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Maine Fish Market - *ugh* - East Windsor, CT

Eiron Feb 22, 2011 07:22 PM

This place was recommended by the hotel staff. Apparently, lots of the airport hotels suggest this place because the waiter made a comment about the number of business travelers they get. I'm traveling alone & I went here for dinner alone.

It was late in the evening, & I really wanted something light. I mentioned this to the waiter & told him I was thinking of the bacon-wrapped scallops & spanikopita, & a glass of wine. (When I picked up the drink list, it was sticky with old spills; this item definitely hadn't been wiped down in at least a week, probably longer.) The waiter was very friendly & talkative. He poo-poo'd my selections & made some definitive recommendations for items that I went along with.

The first of these was a seafood bisque soup. This was very tasty & well-spiced, but it was slopped all over the outside of the soup cup. A nice herb bread was eventually served, but only after I'd finished more than 1/2 my soup.

Then my glass of wine was brought to the table. This was also slopped all over the outside of the glass, to the point where it soaked my placemat & my hands got sticky picking it up. (I ended up soaking my (paper) napkin with my water glass just so that I could get it cleaned off.) The wine had a few small pieces of debris floating on top (I couldn't tell what they were), & came accompanied by a fruit gnat of some kind.

Finally, the meal was served. This was a mildly-cajun-seasoned seafood broil (they call it a casserole) consisting of white fish, scallops & shrimp in a butter sauce, sprinkled with seasoned bread crumbs, & served with a side of mixed veggies & another side of white rice. The fish was okay, but not great. The scallops were soft to the point of being almost mushy. The shrimp were wonderful; almost like mini lobster tails. The sides were a waste of time. The veggies were over-cooked by several days, while the rice was crammed into a cup & "un-molded" onto a plate for presentation. (Do people actually like this sort of presentation?)

The total bill, for one person, was nearly $40. As enthusiastic as the waiter was about his job, I won't be giving them a 2nd try & I can't recommend them.

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Maine Fish Market Restaurant
60 Bridge St, East Windsor, CT 06088

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  1. m
    mallomarmom RE: Eiron Feb 23, 2011 09:59 AM

    That place sounds awful. I don’t know if you are still in town for another dinner, or what your food cravings will be, but it may be worth your while to come into West Hartford Center where there are many restaurant options and wonderful food. It will be worth the extra drive time.

    5 Replies
    1. re: mallomarmom
      Eiron RE: mallomarmom Feb 23, 2011 06:14 PM

      Hey mallomarmom, thanks! Last night I took a little extra drive to go to The Mill On The River (20 min drive from the hotel). It was $10 more for a single meal & glass of wine ($50), but OMG, what a wonderful difference! Tonight I went back to Nat Hayden's Real Pit BBQ (about 10 min from the hotel; was there on my last visit in Sept) & it was almost as good as I remembered. Less than $20 for a pile of great BBQ & 2 beers of your choice (from the Package Store down the street).

      I've got one more dinner here during this trip. I'm taking several of the subcontractor folks out tomorrow as a Thank You to them. I think I've got the place picked, but it could always change at the last minute.

      1. re: Eiron
        m
        mallomarmom RE: Eiron Feb 23, 2011 06:59 PM

        Glad to learn you have had much better experiences. Where are you thinking of going tomorrow night? Bon appetit!

        1. re: mallomarmom
          Eiron RE: mallomarmom Feb 28, 2011 11:09 AM

          I took everybody to The Mill On The River, the same place I went alone Tuesday night. It was excellent again. When I go back on more business, I'll try to find Sarape's in Enfield.

          1. re: Eiron
            n
            Nickmerill RE: Eiron Mar 1, 2011 10:10 AM

            Actually I enjoy the Acapulco Lounge near Big Y in Enfield a little more than Sarapes and it's a bigger restaurant. However, I would be lying if I did not add it's at times hit or miss.

            I always thought Maine Fish Market was over-rated and popular simply because it was the only game around of this type in the surrounding area unless you take a drive in certain directions.

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            Maine Fish Market Restaurant
            60 Bridge St, East Windsor, CT 06088

            1. re: Nickmerill
              Eiron RE: Nickmerill Mar 2, 2011 10:34 AM

              Thanks Nick, I'll keep Acapulco Lounge on the list as well.

    2. t
      thos RE: Eiron Feb 28, 2011 01:12 PM

      Sad to hear about your experience at Maine Seafood. I ate there once and while it wasn't "chowish" and the service not "white glove,'" I felt the food was fresh, tasty and plentiful. They also had some great drink specials (one was a Greek lager beer for &2.29 a bottle!) Wondering now if I should go back.

      And it's funny how people's tastes and perceptions are so different. For me Mill on the River is a wedding banquet place that happens to serve lunch and dinner too. I've never been impressed with any dish there. And have they gotten rid of that old musty odor from cigarette smokers past? The times I went it was like being transported back to the mid seventies. Of course, I haven't been in about 8 years. Anyone else try it recently?

      5 Replies
      1. re: thos
        kattyeyes RE: thos Feb 28, 2011 04:33 PM

        With you on Maine Fish Market--neither "chowish" nor "white glove" but I really loved their fried scallops...and enjoyed them twice in the past couple of years. +1 on fresh, tasty and plentiful, too.

        1. re: kattyeyes
          Eiron RE: kattyeyes Mar 2, 2011 11:07 AM

          Hi kattyeyes, yes, I do wish I'd had ordered my original desire of bacon-wrapped scallops & spanikopita, rather than take the waiter's advice. But, having spent a few years in food service, I recognize that the employees often know best about what to avoid & what to select.

          1. re: Eiron
            kattyeyes RE: Eiron Mar 2, 2011 11:24 AM

            Understand completely. I would have been drawn to your choices, too. Wishing you a tastier trip next time! :)

        2. re: thos
          h
          hotwing RE: thos Mar 1, 2011 02:51 AM

          I have not been to the Mill on the River in years either, but I do know that the restaurant was bought out a couple of years ago by the same owners as Abigail's in Simsbury. Hopefully it is better now.

          1. re: thos
            Eiron RE: thos Mar 2, 2011 11:03 AM

            Hi thos, yes, it's hard to review any place based on a single visit; your one time was good, mine was not. I'm not sure I know what you mean by "chowish"?

            I don't expect "white glove" treatment until I get up into the $60/ea range & higher. (Of course, our food here in CO runs less per patron than there in Windsor, so $60/ea is a bigger jump here.) Obviously, as you spend more, you expect more. When I ate at Nat Hayden's BBQ in Windsor, the meal was less than $20/ea, including store-bought beers. I don't expect as much attention to detail as I would from a $40/meal restaurant. I've also worked in restaurants for the grand total of 6 yrs (woo-hoo!; yeah, I know it's not very much), so I'm familiar with the amount of work it takes to keep a food service business clean. It's a lot of work. But if I EVER slopped a guest's food, EVEN IN A FAST FOOD SHOP, I'd be expected to apologize & replace it with a clean presentation. Keeping the surroundings clean (booths, menus, servings) is simply a matter of good practice.

            I understand what you mean about TMOTR. In fact, the first time I was there, some kind of formal dinner was going on. Everyone was dressed in what looked like - wedding guest attire! And there I was in my Atari t-shirt, jeans, & running shoes... For the $10 difference compared to MFM, it was a very enjoyable, tasty, well-serviced world apart!

            I didn't detect any musty/smoky odor. One of the locals mentioned a restaurant fire there about 9-10 yrs ago.

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