Saturday, August 1, 2015

Visit the Gelston House in East Haddam CT

Dining in East Haddam CT!

Last week we took a short 'road trip' to East Haddam Connecticut to visit the Gelston House, a historic restaurant overlooking the Connecticut River, located next to the Goodspeed Opera House.

Left: Historic Picture Postcards from the Gelston House
Right: The Gelston House today

Originating as the Riverside Inn, built by Jabez Chapman in 1736. The Inn was operated by the Gelston family from 1776 through 1825. It was next owned by Joseph Goodspeed and the current building was erected by the Gelston Hotel Company, a corporation formed by a number of East Haddam residents and headed by George Gelston. This was known as the Gelston House and later the Swan Hotel.
                 [Source: Above information from the website "Historic Buildings of Connecticut / Gelston House"]

Fast forward to 2015 and the restaurant still retains its historic charm with all the modern amenities. It features indoor dining in a variety of rooms, a riverside light filled formal dining room, a pub type lounge, and an informal booth filled dining area.

The best part for me was the seasonal dining outside, in a large covered patio area, and an adjacent sun-filled open deck with umbrella covered tables. The perfect place to enjoy cocktails and lunch or dinner on warm days in spring, summer, and throughout the fall.

Best of all, the Gelston House is open year round!

Cocktails at the Gelston House

Of course we started with a cocktail from the Gelston House's extensive specialty cocktail menu. I ordered the Key Lime Martini, pictured below, left, that I sipped and enjoyed while we perused the patio and dining room menus.

Cocktails on the Patio at the Gelston House in East Haddam CT

Appetizers and Small Plates at the Gelston House

Then we moved on to appetizers! Because there were seven us dining we got to sample a wide variety of starters. My favorites were the Blackened Scallops that had a great flavor to their sear, and the Bang Bang Shrimp. Word of note,  BangBang Shrimp are (currently) not on the menu, but Chef is happy to please, and if there is an item you are hankering for, he'll be delighted to accommodate your craving whenever possible.

Mussels with spinach, tomato, and chorizo in a white wine and garlic sauce

Roasted Beet and Cranberry Salad with Goat Cheese, Almonds and a Raspberry Vinaigrette

Bang-Bang Shrimp

The calamari were also excellent - cooked perfectly, and the portion was quite large.

Fried Calamari

Yum, below are the delicious Blackened and Seared Scallops. Hungry yet??

Blackened Sea Scallops

Tomato Balsamic Shrimp

And who would have thought that Sweet Potato would make for a great crispy breading for these delectable shrimpl

Sweet Potato Shrimp

The tuna below is typically a dinner entree served with sides, however Chef knew we all wanted to sample and sent out an appetizer sans sides for us! Yes, it was every bit as good as we thought it would be.

Pistachio Encrusted Tuna (typically an entree) 

Tuna and Avocado Tartar

Burgers and Sandwiches at the Gelston House

There is quite a good sandwich menu with a wide array of items from burgers, paninis, lobster rolls, and tacos to be had!

Goodspeed Burger

I opted for the buttery good lobster rolls pictured below. And you can determine the level of butter you want on your roll, because it's served on the side. Simply drizzle on as much or as little as you want!

Rich and decadent these were the perfect size and chock full of lobster!
Lobster Rolls and French Fries

Fish Tacos with French Fries

Main Course at the Gelston House

My dining companions ordered more traditional entrees, most going with the seafood selections on the menu. But there are beef and chicken entrees to be had too! A delicious Filet Mignon, NY Stip, and Chicken Marsala!

Pictured below are our seafood entrees.

Chilean Sea Bass with Risotto 

Word of note, the scampi was reported to have a bit of heat and spice. Not overly so, but a little kick none the less!

Shrimp and Lobster Scampi

Dessert at the Gelston House

Most of us opted for the made on premise ice cream. I went for the sweet peach that had bits of real fruit nestled in the cold creamy goodness. Definitely try the ice cream on your visit!

Made on premise ice cream
Flavors: Mango, Tiramisu, Chocolate, Peach, Peppermint and more...!!

Crème Brûlée 

And somehow I managed to fit one more bite of this incredibly moist and delicious Carrot Cake.

Carrot Cake

The Gelston House in East Haddam CT is worth the visit and the drive! A perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon enjoying great food with a picturesque view of the Connecticut River. Stop in before attending the show at the Goodspeed Opera, and come back after the show for more!

There's so much to do in the area...the Essex Steam Train and Riverboat cruise, antique shopping, touring Gillette Castle, and so much more.

This picturesque town is New England at its best and the view from the Gelston House can't be beat!

Gelston House Restaurant & Inn
8 Main Street, East Haddam, CT 06423

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Disclaimer: We were invited to this tasting by the Gelston House's management and marketing team, however all opinions expressed are our own.

1 comment:

  1. We haven't been there for years! Thanks for the reminder of the fun to be had in our own backyards!


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