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Daytrippers: Mystic provides plenty of places to dine

MYSTIC – What’s not to love about this classic New England coastal town?

Every summer the place is packed with hungry visitors – sure , there are the famous spots, like Mystic Pizza, and the many taverns and oyster bars, but what’s new to eat in the SE corner of the state?

Starting with a gas station.  It may be a coffee bar by day, wine bar by night, but the former gas station is everywhere, even the pricing panels adorning the walls.

Michael Connery, owner of mBar – coffee in the morning - and dining at night – it’s where you’re fueling up that makes this place original. “We like being part of something that’s recreating an otherwise very attractive destination – and giving it more of an edge." On to lunch, and we found a butchery that’s going to knock your socks off.

Dan Meiser opened Grass and Bone, a craft butchery, for his other restuarants, the oyster club and engine room , but it’s the counter that’ll make your mouth water. Rotisserie chicken is the star, and sandwiches – like their takes on cubanos – with locally raised pork and beef. Everything comes from the local animals…including beef fat chocolate chip cookies.

“Our challenge every day is how do we utilize everything and waste nothing - we get creative – we make our own beef fat candles.”

Our final stop, Sift Bake Shop, where Adam young is baking up a storm. “A little ginger crust on the bottom, we have a lemon scented cheesecake, with blueberries that have poached in ginger – on the top we have a candied violet that has a mousse like texture."

He’s got traditional things too, crossaints as big as your head, and tinier French macaroons.

“We have caramel sea salt, pistachio, Stella’s funfetti, milk chocolate passion fruit, mimosa, which has been very popular, and rosewater.”

In fact, during peak summer season they’ll sell 3,000 to 4,000 of these macaroons per week – so you’d better get here early.

So, if you want to check out one of the crown jewels of Connecticut – bring your appetite, and check out these new eats.