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    Friday, March 01, 2024

    Dining review recaps

    Bar Emilia

    1 Railroad Ave., Westerly

    (401) 388-8383

    Find them on Instagram @baremiliari

    The folks at Bar Emilia responded to my recent review on their social media with a post that read: “We’re working hard every day to bring our vision of Italian food and hospitality to downtown Westerly. Come down and see us this weekend!”

    I’m sure a lot of people did. Who doesn’t like to try a new restaurant? Bar Emilia will not disappoint. It takes two hands to hoist one of their paninis, like the one made with hot soppressata, roasted eggplant, ricotta, and salsa verde, $16.

    There are a variety of small plates, like the Carne Cruda, $16, which is hand-chopped steak tartare with capers and parmigiano. For $6, they will prepare marinated olives with citrus and pepperoncino. If you enjoy anchovies, try the Acciughe, which is your own tin of Cantabrian anchovies with grass-fed butter and crusty bread, $13.

    It’s all good and even better with a glass of prosecco, lambrusco, or a specialty cocktail like the Negroni, with London dry gin, Campari, and Cocchi di Torino. Most drinks are $12 to $14.

    It’s a great place to meet a friend, share a cheese and meat board, or indulge in great house-made pasta. The rigatoni, $25, is prepared with spicy sausage ragu and parmigiano fonduta. Like everything else, it’s very good.

    – Ann Baldelli

    Montauk Market

    6 Lower Blvd., New London

    (860) 440-8761

    Let’s say, as per the finest imaginative efforts of Hollywood’s Screenwriters Guild, that some natural catastrophe or horror film construct suddenly cuts off the south end of New London, where I live, from the rest of the world!

    Don’t worry about us. We’ll be fine.

    We’ve got Ocean Beach Park for fun. In terms of booze and the lottery, there’s Ocean Discount Wine & Liquor. As far as food? There’s the Yolk, the 1902 Tavern in the Lighthouse Inn and — most recently — Montauk Market. Yes, the Market not only offers random necessities, drygoods and gourmet coffee, but prepared meals from Ivy’s and Tony D’s as well as a bountiful collection of excellent grinders, soups, smoothies and açaí bowls — all crafted on-site.

    My favorite grinders ($10, $14) thus far are the roast beef, the chicken salad, the pulled pork and the meatball. My wife Eileen, a vegetarian, likes the large array of extras/toppings from which she can build her own sandwich that goes well beyond the lettuce/tomato/cheese formula.

    And DEFINITELY try an açaí bowl ($12.50 with a choice of three toppings). My go-to version includes shredded coconut, dried mango and raspberries, but there’s a variety of option for your enjoyment.

    Oh, and these are neighborhood folks running the place, and they’re as neighborly as you could hope for.

    — Rick Koster

    Duby’s Bagels and Bakery

    785 Boston Post Rd, Old Saybrook

    (860) 339-3014

    Dubysbagels.com

    Looking for a true New York-style bagel without the trip? Ditch Metro North and make Duby’s in Bagels and Bakery Old Saybrook your next stop.

    The daily bagel selection includes a good range of options, including Plain, Sesame, Poppy, Salt, Garlic, Onion, Everything, Asiago and Cinnamon Raisin ($1.95 each; cheaper by the half and baker’s dozen). Special flavors might pop up, so check the board at the counter for details. Bialys are also available on the daily and can be added with your bulk bunches of bagels for the same price. A bagel can be the main vehicle for a number of menu options, including breakfast sandwiches; a BLT ($7.95); tuna salad; a schmear of cream cheese or Nutella; and several other options. You can buy a tub of cream cheese, available in several flavors, for $5.

    But let’s not forget the word “Bakery” in Duby’s full name, so save room for one of the many delicious desserts you’ll see on display. On a recent visit, the Salted Brownie ($3) made the next-time short list, thanks to a chewy, fudgy body and bold flakes of salty flavor. We also enjoyed the apricot rugelach and the lemon bar daily special. If you like lemon bars, this one is exactly what you want in one: buttery base, tangy lemon, and sweet confectioner’s sugar in perfect harmony. Keep an eye out for muffins, cookies, cupcakes, halva, and much more, some of which are available daily and some as specials. Plus: Fresh hot Ashlawn Farm coffee. All aboard?

    – Marisa Nadolny

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