Food With a View
Nothing says summer like lobster by the sea
Every summer, Connecticut’s shoreline becomes a destination for Nutmeggers eager to spend a day at the beach, visit one of the tourist attractions or just enjoy a change of scenery. Whether the intent is shopping or museum-hopping, setting aside time for a shoreside dinner should rank high on the list of your summer priorities.
The state’s long expanse of shoreline is dotted with restaurants over looking the water. Some are more upscale, others are pure shorts-and-flip-flops casual, but all beckon with dining rooms or decks with a view. For those eateries lucky enough to put “water view” after their name, the salt air, the ocean twinkling in the sunlight and the people- and boat-watching opportunities only add to the enjoyment of the meal.
Here are 10 spots worth visiting, both for the food and the scenery.
2 BRIDGE STREET OLD SAYBROOK 860.388.1111 www.freshsalt.net
>> The View: Tables overlook the waterway to the Sound
When property brokers talk about the “three Ls” of real estate, they could use the Saybrook Point Inn & Spa as a shining example. Perched at the mouth of the Connecticut River, the family-run hotel overlooks the waterway to the Sound, a marina and nearby Fenwick.
The restaurant received an overhaul a year ago when the Tagliatela family decided to gut the existing dining space to reposition the bar and redesign the dining room to maximize the views. The chocolate, cream and sea-blue color scheme, nautical prints and stone fireplace give the dining room a clubby, comfortable feel. A series of French doors lead from the lounge to the patio, now shaded by a permanent roof. Also new is a 12-seat stone bar outfitted with a fire pit.
Nearby is the two-story marina bar, topped with a glassed-in observatory with comfy rocking chairs. Live music plays outdoors Monday through Thursday.
Chef Leslie Tripp, new to Fresh Salt, has written his own menu to emphasize locally caught seafood prepared with a modern touch. Pancetta-crusted Stonington scallops served with endive marmalade, caramelized orange and Meyer lemon vinaigrette and a seafood sampler Cioppino, either as a large or small plate, lead the current menu. Tripp worked with Northford’s Cecarelli Farms to create a signature salad mix of 10 specialty greens for the lunch menu’s extensive salad section. Throughout the summer, Fresh Salt will host a food festival the first week of the month. June’s Celebration of the Connecticut River Valley will toast shad, fiddlehead ferns and native strawberries, while July’s special menu offerings will center on soft-shell crabs.