Litchfield Restaurants Up for Lots of ‘Best of’ Awards

Materia Ristorante, Litchfield restaurants
๐ต๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ž๐‘–๐‘ ๐‘’๐‘‘ ๐‘…๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘๐‘–๐‘ก ๐‘“๐‘–๐‘™๐‘™๐‘’๐‘‘ ๐‘๐‘ข๐‘ก๐‘ก๐‘œ๐‘›๐‘ , โ€˜๐ป๐‘ข๐‘›๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘Ÿ ๐‘ ๐‘ก๐‘ฆ๐‘™๐‘’โ€™ at Materia

Litchfield is one of Connecticutโ€™s top dining destinations, and more than just great food goes into that recipe. The rich history, architecture, scenic beauty, nature preserves, Bantam Lake, and other attributes make the town magnetic; the fact that visitors can enjoy great food at varying levels and price points is the proverbial icing on the cake.

That said, the sybaritic sensations that come from each beautiful bite remain the star attractionsโ€”and fortunately for Litchfield, the culinary stars are shining brighter than ever.

Materia Ristorante, located along Route 202 outside Bantam center, which debuted in spring 2021, is the townโ€™s latest supernova and leads a pack of local restaurants that are currently nominated for top regional and statewide โ€œbest ofโ€ culinary awards.

Consider this recent Facebook review of Materia: โ€œThis is the best Italian restaurant I have eaten at, here or in Italy. The food is delicious and artistically presented. The waiters are very happy to accommodate your wishes. Itโ€™s exquisite for Connecticut.โ€

Materia Ristorante Litchfield restaurants
๐™ˆ๐™„๐™‡๐™‡๐™€๐™๐™Š๐™‚๐™‡๐™„๐™€ ๐˜ผ๐™‡ ๐™‹๐™„๐™Ž๐™๐˜ผ๐˜พ๐˜พ๐™ƒ๐™„๐™Š.
๐˜—๐˜ถ๐˜ง๐˜ง ๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜บ, ๐˜—๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ค๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฐ ๐˜ค๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ at Materia

Chef David DiStasi grew up in Watertown, graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., and then worked with legendary chef Eric Ripert at Le Bernardin in New York City. With that pedigree and the magic he makes at Materia, DiStasi is a Connecticut Restaurant Association (CRA) Chef of the Year nominee.

Public ย votingโ€”one factor in determining winnersโ€”is now open. The awards, which will be handed out in early December, are called the CRAzies.

Winvian Farm just over the line in Morris, with Chef Chris Eddy at the helm, also has a CRA nomination this yearโ€”Stefano Middei for server of the year.

Arethusa al tavolo, Litchfield restaurants
Arethusa al tavolo photo

Meanwhile, Arethusa al tavolo, the dairy & seed to table restaurant guided by Chef Dan Magill that is part of the Arethusa Farm empire, scored several nominations in Litchfield Magazineโ€™s 2023 Readerโ€™s Choice survey. Final voting is now happening online.

Connecticut Magazine is working on its 2023 best restaurants package for the February issue, and Litchfield is sure to be well represented, as it was this year, when Materia was named one of the best new restaurants, and Winvian and Arethusa named top romantic spotsโ€”among other honors for our restaurants. So stay tuned for that!

Finally thereโ€™s the Rural Intelligence Readersโ€™ Choice Awards, which focus on the Berkshires and eastern New York state but also include Litchfield County.

Woodโ€™s Pit BBQ & Mexican Cafรฉ is a finalist in the chicken wings category, but hurry if you want to support them, as voting closes Nov. 14.


Here is the current roster of the โ€œbest ofโ€ nominations for Litchfield restaurants:

The CRAzies

Chef of the Year

David DiStasi | Materia Ristorante (Bantam)

Restaurant Newcomer

Materia Ristorante (Bantam)

Server of the Year

Stefano Middei | Winvian Farms (Morris)

Litchfield Magazine 2023 Readerโ€™s Choice


Espresso 59




Litchfield Distillery


Arethusa al Tavolo


Restaurant โ€“ Burger


The Village Restaurant

Restaurant โ€“ Casual Dining

The Village Restaurant

Restaurant โ€“ Fine Dining

Arethusa al Tavolo



Restaurant โ€“ New Restaurant


Restaurant โ€“ Pizza

Bantam Pizza


Haight-Brown Vineyard

(P.S. Haight-Brown Vineyard just announced on social media that James Beard honoree Chef Patrick Wilson has joined the team.)

Rural Intelligence Readersโ€™ Choice Awards

Chicken Wings

Woodโ€™s Pit BBQ & Mexian Cafรฉ