The Ultimate Foodie’s Connecticut Bucket List

12. Boquerones at Ibiza Tapas, Danbury

Editor’s Note: The vast majority of these bucket list picks are from still-existing restaurants, but a few restaurants, highlighted in orange, are known to be defunct. We always recommend calling a restaurant before visiting it.
A regionalized, Hartford-centric version of this list appeared in the March 2018 Hartford Magazine.

[WYT=While You’re There, also try…]

Connecticut may be a small state, but it’s a foodie’s paradise. These 100 items should lead true foodies to Nirvana.

1. Cheeseburger at Louis’ Lunch, New Haven
4. Burnt ends at Bear’s Smokehouse, multiple locations
  1. Cheeseburger at Louis’ Lunch, New Haven—Louis’ iconic burger is ground fresh daily from a proprietary five-meat blend, cooked to personal temperature on the original cast-iron grills and served sans condiments on toast. For a medium-rare burger with cheese, tomato and onion on toast, order “one cheese works.” [WYT: peach pie, Foxon Park soda]
  2. Fresh tomato summer pie at Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, multiple locations—Pepe’s lovers can’t wait for summer for this pizza made with fresh Mozzarella and fresh tomatoes marinated in olive oil, garlic and herbs that tastes like a vegetable garden exploded in one’s mouth. [WYT: white clam pie, original tomato pie]
  3. Plain Italian tomato pie at Sally’s Apizza, New Haven—Go with this simple Sally’s classic with tomato sauce, Because no one’s red sauce is better than Sally’s, go with this simple classic; hold the Mozz, but fresh garlic and grated Parmesan are appropriate additions. [WYT: any red pie, white potato pie]
  4. Burnt ends at Bear’s Smokehouse, multiple locations—Although Bear’s sauces are great, you may forget they’re there while eating his tender, fatty, flavorful burnt ends with their delicious bark. [WYT: brisket, ribs]
8. Mustard BBQ salmon at Restaurant Bricco, West Hartford
9. Two-way rabbit at Olea, New Haven
  1. Duck cassoulet at Le Petit Café, Branford—This exceptionally meat-focused cassoulet with roasted duck breast, Armagnac duck sausage, applewood smoked bacon and flageolet beans will knock your socks off. [WYT: chilled shrimp in spicy soba salad, NY strip steak au poivre]
  2. Paella de la casa at Costa del Sol, Hartford—Teeming with clams, mussels, shrimp, chicken and chorizo, this Galician-owned restaurant’s paella de la casa sets the Connecticut standard. [WYT: fresh grilled squid with crispy garlic, entrecote con chimichurri]
  3. Torchio pasta course at BALLO, Mohegan Sun—Although it doesn’t show on the menu, you can always order an appetizer serving of housemade pasta torchio cooked in a wheel of aged Italian grana and finished with fresh shaved black truffle. [WYT: arancini, orange zest zeppole]
  4. Mustard BBQ salmon at Restaurant Bricco, West Hartford—The highly caramelized, mustard BBQ, cedar-planked organic salmon melts in your mouth. [WYT: wood oven-baked rigatoni, pistachio cake]
10. West Coast burger at b Restaurants, multiple locations
11. Poached lobster and avocado salad at Arethusa al tavolo, Bantam
  1. Two-way rabbit at Olea, New Haven—Experience two rabbit preparations in one: a confit leg and bacon-wrapped loin in a Rioja red wine sauce. [WYT: oxtail croquettes, sweet forest dessert]
  2. West Coast burger at b Restaurants, multiple locations—While many burger joints lack imagination, Plan B’s West Coast burger with a fried egg, avocado and kalamata olive mayonnaise is an inspired combination. [WYT: 3 shrooms burger, impossible burger]
  3. Poached lobster and avocado salad at Arethusa al tavolo, Bantam—Arethusa’s lovely lobster and avocado salad with pinwheels of pink grapefruit is not only delightful but a perfect magazine cover item. [WYT: Arethusa Farm Dairy artisan cheeses, pistachio ice cream]
  4. Boquerones at Ibiza Tapas, Danbury—Most Spanish restaurants use harsh commercial marinated anchovies, but Ibiza Tapas’ house-marinated anchovies served over olive oil toasts with avocado and black olive tapenade are wondrous. [WYT: caña de cabra, lubina]
