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Is there a decent restaurant on the CT shore?

I'm seriously asking.... have been to some wonderful smaller places, but when it comes to sit-down service I feel like the options are terrible.

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  1. the CT shore is the entire West to East southern border of the state.
    There are many decent restaurants in Cities such as Greenwich, Stamford, Norwalk, New Haven, New London, etc., as well as in smaller locales such as Milford, Branford, Guilford, etc.

    I think you need to narrow down your complaint/question to specificic communities in prder to get a proper response.

    11 Replies
    1. re: bagelman01

      OK, fair enough. Let's narrow it down to the shore towns between New Haven and New London. Based on my experience, sitting down for a nice seafood meal anywhere in Guilford, Madison, Branford, Old Saybrook, etc is a miserable time. Frozen junk barely microwaved for $25. Can this really be true all along the shoreline? I mean, I'm sure Greenwich has some nice restaurants, and I know this area is on the sound and not the ocean, but man have I had some bad meals over the last couple summers.

      1. re: chorosch

        There are many fine restaurants along the shore.
        Guess chorosch has never eaten at the following great restaurants between New Haven and New London:

        Cafe Rouiter, Liv's, Gabrielles, Bea and Thistle, Pips, Foe, Le Petit Cafe, or Quattro.

        -----
        Le Petit Cafe
        225 Montowese St Ste 7, Branford, CT 06405

        1. re: jdgall

          You are right... I have never been to any of those places. This is why I am asking. Pretty much every town I have visited, I've asked locals for a quality places, and I always get sent to some lousy seafood joint that charges NYC prices for microwaved food. I need to find REAL restaurants, not just tourist traps!

          1. re: jdgall

            Methinks you have been brainwashed by seafood restaurants in the SW corner of the state. There are plenty in the New (Haven-to-London) area which are excellent (and much easier on the wallet). You can't go wrong with any of jdgall's choices ( I have not been to Foe, but we see eye to eye on other things so if he recommends it, it must be good). Just thought I should mention that in case you were looking for these on the web the correct spellings are: Cafe Routier, Bee and Thistle Inn, and Brasserie Pip.

            -----
            Brasserie Pip
            46 Main Street, Ivoryton, CT 06442

            Bee and Thistle Inn
            100 Lyme St, Old Lyme, CT 06371

            1. re: DonShirer

              I would stay away from Brasserie Pip for the time being - we went in late summer and it was a terrible disappointment - they are using contracted chef help from a national food service and it shows

              I loved that place - and hope they get a fire lit and get a real chef there again

              1. re: few

                Pip now has Noel Jones as part owner and head chef, and word of mouth has been good so far.

                1. re: DonShirer

                  Noel Jones is leaving Brasserie Pip in a couple of weeks to become a private chef.
                  http://articles.courant.com/2013-01-2...

          2. re: chorosch

            Tough one...youre right. So if I understand correctly youre looking for a more upscale experience, and good quality vs a fried seafood shack or a Rusty Scupper *shudder* am I right? Do you want waterviews or just shoreline area?

            1. re: lovesublime

              Well, it doesn't have to be upscale necessarily... just something that isn't a lobster roll joint with picnic tables (of which I have found several great ones!) and isn't a rip-off fried seafood place. Had dinner at Dock and Dine in Old Saybrook last night on the recommendation of a local resident, and it was honestly one of the worst meals I have had in a long time. I had the same experience last summer at a couple of restaurants in Guilford. I don't need a shore view, just a real restaurant that isn't going to serve me microwaved broccoli next to frozen cod for $25.

              1. re: chorosch

                ugh I know exactly what you mean..Ive pretty much given up. I go to Black Duck in Westport which has good steamers, lobster rolls, OK stuffed clams, soft shell crab, and fresh whole belly fried clams, but mainly because its convenient for me and not what you described. It wont blow you away but its good considering other options in the area.

                -----
                Black Duck Cafe
                605 Riverside Ave, Westport, CT 06880

                1. re: lovesublime

                  While I do like the Black Duck for burgers, I don't think the bar-like atmosphere will sway the OP into thinking it's a good shoreline restaurant.

