Hartford, CT2/22/2009

We've eaten at the Village Café for breakfast/brunch many times and it's great! They seem to take favorites like Egg Benedict or a common salad and give it their own unique twist. There are no shortcuts here; everything from fresh ingredients to presentation is clearly valued here. It's nice to go to a place that doesn't just throw fried eggs on a plate with burnt toast and call it a meal, but rather values breakfast as much as dinner and offers these different alternatives to the usual. They offer unexpected sides like sweet potato home fries, which I have surprisingly grown to love since I'm usually not the biggest fan of sweet potato. I also recommend their lobster bisque and French onion soup if your there for brunch or dinner.  They are also very generous with their portions.  I recently got a dish with lobster as an ingredient and there was so much lobster I could not even finish.  I can't wait to enjoy their outdoor patio this spring


The Village Café and Bistro (Canton Village Plaza, 220 Albany Tpke, Canton) This is an ambitious venture by young chef Steve Day who’s honed his skills at some good restaurants around here. The shiny, simply furnished spot turns out three meals daily starting with coffee and eggs and topping out with plates like encrusted fish and prime rib with flavor-filled mashed potatoes for dinner. In between, a superb lobster bisque, exceptional salads and hearty sandwiches appear. We love it. The web reviewers are screaming: Wow! Yumm! Wicked delicious! Wonderful value! If you haven’t eaten here you’re nuts! They now have wine (starting at $4 a glass) and beer. 860 693-4302



Quick Bite | Canton

The Morning Glory of Lobster

With dinner hours limited to two nights a week, the Village Cafe and Bistro would seem to be more cafe than bistro. Yet the knotty pine floor, varnished wood counter, expressionist oils on the walls, and ample number of tables inside and out endow the place with a handsome feel that goes well beyond your basic diner.


The same holds true of the breakfast and lunch offerings, served seven days a week. Breakfast dishes range from staples like French toast, pancakes and oatmeal ($3.50 to $6) to several ambitious egg dishes ($7.25 to $14, paired with toast or English muffin and home fries). The lobster omelet, for example, is stuffed with sautéed lobster, spinach, scallions, avocado and goat cheese; eggs Vermont, a poached offering, includes artichoke hearts, bacon, goat cheese, spinach and roasted pepper hollandaise.

“With the exception of the breads, we make everything from scratch,” said Sarah Strecker, a waitress who has been with the cafe since it opened in 2007.

The Bistro Ruben, for instance, one of nearly a dozen sandwiches on the lunch menu, is made from house-cooked corned beef ($9, with slaw, pickle and fries). And the soups — including lobster bisque ($5.25 a cup), with chunks of lobster and a hint of sherry — are prepared fresh daily.

Even the salads have a homemade touch. The Waldorf ($8.75) is topped with goat cheese croutons and glazed walnuts, and the B.L.T. features crispy lettuce, grilled tomato, smoked bacon and fried onion ($9.50).

The Village Cafe and Bistro, 220 Albany Turnpike (Route 44), Canton;; (860) 693-4302. Open Monday through Wednesday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.



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