15. Bufalina pizza at Bufalina, Guilford
16. Crystal roll at Wasabi, Orange
  1. Konkan crab at INDIA, West Hartford—Prasad Chirnomula’s delicate Konkan crab, served in a coconut-lemon sauce over beet patties, is inspired Indian cooking. [WYT: crispy baby kale, biryani]
  2. Indulgence burger at Match Burger Lobster, Westport—What self-respecting gourmand wouldn’t beat a path to MBL’s door for its towering beef burger topped with lobster, foie gras and truffles? [WYT: hot CT lobster roll, lobster truffle fries]
  3. Bufalina pizza at Bufalina, Guilford—Score a seat at Bufalina’s popular counter and order the bufalina pie with buffalo Mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes and basil. [WYT: house salad, rossa pie with anchovy]
  4. Crystal roll at Wasabi, Orange—At this “poor man’s Nobu,” enjoy a crystal roll with tuna, salmon, yellowtail and avocado on the inside, white tuna and different varieties of tobiko on the outside. [WYT: ankimo, sashimi deluxe]
18. Pike quenelles at Àvert, West Hartford
20. Bar bites at Wood-n-Tap, multiple locations
  1. White shrimp pizza at Roseland Apizza, Derby—Perhaps a physicist can explain how a New Haven-style, thin-crust pizza can hold up to roughly a dozen enormous shrimp without collapsing. [WYT: fresh tomato pizza, lobster shrimp and scallop pizza]
  2. Pike quenelles at Àvert, West Hartford—At this wonderful French brasserie, try its pike quenelles in a sumptuous, crayfish-based sauce Nantua. [WYT: seared foie gras, pig’s ear salad]
  3. Cupcakes at Erica OBrien Cake Design, Hamden—These are simply Connecticut’s best cupcakes, frosted with an ideal ratio of buttery buttercream frosting to cake. [WYT: wedding cakes, “Soup Girl” Jessica Hazan’s soups]
  4. Bar bites at Wood-n-Tap, multiple locations—These perfect sliders are made with Black Angus ground beef, American cheese, pickle and honey mustard. [WYT: bison burger, blackened chicken pasta]
21. The “Whaler” lobster roll at The Lobster Shack, Branford (moved to East Haven)
22. Wings at Dew Drop Inn, Derby
  1. The “Whaler” lobster roll at The Lobster Shack, Branford (moved to East Haven)—Our favorite warm, buttery, lemony, Connecticut-style lobster roll is the Lobster Shack’s “Whaler” with a half-pound of picked lobster meat. [WYT: lobster bisque, grilled clams]
  2. Wings at Dew Drop Inn, Derby—This now-gentrified biker bar serves wings that are fresh, crisp and juicy, and come in dozens of imaginative flavors like maple butter bacon and mango pineapple habanero. [WYT: fried green beans, Swiss onion mushroom burger]
  3. Clams DeMayo at Biagetti’s, West Haven—When Biagetti’s isn’t slammed, customers in the know request the clams DeMayo, cherrystone clams in their shells stuffed with scallop and shrimp doused in garlic, seasoned breadcrumbs and white clam sauce. [WYT: Thai calamari, tomahawk steak]
  4. Fried oysters at Café Routier, Westbrook—Café Routier’s fried oysters set the standard with their perfect breading, juicy interior and chipotle rémoulade. [WYT: “campstyle” grilled trout, profiteroles]
23. Clams DeMayo at Biagetti’s, West Haven
24. Fried oysters at Café Routier, Westbrook
  1. Guava and cheese Danish at Bread & Chocolate, Hamden—Of its many great treats, Bread & Chocolate’s best is its croissant pastry topped with the famous Latin combination of guayaba y queso. [WYT: ciabatta, croissants]
  2. Tableside Caesar at Carbone’s Ristorante, Hartford—Carbone’s still makes the extra effort to connect with its customers by doing a delicious tableside Caesar. [WYT: tableside spinach salad, desserts flambéed tableside]
  3. Tomatillo gazpacho at Artisan, multiple locations—The tomatillo gazpacho features a moat of green chilled soup surrounding an island of delicious Maine crabmeat topped with avocado sorbet. [WYT: baked vegan tian, Arctic char]
