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Lorenzo's

Riverside Rd., Sandy Hook, CT - (203) 426-3485
Posted By Michael Stern on 7/27/2002 6:14:00 PM
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 76 years ago; the current staff will tell you that it was grandpa who started things.

Today, locals know Lorenzo's mostly for its homey Italian food: lasagna, ziti, spaghetti and other macaroni dishes, plus a full repertoire of pizza. The pizza has a superthin crust and arrives at the table on a sheet of paper atop a metal tray. As brittle as a Saltine cracker, the crust has an amazing ability to retain 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 especially like coming for filet mignon and sirloin steak dinners: lovely hunks of beef preceded by bowls of crisp iceberg lettuce topped with gloppy blue cheese dressing and (in season) garden-fresh tomatoes.

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 IS crowded on 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
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Lorenzo's super-thin crust is here the foundation for a sausage pizza.
"Lorenzo's super-thin crust is here the foundation for a sausage pizza."
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


The back dining room at Lorenzo's has wood paneling, wood booths, an a variety of mismatched chairs. 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 variety of mismatched chairs. It reminds us of a summer-camp canteen ... but with adult beverages available."
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



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