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Mar 16, 2009 02:35 PM

Mystic restaurant for college tour

Mystic restaurant for college tour
We 2 moms and teen daughters will be in Mystic Monday, April 6th prior to a Conn College visit the next morning. We're looking for a place in Mystic for dinner - good food, casual atmosphere, I'm guessing seafood. Any ideas? Thanks so much.

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    1. I grew up in Mystic and would absolutely recommend The Steak Loft for a great, casual restaurant. It's affordable and comfortable and the food is good (not wonderful, but definitely good!)

      4 Replies
      1. re: lne

        Thank you for these great ideas and for the warning about the Seaman's Inn!

        1. re: lne

          I don't have the same warm fuzzy feeling about the Steak Loft. I think their meat is not especially good, and never cooked the way you order it. They do have a massive salad bar that is good.

          That said, it is better than the Seaman's Inn, where I have never had good food in 25 years.

          I haven't been to Go Fish in a while, but it was always good when I went. It's closer to the Aquarium.

          Or do yourself a favor and head to the next town up the coast and go to the Water Street Cafe in Stonington. Casual but nice and great food.

          1. re: thinks too much

            I recommend Azu in downtown Mystic, Olio just off I-95 in Groton and Noah's in Stonington Bourough.

          2. re: lne

            Steak Loft is, like the rest of JTK managment's restaurants, corporatized theme-parkesque dining. They had the corner on what chains are doing before there were applebees, fridays, etc. everywhere. The food at all of their restaurants is mediocre at best, sometime worse, as you will see in reviews across the web- but then, Ine, there is no accounting for nostalgia or bad taste, I would not suggest it to a traveler- look in Stonington for a great meal. Mystic like Newport has succumbed to Tourist oriented dining, there is little pride or culinary fervor- Sea Swirl, Bravo, some others stand out.

          3. Oh, absolutely Waterstreet Cafe! My parents go for dinner every week and love it. I had my wedding rehearsal dinner there :-) It's casual with good food.

            Also love Go Fish for a slightly fancier dinner.

            2 Replies
            1. re: lne

              I always think AZU has a good atmosphere, about as hip as Mystic gets, lol.

              1. re: lne

                Again, Ine, I would have to disagree- about how you use the word "fancier", perhaps you could replace fancier with pretencious, and discaimer that with "and a less dependable meal";

              2. Since you're from Cali, I'd say to go for a little NE atmosphere by going to Stonington Borough - the Water Street Cafe or the other restaurants on the main drag are nice. Afterwards, go down to the point to see Fishers Island Sound while you huddle in your car to keep warm.

                Westerly also offers some nice choices, but it's 25 minutes away: Up the River and 84 High Street are my preferred places.

                My vote is to stay away from the Steak Loft and other places in Mystic, although I do like Go Fish. Azu? Ecch, pretentious.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Trnrbrnr

                  Noah's or Water Street are great suggestions (Stonington Borough) and I agree that it's a very quaint NE town. Also, I do like the food at Azu and don't find it pretentious. Mystic?...Pretentious? Nah. Nantucket, yes!

                  1. re: ciclista

                    Thanks so much for everyone's advice. Noah's or Water Street sound great but Noah's is closed on Monday's. No website for Water Street but I'll check tomorrow by phone. Thanks a million.

                    1. re: ciclista

                      We ate at Noah's a few weeks ago and it was very good. We went early - around 6, so we didn't need reservations and there was no wait. My husband and I both had the milk broth clam chowder, which was a whole lot of clams and not much chowder - very good, and highly recommended. I was in the mood for either scallops or duck, and ended up going with the scallops, another excellent choice. They were VERY lightly breaded - barely a crust on them, just enough for some crispness, and perfectly cooked. The scallops were sweet and very fresh tasting, probably some of the best I've ever had. They were served with mashed potatoes and green beans. The potatoes were okay, but nothing special. They probably could have used a little flair - some boursin cheese or roasted garlic would have been nice, but the green beans were nice and fresh, and again, perfectly cooked - still green and crispy, but tender.

                      DH ordered the ribeye steak and thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the fresh tomato sauce on top. Normally I am not a fan of raw tomatoes, usually because they are watery, but this had a great flavor - much like the summer tomatoes my grandmother used to grow in her garden. I don't know where they got these tomatoes, but they were excellent. He also enjoyed the polenta on the side - I thought it was bland.

                      For dessert, I ordered the creme brulee and he had the bread pudding. Again, he loved his, and while mine was good, the presentation was lacking. It was just creme brulee in a custard dish and that was that, nothing special. It really could have used just a touch of the fresh whipped cream they were mixing up behind the dessert counter, a spring of mint, and a few of the gorgeous ripe berries also on display in the dessert case. Not a lot, just enough to dress up what was otherwise a very good dessert.

                      Overall, it was a good dinner, but don't be fooled by the website. Not everything they list is available, and since their menu is based on what's fresh at the time, selections might be limited.

                      1. re: jfritz

                        The scallops were probably Stonington Scallops. There is a very neat self serve scallop place in Stonington. They have a special way of freezing them. You can walk up anytime and get VERY fresh and wonderful seafood and pay with a charge, cash or check. There is a camera to be sure you are honest! Great town!!

                    2. re: Trnrbrnr

                      Westerly, 25 mins away? From Mystic?

                      1. re: lexyboo

                        Are there any water view restaurantsa in Westerly anyone would recommend? I was at the beach there yesterday(unfortunatly 61 degrees at the beach and 94 degrees in town) and most of the small beachside places were still closed for the season. I'd never been there before and didn't have a clue where to look. Both casual and more upscale suggestions would be welcome. Thanks.

                    3. Seahorse in Noank - for whole belly clam dinner. Other seafood items were good to. Whenever we're in Mystic we make it a point to go here. This was a few years ago, but they were the best I had in a long time.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: michele cindy

                        Seahorse is very often recommended here and among my friends. I've never gotten it. I've had meals that were fine here, but never amazing; I'll also remark that I have never had bad food there (nor anyone else in my party). It's just a bar/restaurant for people with boats. Is there something I'm missing?

                        1. re: thinks too much

                          That's exactly what's nice about it - it is not pretentious, not gimicky, just decent food, and a nice crowd. Somewhere you'd go if you lived there on a regular night out regularly. Also - there whole belly clams were memorable. I don't get them much where I live, and the ones I've had in Norwalk were not even close the Seahorse's.

                          1. re: thinks too much

                            We just went there for the first time last week. I agree with you, it was okay, nothing great.

                            1. re: Alica

                              I haven't been there in a few years. I'd like to know if someone has had the fried belly clams more recently. I'm hoping they are still as good as I recall. BTW are belly clams seasonal? Thanks!

                              1. re: michele cindy

                                I have to say, my husband had the fried scallops. They were pretty good, the batter was very light, the scallops were tender and sweet. I bet the clams would be good also.

                                1. re: michele cindy

                                  We went last weekend and had great chowder, great fries. good food. It also feels local which most of the in-town places seemed to be running away from being.

                                  1. re: jim14th

                                    Glad to hear it is still good. I like it too because of the "local feel".