  4. Filet Cognac at Goodfellas Restaurant, New Haven—Chef-owner Gennaro “Gerry” Iannaccone’s signature, a steal on Ladies’ Night, is his grilled CAB tenderloin topped with portobello mushroom and picked lobster meat and finished with a Gorgonzola cream sauce. [WYT: meatballs with salad, beggar’s purses]
27. Tomatillo gazpacho at Artisan, multiple locations
28. Filet Cognac at Goodfellas Restaurant, New Haven
  1. Mashed potato and bacon pizza at BAR, New Haven—The mashed potato & bacon pizza is one of those unlikely sounding combinations that works perfectly. [WYT: BAR salad, red sausage and mushroom pizza]
  2. Three-man boat at Sono Bana, Hamden—The three-man sushi boat overflowing with sushi and sashimi is a miracle of design in its beauty and balance. [WYT: spider roll, black cod with miso]
  3. Offal at Belvedere, New Britain—The offal at Belvedere is anything but awful, especially its perfectly perfumed beef tripe soup, rich blood sausage and beautifully seasoned chicken livers. [WYT: pork knuckle, sweet Belvedere platter]
  4. The Dogfather at Woody’s, Hartford—Who can resist this mutt of a dog that, with marinara sauce, roasted peppers and Mozzarella, fuses two culinary traditions, tastes delicious and makes you laugh—it’s the dog you can’t refuse. [WYT: They’re all good dogs at this pound, so adopt any you like]
30. Three-man boat at Sono Bana, Hamden
31. Offal at Belvedere, New Britain
  1. Fresh clam white pizza at Zuppardi’s, West Haven—At Zuppardi’s, which originated in New Haven in 1932, shucked-to-order littleneck clams are baked on fresh dough with a mix of garlic and spices and served with lemon wedges. [WYT: “the special,” escarole and beans pie]
  2. Orange ravioli at Peppercorn’s Grill, Hartford—These housemade ravioli filled with ricotta, spinach and orange rind in a sauce of fresh orange, butter, sage and Parmigiano-Reggiano are utterly lovely. [WYT: lobster carpacciato, veal meatballs]
  3. Grilled cheese at Caseus Fromagerie & Bistro, New Haven—For its grilled cheese, Caseus stuffs thickly sliced, Lupi’s Bakery rye with a half-pound of “our best melting cheeses.” [WYT: tart du jour, Painted Hill teres major steak frítes]
  4. Bacon flight at Cure, Unionville—Housemade bacon is an art form at Cure, where flavors include honey applewood, pastrami, roasted garlic and black peppercorn, and Frank’s red hot. [WYT: beet-cured salmon, lobster grilled cheese]
33. Fresh clam white pizza at Zuppardi’s, West Haven
34. Orange ravioli at Peppercorn’s Grill, Hartford
  1. Chocolate éclair at DiSorbo’s Bakery, Hamden—Outside of the delicate coffee eclairs of France, the best you’ll find anywhere is DiSorbo’s richly chocolate frosted, pastry-cream-filled chocolate éclair. [WYT: cannoli, croccantini]
  2. Margherita pizza at Harry’s Bishops Corner, West Hartford—Arguably the best capital-area pizzeria lacking Elm City origins, Harry’s margherita is a classic, a red pie with extra sauce, fresh Mozzarella, fresh basil, Asiago and EVOO. [WYT: baby field greens salad, polpetina pizza]
  3. Pepe La Pew burger at Jack Rabbits, Old Saybrook—Jack Rabbits’ Pepe La Pew burger brilliantly tops a CAB patty with grilled apple, applewood smoked bacon and Brie cheese. [WYT: lobster hot dogs and burgers, milkshakes]
  4. Grilled bacon appetizer at Joseph’s Steakhouse, Bridgeport—You might struggle with your steak after ordering the extra-thick grilled bacon appetizer, which pairs tremendously well with the Peter Luger-style steak sauce. [WYT: home fries, porterhouse steak]
39. Pepe La Pew burger at Jack Rabbits, Old Saybrook
40. Grilled bacon appetizer at Joseph’s Steakhouse, Bridgeport
  1. Trout at Kala Bistro, North Haven—This casual sibling of Spanish temple of gastronomy, Olea, scores big with its skin-on trout fillet in a Dijon mustard sauce with lyonnaise potato and shallots. [WYT: codfish mousse, cassoulet]
  2. Sky Highs at Katz’s Deli, Woodbridge—Katz’s Sky High sandwiches are served on rye with coleslaw and Russian dressing and come in pairings like corned beef and tip tongue or pastrami and chopped liver. [WYT: chicken matzo ball soup, raspberry rugelach]
