Cotton Hollow Kitchen

The South Glastonbury Restaurant Serves Up "Upscale Comfort" Cuisine

My family always teases me when I order chicken at a restaurant. 

“You make that at home all the time, get something more exotic!” 

My response is always the same: “I love trying other people’s chicken!”

So I was especially delighted when I stopped in for lunch at Cotton Hollow Kitchen one afternoon and ordered just that. 

Uncomplicated, yet brimming with mellow flavors, served over a bed of smashed potatoes with a demi-glaze of pan drippings, it was one of the best chicken entrees I’d ever had. 

That dish, says Mark Conley, who owns Cotton Hollow Kitchen with his wife, Joanne, is reflective of the restaurant’s culinary aesthetic. 

“I always call it upscale comfort food. There’s something for everyone on our menu and we like to have influences from lots of different areas, Mediterranean, Spanish, Italian, Asian.” 

The carefully curated and focused menus at Cotton Hollow, which include lunch, dinner, freshly made cocktails and gluten-free dining options, allow the eatery’s chef, Niels van Galen, to offer up freshly made meals from locally sourced foods and to change the menus seasonally. 

“Everything he does is about local, whether it’s the land or the sea,” Mark says.  

Mark and  Joanne opened Cotton Hollow Kitchen in the fall of 2019. Mark’s restaurant experience reaches back decades. He was a managing partner at Max Amore in Somerset Square for 25 years and for 12 of those he was also a managing partner of Max Fish. When Max Amore closed in 2019 the owner of the building where Cotton Hollow now sits at 840 Main St., in South Glastonbury, suggested Mark start a restaurant there. 

“Your whole life you dream of being the top dog and opening your own restaurant, so Joanne and I decided we should do it. I said ‘It’s now or never, this is my last hurrah, let me at least give it a shot.’ We opened on Oct. 25th and we were packed for three and a half months. Then, Covid hit.”

The restaurant’s indoor dining closed for more than two months and switched to take-out only when the state shut down. Mark said the takeout business wasn’t enough to keep the business afloat. 

“We spent lots of tough times trying to figure out what to do. I reached out on Facebook and asked for help and people came in and bought gift cards and ordered takeout. Then a guardian angel called and said, ''I want to help by purchasing gift certificates, how much do you need to stay open?"  “I threw out a number and the caller went silent, then came back and said ‘I’d like to buy $15,000 worth of gift cards.’ That was pretty amazing.” 

The generous outpourings of support helped the new restaurant make it through the Covid shutdown. 

“I still get emotional talking about it,” Mark says. “It showed us that South Glastonbury is truly a village and a community of people who care, who want to help and want to see success in our town. So we are forever grateful for all the great fortune we’ve had, the acts of human kindness we’ve received, and the friends we have made.  We now are taking it a day at a time as we continue to try to build on the combination of great food,  hospitality, and atmosphere that we provide. Our goal is to continue delivering experiences and creating memories.  A big shout-out to our team.  We could not do what we do every day without each and every one of our CHK family." 

Nestled in the heart of the South Glastonbury business district, Cotton Hollow Kitchen has built a solid reputation for taking comfort food standards and giving them a fresh and upscale new take.

Some of the samplings from recent lunch and dinner menus included two different tacos (Baja fish and pork belly), a French omelet (featuring Vermont cheddar), Korean fried chicken, salmon, haddock and a house favorite, the Hollow Mac & Cheese. 

And then there are the burgers, a signature dish and one Mark says is a customer favorite.

“It’s our number one seller and it’s so good, people tell me ‘This is the best burger I’ve ever had.’ People are burger crazy!” 

In the bar room, affectionately named Bar Hollow,  craft cocktail master, Mario Wongsosudiro, has developed a menu of fresh drinks that also follow the seasons, Recent summer samplings include drinks such as the Bikini Bottom Mojito, the Watermelon Crush, and a Raspberry Bourbon Smash. 

Cotton Hollow Kitchen, named after the historic Cotton Hollow Mill that once operated in the area, has a full dining room, a large bar, and a beautiful and peaceful outdoor patio area for al fresco dining.

Cotton Hollow also holds special events weekly, including half-priced bottles of wine (any from the restaurant's list) all day Wednesdays, live music in Bar Hollow Thursdays from 6-9 p.m., Sunday Brunch and, of course, Happy Hour daily in Bar Hollow from 3-6 p.m. 

The restaurant opens daily at noon. 

Cotton Hollow Kitchen 

840 Main St., South Glastonbury



On Facebook: @Cottonhollowkitchen

Businesses Featured in this Article

Related Businesses

Nothing Bundt Cakes (Atlanta)


Nothing Bundt Cakes (Atlanta)

Alpharetta, GA

Our Bundt Cakes are handcrafted in every bakery in a variety of delicious flavors and sizes. To top it all off, our bakeries...

Chandlers Prime Steaks and Fine Seafood


Chandlers Prime Steaks and Fine Seafood

Boise, ID

Chandler's is a locally-owned, upscale dinner house specializing in prime steaks and jet-fresh seafood. Enjoy a craft...

Trezo Mare Restaurant & Lounge


Trezo Mare Restaurant & Lounge

Kansas City, MO

Trezo Mare serves all styles of food with an emphasis on Italian cuisine, fresh seafood, and hard wood-fired steaks. Chefs'...

See More

Related Articles

See More