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River Tavern
A new restaurant in Chester, Connecticut, is worth the trip

From the April 22, 2002 Issue of New York

Jonathan Rapp, of the popular Manhattan chef's hangout Etats-Unis, has just opened River Tavern in the charming seventeenth-century mill town of Chester. A 100-mile drive from the city, the restaurant offers homey dishes based on the freshest seasonal produce, and sometimes features the famous Etats-Unis made-to-order avocado salad. Stay at 123 Main Bed & Breakfast, a refurbished Victorian schoolhouse, and enjoy a musical comedy in nearby East Haddam at the famous Goodspeed Opera House, a finely restored, historic Victorian theater. Gillette Castle, a fieldstone folly built in 1919 and set in a 184-acre park (pictured below), is just across the river, accessible by ferry. (It is currently undergoing extensive renovation and will reopen in early summer.) Among Chester's many charming local stores is the Kitchen Wood shop, which produces and sells exquisite handmade utensils.

River Tavern (860-526-9417); 123 Main (doubles from $105; 860-526-3456 or; Goodspeed Opera House (860-873-8668, open April–December); Kitchen Wood (860-767-0811; open Saturday and Sunday only).


Photograph: Phil Schermeister/Corbis