Monday, September 7, 2009
Great BBQ. IN CONNECTICUT!?!
It's possible. In fact, not surprising when you consider what barbecue really is. Many New Englanders and New Yorkers (myself included, before being duly initiated) will say "barbecue" when they really mean grilling hamburgers and dogs. It's not their fault really, they just don't know the nomenclature. New Englanders barbecue all the time, they just have other names for it. For example, a "clambake" is nothing less than barbacoa, the most ancient form of barbecue. New Englander's use shellfish rather than pork (plus seaweed and local hardwood), but otherwise it's very similar.
This brings me to original subject, great BBQ. While visiting relatives in my former home state, we went out of our way to visit one of the finest Connecticut shoreline "must visit" restaurants and hands-down best place for grilled lobster anywhere. "The Place" in Guilford, CT has been in business since 1971 and I've never seen it busier. It's extremely low-key. Everything is outdoors; the food prep, cooking and dining. Patrons sit on tree stumps around tables that were once wire spools (really). The menu is painted on a fence and the restaurant provided nothing but great food and pleasant atmosphere. This brings me to the second reason why The Place is so good: because you are provided next to nothing, you have every reason to bring everything, and that is exactly what folks do. I've seen everything from linen tablecloths, champagne and crystal to fancy side dishes, salads and sound systems. Some diners seem to go just to "out do" each other.
Before I digress further, let me tell you that there is nothing as delicious as lobster split and grilled over an oak fire. Corn is roasted in the husk and then drown in drawn butter (just try and stop yourself at two). My favorite is the clam special: fresh littlenecks with lemon and cocktail sauce grilled to perfection.
The Place, Gulford, CT 891 Boston Post Rd., Guilford, CT 203-453-9276
Another review: http://www.weloveclams.com/place.html