Connecticut Tourism (1)
Mecha Noodle Bar, Little Pub, Elicit Brewing Company, Blackstones Steakhouse, La Fortuna, and Pinstripes Bowling Bistro are six highly-rated new restaurants that opened in Connecticut since late 2019. Escapology and Blue Ox Ax Throwing are two new Connecticut attractions. The Blake Hotel is a new boutique hotel that opened last year.
The Blake Hotel
- The Blake Hotel is a boutique hotel with 108 rooms that opened in January 2019 in New Haven.
- It has a 4.5-star rating on TripAdvisor, and guests praise its excellent service and comfortable ambiance.
- The hotel offers extended-stay guestrooms with amenities like a valet service, fitness center, rooftop bar and restaurant, and onsite coffee shop.
- Its restaurants include Hamilton Park, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the High George rooftop restaurant and bar.
- Room rates start at roughly $275 per night.
Mecha Noodle Bar
- Mecha Noodle Bar is a popular Vietnamese chain restaurant that opened a new location in Stamford in September 2019. In Vietnamese, "mecha" means "mom-and-pop."
- The restaurant has a 4.5-star rating on Yelp with guests highlighting the service, consistently good food, and unique decor.
- Its menu options include steamed baos, egg rolls, dumplings, pho, and ramen.
- Prices for snacks and appetizers range from $6 to $8, and main courses cost between $12 and $14.
- Little Pub has four locations across Connecticut and serves traditional pub fare. It opened its newest restaurant in Stratford in September 2019.
- Its Stratford location has a 4-star rating on Yelp, and diners talk about the pub's excellent food and beautiful views of the Long Island Sound.
- The menu features crocks of soup like french onion, fish 'n chips, burgers, and sandwiches. Little Pub offers more than 20 bottled beers, and its draft beer selection includes Guinness, Stella Artois, and Maine Peeper.
- Prices for appetizers range from roughly $9 to $12, and main courses cost between $11 and $16.
- Escapology's Trumbull location, which opened in December 2019, is the newest escape room in Connecticut.
- It has a 5-star rating on both Yelp and Facebook with reviewers calling it a great experience for families and groups.
- Escape games include the Antidote, where players scramble to find an antidote for a chemical contagion before time runs out, and Murder Mansion, a challenging murder-mystery experience.
- Escapology also creates unique escape experiences by request for corporate and team building events.
- It costs $27.99 per person to play, and teams must have between two and eight players.
Elicit Brewing Company
- Elicit Brewing Company is a restaurant and brewery that opened in November 2019 in Manchester.
- It has a 4-star rating on Yelp with patrons praising its unique atmosphere, entertainment, and beer selection.
- The menu includes wings, tacos, pretzels, pizza, salads, and sandwiches. It has more than 40 craft beers on tap.
- Elicit Brewing Company offers an arcade, live entertainment, and special events like 80s Paint Night and Acoustics Wednesdays.
- Menu prices range from $9 to $14. Beer costs between $4 and $12, while cocktail prices run between $10 and $13.
- Blackstones Steakhouse has four locations across Connecticut and just opened its latest restaurant in October 2019 in Norwalk.
- It has a 4.5-star rating on TripAdvisor, and guests describe it as serving delicious food in an elegant environment.
- The menu features soups, salads, pasta, seafood, chicken, and steak. The restaurant also offers an extensive wine list.
- Appetizer prices range from $6 to $20. Entrees cost between $25 and $51 with steaks priced between $35 and $80.
Blue Ox Axe Throwing
- Blue Ox Axe Throwing has two locations in Connecticut. It opened its Bridgeport location in October 2019.
- It has a 5-star rating on TripAdvisor with visitors describing it as a unique experience while noting its BYOB policy and informative staff.
- Blue Ox Axe Throwing is exactly what it sounds like: people hurling axes at a large wooden bullseye for an hour at a time. Visitors are assigned to a throwing lane similar to the lane setup in a bowling alley.
- It costs roughly $20 per person per hour, though packages are available for special events and larger groups.
- La Fortuna is an Italian restaurant that opened in November 2019 in Stratford.
- It has a 4-star rating on Yelp, and guests describe it as a "hidden gem" with good food, an attentive staff, and a welcoming atmosphere.
- The menu includes salads, pasta, seafood, pizza, chicken, and steak. It also offers a dessert menu.
- Menu prices range from $7 to $16 for appetizers and $17 to $30 for entrees.
Pinstripes Bowling Bistro
- Pinstripes Bowling Bistro opened its Norwalk location in December 2019. The restaurant concept combines a bowling alley and authentic Italian-American cuisine to create a unique dining experience.
- The restaurant has not yet built a presence on review sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor, but it does have a 4.4-rating on its Facebook page. Reviewers call it a fun experience that's great for families and praise the food, service, and ambiance.
- The menu features soups, salads, flatbreads, pizza, sandwiches, pasta, steaks, and ribs. It also offers a cocktail and dessert menu.
- Guests can bowl or play bocce at the onsite bowling alley.
- Menu prices range from $11 to $30.
We began by searching press releases and the Visit Connecticut tourism website to find additional examples of new attractions, restaurants, and hotels that have opened in Connecticut since late 2019. We defined "late 2019" as any time between the months of September and December. To determine whether these businesses were highly-rated, we used consumer review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor. We were able to find six such restaurants and two recent attractions meeting the requested criteria. To find hotels, we expanded our search to include industry databases like Hotel-Online without any success. We then focused our research on Connecticut publications like the Hartford Courant and local newspapers. We found two examples of recent hotel openings in Connecticut: the Graduate New Haven, which has already been mentioned in an earlier report, and the Blake Hotel, which opened in January 2019.