Flanders Fish Market: Walrus-Approved Seafood in East Lyme

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Flanders Fish Market has served pristine local seafood for 25 years.

On any given day, Flanders Fish Market sells up to two-dozen varieties of fresh local fish, including flounder, halibut, monkfish, and if you time your visit just right, bluefish, Arctic char or shark. They also sell plenty of shellfish. After all, Flanders’ e-mail address is [email protected] Paul and Donna Formica opened Flanders in 1983, and after 25 years, the market with the goofy walrus logo still garners the title of “Best Fish Market” from Connecticut magazine. With that much sealife at their disposal, it’s no surprise that Flanders also contains one of the better seafood restaurants in southeast Connecticut.


Seafood Connecticut

Two people at the table started with soup. Lobster bisque was clearly the superior cup creamy, with a little sherry and sweet lobster bits.

Seafood Connecticut

Rhode Island clam chowder wasn’t creamy like New England clam chowder or tomato-based like Manhattan clam chowder. Instead, it was a “clear” briny brew with diced vegetables, parsley and clams.

Seafood Connecticut

Crab cakes weren’t quite lump, but they were the size of hockey pucks, with crisp crusts and plentiful blue crab.

On a previous visit five years ago, Flanders lavished their broiled sea scallops with breadcrumbs that provided a textural contrast and some much-needed color.

Seafood Connecticut

Stonington sea scallops are sweet and milky white, so they don’t need any help, and this butter-bathed serving was still strong, but that first experience was more memorable. Today’s sides were solid, with rice strewn with bay shrimp and crab meat, and crisp, simple cole slaw.

Seafood Connecticut

The fried seafood platter was suitable for three people, easy.

Juicy, crisp-crusted haddock, a meaty white fish; joined stuffed clam featuring a mass of breadcrumbs, vegetables and clam meat that was formed back into the shell and fried. Bay scallops tend to have the consistency of pencil erasers, but not at Flanders, where they were supple, with golden crusts. There was also calamari and clams. A lobster tail was reputedly overcooked, but not the jumbo shrimp, which were plump, with batter so thin it was still pink. The platter came with a base of sweet potato fries, which weren’t crisp at all, more like basic roasted sweet potato strips, with the skins still on.

The décor is dated, and it’s definitely more fun eating in-the-rough at a place like Abbot’s, but Flanders Fish Market still offers one of the better indoor seafood meals in eastern Connecticut.

Flanders Fish Market: Walrus-Approved Seafood in East Lyme

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Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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