                  -----
                  Black Duck Cafe
                  605 Riverside Ave, Westport, CT 06880

        2. My mother in law told me about this place last night. I havent been here. But she said it was great and a refreshing change from the usual junk seafood places. Its in Stratford CT which is south of new Haven, but consider it. Also check out the YELP ratings. http://knappslanding.com/

          3 Replies
          1. re: lovesublime

            have only been for lunch once but based on the sub-par lobster roll, hav had no desire to return

            1. re: lovesublime

              Mediocre...mediocre....mediocre
              Had one of the worst crab cakes ever there...
              IMO, another restaurant whose view is far better than the food.

              1. re: lovesublime

                Knapps Landing is really not a dining experience - great view, bar is OK - grab a burgerr but that's pretty much it. The outdoor seating, while exposing a great view is really not well done or inviting -

              2. grewenwich- L'escale - overpriced and a bit snooty- but you wont have a "bad" meal there

                -----
                L'escale
                500 Steamboat Rd., Greenwich, CT 06830

                1. To jdgall's list I'd add http://www.thesuburbanrestaurant.com/ and Bar Bouchon in Madison

                  -----
                  Bar Bouchon
                  8 Scotland Ave., Madison, CT 06443

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: brookerme

                    And I would add Assaggio in Branford — not in the same class with, say, Cafe Routier or Le Petit Cafe, but certainly providing a very nice meal with none of the problems the OP claims to find everywhere s/he gohere Or maybe the Stone House in Guilford, though this is somewhat uneven. There are also more specialized places, like Yooki Yama in Branford for very good sushi/sashimi and the state's best cold sake list…
                    I found the original post rather strange. Is the OP only interested in seafood? If so, there are still good sit-down meals to be had at, say, Lenny's Indian Head in Branford, or, if the atmosphere there is too funky for you, across the road at Blue Cottage. There's no branch of McCormick & Schmick's around here (hey, if it's good enough for Dominique Strauss-Kahn, it's good enough for you! :-), but there's no lack of good seafood you don't have to eat at a picnic table. And if, as the post says, you're just looking for a good meal in a nice restaurant, the range of choices actually available (none of which you say you've actually tried before insulting the whole region!) should keep you at least modestly happy for quite a while.

                    -----
                    Le Petit Cafe
                    225 Montowese St Ste 7, Branford, CT 06405

                    Assaggio's Restaurant
                    168 Montowese St, Branford, CT 06405

                    1. re: linguist

                      I agree, confused as to what the OP is actually looking for. Tons of great restaurants in FFLD County...but are they only looking for water views? Seafood?

                      1. re: sibeats

                        No need to be confused. In the OP's reply to my statement that the shore is the entire southern border of the state, the OP narrowed it to New Haven to New London.

                        That means New Haven, Middlesex and New London counties only

                      2. re: linguist

                        OK, hey...I'm not trying to insult the whole region. I had a bunch of lousy meals in a row at places that were recommended to me as top quality (including the Stone House in Guilford, which was incredibly disappointing.)

                        I'm not only interested in seafood, or water views, but since I spend a considerable amount of time each summer in what is basically the middle of the state shoreline (as I posted above, roughly between NH and NL,) I'm trying to figure out where the good restaurants are. I'm kind of done with asking for local recommendations, because they inevitably send me to the nearest "big name" restaurant, which is always some version of an amateur chef preparing barely warmed over frozen food, near the marina.

                        I want to know where the chowhounds eat. I have already taken notes on the postings above. I'm sorry if my original post came across as snooty or something, but I was really pissed off having spent $100 on another terrible meal with bad service. I know there have to be better places than the ones I am pointed to.

                        I like to do lunch casually, and I have sought out and found some great places. I am not too precious for picnic tables or fried food.... in fact, I love that stuff. But when it turns to evening, I want a nice, refined restaurant that has servers who know what they are doing and a chef who actually cooks.

                        Please don't read this as insulting. I'm not that guy. Maybe I'm irritated but my intention is not to be negative about the region.

