A new year means new opinions from Connecticut Magazine readers on what’s best when it comes to dining out around the state.
And even with a new, more streamlined format in the January 2014 issue, several Hartford-area places have still made the grade when it comes to readers’ votes and special mentions by the editors.
In the ‘Best Mexican’ category, Bartaco, with a location in West Hartford, was deemed #1 while another WeHa Mexican eatery, Besito, placed third.
While no longer really part of the Hartford area food scene since closing its Wethersfield location, Carmen Anthony’s, with locations now in Waterbury, New Haven and Woodbury, was voted ’Best Prime Rib’ and ‘Best Steak,’ and took third in ‘Best Seafood.’
Placing third in the ‘Best Steak’ category was Capital Grille, which has a new Hartford location.
Barcelona, with a location in West Hartford, was third in the ‘Most Romantic’ category, while Millwright’s in Simsbury took third in the ‘Best Desserts’ contest.
When it comes to ‘Family Dining,’ it was a sweep for Hartford-area restaurants. Placing first was Bartaco in West Hartford. Second place went to First & Last Tavern and third to Wood-n-Tap, both popular places with several locations in and around Hartford.
Bartaco and Barcelona were tapped second and third respectively in the ‘Best Outdoor’ dining category and Barcelona racked up even more reader accolades, placing first in the ‘Best Wine Selection’ category and second when it comes to ’Best Service.’
Among the Hartford area restaurants that received a special shout-out as part of the magazine poll were Rein’s Deli, called a “must-exit I-84 gem,” The Willows in Bristol, Firebox in Hartford, the “Max Empire” restaurants, Republic in Bloomfield, Rizzuto’s in West Hartford , Hartford’s On20, (editors noting that the General Assembly should pass a bill requiring every Hartford executive to dine there,) and Vinted Wine Bar and Fleming’s, both in West Hartford.
Mentioned as “fast balls right down the middle” that are worth the trip include 50 West in Plainville, and La Tavola and Sweet Maria’s in Waterbury,
Also getting some special attention were West Street Grill in Litchfield, Carole Peck’s Good News Cafe in Woodbury, a renowned restaurant that just celebrated its 20th anniversary, Arethusa al Tavolo in Bantam, The Vanilla Bean Cafe in Pomfret, River Tavern in Chester, and a slew of places in New Haven, editors nicknamed ’ Connecticut’s hot lava core of fine dining.’
For more of the list go here.