We had the fortunate opportunity to visit the ON20 restaurant in Hartford and sample several of their Happy Hour offerings and cocktails recently. As we have not eaten dinner there yet but hope to do so soon.
ON20 is on the twenty floor of the Hartford Steam Boiler Building at 1 State Street, Hartford, CT. ON20 started out as a private restaurant, known as the Polytechnic Club, but in 1983 started offering fine dining. Then 10 years ago it opened to the public and was renamed ON20. ON20 maintains the same goal as the Polytechnic had, which is to: “offer guests the finest culinary and service experience”.
ON20 has been recognized as one of OpenTable’s Top Ten Restaurants for outstanding service, Zagat’s top-rated restaurant in Connecticut, and was named one of the 100 best scenic-view restaurants in the USA in OpenTable’s Diner’s Choice Awards.
ON20 is open for lunch Monday through Friday, dinner on Thursday and Friday nights, and now have Happy Hour from 4 to 7 Wednesday through Friday.
The New ON20 Fall Prix-Fixe Lunch Menu:
Dumpling – Swiss chard and spinach, ricotta salata, sweet potato fondue, and walnut vinaigrette
Salad – Roasted beet and radish Remoulade, house-made yogurt, and horseradish
Eggplant: eggplant miso parmesan, grilled tomato sauce, olive crumb, and sweet basil.
Pork: confit of pork shoulder, fingerling potato, mustard greens, and roasted grapes.
Fluke: oven broiled fluke, shaved summer squash, and sun-dried tomato.
Melon: mosaic of compressed melon, piment d’espelette sorbet, and lemon verbena puree.
Corn: butter and sugar corn creme caramel, white chocolate, and brioche streusel.
Chef Jeffrey Lizotte uses as many local ingredients as possible in his creations. He has partnered with several local and regional farms and vendors to obtain the ingredients he uses. His cuisine focuses on seasonal ingredients and changes the menu as needed to highlight what is in season.
We were treated to a meat board containing several different sausages and cured meats with sides of whole seed mustard and pickled onions and pickles. These were fresh and some of the best tasting sausages and meats we have had in a long time.
The cheese board featured cheese from Cellars at Jasper Hill was this great tasting apple and raisin gastrique that paired well with several of cheeses we sampled.
The sample of roasted beet and radish Remoulade with yogurt and horseradish was very creamy and delicious and was a good combination of fresh vegetables. Bite size samples of Mangalista pork Rillette on homemade potato chips and crispy fried Jonah crab balls with purple Mostarda were served throughout the afternoon.
We sampled several of their fantastic cocktails. Some were from their current offerings while others were future offerings that will be available this Fall. If you want to try their future cocktails and you don’t see them on the menu, just ask Hun, ON20 Mixologist, and he will mix up one for you.
As shown above
Chocolate Espresso Martini: Kopitini Kahlua, Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate vodka, Stoli vanilla, hazelnut liquer, and shot of fresh Espresso
Star Arise Martini: Chartreuse, Elderberry honey liquer, and ginger beer.
Martini: sip and stir with bruised apples.
Huckleberry White Cosmo: 44° North Mountain Huckleberry Vodka, St. Germain Elderflower liqueur, orange citrus, and a splash of apple juice.
From the ON20 Happy Hour menu we tried the 6 oz. ground sirloin patty on a brioche bun with comte, cornichon aioli, and sweet potato fries.
The spinach and artichoke dip was covered with a nice layer of melted cheese. The dip had the right portions of spinach and artichoke so neither overshadowed the other.
We also tried the Mustard-Miso chicken tater tot with curry coconut emulsion (pictured below) and truffle cheese fritters with gremolata. Both of these were tasty great Happy Hour type munchies.
I understand why ON20 was recognized for its scenic view, the view was spectacular. On one side you can view the Connecticut River Valley, while downtown Hartford skyline can be seen from the other side. The view will be even better when the trees start to turn colors and you look out over the Connecticut River Valley to a sea of red, yellow, and brown leaves highlighted by the sitting sun.
The service at ON20 was outstanding from every aspect.
If you are in Hartford looking for a place to eat lunch or dinner on a Thursday or Friday night or to enjoy an outstanding cocktail with a light dinner, then I highly recommend ON20. Not only will you enjoy excellent food and drink, but will have an amazing scenic view as well.
Just a note on parking: Make sure you park in the ON20 building because they will validate parking from that building only. The Hartford Steam Boiler Building is the first building on the right when you cross the Founders bridge. If you see the Science Center on the left then you know you are in the right place.