Located in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it plaza in the blink-and-you'll-miss-it town of Ellington in Northeast Connecticut is CT's hottest new bar and grill - The Hidden Still. First thing we need to tell you is: don't blink! And definitely do not miss it!
Billing themselves as CT's first restaurant and moonshine bar, The Hidden Still boasts over ten brands of moonshine from around the country, including CT's own Onyx, as well as a host of delicious, unique twists on pub food favorites. We first met some staff from The Hidden Still at Onyx's Gatsby Ball back in October, when they were competing in the Onyx 111 Infusion Challenge. Their Fire Roasted Pear and Sage Infusion, served with a splash of white cranberry juice, while not a challenge winner, was one of our faves, and convinced us we needed to experience The Hidden Still as soon as we could.
That opportunity came a few weeks later, when we had finished proctoring the PSATs at Amy's school and we were starving. The first place we thought of was The Hidden Still, which (huzzah!) happens to be right down the road from the school. We loved the variety we found on the menu, with its many "Bites" sized, and priced accordingly, at "Small," "Bigger" and "Biggest," along with a few salads, and a sandwich "Creation Station." We decided to make a meal out of a few of the small/big bites, and (thankfully!) save ourselves a little room for dessert.
To start, we absolutely had to try the "Grilled Mac & Cheese," especially since it is inspired by the locally legendary Shady Glen Fried Cheeseburger. Tastes just like it, too, with its creamy mac-n-cheese center wedged between slices of grilled American. Ooh, that's the kind of foodstuff you obsess about forever after, and Amy certainly can't wait to sink her teeth into it again soon. Bonus points? This unique dish is a mere $6, and washes down very nicely with the (dangerously yummy) raspberry moonshine infusion cocktail.
With those years living down South always in the back of her mind, for her second course, Amy happily opted for the "Chicken and Waffles" - a generously portioned "Small Bite" choice coming in at only $7 and consisting of three open-faced "sliders" of Belgian waffle topped with crispy fried chicken and drizzled with maple syrup.
Chris, as he often does, went for a healthier choice, by way of the fish tacos. Another generous portion at a reasonable price, with three tacos at $9 made from fried cod and topped with pico de gallo, avocado and a fresh and zingy cilantro lime cream sauce.
Yes, we went ahead and ordered dessert. After all, we surely needed to experience everything we could, and we were having a blast chatting with the amiable barkeep and the handful of other patrons seated nearby. Who, as we did, made quite a fuss over the cheekily named "Fudgin' Nutty Brownie," perhaps the fudgiest we've ever had, topped with homemade caramel, fresh whipped cream (because yes, we can tell the difference), and fried candied nuts.
We were extremely full when we left, and we know, in our minds anyway, that this is not the kind of eating we should do very often. Nonetheless, we will be back again and again, and hope that you, too, will check it out. This is local at its best, the type of place that should be supported well and visited often. The Hidden Still offers daily specials, including a Friday Happy Hour, and Full Moon Parties. And there is more to drink than moonshine (although yes, there is a still!). So convince someone to be your designated driver and get to Route 83 in Ellington (15 minutes off either I-84 or I-91) to experience CT's first, and in our opinion, best, moonshine bar and restaurant.