Nothing—and we mean nothing—is like having dinner in a great spot on the shoreline in the summer. It’s magical, primal, mental-voyage inducing. And it’s the same in the winter because the inverse of all-access warmth is the cosseted rich interiors of winter; freezing sand, saltwater and spray is profoundly mnemonic—and good food only enhances the experience.
And good food abounds on Connecticut’s shoreline, too much to chronicle here. That said, we think immediately of:
• Oyster Club, Mystic. It’s the best of the water on a plate; if you understand the metaphor (or appreciate O’Neill plays). Just go.
• Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse at Mohegan Sun. Okay, it’s inland a bit but Jordan always floated more than he felt gravity. There’s no gamble here; it’s a slam dunk, three-pointer, whichever you find more dramatic.
• Chamard Bistro, Clinton. Looking for fine wine and fine food in an atmospheric, incomparable setting? Then discover this Connecticut gem and it a delicious adventure.
• River Tavern, Chester (above). Yes, up the river a bit, but it exists in a saltwater state of mind. Farm-to-table cuisine in hip Chester via a chef who builds dishes with the artistry of, say, Sol LeWitt.
• Six Main, Chester—the haven for discerning vegetarians and vegans, and the place where you learn that kind of culinary ethos can be more delicious, not less anything. And James O’Shea of West Street Grill loves it, which is saying a lot.
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