“Over the top” can go two ways.
On a day trip down a lesser road in Connecticut, My Guy and I had stomachs ready for lunch, but few options for solving this. In the distance, we saw an Italian restaurant by the road. It looked like it had been there for years and years; one of those places that’s not particularly good, but is the only game around. We entered to an endless loop of Frank Sinatra.
Sure enough, I had hands-down, the worst eggplant parm grinder in history. It was chintzy on the eggplant, which turned out to be a good thing since I’m pretty sure they’d fried it the day before, since it managed to be both chewy and crusty.
But the décor made up for any ambition the cuisine lacked. I was fascinated by the ladies’ room.
Fortunately, the faux marble wall paper was almost successful in hiding most of the dirt smudges. If it was old-world elegance they were aiming for, they missed.
This Friday, I had another expedition to parts unknown with a friend. An acquaintance had found a tea room one town over, so we went to check it out. It was housed in the entire first floor – plus sunroom addition – to a house.
|In case you felt the need for a hat with your scone. |
As we opened the front door, two women were having their photo taken next to a live-sized cutout of Queen Elizabeth. Every inch of the place was covered in wallpaper, crystal chandeliers, and showcases full of flowered China. This was the real deal.
Our waitress had the persistence of a hot-tub saleswoman. Once she’d delivered our tea choices – in individual teapots – she hovered, chatting us up about the tea room while I tried to simultaneously read the menu and suggest that she come back in a few minutes. She finally left, we decided what we wanted, and she returned to take our order. Before we realized it, we’d both ordered scones, I suppose to sustain life until our lunch came.
The food, though, was absolutely, stunningly fabulous. I had butternut squash bisque (topped with crème fraiche) and a ‘figgy melt’ – a grilled Brie sandwich with fig spread, and caramelized onions and apple slices. I’m ruined for life.
One food extreme to the other. I'm cracking up laughing at the cutout of the queen! They need one with a cutout face you can put your own in for a picture.ReplyDelete
It sounds really yummy! Thanks for the two food reviews, too. :-)ReplyDelete
Such incredibly different experiences. And both sound in their own way incredible...ReplyDelete
We have the former in in a local suburb, The Parasson. My parents thought it the Ritz. It closed recently.ReplyDelete
Years ago, I was lucky enough to go to the Russian Tea Room in NYC and learned what heaven must be like.Delete
You deserved that after the frost meal.ReplyDelete
The Tea Room sounds wonderful. The other one? ugh. What on earth is an eggplant parm grinder? I know eggplant and parmesan, but what is the grinder part?ReplyDelete
Sorry - local name. Big soft roll, good tomato sauce, slices of eggplant that have been breaded and fried. All put together with melted mozzarella and Parmesan.Delete
Done right, it's heavenly.
In the US, grinder = hoagie = sub (submarine) = hero sandwich, depending which part of the country you're in.Delete
I love a good tea room. The food and decor sounds wonderful! - JennReplyDelete
Well, I'm glad the tea room food was fulfilling! That Italian place is not subtle.ReplyDelete