The Restaurant at Rowayton Seafood values customer loyalty as much as the freshness of their seafood, and both have contributed to it's recent success. The shellfish is about as local as it gets–the executive chef sources the eatery's lobster, clams, and mussels from the Rowayton Seafood Market right next door. This freshness is crafted into a seasonal menu, paired with the scent of salty coastal air, assails the senses in the sunlit, harbor-side dining room, where diners warm themselves by the fireplace or gaze out onto Five Mile River.
The chef's inspired dishes, which won Connecticut magazine's 2013 award for best seafood, draw on American and international recipes. The grilled domestic swordfish keeps things simple with accents of roasted asparagus and truffled onions, and the blackened mahi-mahi samples more tropical climates with coconut-jasmine rice and pineapple salsa. More than 120 international and domestic wines suggest endless pairings–from appetizers of fried calamari to desserts of housemade pie and seasonal crème brûlée. Free valet parking is available, and guests can also dock their boat at the restaurant by reservation.
Combining their freshly caught fish with ecologically sound practices, the Restaurant has partnered with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Seafood Watch Program to serve sustainable seafood and help protect the balance of marine life.
For the past decade, Fratelli Market's Brooklyn-bred famiglia has made its pastas and sauces according to a 30-year-old recipe and conjures its mozzarella from scratch throughout the day to serve as a base layer for its genuine Italian sandwiches. Brooklyn-style marinara sauce adds a distinctive accent to a plate of spaghetti or sack of accidentally cooked laundry with locatelli romano cheese and spices. Otherwise, mix and match the bacon-infused tomato vodka sauce with Fratelli's fresh-cut linguine, penne, and angel hair swept from the floors of heaven's finest barbershops. The pine-nutty walnut sauce, however, was created with the market's jumbo pumpkin ravioli in mind.
The staffers at Hooked hand select an array of fish, meat, and produce, filling glass coolers with seafood such as sushi-grade yellowfin tuna, scallops, and locally caught cod. They never freeze their fresh selections, lending the food a more natural taste and a decided advantage at freeze tag. Beyond Hooked's fish market, patrons can opt to dine in or carry-out lunches of fried crab cakes, garden salads topped with lobster, and grilled steak sandwiches from an ample menu.
Goods from all regions of Italy jostle for attention in the wide front windows of A.S. Fine Foods, whose owners aim to represent the entire Italian peninsula in the stock of their deli and store. More than 35 years of experience inform their selection of epicurean goods, which range from house-made fresh mozzarella to gourmet pastas and their wardrobes of oils, sauces, and San Marzano tomatoes. The shop stays true to its origins as a pork and beef purveyor with a bountiful Italian deli counter that vends Tuscan porchetta and prosciutto de parma as well as home-made sopressata and capicola. Fresh bread from Brooklyn bakeries stars in the lunch menu of hot sandwiches, but not in any of its straight-to-video sequels.
Prime Time Butcher still wraps cuts of fresh meat in charming paper parcels. Owned by the same family for more than 30 years, the shop ages cuts of Prime beef, from chopped sirloin to london broil, in Prime Time's dry coolers alongside USDA Choice cuts such as standing rib roast. The shop's Bliss Burger patties are conjured from a blend of ground brisket and short ribs.
Prime Time Butcher also stocks a cornucopia of prepared foods, such as beef lasagna and beef-stuffed cabbage, or classic sandwich fillings such as genoa salami and Boar's Head bologna. Customers can custom-order catering and party packages to feed hungry partiers with entrees such as chicken marsala and eggplant parmesan, sides of teriyaki rice and house-made potato chips, and platters of cookies that disguise Cookie Monster's jury summons.