12 1of12More casual fare at Boca Grille & Raw Bar in Fairfield includes sandwiches, like a chicken BLTA with avocado.Courtesy of Boca Grille and Raw BarShow MoreShow Less 2of12Chef-owner Jared Sippel says he plans to change L’Ostal’s menu with the seasons, but will use a specials board to present items like fresh fish options or large-format steaks.Courtesy of L’Ostal / Contributed photoShow MoreShow Less 3of12 4of12Yard House, a beer-focused restaurant and sports bar with more than 100 brews on tap, opened in Norwalk’s The SoNo Collection in April.Courtesy of Yard House / Contributed photoShow MoreShow Less 5of12Da.Wa Korean Restaurant in West HavenNed GerardShow MoreShow Less 6of12 7of12Michael Flora and Kyu Tipjak, from left, opened Blue Orchid, a new Pan-Asian restaurant, on Dec. 11 in the Court Street space in New Haven that previously was Beer Collective and The Pearl. Blue Orchid is one of the only restaurants in the area serving the hard-to-find, classic northern Thai curried noodles dish, kaw soy. Tipjak is the chef and handles the food end of things; Flora, who also is CFO for Marrakech Inc., handles the business end. Four of Flora's children also work there, third from left, Kevin Flora, Michael Flora, Katie Flora and Mikaela Flora.Peter HvizdakShow MoreShow Less 8of12Ponza Italian Kitchen in Norwalk features a variety of pizzas.Courtesy of Ponza Italian KitchenShow MoreShow Less 9of12 10of12The owners of Loose Leaf Boba Co. in New Haven say their new boba shop is unlike any other in the area, with natural ingredients like real fruit, a selection of local dairy and vegan milks and ceremonial-grade organic matcha starring in its drinks.Steve Blazo Photography / Contributed photoShow MoreShow Less 11of12Owner Enzo Bruno says Divina was also looking to offer more exciting and inventive vegetable options. A veggie “ceviche” features grilled corn, hearts of palm, jicama and aji amarillo with lentil crackers, and diners have also enjoyed the misto, a vegetable tempura plate with Calabrian chile mascarpone.Courtesy of DivinaShow MoreShow Less 12of12 Here’s a look at some new Connecticut restaurants we’re excited about. Boca Grille and Raw Bar, Fairfield The newest project from Steelpointe Restaurant Group is on a golf course, but you don’t need to be carrying clubs to eat there. Boca Grille and Raw Bar at Fairfield’s H. Smith Richardson Golf Course features a menu that “checks all the boxes”: raw bar and seafood dishes, steakhouse-style cuts with accompanying sides, casual tavern fare like sandwiches and tacos, and cocktails in summer-ready flavors. 2425 Morehouse Hwy., 203-292-5768, bocagrilleandrawbar.com Restaurant L’Ostal, Darien COVID-19 took Jared Sippel’s career in an unexpected direction, but it’s Darien’s gain. Restaurant L’Ostal, his new Provençal restaurant, celebrates the cuisines of Southern France and its boundaries, inspired by Sippel’s year abroad working in Provence at Michelin-starred L’Oustau de Baumanière and at other Italian Michelin restaurants in Friuli and Veneto. Dishes include fine cheeses and charcuterie, first-course plates like diver scallop crudo, vichyssoise and Provençal garden vegetables with black truffle and Barolo vinegar, and seasonally inspired entrées like grilled ocean trout, local wild striped bass, Moroccan spiced spring lamb and New York duck. 22 Center St., 475-328-9629, restaurantlostal.com Yard House, Norwalk Yard House, a beer-focused restaurant and sports bar with more than 100 brews on tap, opened its first Connecticut location at The SoNo Collection in Norwalk in April. Promising “great food and classic rock,” Yard House’s expansive menu features snacks and starters like nachos, sliders, wings, grilled Korean BBQ beef and Parmesan truffle fries, as well as soups, street tacos, salads, burgers, pizzas and sandwiches, and items with Gardein meatless products. Each Yard House restaurant reserves taps for local and regional beers, and Norwalk’s will include selections from Two Roads Brewing in Stratford, Half Full Brewery in Stamford and Nod Hill Brewery in Ridgefield. 