Dining with a View Last Updated 10/17

It is always a pleasure to drive through the Connecticut countryside on a glorious afternoon in any season, but you can really up the ante with a leisurely lunch or dinner with a view. Here are some restaurants where you can seek and find the season’s best light.

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The Blue Oar, Haddam

If it’s a Connecticut river view you’re looking for, head for the Blue Oar in Haddam. It’s BYOB, but some people bring more than just “B” ... you’ll see picnic baskets with tablecloths and plates and silverware appear to supplement the restaurant’s casual dinnerware. Boats can tie up at a small dock as well. 

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Hopkins Inn, New Preston

This venerable Litchfield County restaurant sits high above the northern shore of Lake Waramaug, with views from both the dining room and outdoor terrace. Serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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Essex Clipper Dinner Train, Essex

All aboard for a four-course meal served in a restored Pullman diner pulled by a vintage diesel locomotive through the beautiful turns of the lower Connecticut River Valley.

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Millwrights Restaurant, Simsbury

Located in an old mill building on Hop Brook, Millwrights offers seating right beside a waterfall and a menu that has drawn raves for its creativity and fresh ingredients.

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The Inn at Woodstock Hill, Woodstock

Escape the crowds by heading to Connecticut’s “Quiet Corner” and have lunch or dinner (or even an overnight) at this inn that offers big views in all directions.

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The Pearl at Longshore, Westport

A gem of Westport with one of the most stunning views in the area, Pearl offers a unique dining and social experience with fresh, seasonal and sophisticated American cuisine served at the edge of Long Island Sound. 

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Madison Beach Hotel, Madison

Located on Long Island Sound, dining options include a white tablecloth experience in the signature Dining Room; wine and food tastings at the Big Table in the Wine Room, and alfesco on The Porch.

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Sharpe Hill Vineyard, Pomfret

Many of the glories of eastern Connecticut can be viewed from the dining room and terrace here. Open for Friday dinner and Saturday and Sunday lunch, Sharpe Hill makes a perfect base for further exploration of the area.

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Fresh Salt, Saybrook Point Inn & Spa, Old Saybrook

Water views change according to season, although perhaps a little more subtly than in the countryside. Take in the breezes and long, clear views over dishes of impeccably fresh seafood.

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Harbour House, Inn at Mystic, Mystic

Another good saltwater view can be found up the coast at this freshly renovated Inn. Try the local oysters from the raw bar at the inn's Harbour House restaurant.

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Gelston House, East Haddam

Immerse yourself in the many fine views of the Connecticut River Valley, then repair to the Gelston House or adjoining, less formal GH Gastro Pub for lunch or dinner.

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Golden Lamb Buttery, Brooklyn

A unique offering in eastern Connecticut, the Golden Lamb sits on 1,000 acres of rural pastureland, and your dinner begins with a cocktail and a hayride. Lunch is served, too.