On this foodiest of food days, we give thanks to the many wonderful people and places in the state making great dishes, and to our readers, who took the time to salute their favorites, some deservedly well-acclaimed, others little-known treasures.
We asked. You answered. Passionately.
Ruth Kiczuk of Rocky Hill calls the Tomato Tart Tartare with Basil Whipped Cream at The Pond House in West Hartford "awesome! Best ever."
Jeanine Rivard of Portland says one of the best things she's ever eaten in Connecticut are the Stuffed Squash Blossoms at Peppercorn's Grill in Hartford.
From Anne Eglinton in Bloomfield: "The best thing I have ever eaten in Connecticut is the Warm Roasted Eggplant and Wonton Napoleon at Arugula Bistro in West Hartford Center."
"I have to say the most delicious thing I had ever eaten — and I mean by far — was the Portabella Mushroom Appetizer at Captain Daniel Packard's Inn in Mystic," says Sonia Petrella. "It consisted of an extra large portabella mushroom topped with cream cheese and a crabmeat stuffing."
"Have you tried the French Fried Eggplant with accompanying shredded parmesan cheese and marinara sauce at Joe Pizza in Canton and Avon?" asks Joan Sereda of Bloomfield. "It's to die for! I mean it."
Len Smith of Glastonbury calls the Maytag Bleu Chips at J. Gilberts in Glastonbury "simply the best appetizer I have had."
The Potato Goat Cheese Tart at Metro Bis in Simsbury is "absolutely incredible," says Peter Foley of Canton. "Just brought a friend there from out of state. He was stunned. You have to try it."
The Tuna Roll at Tokyo Café in Newington is the best thing Michelle Cyr of Newington says she's ever eaten in Connecticut.
Caragh Germano of Newington raves about the Asian Glazed Short Ribs at the Spicy Green Bean in Glastonbury. "They are the most amazing, tender, fall-off-the-bone, mouth-watering delight you could eat! Perfectly braised, and coated with a sticky, sweet, somewhat spicy magical concoction you could die for! We recently dined there for a friend's birthday and one of my friends said he would sell himself on the street for an order of those! I offered the chef/owner my firstborn for the recipe; fortunately for my son, she declined. Throw in my favorite dessert in Connecticut — the Coconut Ricotta Cupcake — and you have the best eating experience in Connecticut!"
And Lucy DiNardi of Newington says the Fresh Figs Stuffed With Goat Cheese Wrapped in Prosciutto, a grilled appetizer at the Spicy Green Bean in Glastonbury, are "to die for."
Ryan Jones from The Mill at 2T in Tariffville "makes the most amazing Gnocchi," says Lori Meyerson. "They're like pillows that melt in your mouth! His Corn Souffle is also killer."
Sandra Dunn of Manchester says one of the most memorable dishes she's ever had is the Beef Carpaccio served at Cavey's Restaurant in Manchester. "It is a peppercorn-crusted seared beef, lightly laced with truffle oil. It's presented with arugula and shaved parmesan. The dish is a standing favorite on their menu. It is always consistantly delicious, and might I add, I always crave more!"
Cheryl Sanderson of Columbia chooses Cate's Pizza, a cheese pizza topped with bacon, cheddar and french fries, served at Campion's Pizza in South Windsor.
Daniel Phillips of Clinton says his favorite dish is the Escarole e Faggioli over Freselles at Franco's Ristorante Italiano in East Haven. "I have ordered the same dish at other restaurants, but the best is at Franco's."
Steven Smith of Plainville says the best thing he ever ate in the state is the Crisp Chicken and Shrimp With Honey Walnuts, served with sesame sauce and lemon crème, at Chings Table in New Canaan.
A repeat favorite: James Combo Marino of East Hartford says the Buffalo Bits at Adams Mill in Manchester are "one of the best foods I have ever tried in Connecticut."