Sea Swirl (CT)

Article by Stavros

Sea Swirl is an iconic seafood shack located right on the Pequotsepos River in Mystic, CT that is separated from the busy and touristy part of the town. It is an old Carvel ice cream parlor converted to a seafood shack that caters to mostly locals and brave visitors that venture away from the drawbridge in the historic part of the town. The whole experience at Sea Swirl starts when you park your car, get out and walk to the counter all the while passing lucky customers who are already sitting down at their picnic tables enjoying delicious and freshly made seafood. After feeling a bit of jealousy, you finally glance over their posted menu and feel your mouth start to water as you smell the delicious aromas drifting out of the kitchen.

The menu is not extensive but it has a variety of cuisine to satisfy everyone in your group. Their specialty caters to the seafood crowd; however, they do have a rather accommodating selection of non-seafood items as well. According to their website, they are most known for the fried whole-belly platter and pride themselves on their lobster rolls. The rolls come served cold dressed with light mayo and small pieces of celery on a buttered and toasted hot dog roll.

The cooks at Sea Swirl are masters at making sure the hot dog rolls are filled to their max capacity with whole lobster claws and pieces of tail meat. The fried whole bellies are plump and full of that salty taste that seafood lovers grin about and the strips are crisp and delicious. Almost all of their seafood comes in either a side portion or the meal portion, it is highly recommended that your order the meal portion for only a few dollars more to get extra delicious seafood.

The clam fritters are also great and full of pieces of clams and their fish sandwich is a big juicy piece of fried cod served on a roll and a side of tartar. To sum up the seafood at Sea Swirl, everything on the menu will make your mouth water and will leave you very happy and full.

Stav’s Experience: After spending the weekend celebrating my cousin’s wedding at the Mystic Inn, I was very eager to explore the town of Mystic for a local seafood spot to try. Thankfully for me, Sea Swirl happened to be just across the street. In fact, when I was standing on the balcony of the Haley Mansion I was able to see Sea Swirl just at the bottom of the hill. The wind carried the sound of the server calling out numbers of customers whose food orders were ready to be picked up at the counter. The wait for my food was very short, even though I went at the beginning of the lunch rush. I ordered a lobster roll and a scallop roll with a drink. My first impression was that the lobster roll was packed with meat. There were three full claws spilling over the top and a heap of chunks of tail meat stuffed further into the hot dog roll. After the first bite I could not stop the smile that immediately took over my face. This is what all lobster rolls should taste like. The sweet taste of the claw meat paired so perfectly with the buttery roll. I finished off the remainder of the lobster roll in what seemed like less than 60 seconds because I could not put it down.

The scallop roll was just as delicious. There must have been 10 big scallops spilling over the sides of the toasted roll. I spread just a small amount of tartar sauce to complement the perfectly cooked scallops. The scallops were fried and crisp on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. Both choices were mouthwatering and absolute winners.

Recommendation: To put it bluntly, you cannot go wrong with any seafood option at Sea Swirl. The lobster roll, scallop roll, and fish sandwich are personal favorites but that should not deter anyone from branching out to other options. A big bonus is sitting at one of the tables that are on the far side of the parking lot and right next to the mouth of the river. Enjoy a great variety of different types of ice cream to complete the seafood shack experience. They offer soft serve, sundaes, flurries, banana splits, hard scoop ice cream, shakes, floats, and ice cream sodas. If you haven’t already, add this to your list of destinations for this summer!

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