Friday, February 20, 2009

From the Atlantic to the Pacific in Middletown

I thought it was going to be a quiet evening, till Masselli emailed to remind me about our weekly martini get together (a tradition that is only a few weeks old - but it was my turn to buy, and Masselli wasn't about to let me off the hook). Tonight, for starters, we checked out the hot new restaurant and jazz club, Fishbone Café on Court Street. The interior of the bar and restaurant downstairs is low-key impressive, and the owners Ted Tine and Rosie Prue have also put in a cool club room upstairs for jazz and blues performances. I am definitely looking forward to the music scene there. And when the weather warms up, there are also decks upstairs and down for outside lounging. Apparently a 'Tiki Bar' is also in the offing. Should be loads of fun. And the front of the restaurant, facing Court Street, has a retractable garage door that will open the interior onto the sidewalk in pleasant weather. A well-thought-out design.

We had some nice martinis, and to top things off we tried the conch fritters - a recipe that Tine brought up from Key West. Delectable. We looked at the menu too, even though I was soon due at home. The meals look fabulous, and I cannot wait to return. For those of you who prefer land animals or vegetable fare, there are lots of options from above sea level. Here's their website, some of which is still under construction.

By now the place was starting to fill up with the dinner crowd. Just before we left we ran into some friends who had already heard exciting things about the menu (the place has only been open a few days, so news travels fast!). On our way out, Masselli insisted that I see the new interior of Mikado (on Melilli Plaza, between Court and Washington). My protests notwithstanding, in we went. Unbelievable! Hard to believe that we are in a depression (okay okay, recession), what with all these sleek new nightlife options. Mikado's renovation is lovely: new stone work on the walls, tile on the floor, the water streaming down the stone facing in the entrance, and the plant life beneath the floor. So Masselli insisted we try the Sushi bar and some warm sake. Well, I'm a sucker for sake. We also tried the firehouse rolls and the California rolls. Both were excellent, but the firehouse (with Tuna) were, frankly, to die for. Absolutely mouth-watering. You can check out the menu and some images on their current website. And we had a nice chat with Bob, the owner, who regaled us with stories of his three-month renovation. (Believe me Bob, I can relate: we've been renovating our house for ten years now, with no end in sight.)

A great night out from coast to coast in Central Connecticut.


archdiva said...

Fishbone sounds fantastic...can't wait to go for the sights, tastes and sounds....especially once the weather warms and the garage doors go up!

Anonymous said...

The Mikado renovations are truly spectacular! I always felt like I was diving underwater when I visited there, but even more so now with the new steel blue interior. Love the chic new fabric on the upholstery, the oh-so-private Tatami Room, and the new bar. Gone is the disorienting raised dining area in the back of the restaurant, that always made me feel like I was walking the plank of a ship to my doom, especially after a cup of sake.

But the one thing that has remained the same at Mikados (besides the great Japanese food), and my favorite quirk of this restaurant, are the handmade ginghams and floral prints of their soft cotton napkins! Thank you for maintaining that link to the past. Another Middletown tradition preserved.