Mockingbird Kitchen and Bar (fka Tollgate Tavern)
Mockingbird Kitchen and Bar (fka Tollgate Tavern)

Mockingbird Kitchen and Bar (fka Tollgate Tavern)

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.tollgatetavern.com/
  • Phone: 8603616633x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Thursday - Sunday: 5:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Fusion / Eclectic, Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Samantha Tilley
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Private Party Contact: Sam Tilley 8603616633x

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Route 202
  • Parking: Private Lot
A word from Mockingbird Kitchen and Bar (fka Tollgate Tavern)
At the Mockingbird Kitchen and Bar (fka Tollgate Tavern), our goal is to bring you approachable New American cuisine using fresh, vibrant seasonal and local ingredients. Locally sourced and globally flavored we strive to present well-balanced dishes with flavors ranging from subtle to bold.
The tavern is a casually elegant restaurant located in a beautiful, 270-year old historic home; the Captain Bull Tavern listed on the National Historic Register, on the 10-acre Toll Gate Hill Inn in the northwest corner of Connecticut, just 45 minutes from Hartford and 2.5 hour’s drive from Boston and New York.
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Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
  • Diners' Choice WinnerAmerican
Mockingbird Kitchen and Bar (fka Tollgate Tavern) reviews from OpenTable diners
39 reviews since May 20, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.4
    Service4.6
  • Ambiance4.5
    Noise LevelModerate
91% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (29)special occasion (27)romantic (25)neighborhood gem (24)good for groups (7)notable wine list (6)late-night find (4)vibrant bar scene (4)great for brunch (2)scenic view (2)great for outdoor dining (1)hot spot (1)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • Raw Veggies galore
    foodieVIP
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    The beet, goat cheese and cantelope salad is a bust and should be removed from the menu. This is nothing like Jean Georges's watermelon and goat cheese. The pork chop came with Brussels sprouts, which were completely raw. It was odd, and not great, but we ate them. The short rib was actually a pot roast, but no explanation was given. The accompanying vegetables were described on the menu as carmelized, but were also raw. It must have been an off night, as the table next to us was having a lot of problems with their food as well and were offered their meal for free.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Service with a smile...
    Pgarmar
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Arrived tardy for a Saturday night dinner and yet the service was impeccable. Greeted with a smile and quickly brought to our table. Fireplaces not lit yet (too early in season) but the wide plank floors and rustic ambiance very inviting. Food to die for. With a reputation of farm to table, I could have eaten the butter all by itself. Freshly baked bread and a fresh Ceasar salad to start, then I dove into my entree of which the sides were as good as the meat itself...brussel sprouts with a hint of lemon, parsnip mash...mmmm. Ended it all with a decadent chocolate indulgence! Will be back time and time again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Resurrection
    Restaurantwatcher
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    I first visited the Tollgate in the early 80's and have experienced the closures with disappointment and the re-openings with hopeful anticipation. We would not have known about the latest re-opening without Open Table (thank you). The new "Mockingbird" hasn't changed in decor but the menu and food have definitely improved. We were impressed with the variety and creativity of the Chef and happy to find one of our favorite wines on the extensive wine list. Service was quietly professional and pleasant. Aside from the great meal, the dessert was unique and delicious, topped off with fresh coffee served in a French press, which for any coffee lover is a win. The bar is close to dining and overly loud voices detract from the ambiance.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • MOCKINGBIRD'S BEST SONG
    SAVANNAHGILLVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Rich, warm, satisfying and gratifying. The wine list, even by the glass, provides an interesting array of choices. The warm homemade bread is dense and chewy. The duck breast and pork chop were perfectly prepared and innovatively paired with local seasonal vegetables, roasted, pureed and/or spiced. My husband ordered the special seafood stew and raved about it all the way home. The main dining room is softly lit and charming in the extreme. The wait staff is knowledgeable, available and friendly without being intrusive. The meals here keep getting better and better. Hope the chef lives in our neighborhood a long, long time.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Well worth the trip
    Benny
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    It is a 45 minute drive for us, but well worth it. The chef is masterful at preparing gormet food. Unuque enjoyable taste. I particulay like it when the "specials" change regularly, which is less common anymore. From the special menu, I had the Basque Seafood that waseasily the best I have had of this type of dish. (I wish it would be moved to the regular menu). The sauce was exceptionally good. My wife's steak was done rare as ordered and again the source (local corn salsa) was unique and very good. And the Double Chocolate Tart with bourbon whipped creme was much more than just another chocolate dessert.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food and ambiance
