Family weekend is wonderful for many reasons. The most obvious is that you get to spend time with your family at your second home, Trinity. I'll argue that the second best part is getting off campus to enjoy all of the culinary wonders that Hartford has to offer. We on the Her Campus Trinity team have done a little research (rather, our tummies have), and we've come up with a list of restaurants we know your fam will love. Bon appétit!
Arugula Bistro (953 Farmington Avenue, West Hartford 860.561.4888)
If you're looking to take your family to the Blue Back Square area in West Hartford, Arugula is a very yummy option. The menu is Mediterranean inspired but includes a wide range of dishes that would satisfy even picky eaters! Because the restaurant itself is situated in a small and intimate space, they can only accommodate parties as large as four on Fridays and Saturdays so be sure to call ahead. The general ambiance makes this a wonderful spot to catch up with your parents over a delicious dinner and a glass of wine. In the future, it’s also not a bad place for a date!
* I suggest: Rosemary polenta, Fattoush salad, Wild mushroom flatbread, and the Market Cod
First and Last Tavern (939 Maple Ave, Hartford 860.956.6000)
I'm always up for some great Italian food. First and Last is a favorite of my Trin-Alum parents, and for good reason! It has a great family vibe with good-sized portions. The menu has staple Italian meals, along with a raw bar and pizza menu. I'm a sucker for calamari, and this is some of the best around. The menu has great prices for kids (without their parents) and splurge items to save for when Mom and Dad come with the cash. The restaurant is large enough to accommodate larger families and they would love to have you.
*I suggest: Penne ala Vodka, Chicken Parmesan, Arugula Salad and Stuffed Eggplant
Flemings (44 South Main Street, West Hartford 860.676.9463)
This amazing steak house is a bit on the pricier side, but that's why it's perfect for Parent's Weekend versus going out with your friends! I recommend the French Onion Soup, Fresh Mozzerella & Sweet Tomato, Mashed Potatoes, Chipotle Cheddar Mac & Cheese, The Prime Rib Eye, and the Peppercorn Steak. They also offer small plates for those of you who might not be as hungry. But my favorite part about this place is the Chocolate Lava Cake (absolutely to die for) and the Creme Brulee! With a new bar menu with "skinnier cocktails" and craft beers, this could strike up a fun time with your family. There's also a great "happy hour special" where you can get 5 cocktails, 5 wines by the glass and 5 appetizers. $6 each, served at the bar until 7 PM if there ends up being a wait!
Bricco (78 Lasalle Road, West Hartford 860.233.0222)
Bricco is one of the Billy Grant Restaurant Group's 3 famous restaurants in Connecticut. It is a little on the pricier side which is why I reserve going here for when my parents visit. That being said, the food is totally worth it being a little more expensive. It is a semi untraditional Italian restaurant that serves seasonal dishes from scratch using the finest local ingredients from local farms. The restaurant atmosphere is chic and attracts people from all over the state. To make sure you do not have to wait, I highly recommend calling ahead and making a reservation! Not only is the food here fresh and delicious, but the desserts are to die for so ordering at least one to split is an absolute must.
*I suggest: Toscano Salad, Melted Gorgonzola Stuffed Figs, Wild Mushroom Pizza, and House made Sweet Potato & Marscarpone Ravioli
Barcelona (971 Farmington Ave, West Hartford 860.218.2100)
After a nice walk with your family down the main strip in West Hartford, Farmington Avenue, you can find Barcelona hidden behind a fence with a back parking lot to itself. Because it is not so visible from the road, the restaurant gains most of its patrons through word of mouth, and word spreads quickly because of the delicious food and great ambience that Barcelona has to offer! Serving a menu of almost strictly tapas (traditional Spanish appetizer-sized portions), you immediately get the feeling you aren't in Hartford anymore. With so many options served in such small amounts, it is the perfect place to go with your family, so you won't feel bad when you are stealing bites from everyone else's plates!
Ashley's Restaurant (221 Main Street, Hartford 860.247.8730)
If you're bored with cafeteria brunches and looking for a delicious alternative, I recommend Ashley's Restaurant located on 221 Main Street in Hartford. Ashley's serves a variety of home-cooked breakfasts and lunch sandwiches, including simple egg and bacon dishes, omelets, French toast, and chicken club sandwiches. The atmosphere is friendly and inviting, and you almost feel like you've stopped at your grandma's house for a nice meal. After the passing of her husband, the owner still cooks most meals and keeps a personal relationship with her customers. If you're looking for a yummy and affordable way to start your day, I suggest heading over to Ashley's (only open until 3pm).
Firebox (539 Broad Street, Hartford 860.246.1222)
For those who don't want to travel far from campus-and those who enjoy locally grown ingredients-Firebox is a perfect place for a family dinner this weekend. Everything on the menu is farm to table, guaranteeing that whatever you order will be fresh and supporting the local community! Though it is on the pricey side, Firebox has seemingly endless indoor and outdoor seating, making it easier to round the family together without having to squeeze or wait forever. The service is impeccable and the wine menu is enormous; something I know my parents can appreciate. Overall, its a gorgeous setting and the seasonal food will make for the perfect fall meal!
*I suggest: Farmer's Poached Egg, Autumn Salad, Stonington Sea Scallops, and Fingerling Potatoes with Foie Gras Butter and Chives
Trumbull Kitchen (150 Trumbull St. Hartford 860.493.7412)
Many people overlook the downtown area, and head straight to West Hartford to dine out with their parents on family weekend. However, downtown Hartford is actually home to a few hidden gems that make for an enjoyable dining experience. Trumbull Kitchen offers a more up-scale dining experience that is still reasonably priced, not too far from campus, and is owned by the Max Restaurant Group (so you know it's good!) Trumbull kitchen has a hip atmosphere, perfect for showing off your sophisticated collegiette™ swag to your parents. The menu is a combination of tapas and full entrees that emphasize "intense flavors and satisfying textures." I suggest trying the Asian Lettuce Cups as an appetizer to share, and the Herb Cured Brick Pressed Chicken for an entree.
The Blue Elephant Trail (7 South Main Street, West Hartford 860.233.4405)
If you want to venture out for some Thai food, this place is amazing! Located in West Hartford, this family run restaurant has an elegant and warm atmosphere while essentially being a lovely home-cooked meal. With the large selection of food, it's always a great place for a family sharing set up while also have reasonable prices for separate meals. I recommend the Thai Wings and Som Tum salad for appetizers, the Thai Basil Fried Rice with your choice of meat, and personally I can never go to a Thai restaurant without getting some classic Pad Thai. There's a bar with great exotic selections for cocktails while always being able to accomodate any drink you'd like!
Ichiro (962 Farmington Ave, West Hartford 860.232.7888)
Want to make family dinner a little more interesting? Then head over to Ichiro for a fun dining experience! Ichiro is a hibachi and sushi bar with delicious food. They have huge tables each with their own personal chefs to accommodate large parties, perfect for if you and your friend’s families all want to eat together. The chefs are filled with fun tricks that they perform for you while preparing your tasty meal. Each hibachi meal includes a soup, salad, noodles, and your choice of rice plus your main entree, so make sure you arrive with an empty stomach! My favorite is the shrimp and chicken combination dinner. They also have an extensive sushi menu, if you are tired of the Cave’s spicy crab rolls. It is a great place to go for all ages and any kind of food preference. So if you are in the mood for some fantastic Japanese food, make sure you check out Ichiro this weekend!