Oyster lovers, head inland. The best oysters to be found in Fairfield County are not on the coast but in Newtown, CT, at Lucas Local Oyster Bar and Woodfire Cookery. The other day I sampled some of the freshest and most expertly opened oysters, pristine, glistening, and briny.
This contemporary American Sea and Land restaurant is housed in an antique house, renovated with rough hewn repurposed boards, and calming gray walls. Lucas is relaxed and fun, a place to enjoy life by eating well. Owner Vince Capelletti is a seasoned restaurateur, and the kitchen is kicking out some excellent dishes. We were recently invited to a tasting by Max Ex, the restaurant marketing firm.
The dish that stayed in my mind afterwards? Shrimp and grits.
Coarse stone-ground grits, lightly grilled red shrimp, sprightly fresh scallions, basil oil, and a poached egg. At brunch it’s like the best adult porridge you could imagine. At dinner, pure comfort food, where you’re saying, “ummm,” after every bite.
Seared Stonington scallops were simply paired with grilled frisée.
Octopus was finished over the wood fire, and paired with hummus and crunchy chickpea. Nice double use of the chickpea.
Mussels Isabella is a stand-out. Maine mussles steamed in pesto sage cream, garnished with deep-fried sage leaves.
Lucas is now open for brunch, and while I would seriously recommend the shrimp and grits, the traditional brunch favorites, are pretty damn good too.
Lobster bene was particularly luscious due to a frothy, lemony Hollandaise, and perfectly poached eggs whose yolks soaked into the airy baguette beneath.
For kids, waffles are served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, which is the best idea ever, and maple syrup and crisp house-cured bacon.
Desserts feature local Ferris ice cream. A bourbon adult sundae–vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, bourbon, and maple foam–was the perfect end to brunch.