[Mystic] Flood Tide
This restaurant, attached to the “Inn at Mystic”, possibly has the best views in the area. Located on top of a small rise, you look out through large windows to the River below. There’s good service and, if conversation flags, there’s a pianist to listen to. Or the chefs to watch in what I think is the most open of open kitchens I’ve come across.
Unsurprisingly for this part of the world, the menu leans towards seafood and the chefs do justice to the produce. “Clams Casino” were delicious – served on the half shell and topped with a mix of butter, peppers, bacon and garlic and a light sprinkling of panko. So, that was my partner sorted out. Unfortunately, they were out of my first two choices of starter. Third choice proved to be excellent – rings of Rhode Island squid, floured and quickly fried to a superb crispness. Scattered amongst them, rings of a mildish chilli pepper. The dish was finished with a drizzle of sriracha flavoured aioli. Really excellent.
For a main course, king prawns had been stuffed with crab and wrapped in bacon before being roasted in the wood oven. Perfectly executed, the crab flavour was muted but that was because of the usual American practice of only using the white meat and not including the more flavoursome brown meat. There was a little savoury cream sauce. And a tomato risotto (offered and accepted when the advertised mashed potato was declined).
And to prove the kitchen can cook meat as well as it can cook seafood, chicken breast had been fried with a light coating of crushed coriander. Alongside, some thin slices of fennel, also fried, gave an interesting aniseed twist, while a white bean and pancetta “cassoulet” acted as a sort of carb. My pleasure at getting stuck into eating this was enhanced by the whole roasted beetroot, which sat there adding a blast of colour to the plate. It was sweet, earthy and just lovely. Both main courses came with a broccoli and green bean mix.
A really good dinner which had left us too full for dessert.