A recent addition to the the Front Street area revitalization in Hartford, Connecticut is NIXS Hartford. Adding its own “vibe” to the growing district, NIXS offers a superb drink menu and Hartford Front Street district’s premier restaurant and lounge serving contemporary American small bites, amazing raw bar, New England micro brews and craft cocktails. Paying tribute to the Boston Harbor Island, NIXS’ Mate, the neighborhood restaurant and bar serves seasonally-inspired fare, capturing the true spirit of New England.
Having been invited to sample their offerings, we starting with cocktails from their “Signatures” cocktail menu:
Beach Please: house-infused pineapple 360 vodka, sparkling coconut water, fresh lime, cucumber juice, and Agave nectar
Bad Wolf: Redemption rye whiskey, honey simple syrup, fresh orange, and Meyer’s lemon juice
Bazzle Dazzle: The Bolonist Islay Dry gin, Peach Sterrings, muddled basil, simple syrup, fresh Meyer lemon juice.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrel: Belvedere vodka, olive brine, capers, preserved lemon twist, and blue cheese stuffed olive.
Our favorites were the light and refreshing Beach Please and Bazzle Dazzle.
NIXS Hartford serves shareable small and large plates, seasonally inspired fare, unique raw bar and handcrafted premium cocktails capturing the true spirit of New England, but with a slight infusion of Southwestern American cuisine.
Working our way through their various offerings, as selected by General Manager Yaz and Chef John and presented by our waiter Christopher, we started off with the Pickled Beets from the daily pickled menu followed by a creamy snack of Candied Bacon Deviled Eggs.
Several samplings from the “Small plates” side of the menu were presented to us in a smaller version. Such as just the filling of New England’s Best Damn Lobster Roll: sweet claw and knuckle salad on butter toasted bun and Tuna Crudo with shiso, coconut wasabi, and spicy mayonnaise.
We tried a trio of their tacos: Tuna Tartare Tacos with avocado, cilantro, sesame and spicy mayo; Crispy Fish Tacos with avocado, cilantro sour cream, and pico de gallo; and Braised Short Rib Tacos with creamy black beans, green apple slaw, and goat cheese fondue.
Of the three variations of NIX’s Chicken Wings, we had the classic hot topped with lightly grilled chilis.
More tasty bites included the: Tater Tots with sweet crab, lobster, cheddar cheese, and lemon aioli: Crab cakes with caper aioli and sweet apple jam, and pork belly.
The Margherita Flatbread with tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, and extra virgin olive oil from the “Garden” small plates was light and fresh from the tomatoes and basil.
From the “Sides” portion of the menu we sampled the Smoked Mac & Cheese and Herb Risotto. Both were creamy and tasty.
An offering from “Large Plates” was the Surf & Turf: swordfish and candied pork belly. Nothing can be bad with pork belly. The swordfish had a nice grill to it, but was slightly over cooked for my taste. Also presented was the tender and nicely Grilled Hangar Steak with chimichurri sauce.
Finishing out the sampling were the desserts:
Zeppoles: Italian doughnuts with cinnamon sugar dusting served with vanilla custard and caramel sauce in squeeze bottles so that you can fill the doughnuts yourself.
S’mores Parfait with caramel pudding, graham crackers, and toasted marshmallows.
Dessert cocktails included the Scotch and Cereal: Macallen 12yr Scotch in Captain Crunch infused milk, chocolate bitters accompanied by a Captain Crunch scotch caramel bar and a Root Beer Float which was a light mix of cream and liquor.
NIXS Hartford is open weekdays for lunch, happy hour, and dinner. On the weekends join them for dinner starting at 4:00 pm, then stick around for the music presented by either a live band or a DJ while sipping a craft cocktail, glass of wine, or New England craft beer and savoring a “small plate”.
With its many offerings and modern, vibrant atmosphere, NIXS will be a favorite place to partake of drinks and food.
NIXS Hartford Hours of operation:
- Monday to Thursday: 11:30 am to midnight
- Friday: 11:30 am to 2:00 am
- Saturday: 4:00 pm to 2:00 am
- Sunday: 4:00 pm to midnight