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Best Dining in Connecticut | 2014 Editors' Choice Awards

Best Dining in Connecticut | 2014 Editors’ Choice Awards
1 vote, 4.00 avg. rating (79% score)
by
The Golden Lamb Buttery

Photo/Art by ERB Photography
Best Fine Dining | The Golden Lamb Buttery, Brooklyn

Caseus Fromagerie Bistro

Photo/Art by Kristin Chalmers
Best Cheese Shop | Caseus Fromagerie Bistro, New Haven

Hungry? The Constitution State offers plenty of restaurant options for hungry residents and visitors alike. Here are our picks for the best food & dining in Connecticut for 2014.

BEST DAIRY BAR:
THE FARMER’S COW CALFÉ, Mansfield

Fresh from a statewide co-op, taste ice cream, sandwiches, breakfast, and flavored milk drinks. A clever menu includes the “Moo-zzarella Panini” and “Heifer-Nutter” (PB&J). Breakfast entrées: from $3.50. 86 Storrs Road. 860-450-8408; thefarmerscowcalfe.com

BEST SOUTH-OF-THE-BORDER SAMPLING:
CAFÉ 56, Middletown

Empanadas: flaky with a delicious range of fillings, from chicken to garlic-doused shrimp to duck dabbed with plum sauce. This tin-ceiling space is marked by friendly service, a case of sweets, and a creative menu. Try the “Tacandwich”: taco fillings on a Portuguese roll. Entrées: from $7.50. 102 Court St. 860-346-6633; cafe56ct.com

BEST PASTRY SHOP:
CAKETTES COFFEE SHOP, Thompson

Classic cake flavors—red velvet, carrot, and lemon cream—are all made up as mini baked goods resembling bonbons. Or choose other combos, such as root-beer float or bacon in pancake breakfast. Sets of 16: $16. 773 Quinebaug Road. 860-497-0011; iwantcakettes.com

BEST FINE DINING:
GOLDEN LAMB BUTTERY, Brooklyn

Dine in a pastoral setting that includes grazing horses, cows, and gardens; ride a cocktail-hour hay wagon. Enjoy the fact that much of the food is sourced from the family’s Hillandale Farm. Lunch: from $10. Dinner: from $75. 499 Wolf Den Road. 860-774-4423; thegoldenlamb.com

BEST CHEESE SHOP:
CASEUS FROMAGERIE BISTRO, New Haven

Beyond grilled-cheese bliss, try grass-fed beef, or the exceptional sides, salads, and soups. Dairy dreamers shop for local and imported cheeses. Temptations include cow, goat, and sheep cheeses such as Pradera, Meadow Zew, and Abbaye de Belloc. Entrées: from $13. 93 Whitney Ave. 203-624-3373; caseusnewhaven.com

BEST INNOVATIVE AMERICAN CUISINE:
The Schoolhouse at Cannondale, Wilton

Educated palates enjoy each season’s diverse pairings, such as parsnip-and-apple soup, tamarind-glazed squab, and spiced bread pudding. For a summer cocktail, there’s the “Basil Collins.” Chef/owner Tim LaBant is a graduate of Johnson & Wales and has worked under Ming Tsai and Frank McClelland. Entrées: from $28. 34 Cannon Road. 203-834-9816; schoolhouseatcannondale.com

BEST GASTRO PUB:
THE REPUBLIC, Bloomfield

Surprise! There’s truffle in the popcorn appetizer, onion soup, and mac ’n’ cheese. A bounty of burgers sparkle, too; try the Kobe beef on a bun. Well stocked with craft beer. Entrées: from $12.50. 39 Jerome Ave. 860-216-5852; republicct.com

BEST SMOKEHOUSE:
THE NODINE’S SMOKEHOUSE, Goshen

Bring home the smoked bacon, and the ham, and the sausage—even the cheese, trout, and venison if they’re in stock. The retail store is tiny, but the flavor is big-time. 39 North St. 860-491-4009; nodinessmokehouse.com

BEST PIZZA OUTSIDE NEW HAVEN:
VERO PIZZA, Plainville

Pick up beer or wine next door; then design a pie with choices from pepperoni and peppers to pancetta and pineapple. In-house combos include shrimp and scallops. Tasty panini and burgers offer options, surrounded by fascinating large-scale photos. 18-inch pies: from $14. 381 Farmington Avenue. 860-846-0491; veropizzact.com

Please Note: This article 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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