48 Lower Waterford Road, 800-762-8669, www.rabbithillinn.com, $200-$365 with full breakfast and after-noon pastries, three-course prix fixe $53
OLD LYME INN, Old Lyme, Conn. Gone are the dark carpets, stuffy furnishings, and grandma’s house decor; after a yearlong restoration, this freshly-painted, redesigned inn still retains original, historical detail, but is now bright and airy, with gleaming wood floors and colorful local art. Ask for one of the eight rooms that have been redone (five are still being restored), with gas fireplaces and marble baths. There are two dining options: the casual tavern space, where locals hunker up to the bar or snag tables around the fireplace, and a more formal — but still relaxing — dining room. No matter the choice, you’ll see the same menu, featuring simple, traditional dishes with chef Dennis Young’s modern twists. Red snapper spiked with chorizo, calves liver Milanese with creamy, caramelized onion sauce, lamb loin chops with tandoor spices are popular choices, and the Damn Good Shrimp ’n’ Grits lives up to its name.
85 Lyme St., 860-434-2600, www.oldlymeinn.com, $135-$265, entrees $13-$26
Diane Bair and Pamela Wright can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.