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New to City Island

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Have heard about City Island for years, but have never been. Looking for a recomendation for dinner tonight - seafood of course. Any great insights?

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  1. I have only been to one restaurant but have done a lot of research. Hate to be a party pooper, because I love City Island, but most people seem to agree that most of the restaurants are not good and are too expensive. THe one I went to, I think it's the first one on the right as you enter the main drag, something like seaside, or ocean view, sorry, not a good description. But not good. Mushy bluefish (was supposed to be broiled but had mushy breadcrumbs on top, thin piece of fish, but that said, the quality of the fish was good), and the salad was pathetic, I remember it had tiny canned-seeming shrimp in it, and iceberg, and maybe canned mandarin oranges? I may have that wrong, but you get the idea. Service was not gracious, let's leave it at that. I have heard the first Lobster place on the island (NOT lobster box) is ok, but have heard mixed reviews from friends). Again, you will dish out a fair amount of money for something not really good. Another approach is to go to Johnny's Reef on the far end of the island (I think it's Johnny's) for fried seafood, cheap beer and an outdoor setting with lots of seagulls to throw french fries at. It's suppposed to be a fun place. I hope someone else has some more positive feedback! I would love to hear it if so. In any case have fun, it is a really great place, I love to just walk around and check out the houses etc.

    1. ^ hehe. we just had our work party at that place last month. very nice, and even tho we had event food i concur it was mediocre food. not bad but not good either.

      JOHNNYS REEF is prob you best bet and certainly less expensive. it's a fun place to hang out and have some fried clams and like that. stick with simple stuff as you said.

      since the op has not been to city island i will say this, there is one long main drag and not much to it. go with plans to spend more time at the zoo, orchard beach or arthur ave.

      1. Also, on an August weekend evening, the traffic down that one (and only) street will be horrendous (either by car or bus). And Johnny's is at the very end. Parking will be a struggle, too, even though Johnny's has a lot. City Island is the Seafood analog to Manhattan's Little Italy. All tourist atmosphere, but the food is expensive and mediocre at best.

        Go midweek, spring or fall, and eat at Johnny's.

        1. If only Johnny's served real fried clams, instead of strips. Or has that changed?

          1 Reply
          1. re: meatme

            No, it's still strips. Go for the scallops, calimari or the fish and chips.

          2. I'd love to like Johnny's, as i think it's a very fun place, but I hafta say I've tried it twice and I think the food is disgusting. First off the seafood is all frozen, so what's the point of being in a seaside seafood bar? And both times the oil was a bit rancid on the fry- I'll pass. unfortunately, I've go nothing constructive to say about City Island- especially since the record store closed.

            RTFF

            1 Reply
            1. re: rootytootyfreshnfrooty

              I hear what you are saying...but you better hope you are not eating fish that has been too locally caught...you do NOT want to do that. Those waters are way too polluted. This is what the locals told me and it stands to reason. I prefer to go to City Island just to walk around and look at the houses and the old cemetary on the water. I like the atmosphere. And all the tourists are in the restaurants, not on the street.