There’s nonetheless pizza to be had in Mystic, Conn., however the small coastal city is gaining a giant status as a booming foodie haven and a necessary entry in any East Coast eater’s docket.
Quaint and artsy Mystic, named for the river that runs by it and beneath the bascule bridge earlier than emptying into Long Island Sound, is essentially recognized for its Mystic Seaport Museum (the nation’s main maritime museum). And, because the city the place the Julia Roberts’ career-launching movie “Mystic Pizza” was filmed. (Yes, the Mystic Pizza parlor continues to be there.)
That all modified during the last 10 years. Before sampling the newest fare, pay homage to the decade-old Oyster Club — a classy boîte that upped the village’s culinary chops.
Chef Renee Touponce’s warm-weather menu contains Long Island Sound oysters, like candy Mystics and brinier Fishers Islands, and refreshing dishes like a Caesar salad with grilled bitter radicchio and a dressing swapping anchovy with native smelt. (Entrees run between $28 and $60.)
The small restaurant is prolonged by a tiered out of doors dining deck, appropriately dubbed the Treehouse, which is right for summer time grazing.
Once you’ve thought of the oyster, wander over to Nana’s Bakery and Pizza — the fourth outlet (after the beer-centric Engine Room and nosh store Grass & Bone) from Oyster Club homeowners eighty fifth Day Food Community.
Along with significantly good espresso and house-made kombucha — their miso is fermented in-house, too — natural grain is milled on-site to create the tastiest, most nutritious flour for digestible breads, pastries, made-to-order scorching doughnuts and a proprietary pizza dough, developed by eighty fifth’s government chef James Wayman — the roasted candy potato, kale pesto and pine nut melds completely into its chewy, tasty crust. (Pizzas vary from $10 to $20.)
Meanwhile, Adam Young, a winner of the Food Network’s “Best Baker in America” award, expanded his ridiculously in style Sift Bake Shop with the brilliantly named Young Buns Doughnuts.
Freshly made every day at dawn from home made dough and cake, every hand-cut doughnut is completed with scratch made toppings and fillings: the lemon and elderflower brioche doughnut has a lemon and elderflower liquor glaze, completed with fairly in purple viola flowers. (‘Nuts run between $2.75 and $3.50.)
Young additionally started a top-notch bon-bon enterprise (Adam T. Young Confections) and added Mix Roof Top & Bar atop Sift.
Comfy seating followers out from an extended firepit surrounded by Adirondack rockers whereas a mixologist dispenses drinks as ingredient pushed because the sharable tapas — an area mushroom tart topped with Narragansett Creamery ricotta and lavished with truffle oil is given a pleasant candy lick of caramelized onion. (Tapas run from $14 to $24.)
At the Shipwright’s Daughter — opened in The Whaler’s Inn — chef David Standridge painstakingly dehydrates lemons and grinds them to create a super-sharp powder. He makes use of the zingy secret ingredient to carry out the sweetness of roasted beets, which he tops with purple watercress and inexperienced strawberries, and units on a mattress of creamy North Stonington Greek yogurt.
Another nice end is the tangy sweetness of pickled sultanas to offset the richness of roasted maitake mushrooms topped with roasted minced garlic and ginger, set on a cashew cream laced with scorching chili oil. (Entrees run from $19 to $43.)
For extra high-brow magnificence, pop into the Spicer Mansion, a gorgeously restored onetime Nineteenth-century sea captain’s dwelling, now a small boutique resort.
Not stuffy, and really relaxed, that is the place visiting celebs avoiding the hoi polloi hang around, having fun with chef Philip Morgan’s upscale consolation meals. Morgan pairs traditional culinary disciplines with a little bit quirk, like yuzu brightening the creamy sauce enveloping thick, al dente in-house made pasta ribbons laced with shrimp, salmon, spinach and shiny, sweet-roasted cherry tomatoes.
After Morgan’s weekend brunch — his supremely wealthy granola, yogurt and fruit parfait is topped with dripping honey comb — it’s time for a sleep in the acre-plus backyard. (Entrees run from $24 to $52.)
Moving from haute delicacies to low-brow cool, the brand new Taquerio affords handmade tacos and margaritas in a transformed fuel station — tasty (that’s you, oyster po’ boy taco!) and an aesthetic coup. (Tacos run from $4 to $5.)
“The food scene in Mystic is blowing up,” stated chef Standridge, who moved his household right here from Manhattan final 12 months. He places it down to inventive cooks sourcing hyperlocal from the world’s ample neighborhood of farmers and fishermen.
“There’s a foundation of community here that I’ve never seen before, and it’s pushing the culinary experience over the top,” he stated, “The public is recognizing that.”