Graduation weekend at Yale, 2005. Friends of the family wanted to come to town and take us out for a "nice dinner" to celebrate our recent wedding and move into our first house. But all the usual fancier places were already overbooked by graduates and their families. Someone suggested the tuna was good at Christopher Martin's, so I gave them a call.
Not only were we able to get a reservation, it turned out to be one of the few places in New Haven that wasn't annoyingly overpopulated. It was, miraculously, exactly what you want in a better restaurant, regardless of the weekend's circumstance.
The menu is basic (pasta, fish, steak), but with exciting twists and tasty tweaks. I recommend the salad with locally made blue cheese as a starter, and the tuna is as good as I've had - great fish, expertly prepared. The service was similarly pleasant - reliable, friendly, and met our every need.
Note - make sure you hit the restaurant, not the pub. The pub has its own charm (and food), but isn't a particularly upscale evening.