Illustrator Matt Caserta
Lenny’s Indian Head Inn, Branford
What to expect: Zero atmosphere but great food; try the “famous shore dinner,” with lobster, clear-broth chowder, raw cherrystone clams, steamed clams, and sweet corn.
Check it out: 205 South Montowese Street; 203/488-1500 or lennysnow.com
The Place, Guilford
What to expect: You sit at outdoor tables made from plywood mounted on logs. Everything, including the clams, steamers, mussels, shrimp, bluefish, lobster, and corn on the cob (dunked in butter), cooks on an immense grill. Bring your own alcohol, side dishes, and seat cushion. Cash or check only. The Place is open April to October.
Check it out: : 901 Boston Post Road; 203/453-9276 or web.me.com/nesserfly/theplaceguilford
Spencer’s Shad Shack, Haddam
What to expect: Masters of the art of “planking” shad. Cooked on wood over an open fire, this fish and its eggs (shad roe) are a regional delight. Shad season is unpredictable―April or May―so call before you go.
Check it out: 1146 Saybrook Road; 860/345-4805
Lenny & Joe’s Fish Tale, Madison
What to expect: Of the two locations (Madison and nearby Westbrook), we prefer the more casual one in Madison. You’ll love the fried shrimp, lobster roll, and clear-broth clam chowder.
Check it out: 1301 Boston Post Road (Route 1); 203/245-7289 or ljfishtale.com
Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock, New London
What to expect: Lobster rolls, steamed clams, fried platters. BYO beer and wine. Open spring through early fall.
Check it out: 80 Hamilton Street; 860/439-1741 or captscotts.com
Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough, Noank
What to expect: A classic summer-season-only lobster shack with great views of Long Island Sound and the Mystic River.
Check it out: 117 Pearl Street; 860/536-7719 or abbotts-lobster.com