La Belle Aurore, Niantic
by Sarah Crisp
Walking into La Belle Aurore was like walking into my Grandmother’s kitchen – filled with an eclectic mix of furnishings, checkered tablecloths, handmade pottery jugs, ornate french mirrors and mismatched crockery. It had the feel of one of those wonderful “unexpected” places that only the locals know about.
The folks behind La Belle Aurore buy as much as they can direct from local farms to reduce food miles and to keep dollars in the local economy, and their menu changes to reflect their vision and the bounty of the season.
My husband decided on the Hunter’s Plate: buttermilk pancakes, smoked bacon and eggs (both from Terra Firma Farm in Stonington), cheese, and a liberal dose of maple syrup (Old Orchard Farm in East Lyme). I opted for an open-faced sandwich of locally smoked salmon (Stonington Seafood Harvesters), a healthy helping of perfectly ripe avocado smeared on lovely nutty whole wheat toast and two eggs over easy. Our breakfast total came to a very reasonable $32 including tip. I can’t wait to head back for a true farm-to-table dinner!
Best for: Provenance of ingredients and value for money.