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Pile It On: A Few Of Connecticut's Better Buffets

Dining and DrinkingBrunchRestaurantsPersonal ServiceLong Island SoundBlue Back Square

Maybe you like a lot of variety in each meal. Maybe you want to get the most food for your money. Maybe you just want to consume as much as humanely possible. Whatever your motivation, Connecticut has plenty of all-you-can-eat buffet options for your unlimited appetite: It's all you can eat, in style. Here are a few buffets a cut above the average spread, satisfying a hearty appetite with upscale, quality fare. Naturally, the list is not all inclusive.

Breakfast And Brunch

Nurse a Saturday-night hangover or just enjoy a leisurely weekend day with a morning cocktail at these popular Sunday brunch spots.

>>At Dakota in Rocky Hill, advance reservations are recommended for the extensive Sunday brunch, served from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The spread includes breakfast favorites like made-to-order omelets, Belgian waffles and bacon and sausage, along with smoked seafood, carving stations and hot entrees, a salad bar and assorted desserts. Adults are $21.95; kids ages 3 to 10 are $9.95. 1489 Silas Deane Highway. 860-257-7752 and dakotarockyhill.com.

>>The elegant Sunday brunch at Simsbury Inn begins at 11 a.m., with special features like "action stations" – chef-attended pasta stations, baked potato martini bar with toppings, stuffed French toast to order or build-your-own chili bowl options. Other sample dishes include baked macaroni and cheese with lobster, made-to-order omelets and Belgian waffles, crepes Suzette, carved turkey and New York sirloin, poached eggs with grilled steak and a display of housemade desserts. The $28.95 adult price includes one beverage, said general manager Jan Losee, including morning cocktail favorites like mimosas and Bloody Marys. Children eat for half-price. 397 Hopmeadow St., Simsbury. 860-651-5700 and simsburyinn.com.

>>Also in Simsbury, Millwright's recently introduced Sunday brunch, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., another complete meal deal with choice of appetizer, entrée and dessert for a fixed price of $29. Brunch guests are seated in the elegant upstairs dining room, overlooking the rushing river waterfall. 860-651-5500 and millwrightsrestaurant.com. See pictures of Millwright's brunch fare at ctnow.com/millwrights.

>>At The Nutmeg in East Windsor, the $21.99 price gets you one beverage (champagne, mimosa or juice) and a variety of breakfast breads, luncheon entrees, carving station with leg of lamb, roast beef and ham and cold salads. Brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; reservations are recommended. 297 S. Main St., 860-627-7094 and nutmegrestaurant.com.

>>It's hard to top the waterfront locale of Water's Edge Resort and Spa in Westbrook, where floor-to-ceiling windows provide stunning vistas of Long Island Sound. Sunday brunch, served from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., is a sumptuous affair, with stations offering seafood, meats, entrees, crepes and pastas. "Health-conscious" items are a new addition to the buffet, said food and beverage director Chuck Sultani, for those watching their diets. Adult meals are $33; drinks are extra. 1525 Boston Post Road. 860-399-5901, watersedgeresortandspa.com.

>>The picturesque Mill on the River in South Windsor also treats brunchers with a view of its rushing waterfall and an $18.95 meal, including two cocktails (Bloody Mary, screwdriver, mimosa, champagne,) one entrée selection, coffee and tea and continental brunch buffet. Entrees feature egg dishes, quiche du jour, Belgian waffles, Rice Krispie-battered French toast, sole Francaise and salmon Hollandaise. Brunch is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; children under 12 dine for $14.95. 989 Ellington Road. 860-289-7929 and themillontheriver.net.

>>Pond House Grille in Glastonbury has a Deluxe Brunch on Sundays, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., featuring buffet selections, an a la carte entree item and one brunch drink for $18.95. The buffet includes breakfast favorites like scrambled eggs, bacon, home fries, corned beef hash, frittata and stuffed French toast, and savory lunch fare like pasta, salads and a vegetarian chili bar. Children under 12 can make unlimited trips to the buffet for just $8.75. 2935 Main St. 860-657-4527 and pondhousegrille.com.

Indian

Extensive Indian buffets abound throughout the state, where you can get your fill of saag paneer, chicken curry, basmati rice and warm naan for (usually) less than the price of an entrée.

>>In downtown Hartford, Royal Masala serves its buffet with 10 to 12 items from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 on weekdays for $12.95, and from noon to 3 p.m. on weekends for $14.95. 391 Main St. 860-882-0900 and theroyalmasala.com.

>>East of the river, Utsav in Vernon offers a weekday lunch buffet for $9.95 from noon to 2:30 p.m. and a weekend spread for $13.95 from noon to 3 p.m. If you're a frequent diner, consider the lunch club, where you'll receive every 7th weekday buffet for free. 575 Talcottville Road. 860-871-8714.

