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Jan 30, 2012 06:49 PM

Recs for casual dinner for 25 between Old Saybrook and New London.

Looking for a casual spot for a rehearsal dinner for 25ish in August. $20 - $25pp before drinks. Several in the group are culinarily challenged so something good but basic (seafood, good pub food,steaks, etc. Nothing too ethnic - I guess Italian would be OK). Would something with a water view be pushing it too much?

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  1. The Flanders Fish Market in East Lyme has a large dining area you could easily fit 25 in. They have many other offerings beside seafood. Some CH commentaters think they may have gone downhill recently, but the last time I was there (1 year ago) I didn't notice that. No water view, though.

    1. Tony D's in New London has two rooms that could fit 25. Excellent Italian cuisine. No water view though.

      1. I think August & water view will be challenging.

        Advanced reservations would be a must.

        That said, there is a restaurant on Dock Road in Old Saybrook right on the River.

        Capt Bills (I think) just off Hamilton St in New London is VERY casual and seafood-y. Picnic tables, no reservations, beer. On the water & next to the railroad tracks for additional ambiance.

        There is a joint in Niantic at Mago Point park on the H2O, patio view on the harbor.

        1 Reply
        1. re: algct

          Did you mean the Back Room restaurant in O.S.? They do overlook the docks, but say they don't take reservations. I've been there twice and while the food is ok, they cater to the drinkers.

          Capt. Bills is a fun clamshacky type of place, but remembering rehearsal dinners for our kids, I would hesitate holding one there.

        2. Actually, that's Capt. Scott's in NL. I agree with Don, however, that it's probably not a good venue for a rehearsal dinner.

          Otter Cove in OS does a nice job (great filet mignon, burgers, seafood) and they have a room upstairs that I believe can accommodate 25.

          1 Reply
          1. re: chowmensch

            Thanks, I forgot about Otter Cove. Had a good dinner there last year, and their website says banquet room seats 40.

          2. Someone also suggested Penny Lane Pub, Old Lyme Inn and S & P Oyster Co. Any thoughts on these?

            3 Replies
            1. re: bobbert

              PennyLane is a great place for lunch, never been there for dinner. Killer sweet potato fries. Check out the "special events/parties" tab on their website:

              1. re: bobbert

                Old Lyme Inn has been closed for several months. The new owners(prior owners of Coca Cola botteling in New London) are completely revamping the Inn and from what I've heard plan to open soon. That said, from past incarnations I would guess your $20-25 budget would be under their minimum. You may want to check out Ruffino's(the old Stella Dora) in Old saybrook. The have a private room reasonable prices and decent Italian food.

                1. re: jdgall

                  Re Ruffino's....Agree that food is good but contacting them may be an issue. Every time we're there, we are usually the only ones in the dining room. Sometimes one or two other tables are full. Two weeks ago, we went in on a Sunday night and no one was there to greet or seat us. I literally called out, "helloooo!" No one responded... We left and had a great (as always) meal at Tiberio.