Owners Juliana and Nino Pisanzio have done their homework, and managed to erect a tent in their front parking lot that feels both safe and serene with plenty of room between the chic modern tables.
My daughter and I were practically giddy to be out, so cocktails were in order. We were delighted with our summery Mojitos and Cosmos. We went for the classics, but there’s a full craft cocktail menu available, too. In our excitement, we over-ordered, of course, but who can resist lightly fried calamari and a salad of creamy burrata and tomatoes? Not us. I know pasta and pizza are La Marea go-to’s, but for me, nothing beats Chicken Milanese. A large thin and crispy breast with fresh arugula, grape tomatoes, and a shaving of Parmigiano was delivered to my table. My daughter opted for classic clams and linguine in a buttery, briny broth. Simple and perfect.
Two-tops are allotted 1 1/2 hours (larger parties get 2 hours), so we decided to eat up our last 15 minutes (literally) with a shared, light, and lovely cheesecake. It was a delightful evening, and we were glad to know that they will continue to offer outdoor seating even when indoor dining returns.
Good to know: Call ahead for reservations. Peruse the menu offerings on your phone, or your server can provide a disposable menu. Hand sanitizer is mandatory at the entrance and at the bathrooms. An attendant disinfects bathrooms between use. Masks must be worn entering and leaving, but you can take them off at your table.
732 Middlesex Turnpike, Old Saybrook