It's home cooking.
It's the use of local products.
It's a down-home atmosphere.
It's a celebrity presenting the menu.
It's a wall of classified ads.
It's Marilyn's restaurant.
Welcome to the little eatery at 401 Merrow Rd. It has been there for a while, but since she took it over last April, Lisa MacClain has added a few touches.
Like the decor - totally Marilyn Monroe. MacClain jokes that the iconic actress is an "obsession" (even after sitting next to Liberace on a plane once) and Marilyn is everywhere - on the wall, near some displays and even doing her best Vanna White impression to point out the menu.
MacClain has a cooking background from Connecticut Culinary Institute and some interesting jobs - liking running the food establishments at the Bradley Teletheater and the huge truck stop in Sturbridge.
And the menu is in high gear and is becoming catchy. For example, a local came in on Thursday morning and needed no menu - she just ordered the walnut-banana French toast.
Another popular breakfast item is the ham and Swiss omelet that comes with a large portion of home fries and toast.
Wraps and paninis include eggplant pesto chicken and a grilled cheese with mozzarella and cheddar.
MacClain says she is using products mostly from north central Connecticut like Bogner's meats, Hosmer Mountain Soda and Kevin's Coffee Roasters.
She has added some healthier touches to the food, like using oatmeal as the roux - or thickening agent - in her chicken soup.
Lisa's daughter, Bryn, is her partner in the endeavor.
There is wi-fi access from the tables and free delivery and takeout. MacClain also serves up family-sized meals that include shepherd's pie, meatloaf, Mexican shepherd's pie, pot pie and five types of mac and cheese - plain, bacon, bacon and apple, buffalo, and "rattlesnake."
Coming soon is a new kids menu, complete with all-natural soft drinks from Avery's like "Swamp Juice."
Also local artist Paige Racicot has been commissioned to do-up the artwork inside the restaurant, including painting an entire wall in flat black to make it a chalkboard for community for sale items and announcements.
The hours are Monday through Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Thursday and Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Marilyn's can be reached at 860-871-2441.