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April 12, 2021
Eat / restaurants / Dining Al Fresco 2021

A Guide to Outdoor Dining in 2021

river tavern

The tents are up at La Marea and The Essex, Carlson’s Landing is opening on April 15th and The Blue Oar is opening on May 8th. We cannot wait to get out and about. Here’s our list of outdoor dining for 2021. 

The warm weather is back, and with that comes outdoor dining! We checked in with a few of our favorite shoreline restaurants to see how they’re preparing:

(Click on the name to visit their site)

Alforno Trattoria in Old Saybrook has moved outdoors for lunch and dinner service. Seating for 75 guests is available under the covered walkway that runs the length of the plaza. The main dining room has a few remaining tables —spaced appropriately for everyone’s safety— for those who prefer to dine inside. Touchless takeout is available, too. 1654 Boston Post Road in Old Saybrook. Read our review of Alforno here   

Hot French Chix is open for indoor (with limited tables) and courtyard dining starting April 9th. Taking reservations now for Thursday-Sunday starting at 5pm. 860-322-4102, 59 Main Street, Chester. Click here for the E-List review.

Chapter One Guilford is offering outdoor dining, as well as continuing their curbside pickup option. Hours are Monday through Wednesday 3:30pm – 10pm,  Thursday + Friday 12pm – 10pm, and Saturday + Sunday 10am-10pm. 25 Whitfield Street, Guilford. Read the E-List review.

Red36 in Mystic has resumed their full menu and regular hours for outdoor dining. Even happy hour is starting up again! Open on Tuesday-Saturday 11:30am-9pm and Sunday 11:30am-8pm. 2 Washington Street, Mystic. 

Noank staple Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough will reopen for the season Fridays through Sundays starting May 7th, 11am – 8pm, and full-time on May 28th, 11am – 9pm. 117 Pearl Street, Noank. Check out our review here.

Shank’s Waterfront Dining in Clinton is reopening for the season on May 20th. Enjoy live music and their classic BYOB option. Open daily from 11am-8pm. 131-c Grove Street, Clinton. Read our review

Summer classic The Place in Guilford is back May 1st featuring their usual outdoor dining and takeout options. Tables are placed 6 feet apart and are limited to households only to encourage social distancing. Don’t forget, The Place is cash or check only. Open Monday-Thursday 5-9pm, Friday 5-10pm, Saturday 1-10pm, Sunday/Holidays 12pm-9pm. 901 Boston Post Road, Guilford.

The tents are up at The Essex Market with their new format featuring six different restaurant concepts. For a more intimate fine dining experience, head to The Essex, where you’ll need to book in advance to reserve one of the patio tables. Open 4-8pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  30 Main Street, Centerbrook (front entrance). Our E-List review! 

One of our favorites for locally-sourced and seasonally inspired Italian fare, Grano Arso in Chester opened a festive, socially distanced outdoor patio for al fresco enjoyment of their hand-milled pastas, tasty main dishes (the pan-roasted chicken is Erica’s favorite!), and delectable desserts. Open Tuesday thru Thursday, from 5pm to 8:30pm, and Friday through Sunday, 5pm to 9:30pm. Take-out still available. Reservation only. 6 Main Street, Chester. Check out our review

The Griswold Inn is open for outdoor dining and curbside pickup daily from 11:30am-8pm. Located at 36 Main Street, Essex. Read our review here! 

Aspen is now open. Reservations are strongly recommended and you can make them via “Open Table”. Open from Wednesday through Sunday from 11:30am to 9pm. 2 Main Street, Old Saybrook.

South Lane Bistro in Guilford has added al fresco dining, Sunday-Wednesday 4pm-8pm, Thursday-Saturday 4pm-9pm, and Sundays 4pm-8pm. 63 Whitfield Street, Guilford. Read our review

Both the bookstore and the outdoor café at RJ Julia in Madison are open. Enjoy lunch on the patio Monday-Sunday, 11am-5pm. Kitchen closes at 4 pm. 768 Boston Post Road, Madison. 

