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May 30, 2013 06:34 PM

"Connie & Ted's" opens June 4 -- and I'm going!

My NEW husband (who was my "better half" for the 12+ years prior to the wedding) just snagged reservations at Michael Cimarusti's new venture (Connie & Ted's) for opening night. Since we love Providence, I look forward to Cimarusti's new, more casual venue. I'll let you know how it goes (but I know Opening Night is not necessarily a good night to judge it by).

Guess my former better half is now a far superior half!

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  1. I'm jealous. How'd he get the res? Have you checked out the menu yet? It's linked to in the "most anticipated" thread.

    2 Replies
    1. re: PeterCC

      I'm not sure who he called, but it was a restaurant number. Since we've been to Providence, they already had our data in their computer. Whoever answered the phone and helped him was very, very nice (a big plus and, frankly, a great surprise!!) I saw the menu via Urban Daddy before he called (he heard me swooning over it). Eater LA also posted it. I'll let you know what we think! I know there are bound to be opening night kinks, but I think it will be fun!

      1. re: PeterCC

        To PeterCC:

        I checked with my husband and he gave me the phone # of Connie & Ted's. All he did was call and ask for the earliest (in terms of hour of the day) open reservation (we're not keen on noise):

        (323) 848-2722


      2. Can't wait to hear about it. Yeah, good fish!

        1. I thought it was already open???

          1 Reply
          1. And how was it? Very curious to find out, thanks!

            1. Went for the opening last night (walk-in). Tried the following:

              - raw oysters (beau soleil and tatamagouche)
              - clam chowda sampler
              - clam cakes
              - crab cake
              - grilled calamari
              - portuguese fish stew
              - bluefish (catch of the day) grilled plain + side of mac
              - lobster roll (cold)
              - indian pudding

              I enjoyed everything but the mains (last 3). The chowda sampler and crab cake were abs delicious. The fish stew could've used a kick, the bluefish was of a fishy taste (not that it wasn't fresh) which could just mean that I'm not a fan of the fish itself, the mac & chz had good flavor but the noodles were completely overcooked to the point of mush. I had initially been torn choosing between the cold and hot lobster rolls and decided to go with the cold with the idea that the likelihood of hot being a success was greater since it's primarily a matter of it being cooked well + butter, whereas cold lobster rolls vary because the dressing components vary from place to place. Connie&Ted's dressing was not very good and it really didn't help that the portion was tiny. While I know not to expect the same portion size as you would generally get on the east coast, I expected there to be more lobster meat.

              Finished with the Indian Pudding which was a cornmeal, molasses (and ginger??) bread pudding of sorts, topped with vanilla ice cream. First few spoonfuls were delicious, but then my sweet tooth self grew bored. The table next to ours had the devils' food cake which will have to be what I try next time. It looked like the blondie was the best seller of the night, judging by how many servings I saw leave the kitchen.

              All in all I'm so glad they're finally open. I'm confident they'll do well, esp with the lack of seafood shack/restaurants in the area. Can't wait to go back!!

              11 Replies
              1. re: namstermonster

                I've been generally underwhelmed with lobster rolls on this coast. I mean, I completely understand that as a New Englander, I probably have unrealistic expectations for lobster rolls here, but even after lowering them I've been disappointed. *shrug*

                Were the clam cakes little fritter balls, or were they smaller versions of stuffies (stuffed cherrystones or littlenecks)?

                How was each of the chowdahs? Very much looking forward to trying the Rhode Island there.

                Thanks for reporting!

                1. re: PeterCC

                  Agree with you on the lobster rolls...but that won't stop me from trying the next :). The clam cakes were like fritter balls (a bit batter-heavy but still good). The menu actually has stuffies as well which I had wanted, but I decided to keep my order for a party of 2 a bit more manageable.

                  All 3 chowdas were delectable, each in its own right. My fave was the RI clear, the NE had a surprisingly thin broth but was abs delicious...the Manhattan was great as well. Honestly enjoyed all 3~

                  1. re: namstermonster

                    What's the best lobster roll you had here? I think the Cousins truck was it for me, so far... Did not like Son of a Gun's at all.

                    I saw the stuffies on the menu. Top two items (along with the RIC) on my to-try list there.

                    BTW, here's the OP's review:

                    1. re: PeterCC

                      idk about best but i actually thought SoG's was a-ok (granted I only had it back when they 1st opened). Hinoki&theBird's was pretty good, but I would like to see more of the standard lobster roll. Lobsta Truck's is fine...still have to try Cousins.

                      1. re: namstermonster

                        To all of you above:

                        Check out Littlefork's lobster roll. $24, massive, comes with fresh chips and delicious pickled veggies.

                        I found it MUCH better than Lobstatruck's, and with greater value.

                        1. re: ns1

                          I have tried the lobster roll at Cousins and Lobsta truck. IMO, there isn't any difference between the two. Both are fresh frozen and OK. I'm spoiled by Maine lobster rolls. They are fresh out of salt water.

                          1. re: cujo

                            Maybe it's purely subjective, but I found the lobster from Cousins to be better than Lobsta. I mean, two lobsters rolls in Maine can taste different, so...

                            1. re: PeterCC

                              I never noticed a difference in the taste between any two Maine lobster rolls, assuming both are dressed identically.
                              What I did notice was the season of the year changes the
                              flavor and texture----and this held true at all of the lobster shacks.

                              1. re: cujo

                                Don't mean to imply the differences were great, and maybe I'm more comparing individual lobsters rather than the lobster "salad" (which would, if well mixed, average out the meat from the various lobsters in it) but occasionally one lobster would definitely be sweeter and tastier than another.

                                1. re: PeterCC

                                  Yes, I agree. I thought the difference in sweet taste depends on whether the lobster is male or female. Also, I noticed that smaller lobsters were more flavorfull than the older & larger ones.
                                  So many variables - gender, season,age and size.

                2. re: namstermonster

                  I went too -- see my review separately! I had a similar experience as you, Name!!