About Ballou's Restaurant & Wine Bar - Guilford

Ballou's is a European style restaurant with a casual and friendly atmosphere. We have more than 80 wines by the glass and beers. Our food is made with "LOVE" we roast our own Pulled Pork fro 9 hours. Our beef brisket and stuffed pork loin are delicious. We have unique salads and pasta dishes. We bake each flat bread pizza for you. Our Lobster Mac and Cheese is decadent.
Try a Cheese plate or FONDUE to start your meal. Our shrimp cocktail comes with six Jumbo shrimp and our own cocktail sauce. Crab cakes are made fresh and like our other foods from our own recipes. Our desserts are also made on premiss such as Mudslide Brownies, Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie, hand made Chocolate Truffles.

51 Whitfield Street
Guilford, CT 06437
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Mediterranean, Fondue, Italian

Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday - Sunday: 11:30am - 5:00pm
Dinner: Sunday - Monday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
Tuesday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm -11:00pm

Cross Street:
Water Street

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(203) 453-0319

Website:
http://www.ballouswinebar.com/

Catering:
N/A

Parking Details:
Guilford has plenty of parking in the back lot and on the street by the Historic Green.

Public Transit:
We are within a mile of the train station.
Taxi is available (203)506-8294

Executive Chef:
Steven Kaye Sr

Additional:
Bar Dining, Beer, Fireplace, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
N/A

Ballou's Restaurant & Wine Bar - Guilford Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

3.8

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

3.7

service

3.6

ambience

3.9

value

3.6

Noise

Moderate

70% would recommend it to a friend

Comfort Food (4)
Notable Wine List (3)
Good for Anniversaries (2)
See All
Good for Birthdays (2)
Casual (2)
Cozy (2)
Fun (2)
Great for Lunch (2)
Neighborhood Gem (2)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Afternoon Tea (1)
Bar Seating (1)
Worth the Drive (1)
Fit for Foodies (1)
Good for a Date (1)
Good for Groups (1)
Healthy (1)
Hot Spot (1)
Great for Outdoor Dining (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Quiet Conversation (1)
Romantic (1)
Special Occasion (1)
Tapas (1)
Creative Cuisine (1)
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92 reviews
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·Dined 4 days ago

We've been to Ballou's a handful of times but this was by far the worst.

The food:
•shrimp/lobster fra diavolo = old-tasting seafood in a ketchup-like sauce with a few pepper flakes tossed in
•tasteless stuffed mushrooms
•salad tossed with canned tuna and topped with supermarket-like dressing
•mound of diced beets...fine-tasting

The wine:
•Unbelievably for *a wine bar* the wine was actually bad. Not just not good, but bad. The four of us each ordered flights (three different types of wine) and of the 12 different wines we were served, *maybe* we collectively liked maybe three of them. The rest tasted flat and old, as if they'd been opened days earlier. (Each of us has worked in fine restaurants before, and we understand wine.)

The service:
•our server was a nice young woman with very little appreciation for how her job can affect a meal. She served half of us our wine and left the other half unserved for a sold five minutes; she showed little depth-of-knowledge about the menu, and she killed the flow of the meal by bringing out our main dishes before we were even halfway finished with our appetizers. She acknowledged that she was delivering them far too early but blamed it on some sort of glitch with the kitchen. But rather than sending the dishes back to the kitchen and taking charge of the mistake they all made, she crammed the dishes onto our table without asking if that's what we preferred, and left us to finish our appetizers -- by which time our main dishes were cold (in addition to being bland or bad tasting). Final insult: the tinny silverware appears to have been purchased from a military surplus auction, or stolen from an elementary school cafeteria. Ballou's owners charge grown-up prices; they should provide grown up silverware.

We *may* try this place once more when the weather warms up and the deck is open again -- order something extremely cheap (panini) and see if they're at all inclined to improve. But maybe not.

