Consider this your summer dining bucket list.
It doesn’t get much better than sipping cocktails and dining alfresco when it’s paired with a waterfront view. If you’re exploring the Connecticut suburbs this summer with the kids or without, put these local hotspots on your list.
Oysters, crab cakes, and specialty cocktails are on the brunch menu at this riverfront eatery. The Boathouse is part of the Rowing Club (consider joining if you move to town) but you don’t have to be a member to enjoy a meal on the patio. When you’re looking to unwind after work, their happy hour offers a great selection of drinks and snacks. We have our eyes on the bacon-wrapped scallops.
Less than a mile from The Boathouse you’ll find Rive Bistro. Chef Eric Sierra’s riverfront French eatery has something of a local cult following. Sit on the covered patio for the best views of the water. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu but the Trout Almondine comes highly recommended.
OKO is a trendy Japanese-American eatery located in a renovated firehouse right on the Saugatuck River. James Beard-nominated chef Brian Lewis is behind the restaurant so it’s no surprise it’s earned lots of buzz. The seasonal menu incorporates locally sourced ingredients plus seafood fresh from Japan. When you want something special, make a reservation for the omakase tasting menu at The Chef’s Table.
Fresh seafood and unparalleled Sound views await at Prime. The menu is filled with tempting options like sushi, oysters and surf and turf specials. Their weekday two-course “power lunch” is especially popular but book a dinner reservation for an incredible sunset dining experience. On Sundays, Prime offers a Jazz Brunch complete with delicious options like a lobster omelet and short ribs and eggs.
The water is a big part of life in Norwalk and locals love heading to Calf Pasture Beach on sunny days and the Maritime Aquarium on rainy ones. For waterfront fine dining, Harbor Lights is the best spot in town. Located right on the harbor, its scenic views can be enjoyed from the patio or the floor-to-ceiling windows in the dining room. The menu boasts an excellent selection of wines that pair well with their Mediterranean-style seafood dishes.
For a more low-key experience, check out Overton’s Seafood. It’s right next to Harbor Lights so you’ll get the same incredible views without the upscale atmosphere. Overton’s is a Norwalk staple where locals have been enjoying lobster rolls and soft-serve ice cream since 1948.
Sono Seaport Seafood
Across Norwalk Harbor, there’s Sono, another top-notch seafood shack. Grab a shaded picnic table on the deck to enjoy fried oysters, clam chowder, fish ‘n chips or a lobster roll. They also offer a selection of beers, wine and cocktails. The Frose and Frozen Huckleberry Lemonade really hit the spot on hot summer days.
Rowayton’s trendy waterfront spot serves seafood from the local fish market–it’s hard to get fresher than that. You can take in the view from the dining room or patio and if you’re a boater, reserve a slip so you can dock and enjoy a meal before getting back on the water. Menu highlights include Grilled Line Caught Swordfish and Lobster Mac and Cheese.
Ask Greenwich residents for their favorite upscale waterfront spot and they’ll likely suggest L’escale. This elegant French restaurant has been a popular place to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays and date nights since 2003. The waterfront views from the patio – and the wine list – are exceptional, so start with a glass and soak it all in.
Darien locals know that this award-winning space is one of the top event venues in town. But you don’t have to attend a wedding to enjoy views from the Water’s Edge. The onsite restaurant serves steaks, seafood and pasta dishes. They offer wine by the glass and their cocktail menu, complete with a house Aperol Spritz, is especially appealing when you’re sitting out by the water.
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