Hartford CT, M&M Bistro or Element 315

Hello, looking for dinner before the show, and wondering if anyone has any thoughts about either of these 2 places? Thanks!

HA, I’ve heard of neither, but you made me look. I see these both have the same address, so am guessing they’re both part of the Hilton.

But whenever I’m anywhere close to downtown, I make tracks for Feng. Are you seeing something at the XL Center?


Hi Gemini-

I stayed at the Hilton on Trumbull last September. When we arrived we stopped in the bar for a beer and reviewed their menu and it was really uninspired. I believe Element 315 is just the bar–if you want to eat there I think it’s the M&M Bistro menu.

Anyway, there are far better places within walking distance (the Hilton is pretty centrally located).

I’ll excerpt some of my (lengthy) comments from my CH trip report:

Stopped in the hotel bar for a local brew and snack, but the apps were unappealing, so we just had the brews—

We ended up going to Trumbull Kitchen as it was very convenient to the hotel, but if I’m ever in Hartford again I would return even if it wasn’t convenient. The atmosphere was casually comfortable, the service was excellent and most importantly, the food was memorable. The bread basket included an unremarkable crusty white bread and an addictive cracker-like offering of pampadan(?) made from lentil flour served with a pepperoncini cream cheese. I had ordered another local brew and would have been happy dipping those pieces of pampadan and sipping that beer. I ordered one of the evening’s specials: herb-marinated flank steak with foie gras butter, fingerling potatoes with onions and haricots verts. The steak was well-seasoned, tender and a perfect medium. The potatoes were very flavorful, so much so that when the manager stopped by to check in I had to ask how they were prepared; they were cooked in foie gras. DC had the duck 3 ways: the breast and confit were delicious, the prosciutto was good. We looked at the dessert menu, but it appeared heavy and uninspired, so we skipped it.

Dish was close, so that was the choice for dinner. Since I had already had two pints (plus a bartender-provided sample of a darker beer) and a generous wine pour, I opted for a birch beer. Birch beer is popular here in SE PA, but the local brand at Dish was clear rather than reddish and very refreshing. The meal started out well with warm buns and butter. It was a bit salty, however, as both the bread and butter were salted. I ordered the filet medium, DC the tuna rare, the split sides were asparagus and potato puree. So, here’s where it went wrong. The ahi tuna was rare, but with no sear and it was cold. The filet was properly cooked, but the sauce intended to be poured over it was cold (not tepid, cold). When the manager checked, I reported these items and she explained that rare tuna cannot be warm (!), but did offer to warm the steak sauce. The sides were OK, but they weren’t hot either. Perhaps the problem was our unimaginative ordering or the overflowing bar and patio. After the meal, the server returned to apologize for the miscues and inform us we would receive a discount (neither requested nor expected) and comped desserts. I asked the server for the smallest possible serving of the chocolate cream pie to share and we both ordered coffees. Next to the bread, the dessert was the best part of the meal (but it was most certainly not the smallest serving).

BTW: The brews referred to in the Dish review were at City Steam. If you like good beer and have a chance, check it out.

Also, somebody responded to my report with a note indicating that they visit Hartford from Boston every year to eat at Trumbull Kitchen.

Also, Trumbull Kitchen is less than 2 blocks from the hotel, on the same street.


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Oh, I also want to share a tip I received last year from someone named @kattyeyes on CH. Could it be the same katteyes who responded here? Suspiciously, they both recommended Feng.

Anyway, she told me about a chocolates shop in West Hartford–Munson’s. We stopped on our way out of town. A year later I’m still trying to come up with another reason to visit CT to get more of these. They had a creme brulee chocolate that was phenomenal and some delicious creamy peanut butter cups.

HA HA, we’re one and the same person for sure. In fact, I just picked up some peanut butter cups last weekend. Geminigirl (we’re from the same area/board) is lucky to have a Munson’s right in her town.

It’s funny, I used to work in Cityplace, just across from TK, and never went. But so many people love it, I feel kinda silly to admit it.

ETA: And all that said, I do still love Feng and will get there before TK just because it is sooooooo great. They have another outpost (same restaurant group) closer to home for me, but Hartford is their showcase as far as I can tell. It’s a gorgeous setting and they have different menu offerings, too. I miss having my Friday lunch there!

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I thought you looked familiar :grin:

I’m sure you’ll get to TK one day. If I recall, it wasn’t even on my original list, but that first evening we were hot and tired from the day’s activities and it was just so darned close to the hotel. I’ll have to get back to that area . . . I think there were at least 5 recommended restaurants I didn’t get to.

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I remember that, actually. If you come back this way, there are hole in the wall places I’d send you (if I didn’t last time) across the river or even in Hartford, proper. When my friends from work come to town, they tend to stay in that hotel, so I just grab them and run in any direction that suits us. Lots of delicious choices.

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Hello to you both and thanks for all the chatter! I tried to do a CH search, but we all know how that’s not been so helpful as of late, so I appreciate the cut and paste, I remember that thread. We’ve been to TK and Feng, but not for ages for both, so both good suggestions. Also been to Dish and Sorella lately, but wanted to see what else was out there. And thanks for the tip on 315 being the bar, makes sense since I couldn’t find their menu…Katty, we are going to Hartford Stage, so any of those will work, will keep you posted!