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Costello's Clam Shack Offers Fresh Seafood, Scenic Waterfront Dining In Noank, Conn.

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Waterfront restaurants with seafood and outdoor seating always sounds appealing. How can you go wrong with regional cuisine and coastal views?

Sadly, some of these restaurants ruin the premise by offering higher quality in their t-shirts and other souvenir merchandise than the seafood. Several popular waterfront seafood spots play loud Carribean or classic rock music to a party crowd that looks like something out of a beer commercial. Others charge outrageous prices for food simply because of the scenic location -- paying $26 dollars for an anemic lobster roll that can be bought for $14 elsewhere is not appetizing at all. The great outdoors isn't so great, after all, when restaurants take advantage of what Mother Nature has to offer -- all in the name of a mighty buck.

Thankfully, Costello's in Noank, Conn., acts as a completely different type of waterfront restaurant that comes through as the type of New England dining spot many of us seek in our dreams but rarely find in the real world. Tucked away in a quiet shipyard within a hidden village of Groton, Conn., called Noank, Costello's Clam Shack features peaceful outdoor Connecticut shoreline water views where one can enjoy the stunning scenery -- and a delicious, affordable seafood meal -- without the noise, hype and misguided over commercialization that impede so many other waterfront restaurants.

This unpretentious, seasonal, at-the-end-of-the-dock B.Y.O.B. restaurant offers two levels of unobstructed waterfront views and specializes on delicious whole belly fried clams and other seafood plates from their deep fryer, lobster, hot lobster rolls, lobster bisque, clear brother clam chowder and crab cakes. Daily specials include broiled seafood dinners and even some chicken and steak items.

While the food is terrific, it is the views that put Costello's over the top. With boats in the water and commanding panoramic views,  the experience is pure New England coastal dining nirvana. You clearly feel like you're in your own world at this off the beaten path location. For proof that this restaurant is in the "middle of nowhere," most GPS systems don't even recognize Noank! The great news is, however, that while Costello's and Noank feel like being a million miles away, the popular vacation spot of Mystic, Conn., is only a 10-minute drive. So, you can really have the best of both worlds when traveling this area.

Plus, we like the owner's sense of humor: its sister restaurant Abbott's (Lobster in the Rough) is right down the road. So, you have Abbott and Costello's! Nice comedy team from the past, but we prefer Costello's (and Abbott's, too), any day!

Costello's Clam Shack is located at 145 Pearl. St., Noank CT. Tel.  06340. Tel. (860) 572-2779. Seasonal.

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