Sunday, April 21, 2013

Branford Restaurant Week 2013 - Ballou's Restaurant and Wine Bar

It's Branford CT's 2nd Annual Restaurant Week!
April 14th through the 20th 2013

We celebrated by going to Ballou's Restaurant and Wine Bar! This was our first visit there although we had heard some great things about it!  Ballou's bills themselves as "a relaxed and casual wine bar ... that offers a selection of wines from around the world as well as local vineyards."

Ballou's is located in the Indian Neck section of Branford CT, at the site of the old Indian Neck General Store and Market.

We started off with a "flight" of wine, ordering a Riesling, a Pinot Noir, (no particular brands) - and for the third selection, told our waitperson, Jennifer, to surprise us.

Jenn brought over our flight, which consisted of the following:

Wine # 201: Willamette Valley Vineyards Riesling, Oregon,  Flavors of peach and apricots

Wine #301: Sante Pinot Noir by Coppola, California,
Bright fruit flavors, silken texture and fine tannins

Wine #401: Di Grazia William Sonnet Blush Riesling, Connecticut, White Grape wine blushed with raspberry

They were all wonderful, but true to form, my favorite was the Williamette Valley Riesling.

The flights at Ballous range from about $14.00 to $18.00.  Flights are a wonderful way to sample some new wines at an affordable price, and discover new ones without breaking the bank!  And let's be serious.  They're just plain fun! While we were there it looked like everyone was ordering a flight too!

As part of Ballou's Branford Restaurant Week special, we were able to order an appetizer to share, two entrees, and a dessert or shared fondue. That's right, a 3-course dinner for two for only $35.00. What a great deal!

We started with a shared Assorted Cheese-Plate that included, Havarti Dill, Sharp Cheddar & Gruyere cheese served with sliced apple, cranberry walnut chutney, and crackers

The cowboy originally ordered the prime rib, but was told it wasn't available, so I talked him into the brisket. 
The brisket was served with mashed potatoes and baby carrots and spinach. It was soooo good. The only thing he noted was that the sauce and spices were a little on the sweet side.

I ordered the Roasted Portabella Mushrooms and Spinach Ravioli blended with Mozzarella, Provolone, Parmesan and Pecorino Romano Cheeses. and served with a delicious creamy Gorgonzola Sauce.
This was wonderful!  The portobello mushrooms were smokey and the spinach added a nice light flavor.  However, as good as it was, the next time I order it (and I will order it again) I'd like to try it with the fra diavalo sauce.  The gorgonzola sauce was delicious, but very rich.  I'd like to sample the ravioli next time with this spicy red sauce, to see if it lightens it up a bit.

Next we moved on to dessert.  Instead of ordering off the menu, we decided to split a dessert fondue, and ordered the chocolate and peanut butter fondue.
Jennifer serves our chocolate and peanut butter fondue at Ballou's Wine Bar in Branford CT

The fondue came with cubed pound cake, sliced strawberries, sliced bananas, and cubed rice krispie treats. Although this was very good, I think the next time I order it I would ask that they go a little heavier on the peanut butter.  I'm not sure if it was the brand or flavor of chocolate that was used, but we both detected a bit of burnt taste from the chocolate.  Although this wouldn't deter us from ordering it again, to see if it was the chocolate, or if perhaps our palates were compromised from our dinners.

We had a lovely time participating in #BranfordRestaurantWeek2013 and Ballou's Restaurant and Wine Bar is definitely on our list of places to return to!

Ballou's is open year round and accepts all major credit cards.

2 Sybil Ave
Branford, CT 06405
203 208 1701


Have you visited a wine bar? 

Do you have any favorite specials from recent restaurant weeks?

I'd love to hear about them in the comments below.

Ballou's Restaurant and Wine Bar on Urbanspoon


  1. I've never heard of a flight of wine. Do all three selections equal about the amount of one glass? Sounds like a place worth trying. So many restaurants, so little time!

    1. Join the club! I just heard about flights myself a few weeks ago when a a friend posted a picture from Ballou's!

      Yes, each glass holds about 3 oz. - enough to sample, and the three all together are equal to a little over a glass of wine.

      Sue, it's a fun little place to go to. You definitely should try it!

  2. Branford is one of my hometowns, I love that they're doing restaurant week, but I'm sad to miss it!

    1. Vanessa, I'm sorry you're missing it too! Every year it gets better and better! Next year I'll give you a "heads-up" before it arrives to give you a reason for a hometown visit!


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