Bar Bites at La Marea


I am a small plates fanatic. Why gorge on one large portion (say a slab of salmon or a half a chicken), when you can feast on many flavors at a single dinner? Luckily, in this, I’m not alone. Most restaurants offer plenty of interesting appetizers that can be cobbled together to make a meal, without ever bothering to scan the entree menu. And it’s even better when it’s earlyish bird AND a deal. When I heard about La Marea’s $8 Bar Bites and a fleet of $8 cocktails, we sped right over. Three of us shared the entire menu of six options. Skewered shrimp was plump and properly grilled, I’ll never say no to Arancini, a cheesy rice ball; we slurped the briny, buttery clam sauce after we plowed through the portion of tiny mollusks (might order two next time), and the bruschetta hit just the right tomatoey, garlicky note. I’m generally not a fan of Frito Misto, but there’s nothing wrong with a fried veg or two, and we easily made our way through a cone of crisp truffle fries doused with Parmigiano. Yes, they’re ubiquitous, but it’s for good reason. On our evening the special cocktail was a watermelon margarita: a luscious combination of slightly sweet fresh-squeezed juice, tangy lime, and a salted rim. Really, what more could you ask for? Pizza! It’s a tall order to sit through dinner at La Marea, watching the pies whizz by, without ordering one and we couldn’t resist. A few slices of Margarita, plus leftovers and home by 7:30 on a Wednesday. A happy hump day for all.

Bar Bites and $8 martinis, margaritas and manhattans, plus $8 bar bites on Monday and Wednesday nights. Tuesday is Pizza Night: enjoy a glass of house wine or beer with your pie for $20.


732 Middlesex Turnpike in Old Saybrook


You may also like Pizza Please! Our Favorite Pies