Great Seafood, Casual Feel, in Branford

In a shoreline of seafood joints, the Blue Cottage in Branford is a pearl.

It’s tucked away on Sybil Avenue and, if you drive by too fast, you might think the restaurant is a Cape Cod-style home, but feeling at home is exactly what the owners want you to feel.

“We want people to come right in off the beach and not feel intimidated,” said Lenny Caponera, who owns The Blue Cottage with three other partners. The group also owns Mango’s in Branford.

One of his partners is Nick Colavolpe, the chef at The Blue Cottage.

The restaurant has made a name for itself in the short two years it’s been open. Colavolpe thinks it has a lot to do with the fried seafood, including fried clams, fried shrimp and fried scallops.

“It’s just pure seafood, light breading and I think that’s the best way to eat the fish, because you can actually taste it,” Colavolpe said.

But if fresh seafood is more your thing, there’s plenty on the menu to try, including “The King’s Pot,” which includes a whole lobster, crab legs and fresh steamers.

“Everything here is as fresh as we can get it. If we can’t get it fresh, then we don’t bring it in,” Colavolpe said.

The double lobster roll is probably the big seller on the menu. It’s more than a half- pound of pulled lobster meat, in a New England-style roll and drizzled with hot butter.

Here’s more reason to come: you don’t have to be a seafood lover. But, you might want to bring some competitive spirit. That’s if you order the real Man vs. Food burger, a take-off from the show on The Food Network.

“Basically, you have three grilled cheese sandwiches and four bacon cheeseburgers, French fries and cole slaw. We actually had a girl come in and she eats it in 10 to15 minutes,” he said.

So grab a seat at the bar, breathe in the sea air and admire the salt marsh view, but drop by soon because the restaurant is only open from April 1 to Oct. 31 of each year.

The Blue Cottage also offers live acts and a happy hour.

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