My family does a lot of eating when we get together, and that usually means a ton of cooking. But for our most recent get-together, we decided to take a break from the time in the kitchen and go out to dinner at The Coach Stop Restaurant in East Hartland, CT.
Although it was a chilled and damp day outside, The Coach Stop had a warm atmosphere inside. It’s clearly an old and beautiful building with a lot of dark wood and character. There was a bar up front with a different bar menu, but we went and sat down to eat, so we had the dinner menu to choose from.
I so appreciate any restaurant that gives you bread with your meal, and The Coach Stop gives you two full-sized loaves! I was in crusty, carby heaven. My only qualm is when they give you ice cold block of butter chipped off of an iceberg. Room temperature is all I’m asking for, or give me some olive oil.
For an appetizer, I chose the homemade Mozzarella Sticks. Okay, the name is totally deceiving. These are mozzarella wedges, not sticks! But I was all about the cheese-to-breading ratio here. I liked that the breading was well-seasoned, and their marinara sauce was good. The downside is that they lost their crispness fast.
For my meal, I ordered the Eggplant Parmigiana. I know, shocker! This picture doesn’t do it justice, but this was one of the biggest portion sizes I’ve ever gotten! I only powered through about half of it, and I still had two more servings of leftovers after that. Not pictured is the FULL plate of spaghetti it came with.
I will say though, the price reflects the portion. $19 for eggplant parm is a little steep. The prices overall were at the point of being just a teeny bit pricey, but not too crazy.
This was different than any eggplant parm I’ve had. I’m used to an Italian breadcrumb-style breading, much like the one they used on their mozzarella sticks. But this had a lighter, crisper tempura-type batter. That’s something I’ve never had on an eggplant parm.
If you like eggplant parm for the eggplant, then this is the way to eat it. The lighter breading lets the eggplant be the real star, rather than covering for it. They cooked the eggplant wonderfully. It was tender all the way through.
The sauce was an even balance of sweet and savory, but there was more of it than I needed. In contrast, I could’ve used much more cheese, but that’s me. I like my eggplant parm to be blanketed by it.
All in all, I’d give it a thumbs up for true eggplant parm lovers who want the full eggplant experience.
I have to give honorable mention to my mom’s dinner, which reminded me of Utica vodka riggies, all the way in Connecticut. Look at that creamy sauce!