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Rowayton Seafood Restaurant is comfortable shoes

steve h. Feb 27, 2010 03:41 PM

Visited Rowayton Seafood for an early lunch (Saturday) today. A gracious "hello" when we walked in, a lovely table on the enclosed porch and the mood was pleasantly set.

Prosecco for me to start, a white wine for Deb. My half-dozen bluepoints were expertly shucked. I went for the fried (Maryland?) oysters for a followup, the app portion. Deb went for the fried shrimp entree that included wonderful fries and some green stuff on the side. I switched to a Stella draft, Deb stayed the course with her sauvignon blanc.

Penance for this early lunch was under $100. Money well spent.

edited to add: park on the street a block or two before the restaurant. "valet perking" in Rowayton is just goofy.

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  1. jfood RE: steve h. Feb 28, 2010 04:21 AM

    Thanks Steve. The jfoods always forget about this place in the middle of the winter with 14" of snow a recent memory.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jfood
      steve h. RE: jfood Feb 28, 2010 10:45 AM

      Howdy jfood,

      It's always a tossup whether to sit on the sun-drenched porch in the winter or in front of the fireplace (hmm, killer views of the Five Mile River or sitting at a round table in front of a roaring gas fire: decisions, decisions...). The sun was strong on Saturday, the perfect antidote to Friday's snowstorm. The choice was obvious.

      foley, poppy and Scotty are correct in pointing out the wine markups. Still, I'm a fan of the place and know I can walk in, without reservation, in my foul weather gear and be treated like an old friend. The bar is different from the dining room which is different from the porch. Pick your spot depending upon your mood. It's all good and it's all pricey. That's Rowayton for you.

    2. foleyd7 RE: steve h. Feb 28, 2010 07:28 AM

      I have been wanting to try this restaurant for a while but when I viewed them online I was totally put off by their wine prices. I actually sent them an email about a year ago expressing my concern and asking them about their pricing policy... it went unanswered of course.
      Sonoma Curtrer Russian River $65 (retail $21)
      Mondavi Fume Blanc $48 (retail $14)
      David Bruce Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir $90 (retail $29)

      I listed these few commonly found wines as examples of the pricing markup exhibited throughout the entire list. This may actually be the worst wine pricing I have ever seen at a restaurant. I indicated in my email to them that I would love to be a patron of their restaurant but that I always incorporate wine into my dining experience and I could not justify a visit based on their pricing.
      They have been successfull for some time now so my personal protest obviously isn't hurting their business.... but I just can't support that awful mark up.

      6 Replies
      1. re: foleyd7
        poppy RE: foleyd7 Feb 28, 2010 08:30 AM

        good for you foleyd7 as this is one of my pet peeves as well. while i've only been to rowayton seafood for lunch and hence no vino, i respect your position. luca's in wilton is another prime offender in this category and therefore i won't set foot in the place.

        1. re: poppy
          Scotty100 RE: poppy Feb 28, 2010 09:40 AM

          +1...those wines are all very average and that mark-up on the David Bruce is daylight robbery. Do they serve it to you wearing masks?

          1. re: Scotty100
            poppy RE: Scotty100 Feb 28, 2010 11:19 AM

            as scotty points out, the wines mentioned were popular brands. if one were to peruse the imported wines most likely some value could be found. most restaurants count on customers having limited wine knowledge and turning immediately to the calif wine section and looking for a familiar brand, whereupon the knife goes right between the old shoulderblades.

            1. re: poppy
              MasterofLightChick RE: poppy Feb 28, 2010 12:38 PM

              Agree with you all on the wine. Coming from California I got spoiled on having fantastic wine selections on the menu where you would be happy to try them at any price. But here it's the norm to have Stew Leonard's top value selections (which are good at home) on restaurant menus as something fantastic. Whatever! Sadly, I suck it up when I'm dining out here. But, it's so weird. This is Fairifeld County, supposedly one of the wealthiest communities in the country, where one would think you could get awesome wines when out and about but it's just not the case. Typical restaurant conversation here. Q. "What wine do you offer by the glass?" A. "Red and white" aarghhhh... Seriously, it happened to me in Greenwich yesterday on Le Avenue!

              1. re: MasterofLightChick
                poppy RE: MasterofLightChick Feb 28, 2010 01:44 PM

                i can't use stew leonard's and wine in the same sentence. stew is trying to get by with purchasing bulk wine and re-labeling it with a made up name. woe to the stew employee who dares not to push this swill as they are shown the door very quickly. the consumer is catching on though and rumor has it stew is beginning to feel the pain.

        2. re: foleyd7
          jfood RE: foleyd7 Feb 28, 2010 04:28 PM

          As a non-drinker, these data points do not come into the equation.

        3. s
          stevel RE: steve h. Feb 28, 2010 04:00 PM

          One thing I always liked was they had a very good 1/2 bottle selection.