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food1
ambience2
service1
value1

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Table reserved was in front of the door. The worst table in the place and the one nobody wanted. Hostess was rude, never greeted us and after giving her our name she just walked away. We wondered if she was coming back. Out of Brie. Felt like going to the market next door to pick some up and bring it back. The noise level was awful. Just not a good experience.

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food1
ambience1
service1
value1

 
 (County Durham)·Dined on October 20, 2017

Service was slow and food was mediocre. I wouldn’t recommend this restaurant. Not worth wasting my time on a Friday night date.

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food1
ambience3
service1
value2

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 20, 2017

Great food and the price and portion sizes are just right!

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on October 15, 2017

Fun restaurant where you can get a flight of wine and some nice fondue. We had that plus a special of ravioli. Nothing special about the ravioli, but if was fine. Will return again for the fondue.

Tags: Hot Spot, Good for Groups, Comfort Food, Good for Birthdays
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 13, 2017

Just a tad pricey. We sat in the back room where it was nice a quiet rather than sit in the bar area so we can talk and relax. Food was great.

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food4
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (New Orleans)·Dined on October 4, 2017

I had the seafood cassarole, was supposed to have a mix of seafood (lobster, shrimp, scollops, etc). It had 1-2 shrimp and 85% bread crumbs. I wouldn't go back.

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food2
ambience3
service2
value3

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on August 26, 2017

Great night! We had a reservation and we're seated quickly! We each had a wine flight which was great! We shared a cheese board and crab cakes. All very yummy. I had the cold shrimp and lobster dinner. We also had the seafood casserole and the Brie and fig panini! Everything was yummy. We will be back!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on August 13, 2017

We enjoyed our time at Ballou's - the best part was the outdoor seating, and how accommodating the staff was to arrange a table so we would not be in the direct sun. Some of the food was great (proscuitto wrapped figs) - some of it was average turkey panini. That said, the service was great - personable and skilled - and it was a fun place to meet friends.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
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food3
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on August 12, 2017

Really interesting menu, great fondue and wine flights. We have come here a couple of times, came back for the great fondue and reasonable and excellent wine choices. We have had the panini, the pasta and the dinner salads and would have again, the flat bread itself was not as good as we have had at other restaurants, but maybe just our taste.

Tags: Fun, Good for Birthdays, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
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food4
ambience3
service5
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on July 29, 2017

Great place for fondue or a cheese board and a flight of wine. Nice outdoor seating and friendly staff.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Casual, Creative Cuisine, Comfort Food
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on July 22, 2017

Can't wait to get back to this restaurant. It has a really interesting menu and wine selection, they offer flights of wine. We usually think of fondue as a winter treat, but hadn't had it in a while we decided to try it, we had the cheddar merlot and it was great, will have again. The entrees were also good a panini and ravioli. The service was great. We ate outside, no ambiance, but nice to be able to be outside anyway on a nice evening.

Tags: Fun, Comfort Food, Great for Lunch, Casual
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food5
ambience3
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on July 14, 2017

I went there for lunch with some friends before the Guilford crafts fair. There were a lot of lunch choices and several wine choices. We ate inside because it had been raining, but I like the outside patio. I like the restaurant for lunch and so did my friends.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on July 13, 2017

Food and service was excellent. Will definitely dine here again.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on July 2, 2017

Second time there. Wine and ambience is nice but the food was very disappointing. One of our seafood casseroles had so little lobster and shrimp that they took it off the bill ... and it still was $100/couple!

Tags: Happy Hour, Seasonal
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food2
ambience4
service4
value2

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on June 28, 2017

Comfortable neighborhood restaurant with an excellent selection of wine including DIY flights.
Menu offerings are excellent and food was very good. Service was exceptional.