    Woody
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    The food is wonderfully prepared with some interesting sides to the main item, such as parsnips. The chef uses available in season items and specialty meats, such as duck. Although they are planning to move, the current Inn is old and charming. The waitress was very knowledgable and helpful. Would say it is most suited for dinner, although I'm sure lunch would be fine. The price is in line with the quality of the offerings.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing birthday
    fantastic
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    The food is absolutely excellent here. Not to be missed. It was my birthday and all the waitstaff sang. the pork chop was amazing. I wanted a special meal but didn't want to go back to Community Table....the portions here are bigger and the food is creative and absolutely fresh and delicious Their bar menu looks Grt
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed based on reviews
    BubbaG
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    We both ordered the short ribs and expected them to be fork tender as they should be. These short ribs were not only fork tender it was even difficult to cut them with a knife. They were served with carrots and parsnips which were literally raw. It seems that the real Chef went home early. We did enjoy and compliment our server on the rum berry bread pudding. Their wine list did not have many choices by the glass and was also over priced for the Torrington area.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Better then the Rest
    Collin
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    I'v dined everywhere notable in Litchfield county and none other compare to MKB. Best food and service iv ever had. If you haven't gone, go. Quick.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Another great meal
    LizB
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    We went on Saturday as a thank you to a friend who helps out with our cats and it was a real treat for us both. Delicious meal (love that crispy kale salad!), good service and a special visit from the chef. All made for a memorable evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • FrankandHonest1
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    The food was excellent. The atmosphere is so cozy and warm. The drinks were superb. The service was attentive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Outstanding
    Joan
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Menu specials are always a treat. Chef concocts elegant extras every night. the pork chops are phenomenal.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely Place
    noms2345
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    My boyfriend and I were looking for a nice dinner spot for Saturday night, and after searching Yelp we found this little nook. We were immediately blown away by the ambiance, the beautiful wood floors and original barn features. It's a small dining area, with only about 7 tables, but it was really lovely. Outside was lush and well groomed and the inside was cozy and romantic. The food was good, not amazing but not bad at all. They had a great spirit selection, and very attentive servers. All in all, a great date spot and a fun find in this area!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • JADESIGN
    JADESIGN
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    We were taking our good friends out for their anniversary. This restaurant was new to me and the reviews made it sound fantastic. It was a big disappointment! They were out of one of the wines I wanted and the other wine was not being carried by the restaurant anymore- yet still in the menu and were not told by the waitress. My friend ordered a vodka with olives...no olives- had to remind the waitress. The kale salad had very little kale. The ribs were supposed to be one of the best things on the menu- very average and dry. My dish was a vegetarian dish much like a pad thai. No vegetables (at least the ones that were listed) were in in. Not worth traveling 45 min.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful menu
    Aftertheatre
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Specializing in local vendors the menu is always intriguing and changes often. The service is friendly and well-timed…. you are never rushed. Sometimes quiet, sometimes there is a loud voice at a nearby table… they are not responsible for that of course. Intimate dining and always a pleasure.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fussy vegetarian
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    I am a very fussy vegetarian! I don't eat tofu and don't really like a lot of beans. The wait staff and chef bent over backwards to please me. I had one of the best meals ever. I highly recommend this restaurant not only for vegetarians but for fish and meat esters too. My husband had the salmon and loved every bite!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Duckmann57
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    I was told about the Mockingbird K & B by my sister from NYC, I'm from Litchfield. I had eaten there a long time ago when it was the Toll Gate Inn, and found the food to be very well prepared and plated. My new expierence at Mockingbird was fantastic, the food was well prepared and fresh, no frozen substitutes. The waitstaff was very attenitive, and this was a friday night when the place is busy. We felt very welcome, and were not rushed.......with that being said, I would definetly recommend the Mockingbird if your looking for a romantic quiet dinner, with great food and great drinks, well worth the price.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • New favorite
