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The Place

891 Boston Post Rd., Guilford, CT - (203) 453-9276
Posted By Michael Stern on January 28, 2011 4:20 PM
The Place is as plain as its name: an open-air clambake by the side of Route One. Tree stumps are chairs and cable spools are tables. They are all arranged in a sunny clearing around a smoky wood fire where seafood is cooked to order by the shirt-sleeved staff. Tents are erected for when it rains.

The menu includes bluefish, which we are told by experts is delicious. But for us, The Place is a place to eat clams, lobsters, and corn. The one need-to-eat dish is littleneck clams roasted over wood, split open, daubed with hot sauce and put back on the fire just long enough for the sauce and clam juice come together in perfect, picnic harmony. There are steamer clams, too; and don't forget corn-on-the-cob. It is cooked in its husk and swabbed with melted butter. All other accoutrements -- including bread and salad, wine and beer (and glasses for wine and beer, if you want them), you must bring yourself.

The Place is open only in the summer, starting the last weekend in April; and on a nice weekend day it can be maddeningly crowded. But come late at night on a weekday, and it is a happy retreat from the bustle of shoreline shops and traffic.
5 star rating
Overall Rating
roasted clams
lobster
corn on the cob

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Posted By Hilary Mattison on January 22, 2011 6:42 PM
Must go! The Place has great food and a great environment. I have been going here for years and it's my favorite summer restaurant (it's seasonal and outdoors with a tented area). It's a great place to stop in with friends, linger over wonderful grilled seafood, and have a conversation outside under the stars.

There's an outdoor cooking fire; seats are on stumps (some named after loyal customers). This is a social mixing pot. You'll see people dressed very low key from a day of working outside sitting next to people dressed up in their finest who brought tablecloths and flowers to make a night of it. It's a non-pretentious "real" restaurant.

The menu is no-frills. Definitely order the corn, and order seafood: clams, mussels, shrimp, fish, and lobster. There are a few good non-seafood items, but the seafood choices are best, in my opinion. The menu has been the same for years. The owners don't mind if you want to bring your own sides or alcohol. They have a website with the menu so you can plan.

It's fun: I've thrown parties at The Place, brought all kinds of friends, and we always have a blast. The Place has a well-deserved cult following. Count me in, I'm thinking about it right now.
5 star rating
Overall Rating
roasted clams
corn on the cob
lobster
Bluefish

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Posted By David Panagrosso on October 1, 2007 4:04 PM
This restaurant isn't on my list of great dining experiences. Or even good ones. First of all, when I go to a restaurant, I like to have all the food provided. I don't expect to have to bring my own side dishes, as is required at The Place. "Bring your own" alcohol is much more common, and that is also required here.

My wife and I went to The Place with friends who had been there before. We arrived at our friends' house to find them cooking. They were making potatoes, cole slaw, etc. We asked "aren't we going out to eat?", not knowing what The Place was like. Turns out, all the food was going with us.

The Place is a "no frills" experience. You sit outdoors on tree stumps, so choose a day with nice weather. I ordered shrimp, and got about a dozen shrimp still in their shells, not deveined, and steamed inside aluminum foil. That alone was about $15. No sides. No salad. Nothing. Just the shrimp. For that price, it would have been nice to have had them cleaned out before cooking. Other entrees include clams, steamers, lobster, and steak. The only side dish I remember was corn. And they had a couple of desserts available.

If I want to cook, I'll eat at home. If I go out to eat and pay a good sum of money, I want someone else to do the cooking. Sure, The Place is unique, but not a value in my opinion. And the food was just so-so (although the food we brought was pretty good).
1 star rating
Overall Rating

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