Oyster bar mystic

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Old Saybrook is nestled comfortably between Boston and New York for a quick getaway to indulge in some of Connecticut’s finest shores, vistas and marinas. Old Saybrook is one of the oldest towns in the state, with a Main Street that offers a vibrant collection of shops and restaurants.

Amidst all of its charm and history lies a little community that also knows how to have fun. Every summer, Old Saybrook holds an arts & craft show, Taste-of-Saybrook Fest, boat shows, a Summer Pops Concert, sidewalk sales, fireworks, and once a week you can stroll down to the Town Green for an early evening outdoor concert. During the holidays, Main Street holds the annual Torchlight Muster and Carol Sing, which truly is a sight to see. A great attraction to Main Street is the Kathryn Hepburn Theater presents work in several genres including music, theater, opera, dance, comedy, film, and a variety of children’s programming.

We know you'll enjoy your visit.

166 Main Street Old Saybrook, CT 06475

Sours: https://livsoysterbar.com/about

Teamwork and talent: Jeremy and Edgar bring stunning fresh cuisine to S&P Oyster in Mystic

This week's edition of The Local Flavor features two individuals: general manager Jeremy Socha and executive chef Edgar Cobena. Jeremy was born and raised in Mystic and started working at S&P as a kid bussing tables. Edgar came from Ecuador seeking a brighter future and to kindle his passion for cooking. Together and with their staff, they've helped shape S&P Oyster Restaurant and Bar into a Mystic staple, where guests can experience the very best Connecticut cuisine has to offer.

Blaine: So when you had grown up, Jeremy, did you know from a young age that you wanted to be in the restaurant business?

Combined, Edgar and Jeremy have 49 years of experience working at S&P. They've been through it all, and are excited for what's to come.

Jeremy: No, I didn’t. I started working here when I was 15. I’ve been here for 27 years, Edgar’s been here for 22 years. I started bussing tables here as a kid, worked my way into a serving position. I really enjoyed that. I was given an opportunity to be a manager after that. Cathleen Holland has been my boss my entire life, she’s now our partner. She’s been a great person to work for.

Blaine: Was S&P your first restaurant?

Jeremy: It’s the only restaurant I’ve worked in. I did work on lobster boats as a kid. I learned a lot about seafood and fishing; I’ve always been on the water. I was able to apply that experience to this job in connecting with different fish mongers and we can talk different fish products and different things. It really helped us with the products we bring in.

Blaine: When you, Edgar, were growing up in Ecuador, were you thinking of being a chef?

Edgar's wealth of cooking expertise matches his dedication to learn. The food at S&P showcases this talent and passion.

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Edgar: No, when I lived in Ecuador, I went to college to be an engineer, to be a mechanic. But it wasn’t what I wanted to do; my father wanted me to be an engineer. When I went to college, I really didn’t like it. I decided I didn’t want to go down this path. When I came to the United States, I worked with a couple restaurants and was inspired by two different chefs that I worked with. I just fell in love with the food. I fell in love with the kitchen. It was something that I never felt before.

I decided to stay here at S&P because I saw opportunity here. Cathleen was the first person who believed in me and helped me out a lot to decide what I wanted to do. After a few years, she sent me to CIA (Culinary Institute of America) to become a chef, the CIA in New York. It was one of the best things to happen to me. I’ve gone to CIA for twelve years, taking different classes even to this day. Cathleen does so well with us, the chefs, to where we get to take these classes every year.

S&P have taken numerous steps to ensure a clean and safe environment, from air circulation efforts to extensive sanitation protocols.

Blaine: How did you meet Cathleen, Jeremy?

Jeremy: At 15, I walked through the door here at S&P and filled out an application. She asked when I could start, and that was literally how we met. She’s been a great inspiration for both Edgar and I. She has a wonderful way of seeing opportunity in people and pulling it out of them. Making them believe in themselves.

I knew once I started managing here, in my early twenties, it was my goal to be an owner of this place. Every action I made was driving toward that, as well as having great people work for us, putting out a great product, and taking care of our guests.

Blaine: So you worked your way up from 15?

Jeremy: There’s not a position I haven’t worked here, including cooking.

Blaine: Did you work under Edgar?

Jeremy: No, he wouldn’t let me work under him. *laughs*

Right by the waterside, S&P has one of the best views in Mystic.

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Blaine: Can you tell me about the history of S&P? How much has changed since you were here?