    LLM86
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    This is my new favorite restaurant. I have been several times in the past 6 months and have never been disappointed. Food is fabulous, service is great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious
    TheRinger
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    Our third visit to this restaurant, and we loved it. After hearing that they were moving last summer, we were really glad to see that they kept this original open, too! Inventive menu, fresh ingredients, expertly prepared. As good as ever!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • perfect
    KevinC
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    I looked for a place to have a nice dinner in Litchfield county for my wife's birthday. This was one of the many places that popped up. After reading many excellent reviews, we were convinced that it was worth a try. We are not hard people to please. We don't get out much...but this restaurant delivered in every possible way. From the second we stepped through the front door, we were greeted and taken care of like royalty. We had such a wonderful time and we look forward to getting back again soon!!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Quaint farm to table great service
    WhycoMel
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    First time here. Lovely old house in the woods, neat old bar feel. Upscale menu with unusual but not blizzard items. Has a farm to table feel. Very accommodating and friendly wait staff. Small dining room. Fiddlehead ramp soup was great, poulet was a bit on the salty side and the swordfish was originally undercooked, but that was remedied quickly and we were comped a drink for our troubles. Would definitely try again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • unexpected
    IluvfoodVIP
    Dined on 6/1/2014
    Well silly me did not realize the menu on opentable is still for the Tollgate Tavern, but my husband was pleasantly surprised by the Mockingbird menu when we got to the restaurant, and he is a very tough critic and excellent cook. The service was outstanding, and all the plates seemed really interesting. Had a nice meal and would go back next time we're in Litchfield.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Local Farm to Table
    AFabulous
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    This was my first eating experience at Mockingbird Kitchen and I was pleasantly surprised. The staff was polite and attentive, and the local specials were plentiful. Next time I plan on sitting at the bar where the atmosphere was a bit more lively than the dining room. I had the soft shell crab salad and it was spectacular. If on the menu again I'll have them serve me an dinner portion and skip everything else - it was that good!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • RecipeReaderVIP
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    We were not familiar with restaurants in the area so we booked a reservation based on Open Table reviews. We were not disappointed. The restaurant had a wonderful ambience with many fireplaces throughout the dining rooms. My wife had a beet salad as a starter with great and unexpected flavors. I had seafood that was among the best I have ever had. The service was very good and the whole staff was knowledgeable and friendly. I could not recommend this restaurant more highly.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food, great variety
    DCook
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    Every time I eat here it's been excellent and love the variety! Never the same but always great food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 14 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 20, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.6
    • Food4.6
    • Ambiance4.4
    • Service4.6
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 139 reviews are from the Mockingbird Kitchen and Bar (fka Tollgate Tavern) reviews archive.
  • Special specials
    Joan
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    The basic menu is supplemented by a large selection of gourmet specials each night, with appetizer, main courses and desserts - all superb.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Great Find
    foodieVIP
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    We loved the Mockingbird: excellent, creative food; nice ambiance; and a superb waitress named Caroline. The wine that the waitress chose for us was extremely well priced and delicious. It is one of the best restaurants in Litchfield County and much friendlier and more efficient than most of its peers.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • LOVED IT!!!
    CydG
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    Had a great meal with close friends... wait staff was awesome because they took the time to explain dishes... didn't "hover"... and were there when we needed them! Not a "cheap" meal by any means... but we shared a delicious Tandoori chicken wing app ( 2 ea. for 4 peeps)... three salads... 4 entrees... bottle of wine... 2 desserts... for about $70 each!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, special occasion, Late-Night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    We go there often and are always delighted. The food is predictable in quality and varied in range of options, we are tempted by desert to often!
