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Connecticut's Best Restaurants 2011

Connecticut’s Best Restaurants 2011
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by in May 2011

BEST CHOCOLATE INFUSION
Chocopologie Cafe,
South Norwalk
No apologies for sweet-tooth temptations from breakfast to bedtime: cocoa-intensive baked goods for dessert and candies such as ginger-passion fruit. There are savory offerings, too, and a French-accented menu that includes cocoa-braised short ribs. Entrées: from $15. 12 South Main St. 203-854-4754; chocopologie.com

BEST CITY CHIC
Firebox,
Hartford
Contemporary American cuisine blends well with cool jazz on Wednesday nights in the brick-walled bar. Seasonal menus inspired by the city’s twice-weekly farmers’ market make this a popular hub. Lunch entrees: from $10; dinner entrées: from $24. 539 Broad St. 860-246-1222; fireboxrestaurant.com

BEST LITTLE BISTRO
Le Petit Cafe,
Branford
A warm welcome and prix-fixe perfection with inexhaustible variations; each week’s menu is another four-course eating adventure. Regulars relish the duck cassoulet and rely on chef Roy Ip and his family for special-occasion dining. Entrées: $48.50 prix fixe. 225 Montowese St. 203-483-9791; www.lepetitcafe.net

BEST MENU REDUX
Mill at 2T,
Tariffville
From Wednesday through Saturday, dynamic daily innovations, driven by the season, are served in an intimate reconstructed mill. Score a seat to watch chef/owner Ryan Jones, as his wife and partner, Kelleanne, tends guests and carefully coordinates wines. Entrées: from $18. 2 Tunxis Road. 860-658-7890; themillat2t.com

BEST SEAFOOD
The Restaurant at Rowayton Seafood,
Rowayton
At the marina on Five Mile River, oysters, shrimp, and fresh fish of every stripe arrive all the time. Some go to the market next door; others are shelled, sauteed, and spiced in the waterfront restaurant. Casual, yes, but the sophisticated wine list matches the mix of traditional and trendy seafood and steak choices. Entrées: from $14. 89 Rowayton Ave. 203-866-4488; rowaytonseafood.com

BEST ICE CREAM
We-Li-Kit,
Abington
“Apes Delight,” “Chipmunk Tracks,” and two dozen other flavors in scoops so creamy they almost moo. There’s a whiff of hay and flowers in the air at this country roadstand, bordered by barns and a greenhouse full of hanging baskets. 728 Hampton Road (Route. 97). 860-974-1095; welikit.com

BEST COUNTRY CAFE
The Vanilla Bean Cafe,
Pomfret
The place that launched a million gulps of Vanilla Coke is a lively spot for weekend music. On the menu: portobello-and-brie panini, summer berry soup, and captivating coffee concoctions from dawn to dark. Half sandwiches: from $6; whole sandwiches: from $9.50. 450 Deerfield Road. 860-928-1562; thevanillabeancafe.com

BEST BREW
Willimantic Brewing Company,
Willimantic
Internationally influenced ale, beer, and stout, all brewed on site in this former post office. Sip the suds or a glass of wine with basic steaks, or sample fish and chicken prepared with flair. Entrées: from $13.99. 967 Main St. 860-423-6777; willibrew.com

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

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