Mystic’s Kitchen Little now on Mason’s Island

old restaurant - 870

The bright blue spot where eager eaters filled the benches, waiting for their turn to enter culinary heaven.

This is the story of a very small breakfast and lunch spot named Kitchen Little.  If it were not for its vivid blue color, you might have passed it by as you traveled via CT-27 south from I-95 to The Mystic Seaport Museum.

But people did see it and they stopped; lots of them.  In fact, the crowds standing outside, waiting to get in were reminiscent of other famous morning eateries such as Penny Cluse in Burlington, Vermont or The Hen House on Nantucket, Massachusetts and many others world wide. Toward the end of May 2012 we stopped for a late breakfast. The one room was as fresh as ever; light blue and white checked cloths on the four-top tables and several people sitting at the counter. Menu was extensive and inclusive; service was brisk; coffee plentiful. We chatted a bit with the two Scottish helpers who informed us, “Today’s the last day here.” Oh?

The rent was raised on this wonderful property overlooking the Mystic Seaport harbor so Kitchen Little chose to find a new home.  Well, out of misfortune comes a blessing, and this was the case here.  The proprietor, Flo Klewin found a new ‘home’ at the Mystic River Marina. Getting there is a bit dicey because of a few directional choices, but it is well worth the game.

Google Maps will guide you through this lovely harbor-side neighborhood.

View Larger Map

Faithful followers have found the new site in numbers. We went on a Sunday morning around ten o’clock – mistake. On a weekday, you’ll find it pleasantly busy and the view is just as good. Mystic is a tourist destination and all admonitions thereto apply regarding the best times to visit: off-season is best, early or late.

The new Kitchen Little is larger and retains the airy atmosphere of the old. Light blue and white remains the color scheme. The tables are not crowded; a joy, as some seaside restaurants pack them in. Assuming you’ve come to the shore to see boats, you will not be disappointed – they’re in the water, underway and docked; many are still ‘on the hard’ being readied for launching; they are all beautiful.

The breakfast menu is ample and omelets remain the specialty. One eye-catcher is number 4 – “Pancake Sandwich: ham, two eggs & cheese nestled between two buttermilk pancakes 8.95”.  Real Vermont maple syrup is available. That’s just a hint at the ingenuity of the owner Flo and the chef, Jamie Fowler.  It’s a real mix-and-match kind of thing, especially when it comes to the fluffy omelets with ingredients of your choice. Fresh crab meat is always popular.

Flo

Flo - for 30+ years the happy owner of Kitchen Little Credit: kitchenlittle.org

We caught Flo as she was discussing wines with her provider. Dinners are served now, and plans are under way for special ones featuring wines and beers. A quick chat revealed that Flo’s father-in-law is a long-time Stonington fisherman and his son, her husband has followed in his footsteps along with their son. This part of Connecticut is well known for fishing. The now-defunct NHA team was called The Whalers. Lovers of Colonial design will be bug-eyed at the examples of eighteenth and nineteenth century architecture; majestic homes of the successful whaling captains; old forts that protected the area during the Revolution, the War of 1812 and the Civil War; graceful Churches of every persuasion, and dry-stone walls from one end of the towns to the other.

But back to cuisine – Kitchen Little‘s chef has combined the freshest seafood with herbs and spices used by the Portugese fishing families who populated the shore from here, through Rhode Island, Cape Cod and the islands. An example is Flo’s clam chowder, a clear tasty broth packed with clams, not the thickened chowder seen in some restaurants (a controversy in itself – see links below). Flo had worked since the age of sixteen for her mother, owner of The Pilot House, a popular shore restaurant in Stonington, and carries those recipes with her today. The Stonington Historical Society’s website gives an excellent picture of life in the ports during those 300 years to the present.

Come to Kitchen Little and bring your appetite. The portions are large, the food is delicious, the atmosphere friendly, and the experience wholesome. As Flo says, “Our Portuguese Fisherman’s Omelet won Best Breakfast in CT from The Food Network Magazine.  One champion breakfast was chosen for each of the 50 States and Kitchen Little won for this signature dish! For this dish we use Bomster Scallops – locally source in the waters off the coast of Stonington, CT. They are the freshest scallop you can experience. Then we use fresh Portuguese Chirico Sausage, our signature spice mix and serve with a toasted Portuguese English Muffin.”

If handicapped, park at the end of the building near the entrance. Right now there are a few steps with railings, but a ramp is being constructed as we speak.

Related stories on Striped Pot
Other regional clam chowders

Connecticut’s Travel Information site

For more of Gail Hunter’s travel information on Striped Pot, including the RV lifestyle

Kitchen Little on Facebook
Kitchen Little’s Website

 

 

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