Over the weekend I got to experience the incredible Saybrook Point Inn & Spa, conveniently located about an hour outside of New York City in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. The luxury inn is so much more than a place to lay your head at night, and has several different amenities, functionalities and things to do all under one roof that it is completely worth the visit (that article will be going up shortly). One of the highlights for me during my stay was their incredible restaurant located inside the main building of Saybrook Point Inn called Fresh Salt, which was recently named “Top 25 Most Gorgeous & Delicious Outdoor Dining Spots in Connecticut” by Connecticut Magazine.
Visually, Fresh Salt has a lot going for it. Whereas it is isn’t terribly big in size (not that it needs to be) it more than makes up for it with its decor, energy, customer service and my favorite part- it overlooks the breathtaking views of the Long Island Sound. Elegant in its approach and refined in its execution, Fresh Salt takes some of the best locally grown ingredients and puts them into each and every dish they make, whether it is one from the sea, land or soil.
Normally there is at least one dish that doesn’t really stand out upon doing several other restaurant reviews. Fresh Salt has standouts for everything we tried on their dinner menu, and I would recommend trying any of the following next time you are in the Old Saybrook area. Before revealing, something to keep in mind is that Fresh Salt changes their menus seasonally, so you are guaranteed to have the best of the best regarding whatever is freshest in season when you are going to dine. From The Raw Bar, I would recommend anything from their Chilled Colossal Shrimp or their Tuna Sashimi with Wonton Matchsticks. The latter consists of Diced Sushi-Grade Yellowfin Tuna, Avocado Asian Ginger-Soy Dressing, and Mango Salsa with Cilantro. It is an absolute delight to start off with as you get a ton of fresh and bright flavors all in one dish.
Sometimes the classics just work, and this goes for their New England Clam Chowder, which works so well with the cold weather we have coming. They also have a thinner version available called Rhode Island Clam Chowder or their own “Fresh Salt Style” for you to devour. If you are looking to stay on the healthy side, you may enjoy the Autumn Pear Salad with Artisanal Greens with Port-Poached Pear Smoked Bleu Cheese, Spicy Candied Pecans & Sherry Vinaigrette. Healthy yet packed with flavor and taste.
For their appetizers, you can have another classic like Oysters Rockefeller, which is stuffed with Spinach, Fennel, Garlic and Pernod or something a little bit more glitzy like their Duck Confit Nachos (pictured above) with Pear-Tomato Concasse, Micro-Arugula, CT Goat Cheese Port Wine Reduction and a Crispy Wonton. The Oysters were some of the best I’ve ever had and was bursting with flavor, especially with the Fennel and Garlic inside of it. I never thought of pairing duck and nachos together, but surprisingly they work!
For entrees, let’s split this up three ways- what pasta one works, what land options work, and what sea option work. For pasta, their Lobster Ravioli is simply divine. It is even garnished with Lobster meat on top of the Lobster Filled Pasta and light cream sauce. Totally yummy. From their “Grill and Oven” section, AKA meat, I would try their Duck Montmorency which is a Pistachio-encrusted Breast of Duck, Cherries Compote of Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts and a Endive Balsamic Reduction or their Pork Osso Buco with Fig-Scented Soft Polenta and a Field Mushrooms Truffle Sugo. The Duck is perfectly cooked and has a great supporting cast in its Brussel Sprouts and Butternut Suqash, ans the Osso Buco rings in the same type of reaction with its polenta and truffle sugo. For their fish, try their Swordfish: ‘Mrs. Tag’ Style, which is comprised of Olive Oil, Garlic, Lemon Zest, Italian Parsley Fine Bread Crumbs, Parmesan-Spinach Risotto and Sautéed Zucchini. Totally delicious and hits the mark with simple add on’s like Lemon Zest and Bread Crumbs.
If you still have room for dessert (which you should) you should just go all out and get their Dessert Sampler. The sampler features a S’more, Chocolate Chip Cookie, Pumpkin-Pecan Bread Pudding, Chocolate Mousse, Ricotta Cheesecake and Creme Brulee. The standouts for me were the Bread Pudding and the S’More as they are classic dishes made to perfection, but all of them had great taste to it. Easily this meal gets a 10/10 for execution of flavor, presentation and overall quality.
Fresh Salt also has an award winning Sunday Brunch for you to devour between 8-10 am and is priced at $39.95 per person. For all of Fresh Salt’s menu options, check out their official site.