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Flanders Fish Market & Restaurant

22 Chesterfield Rd., East Lyme, CT - (860) 739-8866
Posted By Michael Stern on 9/3/2007 9:54:00 AM
We confess to having bitched frequently that the Connecticut shoreline doesn't feature as many good seafood meals as it should. Flanders Fish Market & Restaurant shuts us up on that account. This is a superb fish house, just what the traveler in search of local specialties would hope to find.

It's slightly inland, and it really is a fish market. When you walk in the door you are confronted by glass-fronted refrigerator cases filled with filets and whole fish and, to the left, a saltwater tank holds live lobsters. Farther back are the interior dining rooms; for good-weather dining, there are rows of picnic tables on a broad deck that circles around the restaurant and under a canopy out front.

If you choose clam chowder to start, the waitress will ask if you want clear or creamy. Creamy is classic New England style; clear is the rarer kind unique to Eastern Connecticut -- steel-grey, briney broth loaded with hunks of clam and pieces of potato. If you like a super-plush soup, an alternative to chowder is lobster bisque -- creamy, butter-rich, and laden with spoon-size hunks of sweet pink meat.

The menu is vast, from raw clams and oysters on the half shell and crusty fried clam fritters to whole lobsters and six kinds of shrimp (scampi, blackened, Creole, steamed, stuffed, fried). The fried seafood is masterful; we love the virtually greaseless, yet intensely luscious, fish and chips; and the whole- belly clams are major-league satisfying.

To be honest, we've always eaten so much lunch or dinner at Flanders that we have never even thought of trying dessert. Some day we will! Our top choices from the menu will be turtle ice cream pie and chocolate cappuccino mousse torte. Out on the deck, there is a window that serves ice cream cones.

Flanders Fish Market ships lobsters anywhere in the U.S.A. The lobster hotline is 1-800-638-8189 nationwide, 1-800-242-6055 in Connecticut.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Bowl of Cappy's Original Clear Clam Chowder
Mussels Formica
Lazy Lobster Sautee Dinner
Turtle Ice Cream Pie
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

The veil of crust on Flanders' fried shrimp is as fine as tempura.
"The veil of crust on Flanders' fried shrimp is as fine as tempura."
Michael Stern





When cracking, picking, and plucking at the carapace of a lobster seems like too much work, Flanders' Lazy Lobster Sautee dinner is the solution to the problem. All the meat from a lobster is sauteed in butter and ready to eat with silverware and/or fingers. Those are sweet potato French fries and terrific cole slaw in the background.
"When cracking, picking, and plucking at the carapace of a lobster seems like too much work, Flanders' Lazy Lobster Sautee dinner is the solution to the problem. All the meat from a lobster is sauteed in butter and ready to eat with silverware and/or fingers. Those are sweet potato French fries and terrific cole slaw in the background."
Michael Stern


Fried Flounder was the day's special when we visited. It was a heap of snowy-moist filets encased in a very light crust. We paid $1 extra to accompany the flounder with onion rings, which are impossible to stop eating.
"Fried Flounder was the day's special when we visited. It was a heap of snowy-moist filets encased in a very light crust. We paid $1 extra to accompany the flounder with onion rings, which are impossible to stop eating."
Michael Stern


The cream-rich lobster bisque is ballasted by spoon-size hunks of meat.
"The cream-rich lobster bisque is ballasted by spoon-size hunks of meat."
Michael Stern


The cod is pure white and immensely flavorful, falling into moist hunks when you crack through its golden crust. Sweet potato French fries are a possible alternative to regular chips.
"The cod is pure white and immensely flavorful, falling into moist hunks when you crack through its golden crust. Sweet potato French fries are a possible alternative to regular chips."
Michael Stern


White wine + garlic + butter + ocean-fresh mussels = a deliriously delicious appetizer
"White wine + garlic + butter + ocean-fresh mussels = a deliriously delicious appetizer"
Michael Stern


Flounder stuffed with crab.  Hearty and delicious.
"Flounder stuffed with crab. Hearty and delicious. "
Ida Lively


Note the tender nuggets of potato that crowd this sweet marine broth along with bits of clam.
"Note the tender nuggets of potato that crowd this sweet marine broth along with bits of clam."
Michael Stern


The
"The "turtle" formula, when applied to dessert, usually means a combination of ice cream, chocolate, caramel, and nuts. This impossibly tall wedge of turtle ice cream pie is impossible to eat without the whole thing falling apart; and while we admire the concept, none of the individual components were excellent, nor was their synergy."
Michael Stern


This hearty serving of fish was accompanied by french fries.
"This hearty serving of fish was accompanied by french fries. "
Ida Lively


You know you are in New ENGLAND as you eat French fries east of New Haven, where malt vinegar is always among the obligatory condiments.
"You know you are in New ENGLAND as you eat French fries east of New Haven, where malt vinegar is always among the obligatory condiments."
Michael Stern


Outdoor dining facilities include this deck that stretches along one side of the restaurant.
"Outdoor dining facilities include this deck that stretches along one side of the restaurant."
Michael Stern


The armature above the picnic area allows of a tent to protect summer eaters from the elements.
"The armature above the picnic area allows of a tent to protect summer eaters from the elements."
Michael Stern



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