Fine dining in Connecticut offers exceptional restaurants, expert chefs

Connecticut's fine dining establishments include top-quality food from chefs who learned their art at the best restaurants. Another wonderful type of venue to enjoy a fine meal may be at vineyards and wineries that serve occasional themed dinners, and dinner for special times, like Valentine's Day. The addition of wine pairing and expertise can be a delight for wine lovers.

Check out more great dining experiences at our VNE Blog!
Shipwright's Daughter Dining - Whaler's Inn - Mystic, CT
The Whaler's Inn

20 East Main Street Mystic, CT, 06355 Phone: 860-536-1506 Toll-Free: 800-243-2588

Popular on-site restaurant celebrates regional heritage with great food, wine, company

You know a restaurant is good when it’s a hit with locals and tourists alike, and that’s the case at The Shipwright’s Daughter, the popular on-site restaurant at The Whaler’s Inn. With daily changes to its inspired menu there's always something new to try, from crispy fried oysters to rhubarb gazpacho or dry-aged local bluefish. Recognized as a James Beard “Smart Catch” Committed Restaurant, the restaurant honors New England’s seafood heritage with sustainably-caught fish creatively presented. The inn also serves breakfast and weekend brunch, happy hour with select wines, cocktails, draft beer and snacks. Its wine list, celebrating small farmers and producers, has earned it the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence in 2022.
Fine Dining 500x250 - Essex Steam Train & Riverboat - Essex, CT
Essex Steam Train & Riverboat

One Railroad Avenue Essex, CT, 06426 Phone: 860-767-0103 Toll-Free: 800-377-3987

Delicious menu, impeccable service, one-of-a-kind surroundings on this dinner train

Dine on a delectable menu, and in one-of-a-kind surroundings, aboard the Essex Clipper Dinner Train. Sit in comfort and style in a lovingly restored 1920s Pullman dining car, pulled by a vintage diesel locomotive. Sit back and enjoy the rhythm of the rails and attentive service as you roll through the picturesque Connecticut River Valley, designated one of the “last great places on Earth” by the Nature Conservancy. Your seasonal menu offerings might start with a cheese plate, a salad, then include prime rib, grilled salmon or eggplant Parmesan, among other entrees. Enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine as you truly relax. The food is prepared in the kitchen car, which dates back to 1953, adding to the romantic vintage aura. Please check our website for our dining menus & schedule.
Wedding Reception in the Dining Room 500x250 - Griswold Inn - Essex, CT
The Griswold Inn

36 Main Street Essex, CT, 06426 Phone: 860-767-1776

Delightful dining served up in Connecticut’s “Coziest Restaurant”

Simple, imaginative cuisine in splendid historic dining rooms: That is what they have been serving up for generations at the inviting Griswold Inn. The inn, which opened its doors during the Revolution, is one of the oldest continuously operating inns in the country, and its dining rooms exude character and tradition. (The famous Sunday Hunt Breakfast began when the British commandeered the inn during the War of 1812.) Marine paintings from the 19th century grace the walls, and tables are graced with delicious fare, from fresh seafood and aged beef to must-have house-made desserts. It’s no wonder Food & Wine and Travel + Leisure magazines called the historic dining room Connecticut’s “Coziest Restaurant.” (Check the website for the latest openings and health regulations.)
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