Jeremy: S&P has been an evolving, growing restaurant for close to 30 years. The restaurant was bought in 1992 and the original owner, Pete, brought Cathleen on almost immediately. We didn’t have outdoor dining initially; that was added on 19 years ago. It didn’t quite have the best reputation. It was known as a tourist trap. We’ve spent countless years investing in this business for the best quality food we can get, having the best staff.

There’s certain recipes that Edgar has been working on for three years before we were confident enough of putting them on the menu. We want to make sure everything is perfect. Years ago, that wasn’t the case. The four of us: Edgar, myself, Pete and Cathleen, all have the same unique drive for everything to be better.

Blaine: For Edgar, what was one of the dishes that took you a lot of time to develop?

"Octopus. It was one of the things that I worked with for a while. I wanted to incorporate some South American flavors." - Edgar Cobena, executive chef at S&P Oyster in Mystic

Edgar: Octopus. It was one of the things that I worked with for a while. I wanted to incorporate some South American flavors. We wanted to cook it and it took us years to perfect the cooking time, for example. Also, finding the right octopus. We looked in Korea, Portugal, Spain. We finally decided on the Spanish octopus cause of its fresh, red color. They feed on lobsters and have just a beautiful flavor.

It took years to figure out the sauce. There are items on the menu that took us time to develop, like sea urchin, finding the best beef and crab meat. We don’t get it canned. We try and find the best, fresh ingredients we can. Fresh calamari, fresh scallops. It takes a lot of time and effort.

Featured is the Empress Lemonade, a mixed drink with Empress gin, lemonade, pineapple juice, and simple syrup.

Jeremy: If we can’t get the product we want, we won’t have it on our menu. Recently, fresh lobster has been challenging to get as it always is this time of year. We shuck all our lobster meat here; we won't buy frozen lobster meat. If we can’t get fresh lobster, we won’t serve it. We will not compromise and serve a lesser quality product.

Blaine: Can you tell me about a dish you used Octopus in?

Edgar: We’ve been doing what we called Octopus a la Plancha (Grilled Octopus). We pan sear it to give it that nice crispiness. We use piquillo peppers, which are Spanish peppers. We combine them with rocoto peppers, from Peru. It gives the dish a nice bit of spice. We use yellow peppers from Peru, too. They’re called aji amarillo.

"I decided to stay here at S&P because I saw opportunity here. Cathleen was the first person who believed in me and helped me out a lot to decide what I wanted to do." - Edgar Cobena, executive chef at S&P Oyster in Mystic

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We’ll use chimichurri for Argentinian flavors. We use polenta from Italy, corn from Peru. What we do is we grind the corn, we add some cheese, cilantro. We put it in the corn husk and steam it for 45 minutes. We let it cool and then cut it in half and pan sear it. We try to combine all these flavors from all these places. That’s one of the dishes that we’ve used octopus in.

Blaine: I know that Mystic is famous for its oysters. Is there any other seafood that is super local that you can source from Connecticut or New England?

S&P features a wide assortment of oysters to choose from, and can even recommend a medley to try in order.

Jeremy: Pretty much everything we can get local, we get for S&P. Fluke has been a great fish that we work with all winter long from right in Stonington. Comes in fresh every day. The oysters are a lot of fun. There’s so many different farms of oysters now. We have oysters from here all the way up to Prince Edward Island. We like to source from different regions for different flavors.

It’s like wine; we train our servers to teach the guests how to eat the oysters. If you eat them in a certain order, you’ll get certain flavors. If you don’t eat them in the right order, one may overpower the other.

Blaine: Talking about the menu a little bit more, is there anything that has a good story or is a person favorite?

Jeremy: The cool thing about our menu is that everything on it has a story. There’s no dish that we said “Well we have to have a burger so just slap one on there.” Our burgers are hand ground meat. We cut all our steaks, tenderloins and New York strips. That’s what’s used in our hamburgers. They come from a farm in Kansas where the animals are cared for and treated humanely. We get extremely tender, fresh meat.

S&P has much more than oysters to choose from, such as their Jumbo Lump Crab cake in a lemon rocoto tartar sauce and cilantro sauce.

Our scallops are Day Boat scallops, meaning they come in every day, unlike Trip Boats, which go out over two week periods. Our salmon is from the Faroe Islands; it’s healthier, wild salmon over ones kept in pens like Atlantic salmon. We’re all about being healthy and serving the best product we can.

Blaine: Any personal favorites, then?

