Inconsistency and an absent owner continue to plague this new iteration of what used to be "Ellie's" in New London. First, the pros: the renovation is lovely and the environment much warmer than Ellie's after its last face lift. The food is generally quite good, especially some of the meat products provided by the owner's farm. The general feel of the menu though is a bit monochromatic. Cons: the owner is largely absent, leaving the day to day oversight to a person who was until recently a waitress at the restaurant. I'm all for internal promotions but she is in the awkward position of training and managing a staff who are her friends. The atmosphere can at times be like a fraternity/sorority house, with loud, inappropriate conversations among the staff. One in particular is rumored to be the son of the owner. Unfortunately, he is the least effective member of the team and he doesn't hesitate to throw his teammates under the bus when something goes awry--as it often does--in the back of the house. When his friends stop by and order food, he occasionally will bring his own food over and sit down to eat with them---this while he is supposedly on duty. Odd. Unfortunately, the challenges don't exist only in the front of the house. There are real problems with inconsistency in the kitchen. When the chef has a day off, there is a noticeable difference in the quality standard. All of this is really a shame because this is a much needed type of restaurant in New London, a cross between the two major fine dining establishments and the more casual pubs in the area.
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