I’ve been craving oysters on the half shell and in Connecticut, good oysters can be hard to find. I am very picky, though, when it comes to fresh seafood. I learned of my love for seafood on the coast of Maine and frequent very often.
I heard of a new restaurant called Market Grille in Manchester, Connecticut. The grill just opened about a month ago and has been getting rave reviews ever since. It’s owned by Abigail’s in Simsbury which is well-known so I decided to give it a try. My first impression of the restaurant was when I called in the morning and the only reservation left was at 7:45pm. If there was only one seating available, this place had to be good.
As we walked in for our 7:45 reservation, the place was hopping. Anyone who came off the street were turned away with a two-hour wait. The kitchen seemed a little backed up as we had to wait fifteen minutes to be seated after our reservation. The place was decorated beautifully, although a bit loud on a weekend, there were large booths and a very charming romantic atmosphere. What I also loved was the outdoor patio was heated and had a huge fireplace for everyone to enjoy some fresh air.
Market Grille, I learned, serves everything fresh and from around the area. Most of their food is from local farmers. I love restaurants that order locally because you know it’s fresh and they’re helping out the people they’re serving to. All of their alcohol is from within the United States. If you’re looking for some Grey Goose for your martini, you won’t find it. What surprised me the most was their amazing selection of different drinks. They make their own infusions including Bacon-Infused Makers Mark Bourbon, Cinnamon, Apple, & Peach-Infused Makers Mark Bourbon, Blackberry-Infused Onyx Moonshine, Hibiscus Tea-Infused Comb Vodka, Chipotle Jalapeno-Infused Hotel California Tequila, and Vanilla & Cranberry-Infused Cold River Vodka. Can you say yum? They also have some very enticing cocktails, martinis and sangrias. As I am a wine-o I had to have a sangria. I ordered the Lavender sangria with lavender meade, fruit punch and basil. The drink is one of the best I’ve had. The taste was so refreshing and crisp, I definitely recommend it.
To start off, we ordered the Blue Point, Malpeque and Orleans oysters. The oysters came out clean and fresh. I slurped down a few and was happily satisfied. The Blue Point with the citrus mingonette by far had to be my favorite of the three choices they served. As another starter, we also ordered the caesar salad. I thought the dressing could’ve used a bit more flavor to it though.
For an entrée, I ordered their “Everything” crusted yellow fin tuna. I love sushi so I ordered the dish as rare as they could make it and they delivered. I was surprised by the huge portion of tuna that came on my dish, a rather large piece than usual. The fish melted in your mouth and was absolutely delicious. At the table, we also had a halibut dish on the specials menu which was equally satisfying and came with all different types of fish and lobster. Lastly, we ordered the California Spicy Asian Pasta which came with a plethora of toppings from scallops, shrimp, chicken and vegetables. Boy was that dish spicy. Don’t worry, I didn’t eat all of this, just a taste.
The Market Grille is at 110 Buckland Hills Drive in Manchester, Connecticut and worth the wait. Remember to make reservations in advance or you will be twiddling your thumbs for quite a while with a hungry stomach.