    Special Features:
    Kid-Friendly, Fit For Foodies, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Best in Litchfield Dining Scene
    Collin
    Dined on 4/23/2014
    MKB is always exceptional in every dining criteria and is by far superior to that of any restaurant in the Litchfield area. The chef is fantastic and always provides innovative, modern specials accompanied with the menu. A must go too anyone nearby, you won't be disappointed!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Easter "Lunch" at Mockingbird
    JohnCindyFitz
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    With an Easter Sunday noon reservation, we had hoped for some Brunch options, but they were not offered. The kitchen did their best to accommodate us off-menu, and the food was terrific. The service staff was adequate, friendly, and well-meaning, but a bit confused about what specials and seafood were offered or available, and had to return with corrections for us and another table. Directions were good, seating and ambience quite historic and romantic, and it was a pleasant overall experience.
    Special Features:
    Romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Exceptional !
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    I was impressed having dined everywhere in the County now. the dining itself is indeed comparable to an up-scale European dining experience surrounded by the greenery of the Litchfield hills. This, is in fact exceptional from the quality of the food on the table to the cozy atmosphere and the competent service making the whole culinary trip at the M-bird a must dine out and not just on special occasions. All this is even more surprising if compared with the mediocre and ordinary debut of virtually everything else in the decaying ghost town of Torrington-CT. The little M-bird stands out like a true towering giant in this context which could easy score on a European Michelin guide an exceptional 4 stars! Bravo! Bravo! Encore!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • absolutely fabulous ......Mahi
    Joan
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    absolutely fabulous ......Mahi Mahi over whipped potatoes with the best sauce ever.... would love to have licked my plate!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, kid-friendly, romantic, scenic view, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Keeps getting better
    LitchfieldDiner
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    This place is moving down the road, and we wish it the best, but the current location is very charming. An antique Inn with fireplaces in every room, it seems pretty rickety, but is very charming. We've been to Mockingbird several time, but it's gets better every time. This time, it was flawless. The specials all sounded delish, but those we selected were very special. Beautiful presentations, top notch attentive service, big flavor, interesting textures, interesting combinations...they took the kind of care that is hard to find. Along with Arethusa's Tavolo and West Street Grill, Mockingbird has risen to the top of the dining scene in Litchfield County.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • An authentic tavern
    KayBee
    Dined on 3/20/2014
    Great ambience with at least three fireplaces. Wonderful attentive service. Limited but creative menu. Will return and would recommend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice find
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    Different. Different atmosphere, attentive service, cozy
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • very enjoyable
    Shelly
    Dined on 3/1/2014
    The parking lot and driveway were treacherous- coated with ice. Once we reached the door, it was a wonderful time. Our table was waiting. The small dining room was a bit noisy but not unreasonable. I loved that we were next to the fireplace (real wood, not gas) on a cold evening. The five entrée menu was supplemented with four specials. The salads and entrees we chose were delicious. We had to wait a while before the entrees were served. Afterwards we had dessert and coffee, which was left off the check. When I brought this to the waitress' attention, she replied that was to make up for the delay waiting for the entrees. That was very nice considering we had not complained at all. Overall very enjoyable evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Charming New England Tavern
    Litchfieldfriend
    Dined on 2/20/2014
    It was a cold winter night and the cozy old Tavern's fireplace was perfect. For those who appreciate old world charm and great food, this is a great restaurant. The chef's specials were fabulous in terms of taste, presentation and interesting textures.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderfully imaginative food
    Chuck
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    Wonderfully imaginative food and friendly/attentive service in a charming old new england inn.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Slipping
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    I've been eating here since it opened and sadly watched the traditional trend of many restaurants, that when they become established the prices rise and the portions shrink, but the last dinner I had did it for me. I ordered an entrée and got an appetizer and dessert. There was a lot of sugar on this dish (yummy, but still dessert) and the meat was not more than 3 ounces - probably 2. It woke up my appetite and left me feeling that I had to go out for another meal. I don't think I'll be back. Too bad.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic