Meridian Industrial


2022-07-01 | KEITH O'CONNOR


Looking for a new restaurant to try where the food is excellent, the service is friendly, and the ambiance is second to none? Under new ownership by John Taylor since late 2019, the newly-named Four Seasons by the Lake, adjacent to Sun Valley Beach Club and Campground in Stafford Springs, CT, just might be your answer.

“When John purchased the restaurant, the COVID-19 pandemic was right around the corner and the restaurant was closed for several months. During that time, he remodeled and repainted the entire dining room adding booths, tables, and new decorations, as well as upgrading the stage and its lighting. In fact, when faithful customers returned to the restaurant, they couldn’t believe the difference,” said Alicia Pease, manager, Four Seasons by the Lake.

What adds to the ambiance of eating at Four Seasons by the Lake is that you are in essence “dining out among nature.”

“Whether gazing outdoors from inside the restaurant, or enjoying a meal outside on the patio, the  scenery is breathtaking and relaxing. There is a beautiful gazebo and a babbling brook flowing from the lake where you will find baby geese and their mammas as well as mallard ducks, and you may even spot a bald eagle flying high above. It is nature at its finest,” Pease said.

The name change to Four Seasons by the Lake also reflects the fact that the restaurant is now open yearround and offers a rotating seasonal menu created by Chef Joe Aloisi.

“We change our menu three times a year and at this moment we have our spring and summer menu in place. It offers diners a lighter fare with plenty of fish and chicken selections as well as other items to choose from. In the fall, we add more homestyle foods such as turkey and all the fixings, apple butter salmon, our popular harvest salad, and plenty of root vegetables to accompany our entrees,” Pease said.

“Blackened scallops and seared ahi tuna are customer favorites right now for starters, along with fish and chips and flat iron steak. During the nice weather, diners enjoy sitting out on the patio, ordering a couple of beers along with a nice dinner, all while taking in the beautiful scenery around them,” she added.

Other starters include mussels, bang bang shrimp, bone-in wings, jalapeno tater barrels, shrimp cocktail, loaded potato skins and more.

The current seasonal entrée menu includes three chicken selections - a chicken piccata in a delicious white wine lemon butter sauce, chicken marsala in a rich mushroom, onion marsala sauce, and a smothered grilled chicken breast with prosciutto, fontina cheese served with gemelli pasta. From the sea there is hand battered cod fish and chips, fresh Atlantic cod covered in Ritz crumbs, and fresh teriyaki glazed Norwegian salmon. If it’s red meat you are craving, there is a flat iron steak with chimichurri sauce and shrimp cheddar potato cakes or a marsala NY strip. And if you are a mac and cheese lover, you can have it your way with lobster, bacon, shrimp, or crispy buffalo chicken. All entrees are served with a house salad and rolls.

If you are just stopping in for lunch, there are plenty of sandwiches, or handhelds as they refer to them, to choose from, including a turkey club, French dip, chicken Caesar wrap, Philly cheesesteak, fish tacos, chipotle chicken sandwich, several burgers and more.

Trying to go the healthy route? Why not choose from one of several fresh salads such as a buffalo chicken salad, chicken Caesar salad, cobb salad, Southwest chicken salad, wedge salad, oriental teriyaki chicken salad or a large garden salad to which you can add grilled or blackened salmon or chicken, crispy chicken, or grilled chicken or steak.

There are also seasonal drinks along with all your favorite cocktails from an espresso martini to a Kentucky mule and from a skinny cosmo to a white peach sangria as well as six rotating beers on tap - always a Bud and Blue Moon. Summer seasonal drinks just waiting to take you to faraway places include a refreshing Strawberry Lemongrass Spritzer, an equally refreshing Cucumber Lime Martini, a Sweet Georgia Peach southern delight, and a Pomegranate Mule.

If you still have room after enjoying your delicious meal, the dessert menu offers a sweeter than sweet triple chocolate brownie sundae, a scrumptious peanut butter pie, and a gooey, melty, decadent lava cake. Rotating dessert specials could add key lime pie, lemon merengue pie, or bread pudding to the mix.

