I just got back from a weekend trip to the Connecticut coast.
On Friday, we made a bee-line from New Haven (I'd come in by train from NYC) for "Lobster Landing," a shack on the water (at the end of Commerce Street) in Clinton, CT.
This was a new place for us, but it was written up in the NY Times about three years ago. It's really terrific. There is a shack on the water where they sell live lobsters and other shellfish, and a separate patio/tent with rustic tables where you can purchase food.
The menu is short and to the point: Hot lobster rolls, hot dogs (with various toppings, including sauerkraut), sausages and peppers. That's it. A can of soda (and they had both Coke AND Pepsi) or a bag of chips is $1.
The lobster roll was fantastic -- sweet lobster, and just enough butter on the toasted New England-style bun. My husband enjoyed his hot dog with kraut. He said the hot dog was all-beef.
Service is very quick. It was raining lightly while we were there, but they had tenting over the patio. My lobster roll was about $14. His hot dog was $3.
After that appetizer, we drove back into Clinton proper to have our real lunch at Westbrook Lobster (reviewed on this site). It was as good as ever. At lunchtime, there was hardly anyone there. I had a hot lobster roll (with drawn butter in a cup on the side) with their excellent onion rings -- as a lunch special, about $15. My husband had the very generous fried shrimp roll with chowder. I tried one of the shrimp -- very tasty, and very good cocktail sauce on the side. I think his lunch was about $9, not including drink.
On Saturday, we drove to New London, in search of Capt. Scott's, which I'd missed last year when I went to New London to speak at the Coast Guard Academy. Nice setting in a yacht basin. Very good hot lobster roll (again, about $14). At first bite I thought they hadn't put enough butter on the toasted roll, but as I progressed through it, it became obvious that there was, in fact, plenty of butter -- if one can ever get enough! The lobster roll came with cole slaw, which my husband ate (I don't like it). Good fountain soft drinks, too. And a giant statue of a penguin!
All these hot lobster rolls were very good. It would be hard to pick a winner, and I think your preference might depend on the atmosphere you like best. But if I had to rank them, I think I'd rate Lobster Landing #1, with Westbrook and Capt. Scott's in a tie for #2. Lobster Landing and Capt. Scott's are both outdoor shacks; Westbrook is an informal sitdown restaurant. I'd be very happy to return to any of them!
On Sunday morning, on our way to the Hartford Airport, we stopped at Windsor 75 Diner in (as you'd expect) Windsor, CT for breakfast. It was doing a brisk, but not overwhelming business, though I suspect that changed when the nearby church let out from its morning service! We almost left when we saw a huge crowd in the entry area, but it turned out it was a party of 35 who were on their way out. One of them actually came after us as we turned away and said, "Come in! We're leaving! And this is a great place to eat."
And it is. It's a little plastic, but the service was excellent and the food very good. I had a special of the day: a lobster and scallion omelet (came with home fries and toast). $11.99. Delicious.
<message edited by rumaki on Mon, 07/26/10 12:40 PM>