The Griswold Inn
36 Main St.
Essex, CT 06426
Take notice of the phone number for this truly historic landmark of a restaurant. The Griswold Inn actually welcomed hungry travelers and townspeople alike in 1776. It is quite possible that this restaurant is one of the oldest continuously running restaurants in America. This is a very special place that serves only the finest wines and foods. For Thanksgiving Day, it will not only serve a fabulous buffet with turkey and all the trimmings, but it will also offer a delightful brunch.
The Gelston House
8 Main St.
East Haddam, CT 06423
One would have to travel far and wide before finding a more scenic restaurant than The Gelston House. Here’s a restaurant that overlooks the Connecticut River, a silver drawbridge and a fairy tale-looking theater known as the Goodspeed Opera House. The Gelston House has a long history of satisfying its customers. Though dark for a few years, it once again sparkles as it basks in the glory of its historic setting. Describing itself as looking like a “river boat,” the description is not far fetched. It is open for Thanksgiving and will be a serious treat featuring everything from soup to nuts.
Bogey’s Restaurant and Pub at the Yankee Pedlar Inn
93 Main St.
Torrington, CT 06790
Here’s an historic Torrington landmark established in 1892 that looks and feels as though you are stepping back in time. It is a perfect setting for a Thanksgiving dinner. The pub has a distinct colonial touch to it that is at once warm and inviting. It’s not only a popular gathering place in town because the food and drinks are first rate, but people from all over the world travel to this destination restaurant. For Thanksgiving, it’s serving up a buffet with turkey and trimmings as well as pasta, salads and desserts.
The Red Barn
292 Wilton Road
Westport, CT 06880
Nothing spells Connecticut as colorfully as a red barn; so it’s very special that one of the finest restaurants in Connecticut is called The Red Barn. A landmark for the town of Westport, this restaurant celebrates its more than 50-year history by decorating each of its seven rooms with authentic antiques. The Red Barn also features all of the warmth of colonial America with its four fireplaces. A top-of-the-line restaurant, The Red Barn will be open for Thanksgiving Day dinner. It is conveniently located right off the Scenic Merritt Parkway.
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21 Old Albany Turnpike
Canton, CT 06019
Here’s a fine Italian restaurant with a long history of great food and great service. It will be open on Thanksgiving Day, but this restaurant fills up fast on the holidays. Reservations are absolutely necessary and it is recommended that sooner is better when it comes to reserving a table. With turkey carvings and family-style side dishes, there is a distinct family atmosphere at this fine restaurant. This is a place where the owner knows his customers or gets to know new customers and greets them as if they were part of his own family.
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Joanne Greco Rochman is the arts editor of The Fairfield County Review, a columnist, critic, feature story writer and English professor. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Republican-American and Hersam-Acorn Publications. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.