Noank, a New England Fishing Village

Me with my camera!

So far we’ve been spending our summer close to home as Mr. D. has had a number of projects to complete and needed his weekends to accomplish this.  Finally, a major one has been crossed off his “to-do” list, so we decided to celebrate by taking a day-trip to the Conn. shore and treat ourselves to a lobster dinner.  Our destination was the little village of Noank, which is part of the larger town of Groton.  As always when I travel my camera is along for the ride, ready to capture points of interest, quaint and scenic nooks, or anything that I find delightful.

Noank is located at the mouth of the Mystic River at the point where the river empties into Long Island Sound.  Historically, it has always been a fishing village and that has not changed.  It’s streets are lined with old homes with much charm and character, and the businesses center around the fishing industry, and  associated eating places.

One such place, which is well-known, is Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough.  We have eaten there in the past, but not today.  Its very casual where you order at a counter, receive a number, pick up your food when your number is called and find a picnic table on the wharf to dig into some mighty tasty seafood.

Today we had our dinner at another less well-known lobster pound called Ford’s Lobster Co.

Ford’s mainly sells live lobsters to take home and cook, but there is a small outdoor dining area with umbrella-shaded tables and food prepared in a small compact little kitchen under a canopy.    It offers the same casual atmosphere you would expect in any of these outdoor dining places, but oh my, the food was wonderful. There was table side waitress service, so there is no need to juggle plates of food while you find a table.  Our meal consisted of  their clear broth clam chowder, just chock full of clams and potatoes and seasoned just right,  followed by the Lobster Dinner, which included a steamed lobster and melted butter,  french fries and coleslaw.  Served with frosty lemonade,  this meal was summertime shore dining at its best!

This was my big guy!

This is Ford’s dock where their lobster boats come in and unload the day’s catch.

While we ate our dinner a LARGE yacht came motoring by.  This area is very popular with boaters, with many sailboats but also motor boats too.

   

After dinner we drove up and down the few streets that make up the whole town taking in one stunning view after another.

The typical steepled church on the town Green.

  

Some lovely homes with shore views.

The little General Store where you can purchase  ice-cream, souveniers, and various necessities.

The village market, with a “bottle” shop next door.

A beautiful old Victorian home.

The decorative trim on the porch looks like paper cuttings.

A plaque on this house tells us it was once the town jail

I hope the few photos I have been able to include here give you some idea of how charming this little village is. You can see just about all you would want to in one day here, but this part of the Conn. shoreline is very popular with vacationers, and not far from Mystic with all its attractions.  As a vacation destination there is so much to see and do in this area,  I invite you to visit sometime.

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A Taste of Tuscany

Although our extended family got together to celebrate Father’s Day, I wanted to treat my husband to a special meal, one which I did not have a hand in preparing. So I presented him with a list of three restaurants from which to choose.  I had heard or read good reviews of all of them, so I was pretty sure we would enjoy our meal at any one of them.  The one he chose probably would not have been MY first choice,  but now I’m so very glad it was his first choice, because it was delightful in every way.

Called Brio Tuscan Grille, it is located at the Mall.  (See why it was not my first choice?)  On a busy Sunday afternoon, when there were families out and about at the Mall, cars and traffic nearby,  this little place was an oasis of calm and quiet tucked to one side away from all the hustle and bustle.  We were seated outside at an umbrella shaded table, on a patio/courtyard, and there we relaxed, sipped a glass of wine, and leisurely ordered and then enjoyed a wonderful meal.

The menu is extensive, and there were some additional chef’s specials for Father’s Day.   Also, every Sunday a pre-fixe menu of four different offerings is presented.   This is what got our attention, because for 19.99 a three course meal was available that included a soup or Caesar salad, the main entree and dessert.  Our waiter, a friendly and well informed young man,  was very familiar with the menu and able to answer questions, and make suggestions.  As soon as we placed our orders, he brought us a basket of wonderful crunchy bread, and our first course(s) arrived soon afterward.

My husband’s first course was Lobster Bisque, and mine was the Caesar salad.  We were both very satisfied with our choices.  His soup was served in a small tureen, a beautiful golden color with bits of lobster floating in the rich cream broth.  My salad was cold and crisp romaine lettuce and crunchy croutons with a well balanced dressing and topped with shaved Parmesan cheese.  Even though I brought my camera with me with the intention of taking pictures and writing about this outing,  I completely forgot to start at the beginning and get photos of the appetizers.  I must have been really hungry!

Mr. D’s entree was called Chicken Limon.  It consisted of two large chicken  breast fillets, dipped in an egg batter, then pan cooked in a lemon sauce with capers.  It was served with a mixture of grilled vegetables, and spaghetini, a fine pasta similar to angel hair.  It was attractively plated and garnished with sliced lemons.  The quantity was such that he was not able to finish all of it, and brought some home for enjoying at a later time.

My entree was called Shrimp Verduta.  It was served in a large, shallow dish, and consisted of a mixture of large shrimp, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, and caramelized onions over a bed of angel hair pasta.  This was absolutely delicious.  The smell and taste of garlic was there, but not overpowering, and the blend of flavors seemed perfect to me.  I enjoyed it thoroughly, but could not eat all of it, so I too brought a portion home.

We were very happy to have saved room for the desserts.  Our waiter brought to our table a sample display of six different desserts from which to choose.  They were all served in small glasses–not a large serving–but just enough to satisfy after a large meal.  Mr.D. chose the chocolate cake with caramel sauce and cream topping, (below, right); and mine was hazelnut pudding topped with sliced almonds,  whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce.  Oh, my!  it tasted like Nutella, and I was in heaven.  This is what they looked  like before we devoured them!

            Would we go back here again?   Absolutely!