Connecticut’s Greatest Hits

June 12, 2024
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By: Preston Young

Ever since Rachel and I became homeowners in early February, dining out has taken a backseat. Yet, Connecticut’s reputation for exceptional food, particularly its seafood and pizza, is too good to ignore. This past weekend, we explored some of Connecticut’s finest offerings, which if you’re familiar with the northeast, you already know about.

Friday nights are made for unwinding after a busy week, and there’s nothing quite like a simple night out with good food and drink. Insert: Colony Grill. It’s not one of those places you’d find on the “must visit” lists, but Rachel was craving it and the atmosphere is great! The weather was perfect for sitting outside, so we grabbed a table on the patio. Colony Grill is known for its thin-crust pizza, and it did not disappoint. I went for their hot oil pizza and Rachel opted for their salad pizza, which sounds interesting but is actually very good! Paired with a cold beer, the meal was a great way to kick off the weekend, enjoying the casual atmosphere and watching the evening roll by.

Saturday was all about showing off Connecticut’s pizza scene to some friends visiting from Brooklyn. They’re pretty serious about their pizza, so I knew I had to take them to one of the best—Frank Pepe’s in New Haven. Frank Pepe’s is a Connecticut institution, and its reputation is well-earned. We ordered a variety to make sure we covered all the bases: a classic mozzarella pizza, a half pepperoni and half sausage pizza, and a margherita pizza. Each one was incredible in its own right, with that signature charred crust. Our friends were suitably impressed, and there’s something special about sharing such iconic local food with friends.

Sunday was a bit more laid back, but no less delicious. We started the day with a trip to the Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets. While Rachel did some shopping, I took my time strolling around, enjoying the relaxed pace. Once the shopping bags were full, we decided to make the short drive to Noank for some seafood. Our destination was Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough, another Connecticut classic. I went straight for the half-pound lobster roll. The lobster was fresh and tender, served simply with a bit of butter in a hot dog bun. Eating lobster rolls by the water felt like the perfect New England experience. But we didn’t stop there. Right next to Abbott’s is Costello’s Clam Shack, so naturally, we had to go there too. I ordered a plate of mussels, and they were fantastic. Steamed to perfection and served in a light wine sauce. It was a nice way to end the weekend, sitting by the water with good seafood and good company.

This weekend was a great reminder of how much I enjoy exploring local food spots. Connecticut has such a rich food scene, from iconic pizza places to coastal seafood shacks, and it’s always fun to share these experiences with friends and family. Whether you’re a longtime resident or just passing through, there’s always something to enjoy.

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