>>In Manchester, IndiGo Indian Bistro rotates its lunch buffet items frequently, with chicken and goat dishes, vegetarian options, tandoor offerings and various other Northern and Southern Indian cuisines. Saturday lunch buffet includes made-to-order dosas (thin rice-lentil crepes stuffed with spiced potato) and Sunday buffet features appam (fermented rice pancakes.) Weekday lunch buffet (Tuesday through Friday) is $9.99; weekend buffet is $12.99. 232 Spencer St. 860-646-8600 and indigo-bistro.com.

>>Taste of India in West Hartford offers an $8.95 weekday lunch buffet, with an $11.95 Sunday brunch featuring South Indian cuisine. 139 S Main St. 860-561-2221 tasteofindiawh.com.

>>In greater New Haven, buffet options are available at Tandoor, India Palace and Thali in the city; Coromandel (multiple locations) and Cumin in Hamden.

Chinese And Sushi

>>At West Hartford's Sakura Garden, a flat-rate buffet price includes a massive array of hot and cold items: spare ribs, yakitori, spring rolls, vegetables, tangerine chicken, soups and noodles, along with seaweed salad, edamame, kimchi, fresh fruit and desserts. It also includes freshly made sushi rolls – traditional rolls with tuna, salmon and avocado, and "special rolls" with several ingredients. Lunch is $12.95 on weekdays; $15.95 on weekends. Dinner is $21.95 on weekdays (Monday through Thursday) and $24.95 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Reduced children's prices correspond to the height of the child. 345 N. Main St. 860-231-8889, sakuragardenus.com.

>>Sushi Palace, with locations in Hamden, Orange and North Haven, is known for its all-you-can-eat, freshly made sushi and sashimi setup, priced at just $17.95 on weeknights and $19.95 on weekends. sushipalacect.com.

Casinos

Casinos and buffets go hand-in-hand, and each of Connecticut's resort casinos offer all-you-can-eat dining.

>>Mohegan Sun's 800-seat Seasons buffet features live-action dining stations, rotisserie meats, foods from around the globe and a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine. Breakfast is $12.50 for adults; $6.50 for children ages 6 to 12; lunch is $21 for adults; $11.50 for children and dinner is $25 for adults, $14 for children. Information: mohegansun.com/dining.

>>The Festival Buffet at Foxwoods offers a rotating menu throughout breakfast, lunch and dinner, including Italian, Asian, barbecue and comfort fare. Breakfast is $12.75 for adults, $7.43 for children; lunch is $19.13 for adults and $10.62 for children; dinner Monday through Thursday is $21.26 and $11.69 for children and weekend dinner (Friday through Sunday) is $23.39 for adults. Snow crab legs are an extra $10, alcoholic beverages are priced separately. Information: foxwoods.com/festivalbuffet.

Alternative Buffets

>>At Brazil Grill and Pizza in Hartford, lunch features a self-service buffet of special weekly dishes (feijoada, oxtail stew, fried yucca, beans, vegetables and more) coupled with Brazilian churrasco. Chefs will slice the freshly grilled meats for you, with options like top sirloin, lamb, pork loin, chicken sausage and chicken wrapped in bacon. Plates are weighed and charged by the pound, $6.99 to $12.99 based on selections. 1996 Park St. 860-523-5477 and brazilgrillct.com.

>>And at Umi Sushi and Tapas in West Hartford's Blue Back Square, the sushi, small plates and desserts quite literally come to you, by way of a conveyor belt. Reach out and take whatever you choose to eat; the color-coded plates, with corresponding prices ($1.75 to $5.75) are added up at the end of the meal. On Tuesdays from 11:45 to 3 p.m., all belt plates are priced at $2, along with draft beer, and All You Can Eat kaiten sushi (regular items) is just $19.57 per person on Wednesday ($12 per child under 13.) 53 Isham Road. 860-206-0290 and umisushitapas.com.

Happy Hour

>>For when you need something substantial to soak up the booze: Eli's on Whitney in Hamden serves up a free Friday happy hour buffet from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., with a carving station, pasta, cheese and veggie board and assorted fried appetizers. 2392 Whitney Ave. 203-287-1101 and elisonwhitney.com.

>>And at Broad Brook Brewing in East Windsor, area restaurants rotate for Thirsty Thursday, providing free buffet fare for evening customers enjoying IPAs and ales in the tap room. Each week features a different eatery, with recent appearances by Stir the Pot, Bear's Smokehouse BBQ and Yarde Tavern. 2 North Road. 860-623-1000.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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Dining and DrinkingBrunchRestaurantsPersonal ServiceLong Island SoundBlue Back Square
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