                        1. re: chorosch

                          Out of curiosity, could you identify some of the places where you have been disappointed? Your description of "an amateur chef preparing barely warmed over frozen food near the marina" doesn't fit any place I know of around here, but maybe I've just been lucky.
                          I agree the Stone House can be disappointing (it can also be pretty good, but life is short). Every restaurant can disappoint sometimes, though, and most of the places people have listed above, and more, are pretty reliably "decent restaurants." Branford alone offers at least half a dozen excellent possibilities within a couple of hundred meters of the town green: Le Petit Cafe, Foe, Assaggio, Yooki Yama, Darbar India, The Suburban, plus a couple of lesser choices. Guilford is much less favored - if you don't like the Stone House, there's Quattro (never a favorite of mine, but still better than your description). One consistent disappointment is the current inhabitant of the green's best property, Whitfield's. In Madison, Cafe Allegre is to be avoided, but Bar Bouchon is fine (if you can get in). And so on for Clinton (Taste of China is one of the few serious Chinese restaurants in the area), Westbrook (Cafe Routier is consistently excellent), and Old Saybrook (Liv's, among others). For what you say you want, in my opinion, it's easier to be satisfied than to go seriously wrong, which is what makes your post so puzzling. And I really would like to know more about where you've been so disappointed.

                          -----
                          Le Petit Cafe
                          225 Montowese St Ste 7, Branford, CT 06405

                          Assaggio's Restaurant
                          168 Montowese St, Branford, CT 06405

                          Darbar India
                          1070 Main St, Branford, CT 06405

                          Cafe Allegre
                          725 Boston Post Rd, Madison, CT 06443

                          Bar Bouchon
                          8 Scotland Ave., Madison, CT 06443

                          1. re: linguist

                            Well, the last few places I can think of that were majorly disappointing were Stone House (Guilford,) Allegre (Madison,) Chowder Pot (Branford,) and Dock and Dine (Old Saybrook.)

                            Places I have really liked have been more casual... The Place (Guilford,) pizza at Stony Creek Market (Branford,) Captain Scott's (New London,) and I guess Lenny & Joe's falls kind of in the middle for me.

                            So you can see a pattern here... it's not that I am impossible to please or need super high end treatment, I think I just haven't found good suggestions for an evening restaurant with proper service. All of the feedback so far has been great, and I will look into those places.

                            I am going to redirect this post in a more positive way, as I will be back up in the Branford/Guilford/Madison area in about 3 weeks. My new post will be more specific and not negative.

                            -----
                            Lenny & Joe's
                            Westbrook, CT, Westbrook, CT

                            Stony Creek Market
                            178 Thimble Island Rd, Branford, CT 06405

                            1. re: chorosch

                              Just came across this thread and upon reading the places you have dined at, I understand your frustration. I've eaten at all of them except Allegre and agree with your assesments. We've spent a lot of time in the area over the years and eaten at a lot of places and IMO the concentration of better restaurants is higher in Branford than the other towns on the Shoreline. I will echo prior posts and say Foe is great for contemporary American and the space is quite nice since they moved a few years back into a larger place. Petite Cafe is great for the splurge on French though I do wish they would change the menu more often. Pasta Cosi has pretty good italian but can get loud if they have live music but you may enjoy that. The ethnic choices are pretty good too. Yooki Yama is very good quality sushi, Darbar is Indian and Siam Orchids for Thai is awesome. There is even a new korean place Yamadora in East Haven by the Stop & Shop. These places are actually better than the typical "ethnic" places in NYC. I have not been to Suburban yet but have been meaning to try it. Maybe this weekend. There is a prety good variety of dining options available where the chefs are professional and the wait staff accomodating. You've just had some bad luck. Keep exploring and good eats to ya!

                              -----
                              Pasta Cosi
                              1018 Main St, Branford, CT 06405

                    2. If you are interested in Stamford, Paradise Grill has great food & ambiance w/indoor & outdoor dining right on the water . The seafood is wonderful as well as the other menu items. Make a resv. & check it out!

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: temilove

                        the OP has stated that OP is interested in between Nedw Haven and New London, you're suggesting something at least an hour west of the target area.

