On the search for the best fine dining restaurant in Connecticut brings us to Union League Cafe in New Haven.

The inside of this formal private club is gorgeous.

The gas fireplace lends a homey air that is great for when the weather turns cold.

But we are here for the food.
Braised Short Rib

Something was off about this.

First, the polenta was wonderful.

Super cheesy and rich.

The short rib is a little tough and surprisingly light on flavor.

The winter vegetables are rough. They are nicely cooked but don’t go at all.

Their purpose is to bring ‘balance’ to the dish. The short rib is supposed to be rich, the polenta is deep. So the thinking is probably a light crisp balance.

But it doesn’t go.

But, every once in a while you hit this punch of lardon (bacon) and sauce in the polenta and it is just beautiful.

The Rating: Beef Short Ribs


Duck Confit

Here we have a similar issue as with the Short Ribs. One part is breathtaking, another part excellent, but then some odd pieces thrown in likely for ‘balance’.

The duck is excellent.

Juicy with a rich flavor.

The potato galette sliced thin and tried on top are incredible.

If it was just the duck and potato, it could be a bit too much.

BUT, then comes the attempt at ‘balance’.

The duck is on top of super finely diced granny smith apples and watercress salad, with the occasional walnut.

The watercress greens are odd.

The apples with their minced size add only a little, and the occasional crunch of walnut is very distracting.

If you are eating meat, and you get a hard crunch, it’s concerning.

Very good, but in the search of balance, they again lose the best parts.

The Rating: Duck Confit


Union League Cafe

Address: 1032 Chapel St, New Haven, CT 06510
Hours: Sunday & Monday Closed
Tuesday to Thursday 5pm to 10:30pm
Friday & Saturday 11:30am to 2:30pm; 5pm to 10:30pm

Partial Menu