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.
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.
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.