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Old Saybrook & Mystic, CT

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Will be staying in Old Saybrook. It is our first break from the kids so I need great restaurants (Do not have to be $$$$) We plan on visiting Mystic on Sun. otherwise we will be in Old Saybrook. I am a foodie (former chef) and my hubby loves to sit and have cocktails. We are open to anything but would really like to find places that are unique to the area.

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  1. If you mean this Sunday 8/15 in Mystic be prepared for crowds. The art festival is this weekend and can wreak havoc as far as having dinner in Mystic. Take the extra 10 minutes down the road to check out Stonington. There are quite a few options for dinner and drinks that can make for a great Sunday :)

      1. Agree on Cafe Routier (Westbrook) and Elizabeth's (AKA Perfect Parties) in Madison. You must add the Copper Beech Inn, Essex (Their dining room is very good, the Brasserie Pip is excellent); Liv's Oyster Bar and Som Siam East (both in Old Saybrook). A search on this board for Old Saybrook, Westbrook, Old Lyme, Mystic, Stonington, Groton and Noank will turn up many more.

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        Liv's Oyster Bar
        166 Main Street, Old Saybrook, CT 06475

        Brasserie Pip
        46 Main Street, Ivoryton, CT 06442

        Copper Beech Inn
        46 Main Street, Ivoryton, CT 06442

        1. Thank you for the tips, we aren't going until mid-Sept so we will avoid the crowds. I am looking forward to the trip!

          1 Reply
          1. re: momcooks42

            Agree with Routier and Liv's also.

            I like the wine bar at The Griswold Inn in Essex. Also, Abbot's in Noank (near Mystic) is one our favorite summer spots for the classic New England lobster by the water experience.

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            Griswold Inn
            36 Main St, Essex, CT 06426

          2. Up rt 154 in Chester, try Lupo. Nice selection of small plates and interesting drinks. http://luporestaurant.com. We love sitting at the bar, usually an interesting crowd there. A couple of weeks ago we had Morrocean Spiced Garbanzo Fritters(falafel on steriods :) ), a bruschetta with goat cheese, a warm eggplant bruschetta, a scallop gratin dish and a special, salmon with artichoke hearts in a warm lemon vinagrette. The plum crumble for dessert was fabulous, one of the few times I regreted making my husband share dessert. I could have devoured the whole thing myself.

            1. In Westbrook I like Boom (in a marina....ask to sit out on the deck...) and Lenny and Joe's (not fancy, just good fresh seafood). In Chester I would add River Tavern and I would second Cafe Routier and Brasserie Pip. For your day in the Mystic area, I highly recommend Noah's in Stonington Boprough. Enjoy! Let us know where you end up...

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              Brasserie Pip
              46 Main Street, Ivoryton, CT 06442

              River Tavern
              23 Main St, Chester, CT 06412

              2 Replies
              1. re: chowmensch

                I can second the recommendation of River Tavern in Chester. My wife and I had lunch there today and it was a great experience. The food was clearly the highlight. We started with some lovely light corn, chili, and bacon fritters served with a pleasantly spicy tomato aioli. Next she had a wonderful squash soup, which I don't remember the details of because I was enraptured by my eggplant parmesean! This beautiful dish was roasted to order, so it took about 25 minutes to come out. It was an incredible melange of the freshest eggplant, tomatoes, basil, garlic, and parmesean perfectly caramelized around the edges and on top. I took my time eating the whole thing, and my wife dug in too. Wow. We finished the meal off with the date pudding, which was one of those all-time great desserts that is just to die for. The pudding seemed to be comprised of buttered date and banana bread soaked through with something and baked, and served with caramel and whipped cream. Out of this world to the last bite! We didn't order drinks and the bill came to just under $50- very well worth it for this kind of meal. Prior to coming to River Tavern I had read several reviews complaining about the service, and if they get a 7/10 for food (in my system Daniel would be a 9-10), I'd have to rate them a 2/10 for service. The service staff are basically kids from the area, and they don't seem to know much about how to make people feel welcome, and attended to. On the surface they even come off a little cold and indifferent. In a busy NYC bistro you probably wouldn't notice much, but out in the country, and in the pleasant atmosphere of River Tavern, it's off putting. Waits were a little annoying as well. The waiter (Sarah) was slow to take our order, slow to bring our check, and food was slow to emerge from the kitchen (the place was about 1/2 full). Not unforgivable given the quality of the food, but something they need to work on. The fact that a place like this even exists so far from the big city gives them a big pass on the negatives. Finally, at least today, they seem to have a fly problem (one of the busboys said they're working on it). Despite these negatives, the food really is amazing- it's a must go!

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                River Tavern
                23 Main St, Chester, CT 06412

                1. re: powermd

                  THANK YOU, powermd. You totally nailed our service experience last year at River Tavern (or lack thereof). You are the first person who seems to understand and validate why, despite how good the food was, I have been in no real hurry to return; however, I will get over it eventually and try again...cheers and continued happy dining to you.

                  To piggyback on others' recommendations--an enthusiastic thumbs up to Brasserie Pip, The Wine Bar @ The Gris and Liv's Oyster Bar--yes, yes, yes!

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                  Liv's Oyster Bar
                  166 Main Street, Old Saybrook, CT 06475

                  Brasserie Pip
                  46 Main Street, Ivoryton, CT 06442