Although it feels like a summer place, Johnny Ad’s is open year around; and other than the deck of picnic tables that make outdoor dining here along Route One such a pleasure, there is a whole indoor dining room for shoreline feasting.
And this is a shoreline restaurant, make no mistake about that. Featured menu items include fragile-crusted whole belly clams (or clam strips, if that’s what you prefer), shrimp, scallops, calamari, and soft-shell crab, all available either on a plate with fries and cole slaw or in a roll, which is a toasted buttered bun.
Among the superior seafood rolls available is a hot lobster roll: hunks of warm pink meat bathed in butter and nestled in one of those long, tender buns. It is also possible to get a cool lobster salad roll, the pieces of lobster bound with mayonnaise. The latter is more typical of New England; the hot roll is a Connecticut specialty, and a lobster-lover’s delight.
K.A. Bowen, who tipped us off to Johnny Ad’s highly recommended we also try a hot dog. It’s a beauty, alright, a plump, foot-long Hummel that tastes especially right when blanketed with chili and cheese.
"The warm pink meat spills out of a hot lobster roll. It's good that the roll comes in a firm paper sheath, for midway through the moist lobster and its butter have mostly dissolved the toasted roll."
"This is the way Yankee cooks prepare buns for hot dogs or seafood rolls. They are designed to be split vertically on top and toasted on the griddle to a good crisp ... while the inside stays tender."
"Johnny Ad's motto: "The Little Seafood Restaurant with the Big Ocean Taste.""
"You know you're in Connecticut if the menu lists both cold and hot lobster rolls."
"The preferred way to get your foot-long at Johnny Ad's is blanketed with chili and cheese. This one has mustard and relish. Note the taut natural casing."