Restaurants & Bars

First Visit

sbtcabman | May 28, 2011 06:52 PM

Tunxis Grill & Pizzeria Poquonock, CT

After a busy day we decided to try a restaurant we drove by last weekend. After reading reviews on another site that seemed favorable, "a favorite with the locals", the consensus seemed to be let's go give it a try. Yes, I am expecting a certain level of quality, passion and service when I venture to a new eatery especially if the reviews were glowing. That is not too much to ask. Alas, the result missed the mark. I am often skeptical, and dismissive, when there are many accolades attesting to the "two meals from one" and apparently my radar had shorted out.
It was a beautiful evening for al fresco but the service on the patio was slow and inattentive. The appetizer of fried calamari and hot peppers was overall very good. We first tried the aioli which hinted of a bbq flavor and opted for/requested instead a substitute marinara which was quite good. For a main, my guest chose: "Sliced pecan crusted chicken, dried cranberries, glazed pecans, Gorgonzola and Mandarin oranges atop mixed field greens. Served with balsamic vinaigrette." The essentially fried chicken breast missed the mark and was the weak link in the taste arena. The balsamic dressing, which also accompanied my mixed greens salad, was very commercial - thick, sweet and lacking true balsamic flavor and far from a vinaigrette. I ordered a main course of "Italian broccoli sautéed with sliced hot Italian sausage, garlic and a pinch of red pepper flake. Olive oil tossed with penne rigate and Parm cheese". I inquired if the sausage was cooked to order, assured it was, and was not disappointed by pre-cooked, "old" tasting sausage. It was fresh and not overcooked. The remainder of the gastronomic promise was not fulfilled. There was a watery white (wine?) sauce that was very heavy with salt and no hint of olive oil of any kind. A large portion of the broccoli rabe was yellow indicating it was way past peak freshness. The preparation resulted in most of the parmesan sticking to the bowl rather than the food. I never buy broccoli rabe that is yellow and do not expect to be served it as a "jaundiced" green. The kitchen was not paying attention or did not care.
Sadly, again it appears that quantity has trumped quality
The server should stick to her day job. I find it annoying to ask for water glasses to be re-filled. I do not want the napkin refuse of a prior diner ensconced at my feet. I would like my appetizer dishes removed within a few minutes of being finished and not resident until the main course arrives ten minutes afterward. I also do not want to be presented with a styro clamshell into which I must scrape the remnants of my bowl (the other waitstaff performed this task for their patrons). And finally, I do not want to wait fifteen minutes post-clamshell to not receive a check previously promised. I simply left the necessary greenbacks on the table and departed. I know I have been spoiled by my trips to France and Italy but I try to afford our domestic purveyors the patience and the opportunity. One can always hope that the next time I try a new venue......

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