Perils of the Restaurant Reviewer
I’ve reviewed restaurants that have closed while the magazine was at the printer. It happens. It’s usually a new place that was under-financed. Or, sadly, a fire or divorce or other tragedy has forced a quick closing. But Randall’s Ordinary? The place was built in 1685.
Before anyone writes its obituary, though, I’m not entirely certain the place is closed for good. Here’s what happened.
I was planning to review it for our November/December issue, to point readers toward a place for an old-fashioned traditional New England Thanksgiving meal. At Randall’s (in Stonington, Connecticut), they cook over the hearth fire in traditional period costumes — in a charming and earnest way, not a creepy theme-park way. And the food is good. Not over-the-top gourmet by any stretch, but a good meal that offers a lot historically. In fact, I was inspired by Randall’s to cook in the hearth at my parents’ place in Vermont. (They have a hook and spider in their old fireplace; I made stew and it was good.)
So I logged onto Randall’s Web site and it kept connecting me to Foxwoods. I thought, Curious — of all places, Foxwoods . . . Fly in the ointment? (Or perhaps ghost in the machine — I’ve heard Randall’s is haunted.) Tried the number, disconnected. Called Foxwoods, so they’d know about the quirk, and it turns out . . . the Mashantucket Pequot tribe owns the inn and restaurant. No word on what the plan is, but I’ll update you when I know.
As for my November/December restaurant review — I’m still going for a traditional location, but the cuisine is far from old-fashioned. Where, you say? You’ll have to wait, now won’t you?