                        1. re: bagelman01

                          I also really like Cafe Routier (though it has been discusse on CH many times that the bar is better than the dining room.)
                          Liv's and Gabrielles are always consistent, I prefer the starters to the main dishes.
                          Brasserie Pip has excellent food, if you can get past the attitude, which I cannot.
                          One of my favorites is River Tavern in Chester (I know some CHounds don't like it as much as I do) for locally sourced, very good food. It's not spectacular fine dining, but consistently good. Also, great seasonal drinks with fresh juices, no mixes.
                          Taste of China in Clinton has real Chinese food, some American stuff, but mostly authentic.

                          There are plenty of horrible places on the shore, touristy places that locals recommend because they are so used to them they don't notice or they're palates are such that they don't notice. Luckily CH does not have a lot of posts from them, so should be helpful.

                          -----
                          Brasserie Pip
                          46 Main Street, Ivoryton, CT 06442

                          River Tavern
                          23 Main St, Chester, CT 06412

                          1. re: dennisl

                            I agree with most of your choices except Taste of China, which I find to be fair at best. IO have eaten Chinese food in The Chinatowns of NY, Phila, Boston, Montral, San Fran, London, as well as dining in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and Guanzhou.
                            Youngest Bagelman child is from Guanzhou and we are picky about Chinese food .
                            Taste of China may be the best in the hinterlands of the Middlesex county shoreline, but I wouldn't call its cuisine 'real' Chinese food, or even more than acceotable.

                            1. re: bagelman01

                              <<Taste of China may be the best in the hinterlands of the Middlesex county shoreline, but I wouldn't call its cuisine 'real' Chinese food, or even more than acceotable.>>

                              I can't say whether Taste of China is "real" or not, but they have a Chinese menu on request...and I will gladly drive 30+ minutes to eat there over other locally available options in Middlesex county, shoreline or otherwise. Never had a bad meal there. For reference, Lao Sze Chuan in Milford is my favorite (but a longer drive), followed by ToC and Samurai in no special order.

                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                absolutely agree with you on Lao Sze Chuan

                                1. re: bagelman01

                                  Well, bagelman, last night at Clinton's Taste of China, we sat between two tables of people who ordered from the "real" Chinese (Mandarin?) menu, so we chatted a bit and even shared some food. I have the written characters in my wallet so I can order the soup we tried...(thin) rice noodles in sour soup (approximation). It had some sort of (soy?) beans in it that were supposed to be crispy, but were just plain hard. The soup itself was tasty, tho', and the people on the opposite side appeared to order the same thing.

                                  I can't tell you the other (more authentic) dishes they ordered. With a bit of a language barrier, it was hard to describe what part of the cow we were talking about--I kept getting "stomach" and at least we figured out tripe, but the other parts remain a mystery.

                                  The girl I spoke to is a UCONN student from China. I also told them about Lao Sze Chuan. When she tried our "Chengdu dumplings in spicy sauce" she giggled and said in China, they don't put sugar in such dishes. Honestly, I thought they were more salty than sweet, but was interested in her feedback. Next time I go, I'll ask if I can have the dumplings from the Chinese menu instead.

                                  ALSO, sad to report Samurai (down the street in OS) no longer has a Chinese menu--just hibachi and sushi.

                      2. Had a great meal about 3 weeks ago at Bistro Mediterranean and Tapas Bar in East Haven - - delish - good wine , & very well priced. A pleasant surprise.

                        Agree Guilford/Madison are total bummers moderate tier eating-wise.

                        Branford at least has Darbar, Yooki Yama & Petit Bistro...

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: debvil

                          I'm not sure what you mean by moderate tier, but Guilfod-Madison is no different than any other shoreline town: A few so-so restaurants but at least two you don't have to apologize for. In Madison I have enjoyed Bar Bouchon, Elizabeth's and (stretching a little) Lenny and Joes Fish Tale. Guilford has Som Siam, Ayuthai, the Place, and though I haven't been there, Quattro's has gotten good reviews. There are a couple of others I want to try as well.

