Stamford: Kona Grill or Mitchells Fish Market
We are spending one night in Stamford at the Holiday Inn Downtown and would like a nice but not astronomically expensive dinner. We have dietary restrictions in that we eat fin fish or vegetarian but not meat or shellfish. I think we would probably prefer fish to pasta and it seems that our hotel is in fairly close proximity to Stamford Town Center. Given our preferences and restrictions I have narrowed down our choices to Kona Grill and Mitchells Fish Market but would consider somewhere else. We will have a car but I don't want to travel too far.
Which of the two would you recommend? Another recommendation that meets our needs?
230 Tresser Blvd., Stamford, CT 06901
These are both chain restaurants. Kona is more informal, and if the weather is nice there will be a large bar crowd outside. If there are children in your group, it would have the more suitable menu of the two. My D likes their sushi, and I can always find something decent to eat there. Mitchells does a nice job cooking a large variety of fish, but it's expensive. If you are adventurous, I suggest you try Navaratna, a vegetarian Indian restaurant that is also downtown (certified Kosher, if that's relevant):
I recommend Micthell's over Kona Grill. I have eaten at Kona twice, and both times the foods were heavy on the salt and starch. The service was slow or indifferent, and the place is very loud inside.
Mitchell's is more expensive, yes, but it's much better - the fish is well prepared and fresh. You can get simple preparations or more complex dishes. The whole atmosphere is cleaner and more professional.
230 Tresser Blvd., Stamford, CT 06901
Not to answer a different question, but... do you enjoy Indian? There are many vegetarian and pescatarian options at the Indian restaurants downtown, including the one mentioned above (which I haven't tried), Tawa on Summer (which I love), and Coromandel (whose outpost in Darien I really enjoy; I haven't tried the Stamford location lately).
If you fancy Italian / pasta, I'd recommend Columbus Park or Sienna, although I can't verify that either has vegetarian options. I believe Columbus Park would be the less expensive option of these two.
I'd just love for you to try some of our locally owned restaurants rather than the chains! There are plenty of local chowhounds, so please keep the questions coming if you're not satisfied with the options you're currently considering.
p.s. I haven't tried Kona but I've had Mitchell's. It was just ok.
25 Old Kings Hwy N Ste 11, Darien, CT 06820
211 Summer Street, Stamford, CT 06901
The best fish in town are at some of the fine Italian restaurants close to the Hilton. In addition to Columbus Park and Sienna mentioned (CP gets my vote), there is Emme and Aria. And yes we encourage everyone to support our great locally owned establishments. I avoid The Town Center's chain restaurants and stores and consider them a blight to downtown Stamford (incidentally, the fortdress stands as the only interuption of Highway 1 from New York to Boston.)
I want to thank everyone for their advice and apologize for the delay in reporting back.
In the end we decided that we really did not want to get back in the car and drive somewhere when we were a two block walk from the mall. We ate at Mitchell's Fish Market and were pleased with our meal. I had the Shang Hai style tuna and my wife had grilled tilapia. We thought the portions were generous, the fish fresh and high quality, and the prices reasonable. We visit Jasper White's Summer Shack in Mohegan Sun pretty often (I know that opinions here are mixed but we like it) and the prices are about the same although the vibe is different.
Although service was very good we were seated in the bar and did not even really see the rest of the restaurant. I suspect that may have been because we were dressed so casually and a lot of the folks seemed to have come directly from work and were wearing suits.
We don't live very close by and I can't see us making a special effort to go back, but we thought the place was pretty good and we were quite satisfied with our meal.
Mitchell's Fish Market
230 Tresser Blvd Ste H02, Stamford, CT 06901