Abbott’s is a long-running shoreline picnic. Hugely crowded on nice summer evenings, it specializes in shore dinners built around lobsters.
Start with bracing, steel-gray chowder, then littlenecks on the half shell and/or steamers or mussels by the bucket with broth and butter for dipping. If you arrive with a big appetite, you will need to eat many hors d’oeuvre because the lobsters, cooked to order, can take a while. They are beauties, available whatever size you need.
Those lacking the energy to crack, pick, suck, and pluck their way through a whole lobster can get a hot lobster roll. It’s nothing but hunks of pink sweet meat bathed in butter, sandwiched inside a warm bun. (Cold lobster salad rolls are also available, as are hot and cold crab rolls.)
Abbott’s is one of the prettiest places in Connecticut to dine al fresco. Seating is at bare wooden tables, either in the open or under tents. Some civilized sorts actually bring their own tablecloths as well as their own wine. The air is filled with the salty smack of shore breezes, and background music is provided by gulls screeching in the sky (but kept away from the tables by invisible netting).
Abbott’s generally opens early in May, but at first only on weekends. It is open every day through Labor day, then weekends-only again into October.