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My trip out east.

post #1 of 3
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Thank you for the wonderful dining suggestions. My wife and I really enjoyed the food and ambience of some great restaurants. We went to Max Downtown in Hartford our first night there. The food and service were very good. The treat for us landlocked folks is the availability of FRESH seafood, not the "fresh" stuff that gets pawned off by the fish purveyors and supermarkets. I had the oysters on the half and they were perfect. It was almost a shame to put a little lemon on them. My wife had the hot & sour soup and we both wish that the tree-ear mushrooms were cut to fit on a soup spoon but the flavor was very good and well balanced. She being a fairly strict vegetarian (dairy only and eggs if she can't see them) also wished that they had a little more comprehensive veggie menu than the obligitory pasta with sauce and veggies. Their version was also pretty good. I had the diver scallops with the potato-truffle raviolis and liked them both. I talked her into trying the filling and she mangled the rest getting the last bits out without getting the fish juice. She could have had just a plate of those and been happy. I ordered a bottle of Amarone to go with the meal ( '97 something) and managed to finish it off over the course of our 2+ hours of sitting. My wife and drinking buddy is 7 months pregnant so it was up to me to get through the bottle. She drinks, but the baby doesn't. The other real treat was that Grandma took our 2 year old for the week so we had TIME to eat. That was luxury alone.
We also went to Wilmington VT and looked up Le Petit Chef and met Betty.
Definately the best meal of the trip. We had called ahead and made sure that there was a vegetarian entree and the risotto that was made for my wife was excellent. We also had the raviolis in Gorgonzola sauce which were another big hit with my wife and I. I had the duck breast and had some leftover and thought the flavor was even better the second day. Very tasty. I ordered a bottle of Drouhin Pommard (no vinyard, just his generic). It went well with the duck. You will notice that I did'nt mention desserts. I don't eat them, my wife orders them, but after a bottle of wine I just can't remember what she ordered. But I know she like them both at Max and Le Petit. Next time I'll take notes.....
The night we went to dinner at Le Petit we stayed at the Four Columns Inn in Newfane Vt. Fabulous room comes with definately the best "continental breakfast I have ever had. Fresh fruit with cream, assorted baked goods, fresh squeezed juice, eggs and ham done to order. The 1.5 hour breakfast. Their dinner menu looked great and if done as well as breakfast it is worth the drive. Outstanding wine list.
On the last day of our trip we met up with Katbalou and had lunch at The Harvest in Pomfrit Conn. We were on the road so I had coffee with my meal. I think I impressed Kat with my coffee-drinking prowess..... My wife had the samosa appetizer and she and Kat both had the fettucine. I had the grilled fresh cod with mango salsa. Everything was great. I ran into the chef there and we talked food for a minute or two. He said he did'nt think his lunch was that creative. I can honestly tell you that he has no need to apologise. It was very tasty. My only regret (if you can call it that) is that we did not have enough time to have a few more meals out there than we had. We are planning on going back next summer if schedules allow to check out more food.
Some other places we ate:
Milan in North Adams. Needs some work, guys. The locals are glad you are there, though.
Steeples at the Holiday Inn in North Adams. Just there for breakfast. Makes Dunkin Donuts look like haute cuisine. And Dunkin Donuts coffee is waaay better.
Jae's Inn, North Adams. Best sushi I have had in years. But, then again I haven't had sushi in years. My wife liked the "vegetarian" Pad Thai but the server neglected to tell her that it was made with fish sauce. She ate it anyway.
Portsmouth Brewery in Portsmouth NH. Pub grub done well. The beer was good too. I had the Wood Island Ale that they add oak chips to the first fermentation. I was hoping for a little more wood in the flavor profile. I am still waiting for the wooden cask conditioning someplace outside of Belgium. But you have to start somewhere.
(Budweiser uses beech chips in their first fermentation).
What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
post #2 of 3
dear peachcreek,
your right on the coffee drinking thing.... guess you need a few more dunkin donuts out in the wild west :) by the way what was that interesting dessert your wife had? a lime raspberry martini? that looked pretty good. and you're right the chef is pretty creative, i'm going to have to go back there for dinner and see what that is like.
the best part of lunch though was getting to meet a couple of great people from the boards.... and the story of the roadside police stop is just too unbelievable......
post #3 of 3
Thanks for an excellent report, Peachcreek. I'm so glad you both liked Le Petit Chef. And I'll make sure Paul knows about that place in Hartford, the next time he goes up there.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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