  3. Tortelli di zucca at L’Orcio, New Haven—Perhaps New Haven’s most authentic Italian establishment, the handmade butternut squash mousse-filled ravioli in a butter sage sauce with Pecorino Romano are wonderful. [WYT: sardine ripiene, polpo grigliato]
  4. Gnocchi with lamb at La Tavola Ristorante, Waterbury—In chef-owner Niccola Mancini’s skilled hands, housemade ricotta gnocchi aren’t so much the base as just another ingredient tossed with braised lamb shank, portobello mushroom, roasted tomato and baby spinach. [WYT: carpaccio, beet salad]
41. Trout at Kala Bistro, North Haven
42. Sky Highs at Katz’s Deli, Woodbridge
  1. Lobster roll at Lobster Landing, Clinton—Poached in butter with a hint of lemon, one of Connecticut’s best lobster rolls can be found at this quaint, friendly harborside eatery. [WYT: Hummel dogs, gelato]
  2. Heart attack burger at Republic, multiple locations—This burger fashioned from domestic Kobe beef, foie gras, black truffles, a brioche bun and a truffle demi-glace dipping sauce is worth its stratospheric price tag. [WYT: truffle Parmesan popcorn, dark ale-braised short ribs]
  3. Falafel sandwich at Mamoun’s, New Haven—Mamoun’s has been serving open pita sandwiches, brimming with crunchy falafel balls, salad ingredients and tahini dressing, since Gerald Ford was president. [WYT: tamarind juice, combination plate without meat]
  4. Spaghetti alla chitarra at Osa, Middletown—Great sourcing, skill and imagination are revealed in the spaghetti alla chitarra with smoked tomato sauce, roasted eggplant, olive crumbs, Tapping Reeve cheese and marjoram. [WYT: smoked carrots, dark chocolate mousse]
44. Gnocchi with lamb at La Tavola Ristorante, Waterbury
45. Lobster roll at Lobster Landing, Clinton
  1. Filet of beef Wellington at Present Company, Tariffville—It’s hard to resist the retro pleasure of filet with truffled mushroom duxelles in puff pastry finished with a classic bordelaise sauce. [WYT: bouillabaisse en croute, floating island]
  2. Rotisserie chicken at The Rockin Chicken, Hartford—The rotisserie chicken served at The Rockin Chicken is wonderful, especially with the three pastel-colored sauces in squeeze bottles. [WYT: soup a la minuta, anticuchos con rachi]
  3. Tapioca custard at Millwright’s, Simsbury—The whimsical tapioca custard reveals all the flavors of clam chowder, but in counterintuitive form. [WYT: biscuits, smoked salmon rillettes]
  4. Coquilles Saint-Jacques at Union League Café, New Haven—A truffle sauce puts Union League’s coquilles Saint-Jacques with black trumpet mushrooms and celeriac purée over the top. [WYT: lobster with chanterelles, chocolate soufflé]
46. Heart attack burger at Republic, multiple locations
47. Falafel sandwich at Mamoun’s, New Haven
  1. Kampachi crudo at Winvian, Morris—Chef Chris Eddy’s kampachi crudo with peach, watermelon, verbena and yuzu vinaigrette is simple understated elegance. [WYT: ricotta gnudi, composition of guinea hen]
  2. Whole roasted cauliflower at Zohara Mediterranean Kitchen, West Hartford—Order the whole roasted cauliflower with pine nuts, pomegranate, tahini and schug for its flavor, enjoyability and sheer audacity. [WYT: Moroccan cigars, lamb bacon]
  3. Hummel dogs at Glenwood Drive-In, Hamden—There’s no better place to order a great grilled Hummel dog, which you can then prepare exactly as you like it at the fixings station. [WYT: waffle fries, chili dog]
  4. Chowder-style Icelandic cod at Shell & Bones, New Haven—Chef Arturo Franco-Camacho is especially gifted with seafood and soups, and his Icelandic cod merges the two as the moist, flaky fish is served in an incredible clam broth with potato, bacon, corn, leek and light cream. [WYT: ceviche, tres leches cake]
48. Spaghetti alla chitarra at Osa, Middletown
50. Rotisserie chicken at The Rockin Chicken, Hartford
  1. The PLT at Meat & Co., New Haven—Just as adjacent 116 Crown broke new ground with its craft cocktails, sibling Meat & Co. has broken new ground with gourmet sandwiches like its PLT with porchetta, arugula, tomato confit and paprika aïoli. [WYT: Rick Reuben, haute tuna melt]
  2. Risottos at Bin 300 World Bistro, Wolcott—Bin 300 is justifiably famous for risottos like its rock shrimp and sweet pea; wild mushroom, prosciutto di Parma and white truffle oil; and Parmesan and sweet butter risotto. [WYT: veal ossobuco; crème brûlée duo ]
  3. Pork rillettes appetizer at The Cook & the Bear, West Hartford—The crispy pork rillettes, served over fried green tomatoes and drenched in sauce choron and chopped scallion, represent the best of this restaurant’s highbrow-lowbrow fusion. [WYT: grits with fennel jam, fried chicken & waffles]
  4. Lithuanian coffee cake at Claire’s Corner Copia, New Haven—Of a great assortment of indulgent cakes, the Lithuanian coffee cake (with buttercream frosting added) is undoubtedly the most popular. [WYT: quiche, veggie burger]
53. Kampachi crudo at Winvian, Morris
54. Whole roasted cauliflower at Zohara Mediterranean Kitchen, West Hartford
  1. Squirrel fish at Shu, multiple locations—This crunchy, deep-fried, mostly boneless, fish preparation with pine nuts, pork, green beans, corn and carrots in a fruity housemade sauce offers brief respite from Shu’s mostly hot and mouth-numbing flavors. [WYT: spicy cumin lamb, lobster with spicy black bean sauce]
  2. Burger at Contois Tavern, New Haven—Serious foodie street cred accrues to folk who appreciate this father-son neighborhood bar where juicy burgers with tomato and onion are served till they’re not. [WYT: Have a beer, tread lightly]
  3. Lobster bomb at Ford’s Lobster, Noank—Ford’s takes a bread bowl, toasts it lightly and fills it with half a pound of buttery lobster meat, over which most customers opt for an additional ladle of lobster bisque. [WYT: lobster roll, littleneck clams]
  4. Shaved Brussels sprouts salad at Harvest Wine Bar, multiple locations—This salad of shaved Brussels sprouts mounted on a Parmesan risotto cake and dressed in a truffle vinaigrette has attracted a number of imitators. [WYT: spicy salmon tartare, pan-seared duck breast in blueberry sauce]
55. Hummel dogs at Glenwood Drive-In, Hamden
56. Chowder-style Icelandic cod at Shell & Bones, New Haven
  1. “My mother’s chips” at Viron Rondo Osteria, Cheshire—These thin crosscuts of eggplant and zucchini flash-fried and served with tzatziki sauce are highly addictive. [WYT: Greek salad, veal Milanese]
  2. Smoked wings at Taino Smokehouse, Middletown—Taino Smokehouse’s marinated, smoked and deep-fried wings could easily make you forget that city south of Niagara Falls. [WYT: bacon pops, housemade pit sausage]
  3. Whole belly clam roll at Lenny’s Indian Head Inn, Branford—Although listed only as a platter on Lenny’s menu, the whole belly clam roll, treated with tartar sauce and lemon, prompts frequent cravings, especially in summer. [WYT: corn on the cob, cold lobster salad roll]
  4. Dirt wings at J. Timothy’s Taverne, Plainville—J. Timothy’s is justifiably famous for originating “dirt wings,” which are fried and sauced, then fried and sauced again, making them more caramelized and crispy but still juicy. [WYT: chicken pot pie, Kentucky butter cake]
60. Lithuanian coffee cake at Claire’s Corner Copia, New Haven
61. Squirrel fish at Shu, multiple locations
  1. Jamón Mangalica at Barcelona Wine Bar, multiple locations—Chewy, fatty, teeth-tingling jamón Mangalica, an Ibérico ham thinly sliced from the leg of a wooly breed of Hungarian pig, is a true bucket list item. [WYT: foie gras torchon with gooseberry jam, parillada]
  2. Tableside châteaubriand at VUE 24, Foxwoods—Perfect for couples, VUE 24’s retro tableside chateaubriand, with chef’s accompaniments and a trio of sauces, is well worth the drive and expense. [WYT: lobster bisque, beef tartare]
