An Elegant Lunch at The Charles in Old Wethersfield


We heard so many wonderful things about The Charles that we finally made the trek to Old Wethersfield for lunch last Friday. Housed in a historic home on Main Street, the restaurant was filling up fast as we made our way to the second floor for our noon reservation. On visits with my father in New Orleans, we traditionally spent Friday lunch (and sometimes til dinner) at Galatoire’s, always a raucous affair. Consider this the New England version! A full house at lunch is a rare thing in local restaurants, putting us all in a celebratory mood.

We did not hold back from over-ordering; the elevated American menu was too inspiring! A starter of deviled eggs with homemade sriracha, while usually not one of my go-to’s, was mustardy and creamy and could change my opinion. Take note: the Foraged Salad was plenty for all three of us, a crispy mix of organic greens, shaved Brussels, carrot, bleu cheese cranberries, and walnuts, lightly doused in a maple vinaigrette.

I chose the Shrimp and Grits from the appetizer side for an entree. A large portion of cheesy, toothsome grits with perfectly plump shrimp in a pool of bourbon lobster sauce arrived. Delish! Laura’s butter-poached cod was served on a bed of carnaroli risotto with diced butternut, kale, and Seacoast mushrooms. Chelsea made quick work of plump and crispy Fish and Chips (we helped ourselves liberally to her fries).

We finished off this exciting and well-crafted feast with a slice of frozen S’mores Pie to share: layers of graham cracker, chocolate, and ice cream topped with torched marshmallow. Our job requires a considerable amount of stuffing our faces, but this was one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time in a lovely setting, and well worth the trip.

Outdoor dining under the tent is available, too.

And while you’re in Old Wethersfield, stop at The Heirloom Market at Comstock Ferre, for organic and local groceries, gardening supplies and seeds, espresso drinks, and a locally sourced breakfast and lunch menu.