                          -----
                          Ayuthai
                          2279 Boston Post Rd, Guilford, CT 06437

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

                          Bar Bouchon
                          8 Scotland Ave., Madison, CT 06443

                          1. re: DonShirer

                            Happy (I think!) to see this thread. I have to make a trip to Madison-Guilford area for business tonight. I would like something for someone traveling alone and vegetarian-friendly. Don't know the area at all and casual is fine. Has anyone been to the Shoreline Diner and Vegetarian Enclave in Guilford?

                            1. re: 3catsnh

                              I have eaten at SD&VE, and they do have many vegetarian and vegan options, but since I was really hungry and hate tofu, I ordered from the regular menu. I got what looked and tasted like typical diner fare, filling but not exceptionally tasty. It is indeed casual.

                              If you like Asian food, Ayuthai and Som Siam have several vegetarian entrees and salads, and I have eaten there alone several times. Som Siam is a bit more casual.

                              -----
                              Ayuthai
                              2279 Boston Post Rd, Guilford, CT 06437

                              1. re: 3catsnh

                                I second DonShirer's view. The SD&VE sounds like a good idea, but the food is not very good. My wife likes to eat vegetarian when she can, but she's been quite disappointed the times we went there (and now refuses to go). Another Asian place that has a number of veggie dishes is the Chinese place Shangri La (in the little shopping center where Star Fish is). We like quite a few of their things — you might have to ask them to make things completely vegetarian, but they're pretty nice, in my experience, and should accommodate you.

                                1. re: linguist

                                  Thanks to both of you. Will try these next trip. I really wanted something other than Asian for a change. Believe it or not I had a very good experience at Shoreline Diner. I had pretty decent stuffed peppers and the most pleasant surprise was one of the freshest (no iceberg--all mesclun!) salads I have had on the road in some time. And the young waitress was very professional.

                                  -----
                                  Shoreline Diner & Vegetarian Enclave
                                  345 Boston Post Rd, Guilford, CT 06437

                                  1. re: 3catsnh

                                    Whatever the vegetarian equivalent of crow is, I may have to eat some. I was telling my wife about this thread tonight, and she said I was quite wrong. She actually likes this place, and the vegetarian daughter of one of her quilting buddies raves about it. I'm glad you ignored our advice and had a nce dinner.

                                    Meanwhile, my wife was happily eating her steak … sometimes that's what you have to have.

                                    1. re: 3catsnh

                                      Thanks for the report. That's good to know.

                            2. Give Frank's Gourmet Grille in East Lyme a try. I was pleasantly surprised to find such good food being served in a dinky strip mall.

                              http://www.franksgourmetgrille.com/

                              -----
                              Frank's Gourmet Grille
                              135 Boston Post Rd, East Lyme, CT 06333

                              3 Replies
                                  1. re: ratbuddy

                                    Sorry, I was answering the original question. Heirloom in New Haven is a great restaurant in the area being discussed. Chorosch was looking for a good place with an emphasis on fresh ingredients and Heirloom fits the bill. Farm to table grub, very tasty.

                              1. In Madison check out Bar Bouchee what I consider to be one of the finest restaurants in CT or the new Madison Beach hotel (Ive had a great experience their but Ive heard they are spotty as it's going through the normal growing pains a restaurant would have). Others mentioned like Foe and Le Petit Cafe are also excellent.

                                1. A bit off the shoreline in Chester - consider SIX MAIN and River Tavern

                                  Since Brasserie Pip has gone downhill - I enjoy GABRIELLE's in Ivoryton

                                  and I always have a solid meal at Griswold Inn in Essex

                                  10 Replies
                                  1. re: few

                                    I believe Pip's has hired the chef from On 20 in Hartford, not sure if he's actually started there yet. His bona fides are excellent and hopefully he can restore Pips back to its glory days under Tyler Anderson (now at Millwright in Simsbury)....

                                    1. re: chowmensch

                                      You would be correct chowmensch - I went and peeked
                                      http://www.copperbeechinn.com/chef.html

                                      I live literally down the road from them and did not see anything at all in local news???

                                      Have you ever eaten his food?