  3. Rodizio at ID Brazil, West Haven—Some are cheaper and some are fancier, but no churrascaria delivers better flavor on its grilled meats sliced tableside, which include top sirloin, brisket, lamb, chicken hearts and numerous other delights. [WYT: grilled pineapple, hot and cold buffet items]
  4. Crispy chicken biscuit sliders at Park & Oak, West Hartford—Park & Oak has fun interpreting Southern cooking, with its crispy chicken biscuit sliders topped with pickles and pepper jam a perfect snack. [WYT: fried green tomatoes, chicken and waffles]
64. Shaved Brussels sprouts salad at Harvest Wine Bar, multiple locations
65. “My mother’s chips” at Viron Rondo Osteria, Cheshire
  1. Hot-headed cowgirl roll at Miya’s Sushi, New Haven—At this sushi joint decades ahead of its time, the hot-headed cowgirl roll is a coconut-covered creation with vegan cashew cream cheese, papaya, wild burdock, pickled radish and hot peppers. [WYT: miso eggplant, invasive species menu]
  2. Prime rib at Max Downtown, Hartford—Max is now offering slow-roasted prime rib with pastrami-spiced, bone-in short rib, a hellaciously good combination. [WYT: daily crudo, lasagnette]
  3. Sunday buffet at River’s Edge Bistro, Unionville (moved to Avon)—A bucket list activity, not item, Connecticut’s best (and least known) Middle Eastern restaurant makes it possible to experience most of its astonishing menu in one fell (or full) swoop. [WYT: lamb kofta, kanafa]
  4. Bandeja paisa at Saoco, West Haven—Saoco offers the state’s best bandeja paisa, with a big thin steak, chorizo, pork strip, fried egg, arepa, avocado wedge, sweet plantain, red beans, rice and vinegary hot sauce. [WYT: empanadas, lomo saltado]
66. Smoked wings at Taino Smokehouse, Middletown
67. Whole belly clam roll at Lenny’s Indian Head Inn, Branford
  1. Baja fish taco at bartaco, multiple locations—Many of the taco combinations are winners, but especially the spicy, tempura-battered cod with chipotle slaw and cilantro. [WYT: pork posole, churros]
  2. Wagyu Maximus at Max Burger, West Hartford—The Wagyu Maximus features an eight-ounce American Wagyu patty with Twain cheese, mushroom, caramelized onion, lettuce, tomato and zesty mayo on an artisan roll. [WYT: fried chicken street tacos, tuna poke,]
  3. Feijoada at West Side Tavern, New Britain—West Side Tavern’s version of feijoada, the national dish of Brazil, a stew of black beans, smoked pork, smoked beef and sausage, is terrific. [WYT: garlic shrimp, mixed grill]
  4. Donuts at Dottie’s Diner, Woodbury—Folks say you have to go early if you want to be assured of getting some of Connecticut’s best donuts, and they’re at their best when they’re still warm anyway. [WYT: coffee cake French toast, huevos rancheros]
68. Dirt wings at J. Timothy’s Taverne, Plainville
69. Jamón Mangalica at Barcelona Wine Bar, multiple locations
  1. Pork in pipián sauce at El Nuevo Sarape, Hartford—This Frog Hollow gem offers tender chunks of pork in a flavorful pipián sauce accompanied by rice, beans and salad. [WYT: chorizo nachos, molcajete for two]
  2. Brussels sprouts at Firebox, Hartford—Firebox’s Brussels sprouts are charred in a soy caramel sauce and finished with Marcona almonds and chili oil. [WYT: baked oysters, cast iron duck]
  3. White Sicilian Pizza at Jerry’s Pizza, Middletown—You have to call ahead because the special dough needs time to rise, but Jerry’s White Sicilian pie with just spices, oil and anchovy is delicious and different. [WYT: fried dough balls, fresh tomato and garlic pizza]
  4. Apple strudel at The Watch Factory, Cheshire—Pretty much a one-man operation, chef-owner Markus Patsch’s apple strudel is exemplary, with beautifully layered apple filling perfect pastry. [WYT: mussels in mustard cream, veal Jägerschnitzel]
71. Rodizio at ID Brazil, West Haven
73. Hot-headed cowgirl roll at Miya’s Sushi, New Haven
  1. Zuppa di vongole at Tony & Lucille’s Little Italy Restaurant, New Haven—Tony & Lucille’s zuppa di clams is so bountiful and fragrant it can become a distraction. [WYT: cheese calzone, pork ossobuco with marsala sauce]
