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Eating & Dining in NW CT & SW MA + Hello!


ygg
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Hello all!

First post here, brand-new member; I didn't see any place to make an introduction or say a general hello (though I may well have just missed it), so I figured I'd insert a little "hi!" at the top here.

My husband and I have just moved to Northwestern CT from Brooklyn, NY. Where we are is *extremely* rural: the nearest town is Riverton, pop. 600, and the closest gas station is a good 10 minute drive. I grew up in CT and spent my teens not far from here (north Canton and I went to school in Great Barrington) We love the area and we love the house, and we even like the challenge that feeding ourselves has become, but I'd love to get more restaurant & market tips among other things.

We're fairly close to the Berkshires, so I've been perusing and making note of the recommendations people have posted about that area. I'd love to hear about any restaurants people like in the Granby-Avon-Torrington-Bloomfield-Winsted area as well...or even further south like Litchfield would be ok if only once in a while.

Additionally, if anyone has any suggestions for where to buy great food around here, that would be fantastic. Apparently there's a Jimmy's Meats in Torrington, which I haven't gotten to yet, but I did call and they don't seem to stock much lamb, which makes us sad (though my grandfather says their sausages are fantastic, which is great), but I'm pretty much unaware of any other specialty markets that we might be within reach of. In the later spring and summer and fall there's plenty of produce stands and assorted other ways to get local ingredients, but I don't know of any farmer's markets in our area, so tips to those would be appreciated as well.

We've been doing our general shopping at the Simsbury Stop & Shop, which is a bit of a hike but they actually do have pretty good food, lots of organics if not local. Whole Foods is really very far for us to do our general shopping there. I'm reasonably certain that - at the very least in the winter - we're going to be doing a fair share of shopping in the big box stores, but I'd definitely prefer to a., find sources for superior products, and b., buy local/regional whenever possible.

Any tips would be very much appreciated, and hopefully I haven't repeated any earlier threads here!

Best & thanks & hellos,

-ygg / katie lukas

eGullet frappr map: show us where you are!

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Hi, Katie,

I'm up in Boston now, but I lived in West Hartford for many years and commuted over the "mountain" to work in Avon, then Simsbury.

I'm not sure if you know this so forgive me, but there's a Whole Foods Market in West Hartford center. I realize it's a bit out of your way for regular shopping, but if you're already in Simsbury and want to make a day of it, take Rt. 44 over the mountain into West Hartford to the intersection of North Main Street to Crown Market . That's where I used to buy all my meat -- great place, but closed on Saturdays. Then head toward West Hartford center you can hit Whole Foods. If you're there on a Saturday a.m.'s in the summer, they have a nice farmer's market on LaSalle Road.

Next: head to Corbin's Corner to Trader Joe's. Once you're done there you can get back on 84 West and take Rt. 4 in Farmington to Rt. 10, which will bring you back into Avon/Simsbury.

Diana Burrell, freelance writer/author

The Renegade Writer's Query Letters That Rock (Marion Street Press, Nov. 2006)

DianaCooks.com

My eGullet blog

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Hello there,

The following looks a bit cataloged, well it is in my home version of a personal travel guide.

Whenever I am within 50 miles of one of these places (and others) I make it a point to investigate and buy, whatever they sell and I like.

Best Bread found was at the Berkshire Mountain Bakery, (call first ! )

Berkshire Mountain Bakery (Monument Mills, Bldg. 2, P.O. Box 785, Housatonic, MA 01236, 413-274-3412). This is a true sourdough bakery, almost unheard of in this region

Mass Pike to LEE, Rt 7 south then to Rt 183

Our Daily Bread , 54 Main St. , Chatham NY , 518 – 392-9852.

I-90 NY , Take Exit B-2 , Taconic Pkwy. South two miles, right on NY-295, right on Austerlitz, left on Main Street

Featured breads are Austrian Peasant, sunflower millet, sour seeded rye, pesto and grainery. Also, cherry and blueberry pies, poppy-prune coffee cake, strudels and apple-walnut cake. Taking special pie orders for the holidays.

Bantam Bread Bakery

853 Bantam Road, Bantam, Connecticut , 860-567-2737

CT I-84 , exit 7 , US-7 / 202 north 12 miles New Milford, now US-202 only 20 miles to Bantam

Bantam Bread Bakery is an exception to the rule that claims great bakeries are found in densely populated areas. On a small-town road far from any city, baker Niles Golovin produces tawny-crusted peasant loaves, chewy rye with caraway seeds, rosemary-perfumed Kalamata olive sourdough, and a "holiday loaf" studded with toasted walnuts, golden raisins, and sour cherries. Beyond loaves, Golovin makes biscotti for crunchy munching, elegant tortes for dessert, and an item that somehow got labeled a "dirtball" — a sugar-coated cupcake that has the feathery texture of a butter croissant and the avoirdupois of a cake donut.

Good Taste: 117 Church Hill Road, Sandy Hook CT , 203-270-5509. I - 84, Exit 10, Take a left at the light, this is Church Hill Road, follow for about a half mile. Good Taste is on the left.

St. Andre Cheese w\Sundried Tomato Tapenade & Basil Sandwich; Pork Loin w\ Apple Raisin Chutney on Onion Roll; Baby Spinach, Toasted Pine Nuts, Raisins & Grilled Chicken Salad w\ Balsamic Dressing; Broccoli, Red Pepper & Cheddar Chowder.

They also have all kinds of regular deli sandwiches, great coffees, SCRUMPTUOUS desserts and earthy breads and rolls. For breakfast today you could have McMann's oatmeal w\sauteed pears or a specialty omelet.

Its a small casual place, and they have wonderful open air dining in warmer weather. BIG PLUS- the waitstaff is incredibly nice and friendly!

Nardelli's Grinder Shoppe - Waterbury, CT, 540 Plank Rd., 203-754-5600 , (Exit 25 off I-84 go to Scott Rd, turn left, left again)

Stew Leonard's Danbury, Dairy & Grocery

CT , 99 Federal Road , Open everyday - 8:00 am until 10:00 pm

Peter
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Since you are near Torrington, don't miss Nodine's smokehouse-awesome meats, smoked products, amazing smoked duck breast, etc.:

http://www.nodinesmokehouse.com/

West Hartford Center has a farmer''s market, starting in Spring.

For a specia night out, Metro Bis in Simsbury is hard to beat:

http://www.metrobis.com/

There are things near you, but you have to check them out one by one. Amd welcome to egullett!

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