We went to this restaurant based on the recommendation of a relative who lives in Mystic. We were in the mood for seafood and were told that while this is an Italian restaurant they also have fresh off the boat seafood. We were excited to go because we really like both Italian and seafood so we hoped to have food from both categories that was good. Unfortunately the food and service were both disappointments.
We started off with the veal meatball appetizer. The meatballs were generously sized for an appetizer. What we didn't like about them was that they hadn't been seared, browned or seasoned though. We recognize that because it was veal the insides would be lighter than ground beef but it still possible to properly brown the outside of the meatball even if its made out of veal. Without being browned and seasoned they really just tasted like balls of ground veal that had been put in the microwave instead of tasty meatballs. They had a marinara over them which completely covered the veal taste due to the lack of seasoning.
For an entree my wife for the hot stone cooked seafood scampi which had been recommended to us by our relative. She was really disappointed with this. The idea of cooking on a hot stone is a nice gimmick and makes for some fun but they basically just put out a bunch of raw unseasoned seafood on top of a hot stone and told you to flip it over so it cooks through. None of the seafood had any kind of seasoning on it. Typically a scampi would be in wine, butter, or a combination of the two. They didn't provide either for adding to the stone or for dipping the cooked seafood into. This resulted in some really boring tasting seafood coming off the stone. I think the stone could be a great thing if they had the servers come to the table and cook the seafood on the stone in front of the customer (with proper seasonings added). But just putting it down and then having the customer flip some seafood until its hot results in dried out bland seafood bites which weren't very good. The only accent they had to put on the seafood was a couple of lemon slices on the side of the plate you could squeeze over the seafood. It was a shame because the seafood itself looked like it would have been good if cooked and seasoned properly.
I got a special which was swordfish steak with some kind of brown balsamic sauce on it. The swordfish itself was cooked well and looked great but what ruined it was the sauce. The sauce was way too sweet and completely overpowered the swordfish. The swordfish was smothered in the sauce so it was pretty much impossible to just enjoy the swordfish with just a little sauce with it. The dish was also served with mash potatoes and sadly they were ruined by the sauce too because it was also all over them as well. When I could get a bite of the mashed potatoes that hadn't been drowned the sauce they actually tasted decent. I personally would say the sauce was way too sweet in general for something that had balsamic vinegar in it but if they had placed it on the side in a cup or something then at least the fish and potatoes could have been enjoyed with as little or as much as you desire. I mentioned to someone who I assume was the manager that the sauce was way too sweet and that it overpowered everything and they really didn't seem concerned or care. While I didn't ask them to do anything to make it right I was disappointed that the manager didn't at least offer to knock a few dollars off the meal because the dish wasn't really satisfactory.
The best thing here was probably the bread they served with the meal. It seemed fresh and kind of artisan. They served it with a condiment cup of oil, garlic cloves, and tomato pieces mixed together. I didn't really care for the condiment. I think it would have been much better with just some simple olive oil on a plate for dipping and optionally maybe some grated parmesan cheese to put on the oil if desired.
Service was slow and dysfunctional. The waitress who took our order wasn't the person who finished serving us, brought the check, and cleared the table. I cant say the service was awful it just didn't really feel attentive or like the servers cared about anything.
I see that this restaurant had gotten a lot of good reviews but the night we went must have been a really off night for the chef or something. Even our relative who recommended it and who had come with us said she thought the food was really bad that night. Prices were quite steep in my opinion but Mystic is a tourist trap so I recognize they are going to be higher than normal. My fish as $24 and the appetizer was like $11 which I thought was about $5 too high per item. Oddly, I thought the price for the stone cooked scampi was very reasonable at $20. If the food had been good then I might feel differently about the pricing but in this case the prices were definitely too high given the food quality and service.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.