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Restaurant Round-Up

In cooperation with: Connecticut Office of Tourism
Naples, Florida
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28 posts
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Restaurant Round-Up

We're headed to Mystic for a week this summer and I would like to be prepared with a list of good restaurants. Recent trips to seaside destinations have taught us to be very wary of restaurants on the water or really any restaurants located very close to the central attractions - food quality and service quality seem to really suffer when a restaurant has a captive audience. Also I understand that quite a few of the restaurants in Mystic are just part of a corporate restaurant group.

I've heard about Kitchen Little and understand that we should check it out for breakfast, but otherwise I'm unsure. We'll be travelling with our five year old son and spending a lot of time on our boat we we're interested in casual places as well as one place for an excellent dinner for the just the two of us. I'm hoping that Cove seafood might be a good choice - feedback would be great.

We will have a car and we're certainly willing to drive anyplace within a half hour or so.

Oh! Also are there any drive-in movie theatres near Mystic?

thank you!!!

Kate

Naples, Florida
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28 posts
46 reviews
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11. Re: Restaurant Round-Up

I'm finalizing our plans to return to Mystic and realize that I never updated the thread. Here are the restaurants we visited:

S&P Oyster Co.

Despite the fact that most of the food was mediocre to poor I actually will return to S&P simply because they have a lovely view, great location and lovely atmosphere. We ordered a fried oyster appetizer (with other elements) that was wonderful and everything else we ate was quite bad. I ordered a pasta dish that was nearly inedible. So now we know that we should stick with a selection of apps and a salad when we go to S&P. It was fairly crowded so I think that we'll go on a weeknight. They have garden seating and an upstairs diningroom with a wonderful view. Service was excellent but the restaurant was extremely noisy.

Flander's Fish

Just awful. And ugly restaurant with disgusting food. The service was good. When we visited there was some sort of musician playing 1970's piano bar music on a Casio keyboard. We moved outdoors to a picnic table and ate one of the most awful meals I've ever been served. Oddly, it seemed that the seafood was fairly fresh (though the entire lobby of the restaurant reeks of rotten fish from behind their fishmonger counter) but the preparations were heavy, underseasoned and just... well disgusting. The salad gave me nightmares.... 2 week old college lettuce with Kraft dressing...

Abbotts

OK we were in Mystic for a week and ate at Abbotts 5 times. Yeah. But it's so good and the location is gorgeous. We took the boat so we were able to dock up but we also drove over in the evening with my family and once we found it (much harder by car but worth the trouble!) it was wonderful. I learned a few things: bring wine and a tablecloth, even music and candles! They serve a wide variety of lobster options as mussels, steamers, soups - OH, their clam chowder is just wonderful!! Try the hot lobster roll for lunch and get a big steamed lobster for dinner. You will be outside on big picnic tables so it is an extremely casual spot but you absolutely will see a few folks who are dressed up for an evening out. The view of the harbor is spectacular. Oh - don't forget to try the oysters and clams on the half! yummy!

Costellos

So when we weren't eating at Abbotts, we were eating at Costellos! Actually we went to Abbotts a bit more often but if you love fried clam bellies (as I do) you have to visit Costello's while you're in Mystic. They are adjacent and if you don't mind a bit of a walk you could certainly order food from both seafood shacks. A family member got the clam fritters, which sounded like the would be great... and they were pretty bad. We did not order them again. The Noank style chowder, OTOH is just fabulous! The lobster bisque (served at both restaurants) is also quite good but we preferred the chowder.

Rice Spice Noodle

We really enjoyed this restaurant and even visited it during a return trip. We live in an area with many Thai restaurants and this was certainly less traditional but the flavors were fresh, rich, and spicy. It gets loud and crowded but has a pretty dining room. Service can be inattentive though the waiters are all very nice. If have haven't had iced Thai coffee before you should try it when you visit Rice Spice Noodle. They also serve a line of delicious hot teas. My son LOVED this place and fell in love with a dish they call Railroad Rice. We've since reproduced it at home (as best we can) several times. It's a fried rice dish with crab, lap chong (Chinese sweet dried sausage), pineapple, cashews, scallions, shrimp and other veg. They serve it in a pineapple half so it was very appealling to the little guy!

That Ice Cream Place

No I don't remember the name, it's right next to the bridge. Their ice cream was blah. Not particularly good and pricey but you're going to want to get some because it's nice to walk along and have some ice cream. But it will be mediocre.

And just to provide you with another little mystery. We took a ride on the boat and stopped at a lobster shack that I'd read about online. It was very rustic. We sat in a sort of elevated deck with a nice view and they served beer (most clam shacks don't so I provide this as a clue...). If I remember correctly they served both lobsters and clam bellies as well as chowder. It was the best Noank chowder we had during the trip and the clam bellies were quite good as well. So what's it called? Um, I can't remember - but maybe you can!

I hope this is useful -

New England
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12. Re: Restaurant Round-Up

I agree with previous posters that Abbott & Costello's seafood is not very good, although the atmosphere & location are great - right on the water overlooking a marina. We don't love any of the fried seafood joints in the Mystic area. Sea Swirl's quality has gone down in the last few years (the last roll I had there was miniscule). The best clam fritters we've found are at Hitching Post on Route 1 in Charlestown, RI. About a 20 minute drive, but worth it if you are looking for yummy seafood shack eats. There are a few outdoors picnic tables; no indoor seating.

In the Mystic area, our favorite haunts are:

- Daniel Packer Inn - in a converted 18th c. building off the beaten path - the upstairs is fancy and more expensive (worth it!), but we usually eat in the downstairs pub - yummy sandwiches and appetizers in a fantastic atmosphere, especially in the fall/winter, when a fire is roaring in the stone hearth.

- Bravo Bravo's food is fantastic (expensive).

- Rice, Spice & Noodles for Thai

- Mystic Market for gourmet take-out/lunch - the sandwiches are good, but also check out the salads and veggies which you can buy by the pound. I'm obsessed with the tri-tomatoe Israeli cous cous salad.

- Zavalla's in New London for Mexican.

- Mirch Masala in Groton (right off I95) for Indian. Weird location in a hotel across from the WalMart, but super-yummy food and great staff. The Indian restaurant across from Sea Swirl on Route 1 in Mystic is not very good with terrible atmosphere.

- Noah's in Stonington Borough - pricey, but fresh, simple seafood.

Oslo
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800 posts
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13. Re: Restaurant Round-Up

Mystic: Try Azu on the main drag... Captain Daniel Packer Inn on Water Street, Anthony J's is decent as well. Take out Mystic Gourmet Market about 5 mins by car from the bridge and in New London you have Brie & Bleu, Capt. Scott's Lobster Dock and Michaels Dairy (ice cream)

evan thenewenglandcoast.com

14. Re: Restaurant Round-Up

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