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“Losing their way....”

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Waterhouse Oyster Bar and Bistro
Price range: $18 - $30
Cuisines: Seafood
Restaurant details
Reviewed April 6, 2013

I have been an avid fan of Waterhouse since their opening, and have recommended it to numerous friends as our favorite new spot in Branford. After my wife and I went their last night, I'm not so sure I'll be doing that any more. First off, we have enjoyed their happy hour a number of times, 5-6 pm, so we thought we'd pop in for a quick beer and bite to eat before going to a sports event. When I asked the bartender what the Happy Hour specials were, she smiled and said "We don't do Happy Hour any more" and turned and walked away. OK - strike one. We then saw that they had moved the mussels back onto the appetizer list - they seem to go back and forth between appy and entrée - so we ordered those, the Pomme Frittes and a beer and glass of wine. When the mussels came, we noticed that there was no bread served with it, as every time we had them before it came with bread to soak up the delicious broth. Why can't there be any consistency with what you get when you order from a restaurant? Strike 2. So I asked the bartender if we could have some bread with the mussels and she asked if we wanted the pop-overs or the bruschetta. I said the bruschetta and she smiled and went on her way. 10 minutes later, we were done with the appetizers, yet no bruschetta. So I asked where it was, she smiled and said it was being made, will be coming out. A few minutes later she places a plate of rye bread toasted and cut in half in front of us and walks away. Are you kidding! I have to ask for bread, you ask me my preference, then you give me something else and don't even acknowledge it - strike 3. We paid our bill, and as we prepared to leave, I looked around the bar. It was Friday night, 5:40 and there was only one other person in the bar. I think it's time to consider bringing the Happy Hour back. Or at least some consistency in what you serve your customers.

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8  Thank PREBranford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (9)
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3 - 7 of 9 reviews

Reviewed April 5, 2013

Beyond WOW! Just mind-boggling fantastic. We'v know and followed Chef Arturo for years and his cuisine, service and restaurant design together with his wife have never failed to amaze!
The seafood appetizer-to die for! Every other starter and all the entrees - one as good and better than the next. Great casual atmosphere, a place for everyone and anyone!

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Thank Tom D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2013

You may be put off at first with the time-limited 2 hour seating, but it should be enough time; you can aways get the 8:00 seating and stay until closing, but beware the kitchen closes 9:30. We went for dinner with another couple. We had the Waterhouse plateau mixed shellfish appetizer, which was fresh and flavorful. The beet salad was also tasty. The baked shrimp/bean appetizer was overly salted, and the beans were close to raw. The rack of veal entree special was tender and well seasoned, accompanied by a bed of beans and other fixings was well seasoned, but was heavily salted, and unfortunately the veal was served a bit raw. The salmon and cod dishes were enjoyable but also somewhat salty. They have the potential to be great, but the chef needs to sample the preparations before they are served. I would give them another chance.

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Thank Ed R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 30, 2012

I suggested this restaurant as a meeting place to a friend traveling on business and we were not disappointed.

This is a casual atmosphere with a nice uninhibiting bar area. The restaurant is actually connected to Tacuba ("street Mexican") next store which is run by the same well-known chef.

First off, they have a great selection of beers and wine and being a proper seafood restaurant, they offer an impressive selection of oysters from both the east and west coasts.

We followed-up a tasty sampling of those oysters with possibly the best fish entrees I have ever had. I personally had the monkfish and it was out of this world. The portions were not gargantuan, but generous which sometimes is not the case in a restaurant that offers this level of quality food with meticulous preparation and creativity.

I would recommend this to anyone demanding first quality seafood. We will certainly return, and not soon enough.

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Thank Fred C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2012

My husband and I were visiting dear friends, "local branfordites", who strongly recommended Waterhouse for dinner. We are foodies from Pittsburgh who have travelled extensively enjoying unique and diverse cuisines.

It was a chilly November evening before Thanksgiving, when we warmed our hearts, delighted our tummies and whet our whistle in a most memorable bistro!

My spiced martini was a perfectly concocted aperitif. The bartender came to our table to say hello, the waitor was friendly, knowledgeable and very professional.

We enjoyed the clams casino, warm ricotta served with crostini ( could have used just a few more pieces because ricotta was plentiful) and the international comfort food...pommes frites, or as we Americans say: French fries-were just like the ones we had in Paris. Clams casino were delicious and looked so festive with the tiny cubed tomatoes on top. Popovers were a welcomed surprise instead of a bread basket. The salmon, monk fish and mussel chorizo entrees were savory and cooked well. My beef entree had a succulent brown sauce, but the meat was not very tender and I therefore did not eat much of it. I am certain however, based on the service, that the chef would have accommodated me with something else.

Although we thought we couldn't squeeze in dessert, we split the banana, Nutella French toast- a must have.

Atmosphere is cozy in this compact windowed dinning room where you'll find scrumptiously grand bites !

Thank Marigatta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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