Anyone Tried Liv's Oyster Bar Yet? Old Saybrook, CT
SO and I are thinking about checking it out-- any reports?
I was there this past Thursday. Had the oyster sampler for an appy. Six different and they were fantastic. Ice cold and great flavor. Clean briny taste, each with a subtle difference.(although all east coast) Had the pepper encrusted tuna which was properly cooked rare and great flavor. Another hit was the slaw served with the tuna. Shaved fennel with calamata olives....super. My wife had clams with linguine which was exceptional, and a very good fried oyster appy.
Service was very slow due to an extremly inexperienced waitress, and bus staff. Forgot drink orders and we had to ask hostess for bread.
Food great...service fair at best.
oysters are terrific and many choices. Menu is ambitious for a new restaurant. I've been twice and have had a few great dishes, my husband's entrees were fair at best. (I'm reluctant to say what I had because I don't want to taint the place, they may still have to get a few kinks out) The chef is a nice guy and he visited tables and introduced himself. Our area needs more great restaurants and I believe Liv's is a step in the right direction. I applaud the concept. Great place to hit before or after a movie. Service was fair, but it must be difficult to get good help on the shoreline.
I hope they keep improving
Finally made it there--they were quite busy on a Sunday night. The herbed bread and endive salad were good, as was the chowder, which had an unexpected tast of tarragon. Hanger steak came exactly as ordered, and the trout and beets were reportedly delicious, although my wife wouldn't give me a taste but hogged it all to herself. There was no sign of the spotty service mentioned above, the waiter was friendly and helpful.
During the meal we made the discovery that the delightful young lady at the next table was the eponymus Liv herself. Didn't try the oysters, but there was a lineup of eager eaters at the bar, and the variety of the fresh display was impressive. If you can't get a seat, remember that Jack's Bistro two blocks to the south is also good.
I was there a couple weeks ago. The food was good, but I felt the restaurant tried a little too hard to be "cool." Don't serve me my bread in a cone. It was also inconsistent - the calamari appetizer, which was the best my dining companions had ever had - was gigantic, enough to share. My salad appetizer was microscopic, which I don't mind since I like dainty portions, but someone with an appetite would not be happy. A smoked salmon appetizer likewise was miniscule. Main courses were more consistent, overall good, not incredibly expensive.
But.....service was horrendous - inexperienced, unprofessional staff, everything brought out at random, uncoordinated times. Unrelaxing. I want to like the restaurant - we certainly need more decent places to eat - and the quality of the food was good - but it's going to take time for them to straighten out all the kinks. I'll wait.
A group of four of us were there on March 29th and it was fabulous. I recently moved from near Boston (where I was spoiled) and have been starved for restaurants that offer fresh food cooked well. We were all very pleased...the monkfish on a bed of artichoke risotto with putanesca sauce was terrific and the fava and arugula salad was, too. This restaurant is a keeper and we'll bring others there.
We ate there several months ago and really enjoyed the food. The downside was that, as pepolina writes above, there is a definite desire to achieve a level of "cool" and part of that is manifested in the decor - all hard surfaces that make the room very, very noisy....
That being said, we would definitely return if and when we were on the East Shore again.