Were you feeling “meh” about the Old Lyme Inn? The top-to-toe reno aside, the dining room wasn’t pulling it’s weight. We all know how hard it is to get a restaurant right: food, service, menu, decor, ambiance. I for one, wouldn’t want that job. But the owners of the OLI, besides lovingly restoring our landmark Inn, want us to hang out there too. With the installation of a new, seasoned manager (ex of Morgan’s hotel group) to get the staff up to snuff and an experienced chef (from The White Barn Inn), it’s high time to give it another go.
The team and I dipped in for lunch and were cheered on a dismal day by grilled four-cheese and homey tomato soup. Pam Pam and Sarah LOVED their fresh Ahi taco. We couldn’t stop there, however, and went all out with dessert: buttermilk pana cotta (wiggly and gorgeous) and an over-the-top brownie sundae mountain (bribing workers with chocolate is always a good idea).
A week later I was invited for a tasting of the new menu, an embarrassment of food! For a girl who orders every entree by what comes with it, this place is heaven. Frankly, I could skip the protein altogether when faced with tangy kale Caesar, spicy edamame, apple cider braised Brussels, wicked truffle fries and a truly sublime sweet potato gratin. The filet accompanying said gratin was up there, too. And while lobster mac n’ cheese always sounds like an oxymoron to me, I say indulge! Lovely chunks of tail meat, crispy crust and not too gooey.
My husband was walking down memory lane with Mama’s meatballs (humongous and tasty) while I got busy with a crazy chocolate martini. I won’t spoil it, but you will LOVE the surprise treat at the end! The OLI is also home to the new Side Door Jazz Club, a big, big deal for the Shoreline with jazz greats headlining weekly in the acoustically flawless and intimate room. Oh, and for OLI diehards? Yes, liver and onions is still on the menu. oldlymeinn.com
Tags: Old Lyme, Inn, Dinner, Lunch, Side Door Jazz Club