Tags: Good for Groups, Worth the Drive, Good Vegetarian Options, Great for Lunch, Casual, Great for Outdoor Dining, Happy Hour
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on June 27, 2017

Always enjoyable. Great wine selection and interesting food.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Cozy, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on May 26, 2017

My husband and I were looking forward to making the 45 minute drive to try the fondue and wine at this restaurant. We have a new baby at home, so going out for the night was supposed to be a real treat. The wine and fondue appetizer we ordered were rather good, but it all went downhill from there. There were multiple flies swarming us by the window. My husband actually killed a few while we waited for our main course. By then the restaurant began filling up, and after our meal was finished, my husband and I were interested in ordering another glass of wine and looked forward to trying the fondue dessert. We waited at least 15 minutes after finishing our meals, but our waitress (Ashley) never returned. The waitress serving the other tables in the small room we were in was back and forth multiple times in the meantime. Eventually we had to ask the hostess to find our server. When she came back to our table, she asked if we wanted to wrap our leftovers, which we did, but never asked if we wanted another drink and was gone before we could tell her. A few minutes later she came back with our containers to go, along with the check, never once asking if we would be interested in seeing the dessert menu. What a shock. Our romantic date night abruptly ended, and we were very disappointed in the poor service. My husband and I ended up at the Durham Dari Serve for dessert that night since we weren't given the chance to try one at the restaurant we had dinner at. We made the best of it, but it's a shame that a terrible waitress put such a damper on a night out that is rare for us.

Tags: Good for a Date
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food4
ambience3
service1
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on May 14, 2017

Went for the first time for Mother's Day. Definitely a great place to go! Food was great, everyone in our party was happy with their meal.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on April 27, 2017

Everything was wonderful except how loud the staffs private conversations were. Food was amazing, wine was delicious, service was great.
I should have asked to move, but that's my own fault.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Sunday Lunch, Notable Wine List, Great for Lunch, Casual, Comfort Food
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience3
service4
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on April 1, 2017

Big Fail. You would expect a wine bar to have good wine knowledge asked for recommendation couldnt give one. Food pedestrian at best and service was terrible.

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food1
ambience2
service1

 
 (New England)·Dined on March 27, 2017

Fun evening with the girls - don't miss wine flights for $10 on Mondays!

Tags: Outstanding Value, Neighborhood Gem, Healthy, Casual, Notable Wine List
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food4
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on March 25, 2017

The service and Food was excellent, ambience was good. The tables were a bit close, but not overly so. I recommend a little work on the lighting for the lights were adjusted too bright, however the waitress did address. Because the restaurant is most popular, the seating gets a little tight for a full house.

Nice place to visit,
Rich B

Tags: Casual, Good for a Date, Authentic
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on March 18, 2017

Absolutely adore this place and wish I had found it sooner. A friend suggested we meet up there and I loved it so much my fiancé and I returned for a date night soon after. Excellent wine selection, cozy atmosphere , friendly service and great dinning menu.Can't wait to go back! I would highly recommend checking this place out.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Groups, Business Meals, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Notable Wine List, Great for Lunch, Sunday Lunch, Casual, Worth the Drive, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Cozy, Comfort Food, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on March 11, 2017

We have been to Ballou's for lunch on a few occasions and we were very happy with the lunch menu and the food was very good. Unfortunately we were not at all impressed with the dinner menu in fact one person in the party sent his meal back. We would probably not go back for dinner but we would for lunch.

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food2
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 25, 2017

The food was amazing. We drove over an hour because I wanted fondue for my birthday and it was well worth it. Only complaint is that the bread for dipping into the fondue had too many spices. The entrees we ordered were amazing and we are 100% returning when the weather gets nicer.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion, Pre/post Theatre, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Creative Cuisine, Cozy, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies, Authentic, Good for a Date, Outstanding Value, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 24, 2017

I took my daughter's and niece here as I had come once before and have been reccomending it every since. So i was thrilled to share the experience with them. Brian was fantastic, overall the food was great, and the wines's superb.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Seasonal, Comfort Food, Good for a Date, Great for Brunch, Casual, Quick Bite, Good for Birthdays, Cozy, Creative Cuisine, Fun, Special Occasion, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 20, 2017

We had a reservation, but our table was not ready. The restaurant is too crowded. It feels like a fire trap in the dark back room, and when I asked if there was another exit, I was told no. What I ordered was a buffalo chicken dish, but it was more like a soup. My stomach was upset afterward. It was expensive for the dish I got and not worth it. I tried my friend's flatbread pizza, but it had no flavor. Although the wait staff were nice, I will not go back here.

