On a brisk late September day, we excitedly headed to New Haven to do one of my favorite things – a foodie tour! Did you know that New Haven is called the Elm City? Historian Colin Caplan’s passion for the Elm City’s past has developed into culinary and cultural explorations. Caplan’s Taste of New Haven Food & Drink Tours combine history lessons and lots of great food.
On this day, we were participating in the On 9 tour which highlighted delicacies from one of the most eclectic corners of downtown New Haven. Held in and around the Ninth Square, I was amazed to see the plethora of unique kinds of restaurants.
Stop #1: We started at the Elm City Market – which I have to say blows away Whole Foods. This place has everything you can think of! We got sample an amazing English cheddar with apple pear jam and a spicy nacho, gluten free cracker.
Stop #2: G Café Bakery. A cozy European style café with a fantastic coffee selection. We sampled cranberry walnut bread, Gateaux basque brownie and other French and Italian pastries.
Stop #3: Tikkaway Grill. Their claim to fame – Indian food for Americans who “think they don’t like Indian food”. The food was delicious and fresh and you got to assemble your meal – think Chipotle style.
Stop #4: Skappo Italian Restaurant. Here we were treated to pasta formaggio and Italian wine. Owned by the Sincavage family – they’ve had the restaurant for over 13 years and their passion for food shines.
Stop #5: Skappo Merkato. Here we sampled the Sincavage family’s Italian imports – prosciutto with fig and goat cheese on Ciabatta. They even have a family olive oil they import.
Stop #6: Thali. Sad to say Thali is now closed as of this printing – but it was one of my favorite Indian restaurants. We had a delicious meal of chicken tandoori kabob, samosas and chickpea salad.
Stop #7: Fornarelli. To end this amazing tour, we were treated to lobster ravioli. All of their pasta is homemade and this ravioli was sautéed with an amazing vodka sauce.
It sounds like a lot – but after walking for 4 hours all over the city – I’m sure we burned enough calories. The bites were small – just a taste – and everything was exceptionally delicious. All in all this was an amazing, non-touristy, food experience with a fantastic guide who was obviously loved by all of the shopkeepers and chefs. Next time you’re in the Elm City don’t miss it!
Submitted by Dr. Diane Hayden. For more information, visit: www.tasteofnewhaven.com.