One of our evenings in Mystic, Connecticut found us at an Inn on a hillside overlooking Mystic Harbor and the Amtrak station. The Inn at Mystic offers a beautiful view and the Flood Tide restaurant.
We were seated at a prime table in front of a bank of windows. Even though it was dark oustide, you could see twinkling lights and reflections of the lights in the water.
The restaurant’s website states they use local seafood, organic, local fruits and vegetables and meats and shellfish which are free from hormones and antibiotics whenever possible.
Still on the clam chowder bender, I knew Ron would be sampling Flood Tide’s “award-winning” concoction. They must have chowder contests all year around in the Mystic area because every restaurant we patronize claims to hold a chowder title of some sort. Well, except Rice Spice Noodles! No clam chowder on that menu- which is where I enjoyed lunch earlier this day.
Several attractive options graced the menu, most of which were expectantly seafood. (I am wondering how many days it will take this week before I can’t stand the thought of seafood.) During pre-trip research, I stumbled upon this restaurant and was interested in their brick-oven tarts, particularly duck confit with roasted garlic which was absent from the menu today. However, Ron latched onto the clam tart for $14 and made it his order.
Secretly, I supposed his real reasons for ordering this dish: 1) it was clammy and the clams are local and fresh according to our server, and 2) it was one of the least expensive choices. Ron has had a minor case of tourist burn, feeling the prices have been inflated unfairly, because he is forced to eat out all week. I am surprised he hasn’t suggested we go the supermarket for sandwich fixin’s to keep in a cooler to save money. Maybe after three years he knows I would never approve of that?
Believing that pretty much anything tastes great wrapped inside puff pastry, I went with the Wild Salmon En Croute, served with hericot verts and a tarragon cream sauce for $26.
Ron’s $8 bowl of local quahog chowder was large. The flavor was much different than the chowders he previously sampled. It had a nice smoky flavor, which we learned from our informative server was imparted through the use of salt pork.
Visibly disappointed by his entree, Ron wondered why they didn’t just call it a “pizza” in the menu description. A generous portion of littleneck clams shared surface space with garlic, pecorino cheese and basil chiffonade. He was less than impressed.
I sure was relieved I hadn’t ordered a tart because like Ron, and the first 5 dictionary definitions I could find on-line, believe a tart is a pastry filled with sweet or savory ingredients, with no top crust. Pastry does not equal pizza crust in my opinion. I expected Ron to receive an open-faced savory pie…a flaky pastry crust…not a regular ol’ pizza. The clams were chewy, the crust was forgettable, and the only flavors I could discern were garlic and fresh basil.
Even though my entree’s cost almost doubled Ron’s so-called tart, I definitely enjoyed it twice as much. The haricot verts (just a fancy French term for thin green beans) were perfectly cooked, retaining their bright green color and snap. Truly a fan of cream sauces, I enjoyed the generous pond of sauce, but really did not taste the roasted fennel the menu description promised me. The tarragon came through, though, nicely.
The flaky pink salmon was gift-wrapped for me in a golden-brown pastry shell. The presentation sort of looks like a chia pet, don’t you think? Overall, I was pleased with this dish, especially if I did receive wild-caught salmon. I am a bit skeptical after hearing so many stories of restaurants misrepresenting where their seafood orginates.
A glass of pinot grigio topped of my meal while Ron continues to sample the favorite local draft beers. This is a very romantic restaurant at night – quiet, candlelit and a calming nighttime view. Linen tablecloths and napkins were present, as expected. Service was professional, prompt and friendly.
Based on our total experience at Flood Tide, I rate it THREE FORKS, but I would not recommend the “tarts”. If you visit this restaurant, choose one of the entrees and spend the extra money.
After a very restless night, leaving the details to your imagination, Ron is finally through with clams this week. The next day we went to the drug store for Tums and Immodium…just in case!Flood Tide 3 Williams Avenue Mystic, CT 860-536-9604