We were lucky enough to squeeze in a visit to Johnny Ad’s on our way up to Provincetown. Our feast of fried belly clams and clam fritters was probably the best meal we had during the trip. Just like the Hamptons (or anywhere else with a captive audience of wealthy visitors, I guess), we found that Cape Cod has its share of high-priced, mediocre restaurants.
Johnny Ad’s, 910 Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook CT 06475
Grilling the day’s haul from the West Side Market.
Drinks at L’Albatros.
With a name like that, how can you resist? We couldn’t. I spotted the sign from I-95, screamed, and off we went in search of dinner. After several loops around the needlessly complicated traffic circle that greets travelers coming from Exit 24, we found the squat little building and enjoyed a delicious if nutritionally suspect meal. I had the Chicagoan (lettuce, tomato, a pickle spear, mustard, salt, pepper, and hot relish); Al chose the New Englander (sauerkraut, bacon, mustard, sweet relish, and chopped raw onion). The base for both is a split, griddled dog with a fair amount of snap and good if unremarkable flavor. What really sends them into orbit is the quality and quantity of the toppings: very fresh, with homemade relishes and pickles, and everything is doled out with a generous hand. The end result is a bit messy, but not grossly gloppy, and the individual tastes of the various ingredients aren’t muddied. Truly outstanding french fries, as well (shame about the watery iced tea, though).
Super Duper Weenie, 306 Black Rock Turnpike, Fairfield CT
Originally uploaded by warmleatherette
I’m being EXTREMELY slow in writing up the bulk of our Montreal jaunt, but little by little I’ll get there. Today’s small step: La Casa Bianca. I was fortunate enough to stumble upon this lovely, lovely little place while searching a directory of Canadian B&Bs and quickly booked a room. I can’t say enough good about LCB – it’s beautiful, reasonable, has tons of atmosphere and charm, and it’s located in Plateau Mont-Royal on an exceedingly charming street (Avenue de L’Esplanade) facing Mount Royal. We were a quick walk from most of the restaurants we wanted to try and a brisk 15-20 minutes or so from Mile End in one direction and downtown/Chinatown in the other. As you can see, the room itself was fab. LCB is in a renovated mansion (which must have been something in its heyday), so details like high ceilings, crown moldings, wide staircases, and alcoves abound. We had a huge bay window, lots of space, and a proper clawfooted tub.
The cherry on the sundae was the innkeeper, Michael, who seemed to honestly enjoy hanging out and kibbitzing with the guests (or put up a damn good show of it). He was a great, friendly source of advice. I can’t believe that I’m saying something so corny, but coming back at the end of the day actually felt like coming home. There are many reasons why I’m already looking forward to another trip to Montreal next year, and a big one is the opportunity to stay here again.