If you have been reading Gildshire for a while (and if not, where have you been young man/woman?) you know that our Food and Nutrition Magazine is among our favorites. We love so much to eat that we sometimes worry that it may have become an obsession. The other night we watched “Hamburger Hill” because we thought it was a movie about fast food. Last week we watched a documentary about Cabbage Patch Dolls, because we thought it was about cole slaw. Wrong on both counts. Even our children’s names reflect our affection for food. I can’t wait to tell you what I’m giving Taffy, Candy, and Big Mac for Christmas. This food thing, though, serves us well as we examine the dining gems in this country. Today, we finish up with the top five dining gems in the northeast.
New World Bistro, 300 Delaware Avenue, Albany, New York. A few years ago, when farm-to-table became a popular expression, Ric Orlando at the New World Bistro said “Welcome, I’ve been here for a while.” The NWB website says this about him, and they are NOT kidding.
“His enthusiasm for local, sustainable ingredients translates to delicious, spirited cuisine with bright and comfortable flavors from around the globe.”
Our favorite dishes at New World Bistro reflect the eclectic nature on the bill of fare. The short ribs are tender and tasty, a quiniela that many places can’t accomplish. Usually, it’s one or the other. The Saigon street style fried calamari lack the rubbery quality so many calamaris have, but lack none of the flavor they are supposed to include. Someone at the table always orders the ropa beef dinner. Open Sunday-Thursday 5pm-9:30pm, and a half hour later Friday and Saturday. Sundays include brunch hours from 11am-3pm.
Modern Apizza, 874 State Street, New Haven, Connecticut. Everyone knows that restaurants come and go. In fact, the failure rate of new restaurants is only slightly lower than the divorce rate in the movie industry. That’s one reason why we want to highlight a place that has been in continuous operation since 1934. Besides, what kind of dining gem finders would we be if there wasn’t a pizza on the list?
What do we like at Modern Apizza? It’s pretty hard to get us off the Italian Bomb. (Do we really need to describe it to you?) Others in our party enjoy the bacon and pepperoni pizza. For those who like fewer than a bounty of toppings we recommend the margarita (It’s a pizza, not a drink. Please pay attention.) Open Tuesday-Thursday 11am-10pm and an hour later Friday and Saturday. Sunday hours are 3pm-10pm. Modern Apizza is closed Mondays.
Palace Diner, 18 Franklin Street, Biddeford, Maine. It is old restaurant day today, and we love it! Perhaps it is only appropriate that we celebrate old restaurants in the region that is the oldest in the country. The pizza place just above opened in 1934. “Hmph, youngster,” says the Palace Diner. In fact, 1927 is the year this joint came to be. It survived the Great Depression and the Great War, because it is a great restaurant. See how that works?
Don’t dawdle if you want a meal at the Palace Diner. Where other restaurants are somewhat convoluted when it comes to when they are open and closed, Palace Diner takes the straightforward New England approach. They are open from 8 in the morning until 2 in the afternoon, and not a minute longer, thank you. (Oh, okay, if you still haven’t finished they won’t chuck you out, but you know what we mean.) What’s good? Our favorite is what I like to call the kid-at-heart special. Yes, that would be chocolate chip pancakes! Others in the party enjoyed the lumberjack breakfast, declaring it to be, not just one of the great breakfasts ever, but one of the great meals ever! Are you hungry for lunch? Try the fried chicken sandwich. It is what chickens long to become.
Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock, 80 Hamilton Street, New London, Connecticut. You know a place is going to be one of the top five dining gems if you change your mind about what to order four times, because you have seen four different dishes go by. That’s the case when it comes to Captain Scott’s place. Tucked in between Shaw Cove and Coits Cove, this is a restaurant worth searching for and a find worth telling your friends about on social media. It is that special. Seafood by the water, anyone? As you will see when you get here, seafood by the water is for practically everyone.
What will you order? Allow us to suggest a few things, but you won’t go wrong if you stray off on your own. For a little bit of a lot of things try the seafood platter. It will give you an idea of where you might want to specialize on another visit…perhaps tonight. Doubtless, someone in the party will order the lobster bisque. Whole clams will hit the spot, as well. Open seven days a week, 11am-9pm seasonally. Open weekends during the cooler weather.
Vermont Country Deli, 436 Western Avenue, Brattleboro, Vermont. We have never chosen a dish based on a restaurant website, but if we were going to, my goodness this may be the place! There is a picture of a pecan pie on the site that will make your mouth say “please” all by itself. It’s right here. What do we love about this place, besides that pie, we mean? We love that it is a restaurant, and a store, all in one. Without the pretentiousness of a Cracker Barrel, VCD will take care of your dining needs, and then your shopping needs, all in the same trip.
Of course, it is possible that you will decide to come back to the deli for your next meal, rather than shopping and cooking. That’s okay, Gildshire’s Food and Nutrition Magazine never judges. What shall we have to eat? Any sandwich on the board will make your heart happy, and any pastry available will make your soul joyful. If we have to be more specific we will recommend the mac and cheese. Open seven days a week 7 am-7pm.
That’s our top five dining gems in the northeast. Do they match up with yours? The great thing about a series like this is they don’t have to match yours, because your top five dining gems are yours alone.
(That said, try our top five dining gems. Your top five dining gems will change. We promise!)
Enjoy your travels and enjoy the food. Life and lunch are beautiful things!