Edgar: One of my favorites is the risotto. I went to Italy for a CIA course and learned risotto. They way they prepared it at school is using butter and chicken stock. I remember when I came back, I wanted to do something different. It reminded me of what my mom used to make at home. What we did is we used some Pecorino Romano cheese and it came out delicious.

Jeremy has worked at S&P since he was 15 and can't imagine working anywhere else.

Jeremy: His risotto is to die for.

Edgar: It became a staple here. Guests come here and order the risotto. That’s one of my favorite dishes cause it reminds me of home.

Blaine: How did business at S&P end up changing with COVID. How did you have to adapt, and was there anything you learned from it all?

Jeremy: What I learned the most is that people want to have options. They want to feel safe. We did everything in our power to make a safe environment. We invested in UV lights for our air systems that kill viruses. They recirculate the air as well; the air in the dining room is recirculated every two minutes. We added fire pit tables outside so we could keep people dining outside even in the winter. There’s a lot of people that don’t feel comfortable eating inside yet.

S&P features plenty of outdoor seating for those looking to enjoy the spring season and warmer weather.

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Takeout has become a big thing for us. We’re glad to be able to give people the same flavors that they can get sitting at the table here. We also did an “In Your Home” menu where, if you’re having dinner for 4 to 6 or even 10 people and you want to have S&P flavors, we can get that to you. It was all about options for us and for our guests. We wanted to give them everything they could ever long for and every option. That’s really what we’ve learned.

I’ve also met some amazing people through all this, some amazing guests that come in on a weekly basis cause they feel safe and comfortable here. We have hired somebody who all she does is clean the restaurant. You feel it, the restaurant feels clean.

What you said, how you don’t want to make COVID the focus of what you talk about, we want the same thing. We want our guests to sit down, enjoy a good dinner, and forget about COVID for a moment.

Blaine: Is there anything you both want to say to the locals who come every week and guests from further away who have come and supported you through COVID?

Jeremy: Personally, I want to say a big thank you. Thank you to all of our customers who come in and support us on a regular basis, whether it's weekly or a couple times a year. I want to thank them for their compliments and for being with us.

"Personally, I want to say a big thank you. Thank you to all of our customers who come in and support us on a regular basis, whether it's weekly or a couple times a year. I want to thank them for their compliments and for being with us." - Jeremy Socha, general manager at S&P Oyster in Mystic

I also want to thank my team. We are very fortunate to have a great team of people here. They all were incredibly driven in the same way Edgar and I were to give great food, great service, and take care of our guests. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to do half of what we did. I can’t thank them enough.

Edgar: I’d like to thank all our guests. We had customers come and leave tips just for the chefs. Some were tipping out $500 just for the kitchen. I had never seen anything like it. We were able to maintain this kitchen from their help. I’ve never seen such support. It was amazing.

Blaine: So what’s coming next for S&P?

Jeremy: We’re gonna be launching our new menus. Our seasonal menu will be coming out around end of April, early May, with some great new flavor Edgar and his team have been working on. We’re doing some cool stuff that we’ve never done before on this one. I feel it’s going to be the best menu we’ve ever put out. For the future, we want to keep learning, stay fresh, keep educating our team and giving them opportunities to grow.

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Sours: https://www.norwichbulletin.com/story/lifestyle/food/2021/03/30/jeremy-and-edgar-bring-fresh-stunning-cuisine-s-p-oyster-mystic-connecticut-ct-seafood-restaurant/4807131001/
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Oyster Club

Had been here a few years ago and had really nice experience. Different this time. We have spent a few Mother’s days here, and decided to come back again this year. What was a warm atmosphere in the past felt cold and rushed. Place seemed over booked. There is a small area in front where coats hang and people can wait. They were actually serving people in this area?? This is also the expo area, so this small space is where all the servers are moving, people are waiting for bathroom, and taking off/putting on coats. I have never felt more in the way! I was simply trying to hang my coat and there is someone eating soup in this waiting area, and when I move out of their way, there is a server that I’m now In the way of?!
Waitress was good, but people kept attempting to bus plates that were were still eating from, we felt like they were trying to turn the table over ASAP.
Cost was ridiculous. 2 adults and 2 kids (they had a grilled cheese and a small pasta) cost me 225 dollars before tip. That was with 12 oysters, 2 entrees , one app and 2 glasses of wine.. this is mystic not Manhattan.

Sours: https://www.opentable.com/oyster-club

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Mighty Mystic Oyster Bar pt.2

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