DH and I have now dined at J. Christian's in downtown Wallingford on two occassions-once for dinner, and today for lunch. Both times were were very happy with our meals/service/overall experience, and I recommend this restaurant for almost any occasion.
To those of you unfamaliar with the building, it is in a converted bank-think old-school bank type building-lots of wood, marble, stained glass, etc. They did extensive renovations and improvements (adding a sweeping staircase for example) and the overall effect is absolutely stunning! very nicely deocorated, and if you sit upstairs quite cozy and intimate (not in a bad/overcrowded way). Nice place to take a date!
I think the cuisine would be best described as 'new American (http://www.jchristians.com/menus.html
)For our first experience, we went to dinner over Thankgiving weekend with another couple, and while it was quite crowded and a bit on the noisy side it was really. really enjoyable. It did strike us as odd that they do not seem to offer wine by the bottle--but they do have nice offerings by the glass. We all enjoyed our meals and I seem to remember it costing about $80 per couple.
We went for lunch today, and they have a wide variety of lunch offerings- salads and sandwiches, 'flatbreads' as well as full entrees. Lunch today for the two of us with two glasses of wine each (Don't judge us-we are on vacation!!) was $60 with the tip (DH is a solid 20% tipper).
I would be interested to hear others' experiences, as the place has gotten decidedly mixed reviews on Yelp..