One of the coolest places for fresh seafood that I have been to other than Seattle’s Pike Fish Market and neighboring seafood restaurants are the restaurants / seafood markets in Westport, Connecticut. Nothing beats the fresh raw oysters, clams, salmon, tuna, haddock, halibut, and many other delicacies you will find right on the water there on The Long Island Sound. I grew up going to boarding school in Kent, CT and loved it, so Connecticut has always been close to my heart. Just 47 miles northeast of New York City and home to artists and writers alike, Westport’s oceanic ties conjures up images of old craggly men sitting on flipped over wooden boxes that were once full of crabs, chatting about the tides and their last time at sea. Last time I was in Westport, Connecticut, I went to eat at Splash. A serious place for clamshells and oysters on the half, Splash is a hip restaurant that sits right across from the water and contains its own seafood market upfront. I also managed to pick up some stellar quality milk and cheese at the market across the street. We dined on Little Neck clams and Blue Point oysters, and they were briny sweet oysters from around the way that knocked my socks off. I wondered if Paul Newman himself, a lifetime resident, had eaten there once. The atmosphere was outstanding also with a spacious, intimate and interior decorated space that had a New York feeling in a small town setting. Check it out sometime if you’re around the way. Other names we ran across for seafood were The Whelk, The Mansion Clam House and Westfair Fish and Chips!
There is something about New England seafood that distills memories that never go away. I can literally taste meals I had at Shelly’s in New York. That gorgeous space filled with Peter Max paintings created memories for me that are just like yesterday—even though they have since closed or moved, and gone away. I will always return to New York for the seafood. We ate at Nobu there and had one of the best meals I’ve ever had. Even though it was high and outrageous, it was also unforgettable. Let’s not forget, Maine lobster and clam chowder houses. All the way up the coast there I’ve had simply the best small town seafood hut stuff you could desire. Keep New England seafood alive! Also, speaking of Connecticut we had some of the best dairy I’ve ever had—grassfed cows and raw artesian sheep cheeses—at a dairy in East Lyme’s, Connecticut. Check it out sometime! It’s always cool to do the homestead thing on a brisk drive through the country side. Pike Fish Market has that too if your on the other side.