I'm starting to worry about getting a reputation on this Board, I'm so hard to please. I read--I think in a piece by the Sterns in Connecticut Magazine--that Denmo's in Southbury had great fried clams, among the best. Schlepped to Southbury today (actually a beautiful drive from New Milford on 67). We were psyched. And disappointed. Way too much batter on the clams--at moments you'd get a bite w/ less batter, and you could taste that fantastic full-belly-clam taste and especially texture. But mostly a heavy, tight, and not even very flavorful breading (ended up dipping in ketchup, horreur). The fries were krinkle-cut, pale, flabby, tasteless (more ketchup). Slaw a not terrible mix of mayo-y and vinegar-y. I was sorry one of us hadn't tried the sauteed lobster roll, but we'd been so excited when we read about those clams. My husband was, as usual, more philosophical, if not entirely forgiving: we're pretty far from the ocean.
On the way back, we detoured down Rte 133 about a mile and stopped at the Village Store in Bridgewater, my second time there. Tried the clam chowder (when will this girl learn?)--salty, a little gummy, not the fresh-tasting "real" thing. Although my husband characteristically gave the chowder a higher grade than I, he tossed the gazpacho (a soup domain in which he's the purist, making great gazpacho himself...). And we didn't love the seafood salad. The sandwiches looked good, and there were lots of folks there enjoying them. We'll come back to sample those. But right now, we can say with confidence, that If you move from savory to sweet, this is the place to visit. There's a sign in the pastry case that their baker hurt his hand, and so patrons should bear with them. But someone else--Ann--makes the pies--she's the wife of a local minister--and she's a very good pie-maker indeed. We got a great slice of blueberry to go. And have in our freezer a mixed berry, one of many wonderful-sounding options (strawberry-rhubarb, blue-berry-peach, apple--you buy them frozen, to bake in your kitchen (at a very reasonable $10.50). And they make delicious chocolate. We've only tried to crunchy peanut butter (my husband loved it) and the dark hazelnut bark (which I loved). On top of that, they're really nice--my first visit, they missed the newspapers on the counter with the rest of my order and just told me to pay when I returned another time. This time, I said I wanted just a small piece of the hazelnut bark, and the guy said he'd break off the piece with the most nuts!