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Top 10 - Connecticut's Dining Favorites

Stepping out at Connecticut’s restaurant scene is a real treat! There are so many fabulous cuisine offerings throughout the state that you’ll always have an abundance of choice. Connecticut restaurants offer a vast variety of dining options for every taste, whether casual comfort food, gourmet fine dining, farm-to-table, international cuisine, and so much more! But don’t take our word for it. Get the scoop straight from those who know Connecticut dining best – locals!

Following are just a few of the many fantastic restaurants voted the "Best" by the readers of Connecticut Magazine in its 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards.

Crave, Ansonia
Described as a “hidden gem in Ansonia,” Crave offers an eclectic Latin Fusion menu. Mouthwatering “cravings” include Queso de Cabra Frito (fried goat cheese, sweet cilantro sauce, chayote slaw); Camarones Diablo (Cajun shrimp with mango salsa); and Croquetas de Yuca (yucca and cheese croquettes with sriracha special sauce). Gluten free options are offered, along with an extensive drinks menu. Discover and experience the fresh flavors of Crave with pleasant ambiance, perfect for two or larger parties.

Tazza Osteria & Bar, Fairfield
You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into an Italian neighborhood restaurant at Tazza Osteria & Bar in Fairfield, with its casual, refined setting and delectable Italian dishes. There’s an imaginative selection of brick oven pizzas, and specialties such as Buratta Fritta (fresh Burrata cheese fritter served with crispy arugula, balsamic vinegar, fresh tomato and basil); Bistecca Fiorentina (grilled hangar steak, sautéed spinach, pickled red onion, polenta fries with port wine demi-glaze); and Polenta Salsiccia (sweet sausage, broccoli rabe, garlic, chilies and Asiago cheese). Be sure to save room for Dolci, or dessert – there’s classic Tiramisu (layered espresso soaked ladyfingers with mascarpone cream), Gelato Sliders (trio of gelato and cookie sliders), and several other sweet endings to savor!

Max Burger, West Hartford
If you’re looking for a fantastic burger, Max Burger in West Hartford is a must! At Max Burger, you’ll find many tempting options on the menu – from a Shrimp Burger with sweet and sour glaze to vegetarian Portobella “Burger” to the Max Classics – succulent hamburgers that come with a side of hand-cut fries and house-made pickles. And for an alternative to traditional fries, opt for the sweet potato or eggplant fries. There’s a great selection of beer and wine – or try an especially tempting PB&J, Banana Chocolate Malted or Coffee Hazelnut shake!

Luc’s Café, Ridgefield
Savor authentic French bistro fare in a charming setting at Luc’s Café in Ridgefield, located in the lower level of one of the town’s oldest buildings. During warmer months, dine on the outdoor terrace adorned with seasonal flowers. Les plats du jour are offered daily in addition to the le menu offerings including Les Moules Provençales Frites (garlic, tomato, fresh herbs steamed mussels served with French fries); Cassoulet Toulousain (duck, pork and beans stew – recipe from the southwest of France); and Le Filet de Saumon Grillé, Epinards Frais Sautés (grilled fillet of salmon, sautéed spinach and fresh lemon). Délicieux! Every year, Luc’s Café celebrates Bastille Day (July 14) – plan to join in the festivities!

Heirloom Food Company, Danielson
Heirloom Food Company, Organic Café & Juice Bar, prides itself on supporting local farmers and artisans for fresh, locally sourced produce and products. Soups, baked goods and prepared foods are offered vegan and gluten free. Get your day off to a great start! Breakfast offerings include Portobello and Kale Tofu Scramble, Gluten-Free Oatmeal and an Avocado Kick Start – toasted organic sprouted wheat bread topped with crushed organic avocado, diced tomato, lemon juice and Himalayan sea salt. For lunch, try the Veggie-wich or Black & White Bean Burger. Top off your food order with a refreshing beverage, such as the Up-Beet Juice (organic carrot, beet and apple), the Jolt (coconut milk, organic espresso, cocoa powder and soy milk) or the Heirloom Sunrise (organic carrot, apple, lemon and ginger).

Artisan at the Delamar, Southport
For New England-inspired cuisine of local and seasonal flavors in an elegant setting, experience the Artisan at the Delamar in Southport, winner of Connecticut Magazine’s 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards, “Best Hotel Dining.” Sample menu selections include Artisan Seafood Chowder, Super Food Chopped Salad, Mushroom and Farro Risotto and Crusted Fluke. Relax with friends or enjoy a romantic dinner in the 18th-century classic Scandinavian-designed restaurant. In the warmer months, dine al fresco in the restaurant’s outdoor garden with full-service bar.

The Sitting Duck Tavern, Stratford
A “new American neighborhood tavern,” The Sitting Duck Tavern is a great spot to meet friends and enjoy tasty food with fresh, local ingredients, including regionally and locally grown produce and products, when available. Gather around the bar for an up-close view of the large screen TVs, or get a table for your group in the cozy restaurant with exposed brick walls. From small plates and salads to burgers and entrees, there’s sure to be something for everyone.

Puerto Vallarta, Middletown
A combination of authentic Mexican cuisine, festive drinks and a welcoming atmosphere is a winning mix at Puerto Vallarta in Middletown, voted “Best Mexican” restaurant by Connecticut Magazine’s 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards. An extensive menu of delicious, fresh offerings include the Fiesta Platter (a sampling of tasty favorites – Toasty Nachos, Mini Quesadilla, Taquitos, Mini Flautas, guacamole and sour cream); Mexican Lettuce Wraps (Adobo marinated pork or chicken with fresh pineapple, cilantro, onions and pinto beans wrapped in crisp lettuce leaves, dressed with a light salsa verde); and Mole Enchiladas Poblano (two corn tortillas with strips of chicken breast sautéed in authentic Mexican mole sauce. Served with rice and beans). Stop in for a relaxing dinner or lively evening with friends!

Feng Asian Bistro, Hartford
At Feng, the sushi is fresh, the atmosphere is fun and the sake is flowing… perhaps that is why this Hartford hot spot was voted “Best Asian” restaurant by Connecticut Magazine readers. With inventive dishes like duck spring rolls, blue fin toro tartare and thai spiced rack of lamb, an extensive sushi menu (we like the Autumn of Connecticut roll), and a late night menu for an after-theatre crowd, Feng is a sumptuous choice for all palates.

Water’s Edge Resort & Spa, Westbrook
For mesmerizing water views on the Connecticut shoreline and an outstanding brunch buffet, Water’s Edge Resort & Spa in Westbrook is the ideal choice. Voted “Best Brunch” by Connecticut Magazine’s 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards, Water’s Edge Resort & Spa’s ample brunch selection includes imported and domestic cheese, seasonal berries, pastries, muffins, chilled salads, farm fresh omelets, fresh pastas, roasts, and a French crepe bar.

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