Kids are not forgotten and have their own menu to choose from. They can pick their own lunch or dinner including a hot dog, mac and cheese, cheeseburger, pasta marinara, chicken tenders, and grilled cheese along with a beverage.

Many families today enjoy going out for Sunday breakfast together, and Four Seasons by the Lake offers a special breakfast served up from 8-11:30 a.m. The morning breakfast, featuring individual items, not a buffet, includes buttermilk pancakes, Belgian waffles, three egg omelets, eggs benedict, French toast, as well as a variety of breakfast sandwiches and combination plates. Add-on sides include toast, home fries, one pancake, bacon or sausage.

What is a special breakfast without a spicy, salty, savory classic Bloody Mary? And whether it is Sunday breakfast at Four Seasons by the Lake or lunch or dinner time, the bar offers four to choose from - The Original Bloody Mary, The Four Seasons Bloody Mary, and Eddie’s Bloody Mary, all made with Tito’s Vodka. The fourth selection, The Breakfast of Champions Bloody Mary, is only served during Sunday breakfast. It is also made with Tito’s Vodka and their house Bloody Mary mix, then garnished with a slice of French toast, bacon, hard-boiled egg, sausage link, and served with a seasoned salt and pepper rim.

COVID-19 inspired an entirely new way of doing business for restaurants whose customers were cautious of eating indoors during the height of the pandemic. For many establishments, that led to the creation of to-go family meals which continue to be offered by Four Seasons by the Lake. The take-out, family-style meals are offered for pick-up only Sunday through Thursday and serve four people. Priced at $60 or $70 including a garden salad and dinner rolls, the 14 selections include mostly non-menu items such as Cajun chicken alfredo, penne bolognese, chicken parmesan, shrimp Christina, shrimp scampi, stuffed cod, balsamic glazed salmon, stuffed chicken, and others.

While some diners prefer to reserve the weekends for dining out, there are plenty of reasons to head to Four Seasons by the Lake on weekdays for some good fun, food, and drink.

Tuesday through Friday from 3-6 p.m. in the bar area is Happy Hour featuring $6 appetizers such as Philly egg  rolls, chicken quesadilla, jumbo pretzel, potato skins, and Asian pot stickers, as well as $4 house wines, $3 domestic bottled beers and $4 imported bottled beers and $4 Truly seltzers.

Beginning at 4 p.m. on Wednesdays, the Sun Valley Car Show rolls into the upper field adjacent to Four Seasons by the Lake where car lovers will find some classics from yesteryear.

“People will often stop into the restaurant for a bite to eat before heading to the show or do take home afterwards,” Pease said.

If you like a good laugh, Four Seasons by the Lake will offer two Comedy Nights in July, one on Thursday and the other on Saturday. Comedy Craft Beer Tours will bring a headliner to the restaurant on July 14 with tickets priced at $10 that are available at On July 30, Peaches Rodriguez and Friends will perform with tickets priced at $10 available at the door. Check the restaurant’s Facebook page for future dates.

When the weekend begins, live music in the restaurant on Fridays and Saturdays kicks off at 7 or 8 p.m. and at 2 p.m. on Sundays. Check the restaurant’s website for times and performers. Reservations are recommended. Some acts are free, and some nights require a cover charge.

The natural beauty of the lake and its lush surroundings offer the perfect backdrop to hold a wedding, birthday, retirement, sweet 16, or anniversary party, as well as after funeral reception, corporate or other events in the spacious and welllit Hill House. The land surrounding the Hill House features a covered bridge, arbor and gazebo, which are perfect to bring the wedding outdoors to get married among nature. The banquet facility also features a Bridal Suite in the upper balcony, as well as a dance floor for merry making. Smaller events can also be booked in the restaurant. Event planner Kim Galiatsos is available to help with every detail.

Four Seasons by the Lake is located at 51 Old Springfield Road in Stafford Springs, CT. Hours are Tuesday through Thursday from noon to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to 1 a.m., and Sundayfrom 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Closed Mondays.



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