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Lorenzo's

229 Riverside Rd., Sandy Hook, CT - (203) 426-3485
Posted By Michael Stern on 7/12/2015 6:48:00 AM
Just a few minutes' drive from I-84 in a Sandy Hook residential neighborhood, Lorenzo's is a trip back in time. It was opened in 1926 as a waterside refreshment stand selling hot dogs and ice cream and also offering rental canoes and cabins. We know these facts because we can see exactly what it was like by looking at the photo on the cover of the menu. It shows Lorenzo's as it was; the current staff will tell you that it was grandpa who started things. It's still a family-run operation -- a restaurant with a genuine personality.

Locals now know Lorenzo's mostly for its homey Italian-American food: lasagna, ziti, spaghetti and other macaroni dishes, plus a full repertoire of pizza. The pizza has a thin crust nearly as brittle as a Saltine cracker, sturdy enough that it maintains its crunch even under cheese, sauce, and multiple toppings.

Beyond Italian fare, Lorenzo's does a great job serving meat-and-potatoes square meals. We like coming for steak: a big, pillowy sirloin preceded by a bowl of crisp iceberg lettuce topped with gloppy blue cheese dressing and accompanied by a stuffed baked potato.

At the end of the road all alone, Lorenzo's is a totally charming restaurant, like a kind of summer-camp cabin for adults. The front room is a bar, where those waiting for take-out meals knock back a few; and the back is a wood-paneled sanctuary with dim lighting and high-back wooden booths.

One word of caution: everything is made to order, and even when Lorenzo's isn't crowded -- it can get very busy late weekend nights -- you will wait a good half-hour for your meal.

Finally, please note the limited hours of operation: Wednesday through Sunday, dinner only.

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
pizza
Strip Steak
filet mignon
Lasagna
Bar Pizza (8 inches)
Stuffed Potato
Veal Parmesan
Bread
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Lorenzo's crisp crust is here the foundation for a sausage and hot pepper appetizer-size pizza.
"Lorenzo's crisp crust is here the foundation for a sausage and hot pepper appetizer-size pizza."
Michael Stern





'It's fatless,' the waitress boasted, meaning that there is no excess fat (nor bone) on this immense sirloin. But there was plenty of marbling, giving it booming beef flavor.
"'It's fatless,' the waitress boasted, meaning that there is no excess fat (nor bone) on this immense sirloin. But there was plenty of marbling, giving it booming beef flavor."
Michael Stern


Top-of-the-line veal Parmesan is a tremendous plate of food. It's a tender classic.
"Top-of-the-line veal Parmesan is a tremendous plate of food. It's a tender classic."
Michael Stern


Lasagna is one of the many Italian specialties that Lorenzo's loyal patrons love so much that it is often sold out by the end of the evening.
"Lasagna is one of the many Italian specialties that Lorenzo's loyal patrons love so much that it is often sold out by the end of the evening."
Michael Stern


The back dining room at Lorenzo's has wood paneling, wood booths, an a creaky old wood floor. It reminds us of a summer-camp canteen ... but with adult beverages available.
"The back dining room at Lorenzo's has wood paneling, wood booths, an a creaky old wood floor. It reminds us of a summer-camp canteen ... but with adult beverages available."
Michael Stern


Lorenzo's started as a refreshment stand. Now it is a well-worn country tavern.
"Lorenzo's started as a refreshment stand. Now it is a well-worn country tavern."
Michael Stern


It is possible to get a plain baked potato to accompany one's steak, but it's hard to resist the cheese stuffed one.
"It is possible to get a plain baked potato to accompany one's steak, but it's hard to resist the cheese stuffed one."
Michael Stern


Meals begin with a basket of warm bread.
"Meals begin with a basket of warm bread."
Michael Stern


Genuine vintage ambiance at Lorenzo's is abetted by the (non-working) cigarette machine just inside the front door, from back when smokes were $2 per pack.
"Genuine vintage ambiance at Lorenzo's is abetted by the (non-working) cigarette machine just inside the front door, from back when smokes were $2 per pack."
Michael Stern



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