Freshies Cafe

The buttermilk waffle at Freshies Cafe in Granby

A monthly look at what’s new and exciting on the Connecticut dining scene

Artichoke Basille’s Pizza, Newington

This New York City-based franchise has opened its first Connecticut location. [opens Feb. 14] The company was founded in 2008 by Francis Garcia and Sal Basille. The restaurant is known for serving pizzas with a thick crust sturdy enough to support a variety of toppings. This is the first of five Artichoke locations across the state planned by franchisee Matthew Rusconi.

2391 Berlin Tpke., 860-785-8329,

Hamilton Park, New Haven

Run by Matt Lambert, who received a Michelin star for his New York City restaurant Musket Room, Hamilton Park is housed within The Blake Hotel, which recently opened. The restaurant is the first in the New Haven area to be operated by a chef with a Michelin star and is billed as a “neo bistro.” It features dishes that highlight New England ingredients, with housemade pastas, breads, pastries, sausages and charcuterie. Star bartender Eben Freeman has created the cocktails for the bar. A rooftop bar is also scheduled to open as the weather gets warmer.

9 High St., 203-390-5192,

Stone’s Throw, Seymour

This bar and restaurant on the banks of the Housatonic River has a new lease on life courtesy of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. In late January, the struggling restaurant was featured on an episode of the Fox show Gordon Ramsay's 24 Hours to Hell and Back. Ramsay gave them his signature tough-love approach. After yelling at the staff and owners, his crew renovated the restaurant and he designed a new menu. Decide for yourself if the new-and-improved version of the restaurant has what it takes to succeed.

337 Roosevelt Drive, 203-308-2662,

Freshies Cafe, Granby

High-quality tea and coffee is offered alongside an ever-changing menu of breakfast and lunch items at this new spot. As the name implies, there is an emphasis on fresh ingredients here that power a variety of soups, salads and sandwiches. Visitors to this bonafide cafe are encouraged to hang out and take advantage of the free Wi-Fi and work or read.

83 Salmon Brook St., 860-413-9191,

Know of a new Connecticut restaurant? Email Erik Ofgang at

The senior writer at Connecticut Magazine, Erik is the co-author of Penguin Random House’s “The Good Vices” and author of “Buzzed” and “Gillette Castle.” He is also an adjunct professor at WCSU’s MFA Program and Quinnipiac University