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Lenny's

205 S. Montowese St., Branford, CT - (203) 488-1500
Posted By Michael Stern on 5/12/2001 10:32:00 AM
A well-worn seafood house in the Indian Neck section of Branford’s scenic coast, Lenny’s has a choice of three places to sit: a tap room up front, a dining room with varnished booths in back, and a scenic deck overlooking marshland behind the dining room. In business now for thirty years, it is a neighborhood kind of place with a menu that ranges from hamburgers and hot dogs to steaks and big platters of broiled or fried seafood. The classic full shore dinner includes chowder (either creamy New England style or clear-broth shoreline style), a couple of cherrystone clams on the shell, a lobster, a heap of steamers, sweet corn, and a thick slice of watermelon for dessert.

Good as both kinds of chowder are, we intend never to begin a meal at Lenny’s without “zuppa d’clams”: six steamed-open cherrystones in a bowl of briny, lemon-laced broth, a half-loaf of bread on the side for dunking. Delicious! Swordfish is always on the menu, and always fresh, available in dinner-size steaks or in smaller sandwich cuts served on nice fluffy buns with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise.

Lenny’s fried food is some of the shoreline’s best: big, whole-belly clams, succulent oysters, scallops, fish ‘n’ chips, and huge butterflied shrimp. Crunch-crusted and clean-flavored, these are exemplary fried seafood, and definitive proof that a crisp, clean crust can be the very best halo for seafood’s natural sweetness.

Throughout the summer, strawberry shortcake is the must-eat dessert. It is the true Yankee version, made from a split, unsweet biscuit layered with sliced berries in sugar syrup, and a mountain of whipped cream. The perfect end for a seafood feast!

8 out of 8 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Zuppa d'Clams
Whole Belly Clam Roll
Fried Clam Platter
Swordfish
Natural Broth Clam Chowder
Tartar Sauce, Cocktail Sauce
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

The broth in which these cherrystones rest is one of the greatest appetizers on earth.  On the side comes a half loaf of good crusty bread for dunking.
"The broth in which these cherrystones rest is one of the greatest appetizers on earth. On the side comes a half loaf of good crusty bread for dunking."
Michael Stern





The crust on these fried shrimp fairly melts on your tongue; the shrimp themselves are firm, fresh, and sweet.
"The crust on these fried shrimp fairly melts on your tongue; the shrimp themselves are firm, fresh, and sweet."
Michael Stern


New England shortcake is made on a biscuit; its sweetness is all the the berries and juice.
"New England shortcake is made on a biscuit; its sweetness is all the the berries and juice."
Michael Stern


The Indian Neck section of Branford is an unspoiled bit of coast that makes us think of what life was like along the shore several decades ago.  Lenny's feels like it hasn't changed much at all in its 30+ years.
"The Indian Neck section of Branford is an unspoiled bit of coast that makes us think of what life was like along the shore several decades ago. Lenny's feels like it hasn't changed much at all in its 30+ years."
Michael Stern


The interior of Lenny's is dark and atmospheric.  This window throws lovely light across a table, especially if the table is crowded with seafood and beer.
"The interior of Lenny's is dark and atmospheric. This window throws lovely light across a table, especially if the table is crowded with seafood and beer."
Michael Stern


Usually a clam roll is a small portion as opposed to a clam plate, a large one. This clam roll was so bountiful that the roll itself was almost entirely eclipsed. The clams are among the shoreline's best: meaty and sweet, encased in an elegant, lightweight crust.
"Usually a clam roll is a small portion as opposed to a clam plate, a large one. This clam roll was so bountiful that the roll itself was almost entirely eclipsed. The clams are among the shoreline's best: meaty and sweet, encased in an elegant, lightweight crust."
Michael Stern


I excavated into the clam roll and found the bun. It's a good one -- split, buttered and grilled -- but rather useless in hoisting clams from plate to mouth.
"I excavated into the clam roll and found the bun. It's a good one -- split, buttered and grilled -- but rather useless in hoisting clams from plate to mouth."
Michael Stern


Not to slight Lenny's luxurious New England style chowder nor the fantastic zuppa d'clams, but this clear-broth clam chowder is authoritative. Not for seafood-frowners, it is redolent of ocean flavor, a bracing appetizer.
"Not to slight Lenny's luxurious New England style chowder nor the fantastic zuppa d'clams, but this clear-broth clam chowder is authoritative. Not for seafood-frowners, it is redolent of ocean flavor, a bracing appetizer."
Michael Stern


Lenny's cocktail sauce and tartar sauce, served in large squeeze bottles, are superb.
"Lenny's cocktail sauce and tartar sauce, served in large squeeze bottles, are superb."
Michael Stern


Lenny's is far off the beaten path, but well worth finding if you are in search of exemplary shoreline seafood.
"Lenny's is far off the beaten path, but well worth finding if you are in search of exemplary shoreline seafood."
Michael Stern



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