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Best Restaurants In Connecticut

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!

Taproot, Bethel

This hidden gem offers a down-to-earth vibe in an intimate setting. Crafted with fresh and local products, the menu offers many popular small plate options as well as the On the Fly takeout menu, which is updated weekly based on seasonal ingredients. Extra tip: Taproot is tucked away beside Bethel Cinema and makes for a perfect pre-movie bite.

Tavern at Graybarns, Norwalk

If you’re looking for a bright, farmhouse-chic aesthetic to accompany your meal, the Tavern at Graybarns is your go-to spot. Set along the Silvermine River in a tavern that once hosted Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher on their honeymoon and received frequent visits from Hollywood heartthrob Spencer Tracy, the setting boasts a glamorous history. As for the food? The Tavern uses ingredients from local farms and even its own kitchen garden to merge history and traditionalism with bold, seasonal flavors.

The Restaurant at Winvian Farm, Morris

The exquisite Restaurant at Winvian Farm has earned five AAA Diamonds and membership in Relais & Chateaux, a fellowship of the top hotels and luxury restaurants around the globe. If it’s a regal and romantic ambiance you seek, complete with fire-lit 18th Century dining rooms, you won’t be disappointed – and neither will your tastebuds. Using many of the location’s own resources, this imaginative farm-to-table menu is crafted carefully with ingredients harvested in its own Winvian Farms organic garden, as well as a broad selection of wine from its wine cellar. If you’re celebrating a special occasion, consider an overnight in one of Winivian Farms' one-of-a-kind accommodations. These breathtaking cottages each offer a unique experience – just seeing your room is an adventure.

Shell & Bones, New Haven

Whether you’re looking for a mouthwatering bite or a gorgeous waterfront view, Shell & Bones will not disappoint. Known for its award-winning steak, seafood specialties and raw bar, each dish is prepared with fresh and sustainable ingredients. While Shell & Bones feels like the perfect seaside escape, it’s actually just a short drive from downtown New Haven – the best of both worlds.

Restaurant Bricco, West Hartford

Restaurant Bricco puts a modern twist on the comfort of Sunday family dinner. This Italian-American restaurant offers an extensive selection of wine and Italian cuisine favorites set in a cozy environment that is both classy and casual – a perfect place to make your own family dinner memories.

Millwright’s, Simsbury

Housed in the former Mill at Hop Brook in the village of Simsbury, this sophisticated spot offers a wide range of highly seasonal New England-inspired cuisine. Chef Tyler Anderson, winner of numerous accolades and known for appearances on Season 15 of Top Chef, Chopped and Beat Bobby Flay, crafts food from traditional tavern fare to his seven-course tasting menu. With a rustic but refined interior and a stunning waterfall view, you’ll dine in an atmosphere that is both hospitable and beautifully lit at night.

Zohara, West Hartford

Take your tastebuds across the globe with Zohara’s innovative menu, which draws inspiration from North Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Turkey and Greece. Set in a bright and social atmosphere, enjoy powerfully-flavored small plates and authentic entrees that have been responsibly and locally sourced – plus a delicious selection of hummus plates. While you’re there, take a stroll through the bustling West Hartford Center and enjoy the chic boutiques and cafes that populate its streets.

Cafemantic, Willimantic

This creative eatery was designed for community to come together to enjoy the humanity and hospitality of seasonal, homemade food. With fare that celebrates the work of farmers, foragers and fishers, inspired by the New England seasons, this innovative menu of shareables is fresh and local. Enjoy the inviting and social vibes alongside fresh dishes – the perfect spot for a casual group outing.

David Burke Prime, Mashantucket (at Foxwoods)

If you’re a steak connoisseur, look no further than David Burke Prime Steakhouse. Conceptualized by one of the nation’s most innovative leaders in cooking, this award-winning steakhouse showcases hand-picked and high-end cuts of meat including dry-aged meat that is expertly dried in house. For the wine lovers – you’re in luck – this spot boasts an impressive 750 bottles to choose from. Located right in Foxwoods Resort Casino, David Burke Prime makes for a fantastic destination within your night of festivities.

RD86, New London

More than just a dining spot, RD86 creates a dazzling event-based experience around food, music, art and entrepreneurism in downtown New London. The RD in this restaurant’s name stands for “research and development,” as the spot offers space, support and resources for entrepreneurs to test concepts in order to further innovation in the food space. In an industrial meets garden setting just steps from the Thames River and the Shore Line East Train Station, enjoy tasty American fare accompanied by various entertainment offerings including RD86’s classic jazz night.

Gaudi Tapas & Wine, Danbury

The delectable plates at this sister-owned restaurant will transport you right to Spain. Enjoy cold and hot tapas with stellar presentation and flavors to match. The warmth and hospitality will draw you in and the savory Spanish cuisine will have you coming back for more.

OLMO, New Haven

With deep roots in the Elm City, this New England kitchen is a fun and creative place to be. In addition to its locally sourced cuisine, OLMO takes your dining experience to the next level with Tuesday theme nights such as Chinese Take Out and Oyster Night. The creative flair doesn’t end there – if you’ve ever wished you could combine a bagel shop with a boutique bakery, wish no more. OLMO’s “bagelry” reinvents the bagel experience with specialty bagel sandwiches and freshly baked treats made from homemade ingredients.

Swyft, Kent

The location of this eatery is anything but ordinary. Set in the Swift-Bull home built in 1781, over the years this spot has been everything from a domestic home, an Episcopalian worship center, a “lubritorium” servicing early automobiles, a pharmacy and an ice cream parlor. Working closely with Rock Cobble Farm, Swyft serves up wood-fired pizzas, shareable small plates, and mouthwatering seasonal entrees. Enjoy the flavors of farm-fresh ingredients in a setting that retains its historic roots, creating a modern restaurant in an old-fashioned setting.

Whitecrest Eatery, Stonington

Owned by a husband and wife team, Whitecrest Eatery will make you feel right at home. If you’re looking for a small, intimate space to grab a delicious bite, this is your place. Enjoy locally sourced small and large plates in an industrial-chic setting, with meals served on mismatched China dishes.

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