Niantic restaurant La Belle Aurore adapts to pandemic times with trendy Date Night Kits

Connecticut

NIANTIC, Conn. (WTNH) — On Thursday, we’ll know more about Governor Lamont’s easing of restrictions that were brought on by the pandemic.

Increased capacity at restaurants is likely one rollback. Great news for most, but not necessarily for La Belle Aurore, the Niantic restaurant. La Belle Aurore is small and has no outside dining. What they do have is an owner who has found creative ways to stay pandemic-friendly.

“In one way, it was to garner more business certainly,” Dawn Bruckner said, “but also to do something special for our customers who have been so loyal throughout the whole thing.”

What Bruckner has done is to come up with a creative option. She calls it “Date Night Kits.” These take-home options have a theme and destination in mind – it’s a three-course meal catered to that theme.

“Travel is very important to our family. So, we thought no one can travel, let’s travel through food,” she said. “Let’s do the different cuisines of different regions, different countries, different cities. And in keeping with our farm to table, this was fall so we did more of your fall flavors like Tuscany.”

A couple can usually get a different entrée. Plus, a lot of the kits include a breakfast for the next day.

“And we’re also doing holidays as well. So, we’re doing Easter, we’re doing St. Patrick’s Day, we did a Mardi Gras. Anything to make things a little more special,” Bruckner said.

We asked what the St. Patrick’s Day Kit will consist of and she responded, “So we’re doing colcannon.. and people get their choice. There’s shepherd’s pie, we have a Galway based stew, and then we have a vegetarian option. We always have a vegetarian option. And then we’ll do a Guinness Ice Cream, a Bailey’s cupcake.”

Bruckner went on to say that a lot of the kits, and St. Patrick’s Day is one of them, includes a next day breakfast. The cost? $100.

“I’ve got loyal customers,” Bruckner said. “I wouldn’t be here without them.”

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