A glance in the rearview at recent Day restaurant visits
il Pomod’Oro Restaurant & Pizzeria
117 Boston Post Road, East Lyme
Throw a rock in our region of the world, and you’re likely to hit a pizza place. Such ubiquity demands a high standard if pizza restaurateurs want to stand out, and luckily there are more than a few options of such quality fare available to us.
Try the pies or entrees at il Pomod’Oro in East Lyme, for example, and suddenly our pizza snobbery becomes understandable. That’s because the kitchen staff at il Pomod’Oro source topnotch, often organic, super fresh ingredients for every dish on the menu. So, yes, you can order a meatball pizza from il Pomod’Oro ($18.99), but it’ll be topped with meatballs hand-rolled in-house with grass-fed beef.
The quality of the ingredients is reflected in the price, but quantity helps justify prices too. Our (delicious) Free Range Chicken Piccata ($23.99) included three large breasts and a hearty portion of linguini, which, in the end, fed two of us twice. The Pasta Fagioli is the priciest I’ve encountered anywhere, but its organic ingredients result in a distinctive, smoky brew that’s worth the $8.50 price tag. (Pair it with a Garden Salad, $9, and dinner is served.)
Put it this way: You get what you pay for in the best possible way at il Pomod’Oro.
113 Water St., Stonington
Noah’s in Mystic is a reliable spot for an old-fashioned, filling, and laid back breakfast. Buttermilk pancakes, coming two to a plate, are fluffy, just sweet enough, and a good deal at $6 or $7 if you add blueberries. They also come with real maple syrup from Stonegate Farm Surgarhouse in Conway, Mass. Make-your-own omelets are also worth trying, starting at $9 for a three-egg omelet and going up $1.50 for additional items, such as cheese, veggies, and meats. What I like best is the Portuguese baked eggs that come served over a stew-like tomato base with linguiça and topped with cheese ($13).
Dinner can be a little hit-or-miss. The “Big Messy Dan Burger” is tasty and topped with Applewood smoked bacon, chipotle mayo, avocado slices, and American cheese ($13). But the plate comes without the traditional sides of either fries, chips, onion rings, or even tator tots, and instead diners are given out-of-place options, such as hash browns, mashed potatoes, and mixed veggies. The scallop po’ boy ($16) comes with three absolutely delicious broiled and buttery Stonington Day Boat scallops. Unfortunately, they also soak up the bun, making for a limp and messy roll. The Gulf shrimp pasta ($24) with cavatelli is fresh, but it would benefit from some more veggies and herbs.
— Alex Nunes
Mango’s Wood-Fired Pizza Company
27 Coogan Blvd., Mystic
Four of us pizza enthusiasts, including one who works and frequently eats slices in New Haven, agree that Mango’s offers a damned good pie.
They’re of the thin crust variety, lovingly baked in an 800-degree oven and prepared with locally-sourced mozzarella, hand-crushed tomato sauce and on-site-nuanced dough.
The pies come in 12- and 16-inch sizes, arrive in crispy, amoeba shapes, and are available in white and red recipes. The Virgin ‘Gorga ($13.75, $18.75) blends olive oil, fresh garlic and sea salt with fresh tomato, spinach, gorgonzola and mozzarella and, though the browned-garlic was a bit heavy at first, the overall flavor was distinct and very good.
Also superb: Mango’s Mozzarella Pie ($10.75 and $16.50), which luxuriates simplicity through sea salt, grated Romano, mozzarella and the house sauce. My own personal fave was the Funky Monkey ($14.50, $19.95), with stand-alone clumps of meaty, sweet Italian sausage and tangy banana peppers.
Service is very warm and familiar, and the food is delivered at top speed.
— Rick Koster
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