                                        1. re: ratbuddy

                                          Very cool and glad to read. Sounds like they're back on track...though that Courant article needed a swift sweep of the red pen BADLY. GEEZ!

                                          1. re: kattyeyes

                                            I don't think the Courant even bothers to glance at their articles before publishing. Churn 'em out as fast as possible, and if someone notices the mistakes, well, that person is just a whiner, right?

                                            Seems worse in the local sections such as restaurant reviews, where they can't just reprint AP stuff that's actually been given a once-over by a real editor.

                                            1. re: ratbuddy

                                              That sure would seem to be the case these days. It wasn't always like that, of course. Now I sound old (or whiny, even) and I don't even care. ;) It's why I only read it online or secondhand anymore.

                                          2. re: ratbuddy

                                            Thanks! Cannot wait to try the new menu and sounds like the new Chef is ready to sweep out the cobwebs!

                                        2. re: chowmensch

                                          If I'm reading this all correctly, the chef who moved from On20 to Brasserie Pip has moved on once again, this time going to work as a private chef.
                                          http://courantblogs.com/java/noel-jon...

                                          1. re: chowmensch

                                            Had dinner there this past weekend. Food was really good - service not so much. There are no longer 2 resturants with 2 menus. It's all the same now. They have a formal dining area which is very nice, the bar - more casual, and the, what I would call and Atrium - glassed in porch whatever - but the menu is the same. They didn't even open the dining room on Friday night. The wine list f has been trimmed to less that 1/4 of what it says is available on-line - and VERY wierdly priced - a few 30 -40 dollar bottles, and few 80 - 90 dollar bottles and lots of 100+ and more. All signs of a restaurant in trouble. Chef Noel probably sees the handwriting on the wall...

                                          2. re: few

                                            Also L&E in chester which by far ten times better than River Tavern, wonderful atmosphere as well.

                                          3. In defense of the OP, I have had many awful meals on the Shoreline too, often based on local recommendations. So my first thought is sort of counter-intuitive, but don't ask the locals. Dock & Dine is a perfect example. Awful restaurant, everyone recommends it. However, this board is very helpful. In my experience, if kattyeyes likes a place, I know I will too.

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: eragavanis

                                              I have no idea who you are, but would like to thank you for one of the nicest things I've read all week. :)

                                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                                Hi, Katty-

                                                My name is Elizabeth, and I am a fairly recent transplant to th Shoreline from NYC. The adjustment has been hard, and I miss the easy access to great food 24/7. I always find your posts reliable and informative. If I need the scoop on a place, I check this board and look for your review first!

                                                1. re: eragavanis

                                                  Good morning, Elizabeth! Nice to meet you. Welcome to our neck of the woods! We'll try to keep you and your family well-fed for sure. :)

                                                  1. re: eragavanis

                                                    Yes, me too- just moved from LA to Old Lyme and am so bummed by the lack of decent places to eat. Here are a few I have found that are pretty good; Trapiche in chester, L&E in Chester, Johnny Ad's for a dive with great lobster rolls, Livs for their oysters in Wednesday nights ( half price) Mondo Pizza in Middletown and if anyone has others to recommend, yea!
                                                    Absolutely hated the Griswold Inn- the food is horrendous and way over-priced.

                                                    1. re: amandachef

                                                      Welcome to OL and Chowhound Amanda. You've already located some of the better restaurants in the area. You might also check out AlForno and SomSiam East in Old Saybrook, Cafe Routier in WestBrook, and Gabrielles in Centerbrook.
                                                      If you are looking for specialty food purveyors, try Fromage, Pasta Vita and Dagmar's Desserts, all in O.S.
                                                      (And a word from our sponsor--keep an eye out for Old Lyme Town Band concerts coming up in a few months!)

                                              2. We moved to Clinton from W. Hartford about a year ago.
                                                We too have yet to find a decent restaurant on the shoreline.
                                                We do like Chester's 6 Main- always fresh and original and Simons which is informal and great for breakfast and lunch'
                                                We thought Cafe Rotier was mediocre; Dock and Dine is awful... can't figure out why people like that dump...

