Cafe Routier, Bistro and Lounge, serving a three paneled menu format; Regional (a different region of the world every 8 weeks), Seasonal (locally sourced seasonal ingredients) and a specialty menu of classic Bistro fare. A 40 seat lounge serving 'small plates' and tapas adjoins the bar area. Ethos is important to us.
Steamed Thai Mussels
Red curry-coconut broth
Shrimp and Grits
andouille gravy, jalapeno cheddar grits, crispy tasso
field greens, spiced pecans, pear, chevre, bacon apple cider vinaigrette
This restaurant is a little gem. The French food served is done with style and imagination. This is one of the best restaurants in Connecticut and one of my favorites.
Café Routier always pleases and always provides a wonderful evening of dining. The food is superb, the waitstaff are always efficient and eager to attend to any desire. The ambience is calm and enhances the experience. The changing regional and seasonal parts of the menu are very creative and they very smartly maintain their regulars which are always a homerun. You will not be disappointed !
The food and the service were very good. The specialty cocktails were delicious! There were not entree or dessert specials that night (perhaps because it was Sunday?). The entrees were plentiful and fresh but the turtle cake was dry and disappointing. Overall, a very nice dinner.
Very good waitstaff. Ordered the special and then was told they were already out of it by about 7:45pm. Had a different order that was disappointing. Not my usual experience at Routier.
One of the two best restaurants on the Shoreline (the other being Liv's Oyster Bar). Love that the menu changes seasonally but maintains old favorites as well, like the Campfire Trout (it was great- again!). My partner's Striped Bass was well executed but a little disappointing in that the dish overall lacked flavor, and the gnocchi was rather tough- certainly not the soft pillows they should have been. As it is one of the new dishes hopefully it will be adjusted. And the standard here is high to begin with, so I am being a little critical. Our waiter was excellent; the wine list is balanced and well priced. We'll be back!
Expectation v. Reality
Yes we understand about limitations associated with reopening after the coronavirus shutdown but..:
Cafe Routier needs to get some air quality (mold) tests done inside the restaurant. We were first seated in the very back of the dining room and we had to move due to the strong odor. Not much better in the next area forward. (And yes, we were made to feel embarrassed for requesting to be moved due to the smell.)
We were told that they could not seat us in the mostly empty front room (which smelled better) even though it was still empty even when we left 90 minutes later. Not a good sign.
And don’t expect that delicious bread that CR is remembered for because there is NO BREAD. Totally didn’t understand the servers excuse for not serving bread.
Food was ok. We had the trout but the general vibe was not special or worth returning to.
This used to be (for over 20 years) one of our favorite restaurants and unfortunately it has not transitioned well to the “new normal”.
Maybe in a few months things will improve, but as of tonight it’s not worth the resources.
Cafe Routier has been our go to restaurant for years. Their everchanging menu is always full of great choices and and the service is always perfect. We also enjoy the bar area where Tim and Art are always willing to make you a cocktail to your specs!
Very nice atmosphere, great food and selections. Service was attentive and well paced. Enjoyed our meal very much and will be back.
Thank you - great dinner as always!
Absolutely phenomenal. The food was delicious... the atmosphere was perfect. My girlfriends and I had a great « girls night » dinner!
We like to go here for special occasions because of the varied menu and outstanding food. It was nice and quiet since most people were at home watching football. We had an enjoyable birthday dinner consisting of delicious mussels app and "campstyle" grilled trout entree with lyonnaise potatoes. My husband had the sunburst salad app, which he really liked. He had Mom's meatloaf, which was so-so with a burnt crust on the bottom.
Our party of 6 adults had a wonderful evening at Cafe Routier! The ambiance was relaxed yet up-scale, our server was amazing (always on top of everything without hovering) and the food and drinks exceptional. We spent almost 3.5 hours there and it truly felt like we were home in our own dining room being waited on. I’d definitely go back for a special occasion.
Great food and great service! Would definitely recommend.
Never disappoints. Best restaurant East of new haven on the shoreline. Menu is always varied with some great standbys. Food is great along with service. Been going there 15 years and always consistently good.
A favorite...excellent staff and food
Excellent ambiance. Outstanding menu...World Class wine list. Service attentive.
Was disappointed with last visit. Service was not strong, waitress was not very knowledgeable about food or drink menu or pairings. It was very cold in the dining room, uncomfortably so. There were no non-dairy milk options for coffees, which I would expect at a nice restaurant. And the cappuccino came in a 90’s style mug so big it was cold before I got through two sips. Food was also just ok rather than great as I’ve experienced there in the past. Not sure I’d go back or recommend, which makes me sad because I’ve always enjoyed it in the past
The food was excellent, especially the gumbo of the day, which contained shrimp, crawfish, chicken, and andouille sausage, and the salmon, which was served piping hot and which my wife said was outstanding. The turtle cake for dessert was decadently rich, but not overwhelmingly so. The specialty drinks were not particularly impressive, and our server disappeared a few times. The music was perfectly good, but far too loud, and it made conversation difficult. Nonetheless, we would happily return just to eat some more of their delicious food, and to enjoy their creative and changing menu.