  2. Hogzilla at Hoodoo Brown BBQ, Ridgefield—The Hogzilla sandwich is a mind-blowing combination of shaved pork ribs, pulled pork, crunchy pork belly, Hoodoo Voodoo sauce, fried green tomatoes and smoked garlic bacon mayonnaise. [WYT: smoked wings, banana Bourbon cream pie]
  3. Cazuela de mariscos at El Pulpo, multiple locations—The cazuela de mariscos is a seafood stew abundant with fish, scallops, calamari, mussels and potato in a rich seafood broth. [WYT: torta de cangrejo, steak a la parilla]
  4. Sfogliatelle at Mozzicato de Pasquale Bakery & Pastry Shop, multiple locations—Mozzicato’s sfogliatelle are crunchy, lobster claw-shaped treats filled with mandarin orange-flavored ricotta filling. [WYT: rum babá, fruit tarts]
76. Bandeja paisa at Saoco, West Haven
81. Pork in pipián sauce at El Nuevo Sarape, Hartford
  1. Hot oil pizza at Colony Grill, multiple locations—This Fairfield County-based pizza group sells unique thin-crust pizzas, of which the best representative is the hot oil pizza garnished with a few little “stingers.” [WYT: hot oil with sausage, salad pizza]
  2. John Dory at Adriana’s, New Haven—An almost daily special, Adriana’s John Dory is lightly breaded, baked with lemon and white wine, and served with spinach. [WYT: arancini, fettucine con porcini]
  3. Mozzarella caprese at DaPietro’s, Westport—Chef-owner Pietro Scotti makes his own Mozzarella, stacks it with sliced tomato and fresh basil, and finishes it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. [WYT: veal sweetbreads, gâteau Saint Nizier]
  4. Guacamole at Agave Grill, Hartford—Agave Grill’s tableside preparation includes avocado, serrano chile, pico de gallo, cilantro, lime and optional corn and black bean salsa or fresh mango. [WYT: steak arrechera, famous cheesecake]
83. White Sicilian Pizza at Jerry’s Pizza, Middletown
87. Cazuela de mariscos at El Pulpo, multiple locations
  1. Tagliatelle at Oyster Club, Mystic—The handmade tagliatelle, with a ragù of prime beef, pork, tomato, vegetables, cream, parsley and Parmigiano-Reggiano, will spoil you for most pastas. [WYT: mussels, cod]
  2. Pasta primavera at Primavera Pub, Hartford—Pasta primavera usually means vegetables, but at this welcoming Portuguese eatery it denotes its signature dish, which is loaded with flavor and good fresh seafood. [WYT: cabrito, codorniz]
  3. Cheeseburger at Shady Glen Ice Cream Shop, Manchester—The burger meat isn’t special, but the hat-sized piece of fried American cheese is so popular some order it by itself. [WYT: lobster salad roll, ice cream]
  4. Nacho changuito at Chango Rosa, Hartford—Tex-Mex and barbecue combine in the nacho changuito with chips, guacamole, jalapeños, Bear’s bbq sauce, salsa verde, muchos quesos and optional choice of brisket, pulled chicken, pulled pork or burnt ends. [WYT: elote, octopus carpaccio]
89. Hot oil pizza at Colony Grill, multiple locations
92. Guacamole at Agave Grill, Hartford
  1. Steak on a rock at Santos’ Restaurant, Naugatuck—Served with sides and a salad, customers cook this garlic-topped steak on a hot square piece of granite, which makes for a great dinner date. [WYT: pork with clams, codfish]
  2. Heirloom tomato pie at Dish, Hartford—A Dish standard, the heirloom tomato pie is a slice of pastry crust filled with slow-roasted tomato, Mozzarella, basil pesto and Liuzzi ricotta. [WYT: trio of ahi tuna, mac ’n cheese]
  3. Pork egg rolls at Lan Chi’s Vietnamese, Middletown—Crispy egg rolls stuffed with ground pork, onion and carrot are delightful in house dipping sauce with fresh chopped peanut. [WYT: lemongrass beef skewer, shaking beef]
  4. Mango sorbet at Peaches N Cream Ice Cream, Litchfield—This sorbet tastes so real one expects it to have the life-sustaining properties of the fruit itself. [WYT: ice creams, Greek cookies]
97. Steak on a rock at Santos’ Restaurant, Naugatuck
99. Pork egg rolls at Lan Chi’s Vietnamese, Middletown

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