheaper for the 17 euro blackboard specials, which weren't offered to me, stupid American tourist that I am. There was so much food I could barely eat half of it on my own; (12) Cafe des Musees in the Marais, where I was the only American and where I chowed down on an outstanding 13.50 euro formule of soup, bread, pork roast, roasted red onion, and pureed cauliflower; and (13) Le Pre Verre, where I had another 13.50 euro formule lunch: a small glass of red wine, a small vinegar-dressed potato salad with a generous piece of gravlax on top, a small chicken breast over 4 baked/fried polenta slabs, and a small demitasse cup of decaf espresso.

Dinners were a disappointment, since I was unable to convince the group to eat at restaurants I'd scouted out. We ate at (14) Les Bouqinistes, which was overpriced (over $100/pp) and quite ordinary, in my opinion; (15) L'Epi Dupin, which oversalted their food so much I could barely eat my dinner; a neighborhood place, (16) Chez Rene, where I had a delicious 14.50 euro prix fixe veal stew and fresh spinach (and the waiter gave me a take-home container...apparently a first for him); and (17) Le Refuge des Fondues, which I consider a juvenile, college-crowd-centered fondue place (it's in Montmartre), because you drink wine from baby bottles and eat cheese and/or meat fondue in a noisy, hot little place where you must climb over your table if you leave to go to the bathroom.

I had outstanding cheese from various cheese shops - but I can't remember any names except for Marie Cantin, which had my favorite smelly, runny cheeses, as well as a well-informed staff.

That's my eating diary in a nutshell. As for the museums I visited - I think I checked out eleven of them in eight days - an all-time record. Thank god for museum passes!

Nov 05, 2008
food maven in France

8 days of Paris eating needed for 60 yr. old foodie

Thanks, bazboussa and AGM Cape Cod for your recommendations. I read about Spring (the reviews were mixed, but the chef sounded interesting to me - so I checked out his website). I haven't heard of Le Baratin, but Zagat (Paris) gave it a great little review - so off to Belleville (but not on a bike - like in the movie) I'll trek.

I'm still working on fine-tuning my list of eateries. Any more suggestions would be more than welcome, believe me. I'm such an obsessive worrywort. All I do is worry about where the next meal is coming from - so sad, but so true.

Oct 19, 2008
food maven in France

8 days of Paris eating needed for 60 yr. old foodie

I'm going to Paris next Friday for 8 days (after a 5 year hiatus), which is why I've scoured this board for ideas. Unfortunately, I'm so obsessed with eating at the "right" places for lunch/dinner that I'm not sure which places to zero in on. I don't want to spend my time trying places that are touristy or run-of-the-mill (or a zillion euros) - but I do want to eat fresh, delicious food (of course I do - I'm an obsessed foodie) that will make me want to come back for more.

Here are just a few I've uncovered. Tell me if I'm off or close:

La Ferransaise
Cafe des Musees
Le Regalade
Le Boissant Ardent
Les Papilles
Le Comptoir du Relais
L'Epi Dupin

Feel free to help me stop obsessing and start relaxing.

Oct 16, 2008
food maven in France

HELP - Hartford foodie needs good eats in Beantown

I'm sorry if I sounded terrible in my post, b/c I adore Boston - it's just that I don't want to leave home again, since I was just away for 3 days.

I love fresh, tasty, unpretentious food - no heavy sauces and oversalting. I also love quiet restaurants, b/c loud ones drive me around the bend). We ate at Per Se last weekend for my b'day (it was a big one, so it called for great sums of money to be spent) - so I'm obviously prejudiced when I say fresh and tasty.

Pile on the recommendations, please!

HELP - Hartford foodie needs good eats in Beantown

Please save me... b/c I have to be in Boston on Fri. and Sat. and since I only visit once in awhile, I'm clueless as to where to eat. We're staying at the Marriott on the wharf (wherever that is). I just read about Hungry Mother - but can't figure out any other spot to eat fresh, tasty, not a zillion dollars (what I mean is: like Per Se in NYC - but affordable) meals.

Tea house/tea room in New Haven/Hartford area?

I was wrong about the location of Tinkling Teacups. It's 77 Main Street, East Hampton, CT.It's open from T-Sat, 11-4.

Tea house/tea room in New Haven/Hartford area?

Don't be turned off by the name: Tinkling Teacups (it's a British tea room) in East Haddam...which isn't that far from Wallingford. Their full tea is a hoot - LOTS of goodies (although everything's a bit small and dainty). The scones and tea sandwiches were great. The desserts were plentiful. They have a website - I don't know the phone number.

Your favorite restaurant

per se

Mar 27, 2007
food maven in Manhattan

Hartford foodie needs your advice

My husband and I are coming to NYC in April for the weekend - and trying to figure out where to have a terrific birthday dinner (after our 3 p.m. Spalding Gray play). I was thinking Eleven Madison Park but my son INSISTS we should go to Danube. I want quiet, fresh, delish, as good as per se (I've been there a few times) but lower in price and preciousness. I'm crossing my fingers that you'll lead me towards great eating.

Mar 27, 2007
food maven in Manhattan