We were looking forward to celebrating a belated New Year’s Eve at Cafe Routier, and our meal was delicious as usual. Unfortunately, the guest seated at the next table talked incessantly, making our conversation impossible. Next time I’ll request seating in the front room!
Cafe Routier is one of our five favourite restaurants in Connecticut.
I ordered the beef special and unfortunately if was cold. A new dish was provided which was fine but I was very surprised that this happened at your restaurant.
Everything was great except for (my taste) the mac and cheese which I found dry and without much flavor. But it still was a terrific evening, as usual.
Extremely impressive how every time they hit new levels of creativity, both menu and libations- where they always execute it flawlessly. Both of my daughter's ordered the Steak Frites.. seared and cooked to a perfect medium-rare w/watercress salad and a mound of homemade fries that puts any fries to shame. My wife threw a curveball not being a huge seafood fan by ordering off the regional(New Orleans) menu with the Bouillabaisse. Asked her why w/many options for steaks, scallops, duck, etc. to choose from and her reply, "If there's anywhere I'm ordering fresh seafood, this is the place." Unlike anything we have ever tasted and sitting there trying to dissect what the chef put into this was futile. First--this is the freshest seafood you're going to find.. CR's fish purveyor just knows his craft. Even the apps we ordered (Shrimp and Grits/Regional and Swamp Chicken; bite-sized fresh alligator) had these unique flavors but the sauces and spices didn't hide the fish, rather enhanced its freshness and flavor. Even restaurants just known for seafood kill their dishes to disguise what either has been frozen or worse, sitting in a fridge for 3 days. Her Bouillabaisse had fresh shrimp, crawfish and a red snapper and the sauce was this orange broth of balanced smoke, spice and light sausage that could've easily overpowered the dish but every bite had the unique taste of each seafood and to put a mildly sweet slice of cornbread on the edge of the dish wasn't garnish...it fit perfectly.
I was 99% sure I was ordering my goto sea scallops but I was a little under the weather and thought meat/potatoes-- that's when I saw, "Mom's Meatloaf"?.. Two things: #1) How is a restaurant of this caliber serving meatloaf?-- which prompted #2) If these guys put it on the menu, it must be something... it was. In almost 40 years of dining, I had never ordered meatloaf until last night and really glad I did. Thanks Cafe Routier for a great 2019 and to a happy and prosperous 2020.
Friendly, casual but still upscale. Seasonal menu changes with special selections are a delight. Attentive staff and waiters make for a wonderful evening out for dinner in the main dining area.
Always a wonderful experience with great food and professional waitstaff.
Always excellent in all respects
Great place. A must to visit.
Finally decided to make a reservation and it couldn't have been easier to do. Made an early reservation and in short time the place was full! Wasn't sure what to expect but was tremendously surprised by both the atmosphere and the food. The staff were very accommodating and the food was just outstanding! Moderately priced entrees and wine list made the evening that much better. Will highly recommend to others! Our new go to restaurant when at the shore!
The new Winter menu is great, as is the New Orleans menu. Really appreciate the Specials menu too, which has Steak frites on it, a Routier favorite of mine. As always the service and atmosphere do not disappoint.
Our evening was most enjoyable. The food was excellent. The service was superb. Our waiter even figured out that it was our anniversary! High marks for an exceptional experience!
Always a great experience here. Great service from the minute you walk in until you are out the door. Love the changing menu and food is always top notch. Add in a great cocktail, wine, and beer list and there’s not a better place to spend an evening with friends or family.
I always enjoy FANTASTIC dinners here at Café Routier! My only dilemma is deciding between their outstanding specials for the evening and some of their standards which I adore and which keep me coming back regularly. Do not miss an opportunity to enjoy an evening here!
Congenial French restaurant with creative menu. Relaxing ambiance, friendly service. Pro tip - though the main menu is excellent, if you want smaller bites you can ask for the bar menu in the dining room.
Celebrating; overall great time.
First, we split the tuna poke bowl, which was perfectly flavored. My wife had the short rib, very large with leftovers afterwards, and I had the incredibly tender and tasty Hawaiian hangar steak. Just amazing! This was one of our best meals here over the years.
Dining at Cafe Routier is a wonderful experience. It has the vibe of a cozy neighborhood gastro pub, but so much more upscale. We were there on a Saturday at prime dinner hour, and although the place was packed, it did not feel overwhelming. We had a nice booth, and a partial view of the comings and goings of the efficient wait staff. The service was excellent, and the food sublime. I had the special cajun salmon which was like buttah! My husband had mom's meatloaf with mashed potatoes. Both dishes were perfect. After dinner cappuccino came in enormous mugs, and the apple crisp with vanilla ice cream was a great way to end a superb meal.
Once again Cafe Routier lived up to our expectations!!
This is typical one of our favorite restaurants..
We had an excellent meal (I had the duck) and the service was excellent. Will certainly return again.
We love the food there. Wished the decor was a bit more updated. Service is always great too.
Café Routier offers takeaway which you can order by calling the restaurant at (860) 399-8700.
Café Routier is rated 4.7 stars by 1704 OpenTable diners.
You can book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size.