Boston Restaurant Blog -- November, 2005
Tuesday, November 1, 2005
Headed to northeastern Connecticut, also known as the "Quiet Corner of Connecticut," last Saturday, to escape the early snowfall in Boston (strange weather these days!). It was a beautiful day, for awhile anyway, in the Quiet Corner of Connecticut, and we made the most of it.
Enjoying the fall foliage at every turn, we made our way along scenic Route 169 through the beautiful villages of Woodstock and Pomfret and wound our way up to the Sharpe Hill Vineyard in Pomfret. Unlike some of the vineyards and wineries I have been to in New England, the Sharpe Hill Vineyard has a number of top-rated wines that are truly excellent. Sharpe Hill is a nice place tucked away in the hills near Pomfret, and the winery has a great little outdoor patio where you can sip wine and breathe in the fresh air of this hidden part of New England.
After leaving the Sharpe Hill Winery, we toyed with heading to the outstanding Vanilla Bean Cafe in the center of Pomfret, but decided to try to find a new restaurant. Unfortunately, there aren't many restaurants in rural northeastern Connecticut, and we drove past only a handful of places, including the charming Altnaveigh Inn and Restaurant in Mansfield (next to Storrs and the University of Connecticut), which we weren't dressed for, unfortunately.
Somehow, we ended up back in Massachusetts, still unable to find an interesting restaurant in Storrs or the small towns along Route 84. Sturbridge looked promising, but it seemed that every restaurant, from the Publick House to the Whistling Swan looked too upscale and formal--we just wanted good, inexpensive food in a decent restaurant. Finally, heading east toward Worcester, we found a Greek restaurant in Charlton called Zorba's Pizzeria and Tavern, which was on Route 20 just east of Sturbridge. We gave Zorba's a try, and, for the most part, it was very good; the grape leaves were outstanding, the soups were excellent, and the hummus was decent. The pastichio, however, was too oily and there wasn't enough ground beef in it. Not bad, but I've had better pastichio in many other places. Overall, Zorba's was worth going to, but there must be other restaurants between Sturbridge and the Vanilla Bean Cafe that are worth checking out.
I love the Quiet Corner of Connecticut, and would love to find some decent restaurants near Route 169. If anyone knows of any good ones, contact us with the names of the restaurants. I would really appreciate it! In the meantime, I'll keep going to the Vanilla Bean in Pomfret, which really is a great spot.
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