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Fearless Critic restaurant review
New Haven
Upmarket restaurant

Daily 9:00am–9:00pm

Features Date-friendly, outdoor dining
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted


25 Whitfield St. (Route 77)
Guilford, CT
(203) 458-1300
Whitfield’s on Guilford Green
Despite the stuck-in-time feeling of this Guilford colonial home, the food’s surprisingly modern

Whitfield’s couldn’t have sweeter digs, really. Taking up the first floor and patio of a restored 18th century house in one of the nation’s prettiest and oldest towns, it is at once elegant and easygoing. The outdated brass-and-wood décor and brightly colored framed art are disarming, enough to really surprise you when the menu suggests a progressive, with-it kitchen that uses organic chicken, Long Island duck, and high-minded seafood.

This being Guilford, nothing gets too crazy, but there are neo-retro salads (the iceberg wedge, long reviled by food snobs for its flavorless, nutrient-lacking lettuce, is a secret crush of ours), appetizers like Yukon Gold fries with jalapeño-and-roasted garlic aioli, and vibrant seafood preparations that are intercontinental in inspiration. With a menu that lists “Szechuan-crusted yellowfin tuna,” “lobster-and-salmon ravioli,” and “chili-rubbed wild salmon with cilantro pesto,” you have to wonder: are these attempts to be all things to everyone spreading Whitfield’s talents too thin?

Most of the menu changes regularly, but some things are everlasting. Their simple Angus burger is very good, and it’s served with Cheddar on a pretzel roll—a classy and informed touch.

A succinct wine list is arranged for people who only know that they like (or only know) certain varietals, as in “I’ll have a Chardonnay.” There are a few selections of each, and generally from mass producers that aren’t disgraceful, but aren’t anything transcendent either. There are higher-shelf liquors here, so order a classic cocktail and ignore the dumbed-down martini list. Or, if it’s Sunday, get a Bloody; the patio here, with giant windows looking out over the sculpture garden of a neighboring art gallery, was made for brunch.

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