Dine by boat or at the riverside picnic tables at the Blue Oar, scheduled to reopen May 8th, in Haddam. BYOB and cash only. Open daily from 11:30am-9pm. 16 Snyder Road, Haddam. Here’s our review! 

Enjoy vineyard views at Rose’s Winery in North Branford Thursday-Saturday 11am-8pm. Sundays and Wednesdays 11am-6pm. Curbside pickup is still an option. 33 Branford Road, North Branford. Read our review. 

The Engine Room is open for takeout and outdoor dining Monday-Thursday 11pm-10pm, Friday-Saturday 11pm-11pm, and Sunday 10am-10pm. Their outdoor tent is coming soon! 14 Holmes Street, Mystic. Our review here 

Dine al fresco at Grass & Bone daily from 10am-8pm, or order for takeout. 24 E Main Street, Mystic. Read our review! 

Oyster Club’s new location is open and features year-round outdoor dining in their tent “Treehouse”. Open Wednesday-Sunday 4pm-9pm and Saturday and Sunday from 11am-2:30pm for brunch! 13 Water Street Mystic, CT. Read our review of Oyster Club here! 

Indulge in a much-needed vacation at the Weekapaug Inn. Accommodations–including fitness center, pool and beach–will be open along with outdoor dining at any of the three restaurants. 25 Spray Rock Road, Westerly RI.

Book a weekend getaway at the Ocean House in Westerly, reopening for outdoor dining June 16th. Dine outside at COAST, the Bistro, and the Verandah, or pick up fast-casual meals at Seaside Terrace. 1 Bluff Ave, Westerly RI. Read our review of COAST here. 

Dine overlooking the Sound at Fresh Salt, located outside of the Saybrook Point Inn. We recommend calling ahead to reserve since seating is limited and weather-dependent. Check out their website for live music and other events. Open Monday-Thursday 11:30pm-8pm, Friday-Sunday 11:30pm-9pm. 2 Bridge Street, Old Saybrook. Here’s our review! 

La Marea continues to offer curbside pickup, which you can order by phone and pay by credit card only. Outdoor seating available Wednesday, Thursday + Sunday 4pm-9:00pm, Friday-Saturday 4pm-10pm. 732 Middlesex Turnpike, Old Saybrook. Read our outdoor dining review

Café Routier plans to reopen its outdoor dining in April. Dinner service available 5pm-8pm weekdays and 4pm-8:30pm on weekends. 1353 Boston Post Road, Westbrook. Our review! 

Bar Bouchee offers patio seating Tuesday-Sunday, 4pm-8:30pm. Takeout and curbside pickup hours continue Tuesday-Sunday, 4pm-8:30pm. 8 Scotland Ave., Madison. Check out our review here!  

Chester’s River Tavern is open for outdoor dining 5-8 Thursday, 5-9 Friday, 12-9 Saturday, and 12-8 Sunday. Their summer pop-up dates have yet to be set. Our review!

Flanders Fish Market plans to reopen its Niantic beach stand June 20th, weather-dependent. Service will run from 7am-4pm daily. Read our review here!

Located in the Essex marina, Siren Kitchen & Bar first opened for business last summer and will reopen for this season come April! Open daily from 11am-8pm. Check out our review!

Old Lyme’s Hangry Goose is open for outdoor dining on its patio overlooking the Lieutenant River! Open 7am-2:30pm Monday through Saturday and 7am-12pm Sunday. Read the E-List review of The Hangry Goose under new ownership!

Carlson’s Landing, located in Essex Village, is back for the summer on April 15th! Open every day except Tuesday, from 12pm-9pm, and 11:30am-4pm Sunday. Check out our outdoor dining review from 2020!

Coming Soon! Cafe Flo opens May 1. By reservation only (860) 434-5542 x 126. They begin accepting reservations the end of April. Limit your party to 5 people.


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