Best Restaurants In Connecticut Last Updated 3/20

Looking for the best restaurants in Connecticut? There are so many great spots to choose from, so we turned to the Connecticut Restaurant Association for the 2019 winners and nominees of its annual CRAzies Awards. The awards consider hundreds of contenders, select a short list of nominee finalists, and finally, award winners for the best restaurants in each region. These spots were each chosen by more than 10,000 public ballots, as well as a panel of 25 judges made up of media restaurant reviewers, food writers, influencers, critics and past winners. Hope you’ve brought your appetite!

Western Region

Regional Winner: Jesup Hall, Westport

Housed in what was once Westport Town Hall, Jesup Hall is no stranger to winning awards. With its creative and ever-changing menu, this hot spot has been recognized throughout the entire country. Offering innovative farm-to-table meals and an extensive drink selection, Bill Tiabe’s dishes create a menu that is anything but average. Set in a rustic, trendy ambiance with a casual and social vibe, Jesup is sure to inspire a unique and delightful night out.

Other nominees in the region included:

Southern Region

Regional Winner & Connecticut Restaurant of the Year: Grano Arso, Chester

Here it is: winner of Restaurant of the Year. This CRAzies award category chooses the best of the best. Most known for its to-die-for homemade pasta, Grano Arso boasts high end Italian cuisine made from locally sourced ingredients that are seasonally inspired. Guests will be welcomed with knowledgeable hospitality and a feeling that they are dining right in the chef’s own home. Set inside the former Old Savings Bank built in 1902, this spot is quaint, intimate and quite the destination restaurant – the old bank vault is even still inside! With a fantastic selection of Italian wine, local beers, and specialty cocktails to pair with any dish, you’re sure to find pleasure and artistry in every meal.

Other nominees in the region included:

Northern Region

Regional Winner: Present Company, Simsbury

Located in a former 1860s textile mill, Present Company is the home of chef Jeff Lizotte, winner of Chef of the Year. This chic, open air kitchen offers seasonal American fare made from locally sourced ingredients. Chef Lizotte takes great pride in his cuisine and – in accordance with the restaurant name – is often present during guests’ dining experience, creating an engaging and personable environment. Be sure to treat yourself to the 5-course chef’s tasting menu, which is available nightly.

Other nominees in the region included:

Eastern Region

Regional Winner: Oyster Club, Mystic

Located right in historic downtown Mystic, this spot pairs local ingredients from land and sea with a charming seaside ambiance. Oyster Club believes their food has a story and through partnership with local Stone Acres Farm, strive to tell that story from seed to harvest, bringing creativity and vision to every meal. It features seasonal specialties including Stonington sea scallops, pasture raised beef, local produce and artisanal cheeses. Quaintly set inside a former carriage house, this restaurant will serve up tastes of scrumptious cuisine and the historic vibe of downtown Mystic.

Other nominees in the region included:

Best New Restaurant

Newcomer of The Year: Tavern on State, New Haven

Foodies take note of this hot new spot – Tavern on State is winner of Newcomer of the Year. While this restaurant has been running for less than two years, chef Emily Mingrone is already thinking outside the box with her ever-changing, ever-inventive menu. The creative ambiance comes complete with a flamingo theme (including a signature neon flamingo that lights up the space) and alleyway sidewalk tables.

Other nominees in this category included: