Meet the people behind our 2017 Experts' Picks for the best restaurants in Connecticut.
Get ready to bite into the restaurants judged the best of the best in Connecticut by our experts, who range from veteran restaurant critics and food writers to contemporary bloggers who track the trends as well as the hottest, newest places. Joined by some food-savvy Connecticut Magazine editors, it’s a group for which dining is a passion — and dining at the best places is an art that takes constantly having a collective finger on the pulse of the Connecticut dining scene. Together, our Readers’ Choice and Experts’ Picks provide a comprehensive view of the state’s tastiest places to eat well.
“Chris and Patrick managed to make a bar feel like a speakeasy and yet be unpretentious at the same time. They’ve made it a community gathering space through the numerous events they’ve held, and you can be guaranteed that every time you step foot in there you will be sipping on a killer cocktail.” — Alcyia Chrosniak, CTEatsOut.com
“Tucked next to a large hardware store, this restaurant doesn’t look like much. There’s only a small number of indoor tables at this location, but don’t let that fool you. Taino is pumping out high-quality barbecue. The meat is tender and spicy courtesy of the restaurant’s barbecue sauce. Can’t get a table inside? Pick it up and take it home. That’s what those in the know do.” — Kate Hartman
“If you’re driving along Interstate 91 between Exits 3 and 4 in the morning and you smell something wonderful, it’s the croissants baking at this State Street staple. The plain croissant — no butter, no jam — is reason enough to visit, but there are many other baked delights to make you drool.” — Scott Griffin, journalist and professor
“Brunch includes ‘Beermosas’ (don’t knock it till you try it), custom and build-your-own Bloody Marys, and a handful of libations compelling enough to take you back off the wagon after a night out. The food menu offers a perfect balance of sweet and savory, plus the benefit of smoky BBQ. My favorite is the Benedict, which includes brisket and sweet cornbread, but don’t miss the sticky, bourbon-maple glazed cinnamon-pecan buns.” — Shelley Lawrence Kirkwood, food writer
“In late November when the Mothership opened a second location in downtown Danbury, more people learned what fans of this family bakery already knew: the Mothership is awesome. From pies and other delectable pastries to a wide range of breakfast and lunch options, this is one ship you’ll want to board again and again.” — Erik Ofgang, Connecticut Magazine
“This bar and restaurant is popular with college students, and it’s easy to see why. Burgers and fries are a classic combination, but Rudy’s takes it to another level with their authentic, crispy Belgian fries served with a variety of delectable sauces, from smoked ketchup to honey mustard to samurai. Wash it all down with a beer from the bar’s draft list. This place is more than just a burgaer joint.” — Kate Hartman, formerly of Connecticut Magazine
“It’s difficult to categorize this combination restaurant/cafe/bookstore, but it has been one of my favorites for years. It’s in the ‘cheap eats’ category only because it’s a relatively inexpensive place to get a really good meal. Sandwiches, entrées, soups, desserts, bread. Nothing less than delicious.” -- Scott Griffin, journalist and professor
“The menu is simple, but all three courses — salad, flatbread and dessert — are right on the money. The creative flatbreads compel you to overeat, and the warm brownie with graham cracker ice cream makes you happy to pay the check.” — Gary Stoller, Shortescapes.net
“Letizia’s is a tiny little spot on Main Avenue in Norwalk, and the pie they serve will make your tastebuds think everything else is from the frozen food aisle in your local supermarket. They’re the pizza equivalent of a band that hasn’t been discovered yet. They’re crushing it every night, while you’re sitting on Spotify listening to Nickelback.” — Ken Tuccio, Welcome To Connecticut podcast host