                                                We do always like Hatami in Clinton for Japanese.. really excellent and consistent! Haven't found much else to come close to restaurants like Brio or Barcelona in W. Hartford. If anyone knows of a good consistent restaurant.. please share!

                                                8 Replies
                                                1. re: seiderbug

                                                  There are several of them already listed above. Having reread this thread, I'm adding Al Forno in OS. Their pizza is fantastic, they have great wines by the glass, love their salads...I forget if we actually ate something non-pizza as a meal there, but I love that place!

                                                  1. re: seiderbug

                                                    Simons is our favorite casual lunch place in Chester and add Otto to your list. A new terrific oven fired pizza place also in Chester- very good food.
                                                    Try the Cooper Beach and sit at the bar. We had a very delicious steak frites there.
                                                    Thought Six Main was ok but not great. And I agree about cafe Routier.

                                                    1. re: seiderbug

                                                      I have loved the Old Lyme Inn since their reopening. Servers are both competent and friendly, drinks are creative, food has been excellent (well, not on Valentine's Day, but you know how that is.)

                                                      1. re: eragavanis

                                                        Wow- we have found the food strangely over-ambitious and not well executed. I say, keep it simple and don't try so hard. I don't think they have hit the mark yet.
                                                        Love the bar and the staff is friendly but at times a bit slow..

                                                        1. re: amandachef

                                                          Interesting! Well, haven't been since late last summer except for Valentine's Day...maybe a neutral third person will go and let us know what they think?

                                                      2. re: seiderbug

                                                        My favorite is Bar Bouchee in Madison. Always consistent and its small so its always booked... make a reservation. Boom was great the last time I went there several years ago. Aspen and Red Hen were recent visits and while not everything was perfect I give them above average results. The Madison Beach Hotel has been just ok...come summertime I hope they step up their game because the sunset views are great on the porch.

                                                        1. re: Luddy

                                                          Bar Bouchée is good. Aspen, Liv's both good. Had a very mediocre meal at Red Hen with oddly cold and un-inviting atmosphere. Old Saybrook could use a few more choices.

                                                      3. I'm 64 years old and I grew up in Stamford and now live in Norwalk and I'm a retired chef. When people ask me to recommend a good seafood restaurant I'm hard pressed to do so. Someone mentioned L'escale in Greenwich but I don't consider that a seafood restaurant. It's a high end French restaurant that serves excellent food, some of it seafood. I'm talking a reasonably priced, casual fish house that serves the freshest seafood in generous portions, with no pretensions, that were once common in this area. Fondly remembered places like the two Clam Boxes (in Greenwich and Westport), Skipper's, Alan's Clam House, King Neptune, Admiral Benbow etc. Every shore community had one. Now they don't exist. Just take a trip to your local fish monger & you'll see why. The price of quality seafood is outrageous! Never would I have thought than Prime grade beef would be less expensive than fresh swordfish, sea scallops or halibut. Even lowly cod & flounder frequently top $10.00#. More demand & diminished resources have created this problem. For affordable seafood we are left with farm raised crapola like Tilapia, Swai, Atlantic Salmon & Catfish. My wife asked me if I wanted to go to an all you can eat seafood buffet with another couple @ a local restaurant awhile back. I asked her how much did it coast per head, she said $30.00.I said no thanks, it can't be very good for that price.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: zackly

                                                          Zackly,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
                                                          I'm just 4 years younger than you. My memory of the Clam Box was the location in Cos Cob

                                                          1. re: bagelman01

                                                            Yes, there were two, one in the Cos Cob section of Greenwich on Route 1 and another in Westport also on Route 1 which is now a Bertucci's, if memory serves me correctly. It was home of the "Belly Buster" a huge deep fried platter of shrimp, scallops, flounder, french fries & onion rings.That's how a lot of youngsters first were introduced to seafood.

                                                            1. re: zackly

                                                              My wife's father had a store in Westport and she would frequent the Westport location. The first time she was in that Bertucci's, she kept saying that it seemed familiar, but she knew she'd never been in Bertucci's before. Then her mother clued her in........................