          1. steve h. RE: steve h. Feb 28, 2010 04:26 PM

            You've never eaten at Rowayton Seafood?
            The food's pretty good.
            ...just curious.

            4 Replies
            1. re: steve h.
              foleyd7 RE: steve h. Mar 1, 2010 11:33 AM

              No... never been. I just can't get myself to support those wine prices.
              When I eat out it isn't about food only - - - it's about the entire dining experience which (for me) always includes wine paired with the meal.
              To me, the wine program (selection and price) is equally as important as the food program.

              1. re: foleyd7
                LW1 RE: foleyd7 Mar 1, 2010 11:52 AM

                i have not been in about 4 mos or so, but last time i was there, they had wine specials certain days. it might be worth a visit to u if they discount bottles 25 or 50%.

                1. re: foleyd7
                  stevel RE: foleyd7 Mar 3, 2010 07:05 AM

                  Thats why I only eat where I can BYO wine!

                  1. re: stevel
                    foleyd7 RE: stevel Mar 3, 2010 11:15 AM

                    A lot of places charge a huge ($20+) corkage fee for bringing your own. Do you go to good places with corkage fees below $20? (or even no corkage fee?)

              2. steve h. RE: steve h. Feb 28, 2010 04:34 PM

                what did you eat? since you don't drink wine maybe you can speak about the overall pluses and minuses of the little restaurant.

                1 Reply
                1. re: steve h.
                  poppy RE: steve h. Mar 1, 2010 12:25 PM

                  steve i do drink but just not at lunch which represents the only times i've been to rs. i generally have fried clams or oysters and i'm usually happy enough. if clean oil is not used then i'm disappointed but i have not found that to be the case at rs. i would however, love to find a place in fairfield county where the fried clams or oysters are big and fat and lightly fried. just can't seem to find that type of spot and therefore have to keep my cravings in check until i get to pj's in wellfleet.

                2. steve h. RE: steve h. Feb 28, 2010 04:40 PM

                  You haven't eaten there either?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: steve h.
                    Scotty100 RE: steve h. Mar 1, 2010 05:17 AM

                    Nope never been - but would like to try it. I'll stick with the stella...

                  2. steve h. RE: steve h. Feb 28, 2010 04:43 PM

                    You live here and haven't been there?
                    Trust me, there's lots to knock about Rowayton Seafood but you have to try it a few times to be credible.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: steve h.
                      MasterofLightChick RE: steve h. Mar 1, 2010 04:54 AM

                      Oh, I've been to Rowayton Seafood several times. It's nice but I don't ever run there craving anything. Oh, and whoever wasn't excited about having valet parking in Rowayton - I loooooveee that about the restaurant - having lived in L.A. where you could valet at the gym. :-)

                      1. re: MasterofLightChick
                        steve h. RE: MasterofLightChick Mar 1, 2010 01:24 PM

                        I'm a big fan of Los Angeles. Valet service at a pizza joint we go to there still makes me laugh out loud.

                        1. re: steve h.
                          MasterofLightChick RE: steve h. Mar 2, 2010 03:28 PM

                          love it! :-)

                    2. steve h. RE: steve h. Feb 28, 2010 05:09 PM

                      Let me be clear.
                      Rowayton Seafood is very comfortable to me. I can sit at the bar for lunch, borrow a copy of the NY Post, grab a beer and mind my own business secure in the knowledge that I'm surrounded by other sweaty folk who were working on their boat/somebody else's boat. It's a blue collar bar.
                      The dining room is swell but it's for rooks, with the exception of the tables near the staircase and close to the gas-fired fireplace.
                      The porch is the favorite of swells. It's also the favorite of local folk with babies who know they can pop in for a decent meal and staff will make the meal more than special.
                      At the end of the day, Rowayton Seafood is many things to many people. I like it.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: steve h.
                        jfood RE: steve h. Mar 1, 2010 02:48 AM

                        jfood agrees. Although there was one adventure when the next table over was seated as the jfoods' apps arrived. They were friends of the server and the service at table jfood fell off the cliff. Hopefully her friends' tip made up for jfood's. The next time was back to normal and the restaurant went back on the A-List.


                        1. re: steve h.
                          LW1 RE: steve h. Mar 1, 2010 04:45 AM

                          the food has always been pretty good, but has improved over the last year and a half. if you are offended by the wine prices, just have a guiness. either way, we've always enjoyed going for nice occassions with family visiting from out of town or just bringing in the kids.

                          1. re: LW1
                            steve h. RE: LW1 Mar 1, 2010 01:54 PM

                            Comfortable shoes...

                        2. m
                          MommaJ RE: steve h. Mar 2, 2010 10:07 PM

                          $50 per person for lunch? That's more like Lesboutins.

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