Monday, July 21, 2014

kk eats Connecticut

I love food.

And much of what I do resolves around food: shopping for food, watching food on TV, talking about food, cooking food at home. 

And perhaps one of my favorite things to do is to eat food out.

While we love trying new restaurants, there are those places that we go to because we know they have some of our favorite dishes that we can count on to be fabulous every time.

From the Rhode Island Coast to north of Hartford, here are my favorite dishes across the state of Connecticut.

The Clam Chowder
Mystic, CT

This is the perfect chowdah. While it's a New England-style chowder, the broth is silky smooth and creamy, not the old stand-your-spoon-up-in-the-soup-thick. It's chock-full of clams and potatoes. But the best part, are salty, hand-cut bacon lardons that are the perfect mix of crispy and melt in your mouth.

The Tasting Menu
Simsbury, CT

While it may seem like cheating, EVERYTHING on Millwrights menu is fabulous. So much so that you have to get the Tasting Menu when you're there. You get 7 delicious courses of the chef's choice from the menu, from appetizers to dessert. And if at all possible, splurge the extra $45 for the cocktail pairings with each course. You will experience everything from sparkling wine, to seasonal beers, to robust wines and even hand-crafted cocktails from their resident mixologist that pair perfectly with the course at hand. Dinner here is an experience, and the rustic atmosphere and gorgeous views aren't too shabby either.

The Reuben
Eli Cannon's
Middletown, CT

This place is a Dive, with a capital "D". And sure, they boast a beer list that's to die for, with 30 rotating taps of craft beer goodness. But it's one particular sandwich – hidden in their menu – that has stolen my heart. So much so, that I've nicknamed it "The Best Reuben in America", and I stand by that claim. The corned beef brisket is made in house and cut into thick slices, covered in melted swiss, tangy sauerkraut and cool Russian dressing, and piled high on toasted rye. Uh-may-zing.

Deviled Eggs
The Whelk
Westport, CT
Deviled eggs have made a comeback. No longer a 1970's throwaway, these creamy little bites have resurfaced and they are fancier than ever. At The Whelk, they take deviled eggs to a whole new level, topping them with pickled red onions and a cornmeal-coated, friend oyster. Yep, there's a fried oyster on every half. This little snack-sized plate is made for sharing, but take it from me, order one just for yourself…you're not going to want to share.

Mussels & Fries
Mikro Craft Beer Bar
Hamden, CT

Mikro is our neighborhood bar, the place we go on Thursday nights where we know they'll save us seats at the bar and have an amazing selection of craft beers on tap. But the food! It's a gastropub in every sense of the word, and one of my favorite dishes is the mussels. You get a bowl of at least two pounds of mussels, in a beer, citrus and thyme broth, served up with crusty bread. You can opt to add the fries, and I suggest you do. Ok, I'm going to say it: these are hands-down my favorite french fries. Ever. Did I mention the garlic aioli they come with??

Warm Local Ricotta
New Haven, CT

You must.try.this. Local ricotta is served in an earthenware dish, drizzled with truffle oil and thyme, then baked until it's bubbly. Served on the side is toasted bread, charred from the grill, crispy on the outside and moist and warm on the inside. Creamy cheese and crunchy bread…is there anything better?

Steak Tartare
Bar Bouchee
Madison, CT

I'm picky about my tartares, but this one is out of this world. They start with filet mignon and chop it to order. It's mixed with capers and dijon and other amazingness, topped with a quail egg. It's served with crispy homemade potato crisps, perfect for scooping up this masterpiece.

Bread and Butter Pickles
Max Burger
West Hartford, CT

Yes, their burgers are delicious, but what I love most here are the housemade bread and butter pickles. I've never met a pickle I didn't like, and I will say, I LOVE these pickles. I order a burger just so I could get these pickles. They are crunchy and tangy, zesty and sweet, all at the same time. Order extras on the side, because you'll eat them all before you even take a bite of your burger.

Ok, now I'm hungry.

Happy eating!

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