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    Restaurant Reviews
    Tuesday, August 09, 2022

    Recent restaurant reviews by The Day’s writers

    Zavala Mexican Bistro

    135 Boston Post Road, East Lyme

    (860) 691-1200

    www.zavalamexicanbistro.com

    Let the fiesta resume! Zavala is back in a new location in East Lyme!

    Readers of a certain age will recall Zavala’s previous incarnation near the New London train station and the tasty Mexican fare it served.

    Now tucked in the plaza formerly occupied by Rebeka’s Fresh Pasta, Zavala is serving up its popular hits alongside its signature creative margarita menu. The black bean soup ($7) is as fabulous as I remembered, and I finally got to sample the Citrus Roasted Pork entree ($22), something I never got around to trying in New London. Verdict? Delicious.

    A new item (to me) on the menu is hereby on the To Get Again list, and that’s the Torta de Queso y Frijoles ($12; comes with a mixed greens salad). This item is rustic perfection — a baked, open-faced hard roll topped with layers of beans, cheese, pico de gallo, and guac — but if you’d like a boost of protein, you can also order a similar torta with chicken.

    Perhaps as important as anything? The chips and salsa remain excellent. My chips arrived warm, and the salsa offers a kick of heat and the refreshing flavors of tomato and cilantro. Next time, we’ll go for the chips and guac and, hopefully, start sampling the dessert menu. Mexican Bread Pudding ($8) anyone?

    — Marisa Nadolny

    Groton Townhouse Restaurant

    355 Route 12, Groton

    (860) 449-0355

    www.grotontownhouserestaurant.com

    With the dullard’s slowly dawning awareness of what, to most folks, would have been long-obvious, it occurred to me recently that, every time I drive by the Groton Townhouse restaurant, there are a lot of cars in the parking lot.

    “People eat here! A lot! It might be good!” I thought, doing my epiphanic version of “Cogito, ergo sum.”

    And you know what? It IS good. Granted, the concept of the Townhouse – located hard to a naval base and neighborhoods full of naval housing – is to offer a large variety of reasonably priced and tasty food to fit a similarly large demographic. So, maybe no Michelin stars. But who cares?

    I literally counted hundreds of dishes on the menu – a giant, laminate placard with tiny print that could have served Martin Luther with a fine prototype for his 95 nail-to-the-door theses. Insofar as it was possible in a few visits, we tried a variety of representative offerings. The sandwiches are very, very good; the Cobb salad wonderful; and the “higher end” entrees tasty and filling if perhaps not always justifying the $20-plus price tags.

    It's also true I’ve gotten a more than normal number of reactions from readers – all in the “glad you finally found this place” or “next time try the breakfast” context.

    — Rick Koster

    Sea View Snack Bar

    145 Greenmanville Ave., Mystic

    At Sea View Snack Bar, they’ve got seafood rolls and sandwiches, seafood dinners and platters, hamburgers and hot dogs, and soups, salads and sides.

    It’s a tiny little place on the side of busy Grenmanville Avenue not far from the Mystic Seaport Museum, which has been in business for almost 50 years. That longevity suggests they know what they are doing at Sea View.

    The location is great, too, with a birds-eye view of the Mystic River and boats berthed nearby. On our visit, we indulged in the cold lobster roll for $29.95, and we enjoyed every morsel. We also got the whole clam roll, $23.95, and to both, for an additional $3.95, we added French fries and a beverage. All of it was sinfully good.

    But at Sea View, there are options at various price points, like the chicken tender dinner with fries and coleslaw for $10.25, fish and chips for $16.50, or a bacon and cheese hot dog for $5.70.

    The place is immaculate, the service always good, and the view from the picnic tables never disappoints. And when you’re done with lunch or dinner, Twisters ice cream is right next door.

    — Ann Baldelli

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