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    Tuesday, February 27, 2024

    A look back at recent dining reviews

    Landing and Main

    77 Main St., Deep River

    (860) 526-2800


    Only on Main Street in Deep River can you do the following: Shop for pet supplies and upscale men’s gifts in dedicated boutiques; get a tattoo; return a library book; do a load of wash at the local laundromat; and, when hunger strikes, choose from half a dozen eateries, depending on your taste.

    On the less bustling end of Main Street is Landing and Main, formerly The Ivory, offering American cuisine with a twist.

    On a recent visit, that “twist” included excellent, locally sourced pork, and we heartily recommend the (spicy) Sausage and Peppers Plate appetizer on the specials list ($12) and the (enormous) bone-in pork chop entree ($26).

    My Grilled Lemon Chicken ($20) entree checked all the necessary boxes – the zing of lemon and pepper was just right and the chicken was a great balance of tenderness and grill-char – so I recommend that as well.

    If more casual fare is what the occasion requires, the Philly Cheese Wrap ($14; comes with fries) is something I would gladly order again. Within the lightly grilled wrap, finely chopped steak and onions and no shortage of cheese merge to create a delicious sum of the parts.

    Next time? The dessert menu has my name all over it. Key lime pie, anyone?

    – Marisa Nadolny

    When Pigs Fly

    97 Rope Ferry Road, Waterford

    (860) 444-1110, www.whenpigsflycafe.com

    The last time I saw bestselling nonfiction author Jeff Benedict, a Waterford native and the writer-in-residence at the Garde Arts Center, he was under a brutal deadline to finish his latest book. He’d been working heroically in round-the-clock fashion and was taking a short break to eat and see his family.

    Where did this happen? Why, When Pigs Fly, the superior breakfast/lunch café in Jordan Village. The Benedicts are regulars, it seems.

    I am under no such pressure to deliver a bestselling anything, but I still go to When Pigs Fly, too. A lot.

    The staff moves effortlessly through the two dining areas — each of which is full of charmingly mismatched furniture — and the help-yourself coffee/tea bar is a fine concept. Breakfast and lunch feature exemplary versions of standards as well as creative and innovative dishes. It’s easy to be a regular who orders the same thing every time — or one of the e’er curious types who delights on trying something new each visit.

    I somehow try to be each of those people, often relying on the Spicy Streak Wrap ($11.25) with its fine mixture of variously spicy peppers and lean steak inside a flour tortilla. But trying different choices has rewarded me with such things as Breakfast Nachos ($15.25, an occasional special) and the Hocus Poachus ($9), a punny poached egg dish based on sourdough break and also starring spinach, tomato, cheddar and mystery spices.

    — Rick Koster

    Nana’s Westerly

    82 High St., Westerly

    (401) 213-3911

    Find their website at nanasri.com

    Nana’s Westerly is an all-day café, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. They have cocktails and terrific specialty coffees, and from their organic bakery come treats like rye chocolate chip cookies, hot sourdough doughnuts, or the classic white pizza with garlic butter, ricotta, and rosemary.

    Also on the ever-changing menu, selections such as sauteed mussels ($14) with cherry tomatoes, capers, onions, white wine, lemon and butter, or the preserved tuna ($16), prepared with yellowfin, lemon aioli, shoyu pickles, sliced jalapenos, and fresh herbs.

    There’s creamy tomato soup, $11, stuffed clams, $15, or a grilled eggplant pizza, $18 or $26, depending on whether you order a small or large.

    Nana’s is located behind the United Theatre in Westerly near Wilcox Park, and its bright wood and brick interior is inviting and comfortable. The staff is friendly, the menu interesting, prices are reasonable, and the food always unique and delicious.

    – Ann Baldelli

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