100 N. Water St., 203-295-0065, yardhouse.com Da.Wa Korean Restaurant, West Haven A restaurant space once known for American/Southern barbecue is now home to Korean barbecue, and many more flavorful, spicy specialties. Da.Wa Korean Restaurant opened in late March on Saw Mill Road, in the former Uncle Willie’s Smokehouse building. The menu offers appetizers like dumplings, shrimp and vegetable tempura and tteok-bokki (Korean rice cakes); noodle and rice dishes like dolsot bibimbap; stir-fried grilled dishes, soups and stews. There’s also a full menu of sushi and sashimi, including rolls and hand rolls. 473 Sawmill Road, 475-238-7512, dawatofu.com Blue Orchid, New Haven A new Pan Asian restaurant on Court Street, Blue Orchid is the baby of Natthawut “Q” Tipjak and Michael Flora. The husband-and-husband team used the pandemic as a spur to help Tipjak launch one of his dreams: to serve his favorite comfort foods to the masses, with influences from Thailand, China, Korea and the Philippines, among others. Blue Orchid is one of the few restaurants in Connecticut to serve steaming bowls of kaw soy: the hearty, aromatic, soupy curried egg noodle dish, often served with chicken, that you find both in restaurants and street stalls all over the Thai city of Chiang Mai and northern Thailand. 130 Court St., 203-691-9168, blueorchidnewhaven.com Ponza Italian Kitchen & Bar, Norwalk For the newest iteration of her family’s Norwalk restaurant, Veronica Sandolo is highlighting the best of the Italian island of Ponza, including its traditional food, culture and warm, family-friendly service. Sandolo has been transitioning her father’s eatery, John’s Best Pizza, into Ponza Italian Kitchen & Bar over the past few months, with a refreshed menu featuring the “simple, rustic cuisine” eaten in households on the island. Italian “tapas” — small plates like calamari agrodolce with sweet and sour sauce — are new, but favorites like pastas, chicken and veal entrées, and seafood specialties like zuppa de pesce are still available. Ponza will also keep its beloved pizza recipe intact, offering the choice of crust thickness. 690 Connecticut Ave., 203-866-7444, ponzaitaliankitchen.com Loose Leaf Boba Co., New Haven The owners of Loose Leaf Boba Co. say their new boba shop is unlike any other in the area. With natural ingredients like real fruit, a selection of local dairy and vegan milks and ceremonial-grade organic matcha starring in its drinks, Loose Leaf is “completely different,” says co-owner William Bok, who recently opened the beverage shop in the Shops at Yale with his sister and business partner, Lisa Satavu. Loose Leaf offers hot and iced teas, milk teas, 50/50 drinks (half Vietnamese coffee and half milk tea) and other unique beverages, like a blended matcha and avocado smoothie with condensed milk. Drinks are all made to order, and can be customized with choice of milk, sweetness level and toppings. 46 High St., bobacompany.com Rebel Dog Coffee Co., East Hartford Rebel Dog’s third location opened in April near Goodwin University, joining others in Plainville and Farmington. The menu features a full coffee program, breakfast sandwiches and eggs Benedict, lunch sandwiches, salads, burgers, small plates like wings and street tacos, and brick-oven pizzas. A bar with wine, beer and craft cocktails is coming next. 361 Main St., East Hartford, 860-519-5621, rebeldogcoffeeco.com/east-hartford Divina, Stamford Now open at the Courtyard Stamford Downtown, Divina bills itself as “modern Italian,” but its owners say it’s simply more of a reflection of how Italians really dine. The restaurant’s three partners, who also own and operate Stamford’s Table 104, decided to structure the menu to focus less on full-size entrées and more on shareable options: a tempting list of small plates, artisanal cheese and charcuterie boards, wood-fired pizzas and housemade pastas. 275 Summer St., 203-388-8742, divinastamford.com This article originally appeared in Connecticut Magazine. You can subscribe here, or find the current issue on sale here. Sign up for the newsletter to get the latest and greatest content from Connecticut Magazine delivered right to your inbox. On Facebook and Instagram @connecticutmagazine and Twitter @connecticutmag.