Date night doesn’t always need to mean candlelit, upscale, French or Italian cuisine, dressing formal, or requiring a quiet and/or romantic atmosphere. More often than not, the equation should just include having great food, drinks, service, conversation, laughs, and a casual evening.
We have the exact remedy: Saybrook Fish House in Rocky Hill, CT. Stepping inside does feel like the hull of a ship or your typical seafood shanty, but there is much more beneath the surface. Cozy is a four letter word you’ll embrace at Saybrook Fish House.
It begins with a smile from your server who will ease you into your evening with an over-sized martini or glass of wine.
The Sweaty one cannot resist their dirty martini with its obscene amount of olives and olive juice. The Sweet one’s favorite on the other hand is the Mud-tini, basically a mudslide done ‘up’ vs. frozen and watered down to oblivion. The Mudtini isn’t on their Fall/Winter cocktail menu, and even though they said they’ll make it any time of year, we experimented with the Fall/Winter Pumpkin martini substitution. Thumbs all the way up!
Dinner includes a very robust basket of bread. We know, this is an old school standard. But, we were psyched on it as our usual gastropub and trendy adventures never include this good ol’ American, carb-loading classic.
We love appetizers, but we know to save belly space for what’s next: Saybrook Fish House’s, again-included-with dinner, house salad. Did someone just say “Whoopty doo?” Listen, their salad commands your attention. It’s overwhelming fresh ingredients are never tarnished and their homemade dressing comes straight from the house-dressing gods. We’re talking champagne vinaigrette & creamy garlic dressing in separate jars that you mix yourself, into heavenly bliss. We finish it all every time…
Oh yeah, and then the dinner was good too. Goodnight!
That’s what we’re talking about here though folks, we haven’t even gotten to the main course and we’re already happy campers. And no, they’re not just pulling an Olive Garden fast one where you come for the breadsticks and salad, but just say ‘meh’ to the meal.
The specials are normally top notch with fish, crab cake, and/or surf and turf delights which are difficult to pass up. We decided to stick with their set menu this time and dive into the Bouillabaisse and Fish & Chips.
The bouillabaisse* had a plentiful melange of all the seafood you would expect, with noticeably larger cuts of crab and lobster. You could tell the freshness with this as well as there was no setting of oil in the broth and the sodium levels were kept in check. *Pic featured at top of article.
The menu stated that the fish and chips were breaded and cooked to order, which the texture and taste confirmed! The fries were also fresh, and the coleslaw with it’s incorporation of red bell pepper was more than satisfying.
We would both go with these entrees again and can’t wait until next time to venture into the menu even more!
We skipped coffee and dessert, and took home their complimentary fruit plate. Since it was packaged up, we didn’t get a pic. Believe us though, it’s a great offering and always a perfect addition to breakfast the morning after. We’re talking two of each: cantaloupe slices, honey dew melon slices, strawberries, and pineapple – and like with everything else at Saybrook, extremely fresh. It’s totally unnecessary, but Saybrook ends your meal with it every time, even if you ask ahead about taking it to go!
Note: if you can’t get a sitter or the parents to come by, Saybrook Fish House is also very kid friendly. Heck, you could even make it a family Valentine’s Date there and you’d be happy you did it. Tip: the crayons and paper table covers are adult friendly as well. We have never been ashamed to spread a little wax color there either… enjoy!
-The Sweet and Sweaty