Best Restaurants 2013: Experts' Picks

Our dining experts pick their favorite places to dine out in 26 categories.


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Late last year, we sent out ballots to a group of 89 dining-out experts we’d put together from among reviewers, food writers and editors, cookbook authors, bloggers, and other avid diners we know to have a wide knowledge of Connecticut restaurants. We asked them to name their favorite restaurants in 25 dining categories. They responded—hungrily—and we are happy to present the results of their votes. The Top 5 finishers in each category are listed in alphabetical order and are all entitled to call themselves “Best” on our behalf. The accompanying comments come from the panelists. The runners-up—excellent, all—are included for you to perhaps try out and assess yourselves. Many other worthy establishments received votes, too, but not enough to be included. One thing is clear, however: The dining-out firmament in Connecticut is as rich as ever.


Rebeccas, Greenwich
Thomas Henkelmann, Greenwich
Union League Café, New Haven
West Street Grill, Litchfield
Winvian, Morris
The Whelk, Westport
The Schoolhouse at Cannondale, Wilton
Max Downtown, Hartford
Ibiza, New Haven
Millwright's Restaurant, Simsbury
ON20, Hartford
Brasserie Pip, Ivoryton


UNION LEAGUE CAFE, NEW HAVEN: "She's a grand old dame, but Chef Jean-Pierre keeps her menu fresh and exciting, without gimmickry. Impeccable service. I can't imagine a better restaurant for special lunches and/or dinners on special occasions." - Todd Lyon, veteran food writer


Eleven14 Kitchen, Greenwich
Elm Restaurant, New Canaan
Millwright's Restaurant, Simsbury
Waterhouse Oyster Bar & Bistro, Branford
The Whelk, Westport
The Chelsea, Fairfield
Republic, Bloomfield
South End, New Canaan
Barnum Publick House, Bridgeport
Six Main, Chester

MILLWRIGHT'S RESTAURANT, SIMSBURY: "Tyler Anderson and his team are working magic in the old Hop Brook Mill. The beautiful rushing waterfall outside will captivate you, but the fresh, seasonal and immaculately prepared dishes will divert your attention from the view quickly. Maître d’ and sommelier Brent Bushong is intent on providing old-fashioned service, making himself available for any questions or needs." - Leeanne Griffin, dining blogger and food writer, Hartford Courant


Best Restaurants 2013: Experts' Picks

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