(does not include Litchfield County or New Haven)
●JHouse Greenwich Hotel – 1114 East Putnam Avenue; 203-698-6980 or 321-800-7729 (toll-free reservations); jhousegreenwich.com; boutique; buzzy dining scene (Restaurant eleven14); chocolate and ice cream; eco-friendly.
●Simon Teakle – 4 Grigg Street; 203-769-5888; simonteakle.com; fine jewelry and objets.
●Dressing Room – 27 Powers Court; 203-226-1114; dressingroomrestaurant.com; organic food, served sensitively in restaurant attached to summer stock theater; worth trip for atmosphere alone, with old posters from early 19th Century summer stock productions.
●Le Farm – 256 Post Road East; 203-557-3701; lefarmct.com; sophisticated, ingredient-driven local farm to fork restaurant.
●Whelk Oyster Bar & Restaurant – 575 Riverside Avenue; 203-557-0902; thewhelkwestport.com; artisanal philosophy, using as many fresh and locally grown ingredients as possible; just above Saugatuck River, yet windows in rectangular dining area face street; interior feels like informal seafood shack with large harbor lights hung above bar and slatted picnic chairs and benches; most intriguing dishes are among starters and small plates: warm peeky-toe fondue, brown butter shad roe, octopus cooked on griddle, and/or periwinkles on pumpernickel; Atlantic oysters whether served shucked — 8 of 4 different types — or lightly roasted (from Long Island Sound) with shallot butter and pancetta; there is whelk, also local, combined with stinging nettles and shiitake mushrooms in luscious risotto made with middlins; whole blackback flounder in lobster butter with caviar, served alongside a separate casserole of delectable, creamy polenta; if you crave dessert, there are just 4 choices, especially good are Meyer lemon posset delivered with several quarter-size cornmeal cookies on top, and magic bars with butterscotch and sea salt.
Sights & Sites
●Hill-Stead Museum – 35 Mountain Road; 860-677-4787; hillstead.org; Pope family’s Impressionist collection; beautiful garden; worth special detour.
Sights & Sites
●Mark Twain House – 351 Farmington Avenue; 860-247-0998; marktwainhouse.org; gingerbread cottage rich with early-American interior details; make sure to see Louis Comfort Tiffany wall designs (Twain hired him before his lamp designs became famous).
●Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art – 600 Main Street; 860-278-2670; thewadsworth.org; opened in 1842, this was US’ 1st public art museum; collection’s strength lies primarily in its American paintings, spanning landscape artist period (19th Century) through New York School (mid-20th Century); on top floor are works by Hudson River School artists, Albert Bierstadt, Frederick Church, Thomas Cole; on balcony are works by Milton Avery, Norman Rockwell, and Andrew Wyeth; 1st floor contains rule-bending multimedia works, as well as canvases by 1950s & 1960s abstract expressionists and pop and op artists like de Kooning and Rauschenberg; note, see Caravaggio’s St. Francis in Ecstasy (1595).
●Shady Glen Dairy Stores – 840 East Middle Turnpike; 860-649-4245; hamburgers.
Bars & Nightclubs
●Griswold Inn’s Tap Room – 36 Main Street; 860-767-1776; griswoldinn.com.
NEW LONDON COUNTY
●Harry’s Place – 104 Broadway; 860-537-2410; hamburgers.
●Restaurant @ Rowayton Seafood Market – 89 Rowayton Avenue; 203-866-4488; rowaytonseafood.com.