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food2
ambience2
service2
value2

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 18, 2017

Amazing! I always love Ballou's for whatever occasion. Whether it's date night or lunch with a friend, it's a go-to for me.

Tags: Cozy, Fun, Good for Anniversaries, Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Good for Groups, Romantic, Special Occasion, Gluten Free Options, Great for Lunch, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 14, 2017

We had a Valentines Day dinner. Despite the reataurant being extremely busy Katlyn, our server, was attentive. She didan outstanding job. Great experience at Ballou's.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 14, 2017

Food was very good. The service,however, was terrible.

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food4
ambience3
service1
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 14, 2017

I've been to Ballou's a few times now and every time is a great experience! They have a large variety of wine, and other cocktails. They even suggest on the menu which wine pairs best with what food, which is very helpful! The menu differs from small plates and appetizers to large entrees. Everything I have ate here has been delicious. Make sure to save room for dessert - chocolate fondue!!
I will definitely be back!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Happy Hour, Fun, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Romantic, Good for Birthdays, Notable Wine List
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food4
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 10, 2017

The service was excellent, the food was outstanding! We were warmly welcomed when we entered, our waitress Mary was very helpful and attentive. Will highly recommend and will be back to try a wine flight! So many dishes we would like to try as well! So glad we took a chance to try this restaurant! Valentine Day special was wonderful!!

Tags: Business Meals, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Great for Lunch, Pre/post Theatre, Sunday Lunch, Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Great for Brunch, Notable Wine List, Great Beer
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 5, 2017

There were six of us for my sister's birthday and everything was excellent with dishes you do not see everywhere like fondue and pasties (meat pies) at reasonable prices. You could spend a lot if you do wine flights, appetizers and desert but you don't have to to get a very nice and absolutely delicious meal. The award winning Lobster bisque did not disappoint, the brussel spouts were not bitter and they put a birthday candle in my sister's cheesecake. We will be back.

Tags: Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre, Healthy, Creative Cuisine, Good Vegetarian Options, Quiet Conversation, Cozy
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 31, 2016

Food was awful. Service wasn't great either.

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food1
ambience2
service2

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 31, 2016

We had never been to Ballou's and it had been recommended by a friend. We are from Durham and wanted to try someplace different for an evening out. The food was excellent; not huge portions which was nice but we were very satisfied. We tried the wine flights, which is a unique way to experience new or favorite wines. Our waiter was excellent and we will definitely return with friends!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Disabled Access, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Outdoor Dining, Late-night Find, Fit for Foodies, Quick Bite, Worth the Drive, Special Occasion, Outstanding Value, Tapas, Great for Lunch, Tasting Menu, Notable Wine List, Cozy, Fun, People Watching, Romantic, Seasonal, Good for a Date, Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on December 19, 2016

Ballou's is one of my favorite restaurants. Love the atmosphere, food and wine selections. Great place to meet friends and enjoy the fondue options.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Creative Cuisine, Great for Lunch, Good Vegetarian Options
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food4
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 8, 2016

Love location, great menu with lots of choices. Love the wine flights. Looking forward to coming back.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Good Vegetarian Options, Notable Wine List, Sunday Lunch, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 3, 2016

It was pretty good. I think we might have been there on an off night or just, picked poorly off the menu. I actually want to go back because I believe other dishes may be better than what I chose that night.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 12, 2016

Service was a bit slow this time around, but it was still great! Never disappoints.

Tags: Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience4
service3
value4

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