Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Branford Restaurant Week 2012 – Nellie Green’s

This week Branford, CT celebrates its first (of what I hope will be an annual) Branford Restaurant Week!

Nineteen establishments are participating the week of Sunday, June 3rd through Saturday, June 9th, most with both lunch  ($16.44) and dinner ($29.00) three course prix fixe menus.  The number 16.44 has special meaning for Branford folks as it was the year the town was [permanently] settled.

As a loyal town resident, I have always, and will continue to, perform my civic duty and support our local restaurants and businesses!  Plus, this gives me a reason to (a) drag the cowboy out to lunch and (b) get together with some long-time friends during the week.

Today the cowboy and I went to Nellie Green’s to enjoy their Restaurant Week Lunch Specials.   Nina, our waitress, was so pleasant and welcoming and took the time to explain many of the menu items.  In addition she related all the specials and weekly events that Nellie Green's has to offer, Mid-Week Madness (dinner for two with a bottle of wine), happy hour times, catering and banquets, patio hours and offerings, and so much more!

  For "Starters" we ordered:


The Boneless Wings St. Clair: Buffalo style wings with bleu cheese and celery; named for Nellie's rum-running chief pilot 

and Point Judith Crispy Calamari: Local caught calamari, with cherry pepper aioli and classic marinara sauce.

Please forgive the “starters” pictures … I couldn’t help myself and started to dig in before the cowboy reminded me I needed to take pictures of the food before we completely destroyed it!   Know that each appetizer was neatly presented, plentiful, and thoroughly enjoyed! The calamari especially was correctly prepared, crispy and light. The accompanying marinara sauce was fresh and tomato-ey. But, oh, the cherry peper aioli dip!  It was to die for, rich and creamy and packed with just the right heat!

For his main course the cowboy ordered:

 Cape Cod Crispy Fish Wrap: which is described as Panko crusted Cape Cod filet, sweet red onion, baby arugula greens, vine tomato, lemon caper sauce.

Although substitutions are often not allowed during restaurant week specials, the staff were quick to accommodate the cowboy's request to serve the sandwich on a roll instead of a wrap.  (Thank you Nellie Greens!)

I ordered the Tavern Burger: Hand packed 8 oz natural Angus burger, choice of cheese, butter bibb lettuce, tomato, red onion.

Both were hearty sandwiches, mouth watering and delicious!  Each was served with a side of mixed greens and a kosher pickle.  YUMMMM!

For dessert we ordered: 
Fresh Strawberries and Vanilla Whipped Creme. The right combination of light, naturally sweet, and creamy rich!

Cappuccino Gelato                                       (other flavors are available, in addition to sorbet!)  
The perfect way to end an enjoyable meal!

For those of you not familiar with the rich history of Nellie Green's, the original location of Nellie's was found at the Talmadge Hotel on Short Beach Road on the Branford / East Haven town line.  During the years of prohibition the hotel became one of the infamous "speak-easys"  called so because when patrons came in to order the prohibition outlawed alcoholic beverages they were cautioned to "speak-easy".  Nellie was known for her bawdy sense of humor, but still lady-like ways.  In the 1970s it was sold by the Talmadge family to the Blake family (Johnny Blake with GM Billy DeMatteo) until it closed in the late 80's.  Read more about Nellie Greens at: The History of Nellie Green's.

The cowboy happened to meet up with Nellie Green's proprietor, Mike Savinelli while we were visiting Nellie Green's at the new location on Maple Street (behind the MIF building) for Branford Restaurant Week 2012.  Mike explained that several years ago, while contemplating opening a restaurant and lounge in his old hometown of Branford, he happened across a story about Nellie Green's.  The rest, folks, is as they say, history, and Mike could think of no better name, nor no better connection, than to open this place in its new location on the Branford River and link it to the legendary Nellie Green's!

Below are some pictures of..
the dining room

full service bar

outside deck

and patio bar

Believe me there is not a bad seat in the house! The views are spectacular! 

Nellie Green's is located at
50 Maple Street
Branford, CT 06405

Follow the street signs to Nellie Green's...see, I'm not kidding!

Visit Nellie Green's and tell them Home Place sent you!

How about you?  
Any other fellow Branford-ites taking advantage of Branford Restaurant Week?

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