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Casual dinner (with a child) between New Haven and Essex?

We'll be heading from New Haven on 95 and to Essex for the steam train ride on 11/28. The train is at 7pm. So we'd like to have an early dinner enroute. It will be my mom and myself and we'll have one 4 yo with us.

Mom and I especially love seafood but we'll eat anything except Thai or Indian.

I thought about the Chowder Pot since it's very casual...is that any good? I haven't been there in, oh, 15 years. LOL

Any alternate suggestions?

Thanks! :`)

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  1. Lenny and Joe's in Westbrook would probably be a good choice.
    Good seafood, no issues with accomodating a four year old.

    1. I could not recommend the Chowder Pot, but do agree with mensch about Lenny and Joe's ThoughI personally prefer the Madison location, very kid friendly, not sure if it still operates this time of the year but there is a carousel there

      1. Check out my two page map of places. Be sure and look at both pages. http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?oe=UTF...
        Many seafood places: they are in light blue. There are many that are easy off and on from I-95. Open them up and read the blurbs. All are Chowhound recommended.

        1. I would not recommend Chowder Pot with a 4yo aboard, it is very noisy with a rambunctious bar crowd.

          Near Essex, you might consider Gabrielles in Centerbrook for a formal sit down dinner. They usually have 2 or 3 seafood dishes like salmon, scallops or fish and chips. For a less formal meal, try Lenny&Joes FishTail in Westbrook, (Westbrook Lobster is also nearby) or Johnny Ad's in Old Saybrook. Al Forno in OS is a family Italian type place. The Griswold Inn (Essex) is inconsistent in food but has an impressive dining room with lots of nautical pictures the child might find interesting.

          An as long as you are in Essex, you might also visit the River Museum just down the road from the Griz. It has a holiday model train exhibit starting Nov. 20.

          1. The Fish Tale, as several have already suggested, would be a great bet. However, I'd go with the original location in Madison. It's more child friendly, even if it is too cold for the merry go round. When I was four years old, I would beg my parents to take me to the Fish Tale anytime we were in Madison. I'd check out the menus for both locations though, in case there is something on the Westbrook menu you'd rather have. Also, the Madison location is BYO and Westbrook serves alcohol.
            http://ljfishtale.com/

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            Fish Tale Restaurant
            1301 Boston Post Rd, Madison, CT 06443