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“Best dining location in Stonington!”
Review of Swooner - CLOSED

Swooner
Cuisines: American, Seafood
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed 18 August 2014

I finally got to check out the new Swooner last weekend - my first visit since its re-incarnation from Skipper's Dock. I was a bit nervous given the mixed reviews, but had to see first hand. For me there are 3 important factors for dining out: food, service, and ambiance. These determine the overall experience, which I found to be very good at Swooner - with some room for improvement.
FOOD A-/B+: Much improved in my opinion is the menu: a lot of upscale options that were all very good. We tried the fish and chips, scallops, and lobster roll -- all quite delicious. The beet salad and smoked fish pate as starters were also excellent. Craft cocktails were also inventive and very refreshing.

AMBIANCE A+: We had called ahead to put our names on the wait list and were seated immediately on a Saturday night at 7:30pm. At first glance, the decor is definetly an improvement - a fresh coastal look with all new furniture. We had a lovely outdoor table overlooking Stonington Harbor at sunset. As the sun sank into a sky of purples and pinks and the starts came out - the magic of Stonington became apparent. The only improvement I could suggest is better lighting for the tables in the evening. I had a very hard time reading the menu or seeing what we were eating after dark. Dock lighting is along the rail, but wasn't enough. Our waiter, Will, was fantastic though and brought us some candle lanterns which helped.

SERVICE (A for effort, B for efficiency): This is the only area I could see needing some improvement. And hopefully this will come as the kinks are worked out in the opening months. Our waiter, Will, was absolutely wonderful. Very knowledgeable about the oyster selections, and the dishes. He went out of his way to make our dining experience great. That being said, the timing of when food and drinks arrived was rather slow. I don't believe this has anything to do with the waitstaff and is more a kitchen issue. We spent about 3 hours dining for 4 of us - drinks, apps, and main course, after dinner drinks. We actually loved the leisurely pace and enjoyed not being rushed. But if time was critical - I could see this being an issue.

Overall Experience: A-. I would definetly return here for dinner or drinks and would encourage others to try Swooner. There is room for improvement, but nothing that seemed critical - and certainly the location on a summer evening can not be beat.

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1  Thank ciaobella6375
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (83)
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32 - 36 of 83 reviews

Reviewed 18 August 2014

Gotta go in the evening as the sun sets. And get a table next to the railing outside on the deck.

The views are breathtaking, and added so much to the ambiance.

The waitress came over and we ordered beers and a male waitor. Another girl (the manager?) came over and inquired why we wanted a male waitor. We preferred a male waitor. So that was that.

For an appetizer we ordered (if you can read the Menu - the print is so faint and small...) a clam dip that came with crackers for 10$. eh...

For dinner we had the Seared Scallops. Four huge scallops came out with spinach and 6-8 cubes of fried potatoes - barely covering the plate. I paid 27$ for THIS?

I didn't think there would be enough, but the scallops were seared to perfection, but it wasn't easy eating in the dark on the deck.

Plenty of waitstaff. We had one seat us, another bring the water, the male waitor serve us, and another male waitor (much cuter) serve our dinners.

Would be go again?

Naw. Too pricey. We didn't even get a bill. Just the credit card receipt to fill out so we had no itemized list of what we had or how much the beers were. My half was 40.33$, making the draft beers we had 6$ each...

damn...

But they have the location. Good for a one-time visit - unless you won the lottery...

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Thank Sekjr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2014

We were very disappointed in Swooner. My husband and I stay at the Inn at Stonington.The Inn made reservations for us at 7:00 on a Monday eve. We had to wait 15 minutes once we got there, and there were empty tables all around. The wait staff seemed confused and disorganized. A very long wait to be served...drinks were ordered and finally came after we already had finished our salads. Entrees were ok, swordfish/ scallops. A word of warning everything is salted and salted. Even the sweet butter came with course grain salt sprinkled all over it. A plus is the lovely water location.. Many options out there, try someplace different until they get their act together. PS. Over priced!!!!

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3  Thank KatieScarlet17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2014

Same-o same-o as far as I could tell.

Great location same as before.

The name is changed, but everything else looks pretty much the same.

Thank Dr_Bill_Corcoran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2014

My wife's cousins were in town and since it was a beautiful weekday we decided to try Swooners for lunch.

I grew up in Stonington and remember all the incarnations of this building going back to "Sandy's Lobster in the Rough" and before that it was a tar paper shack were the local fishing fleet stored gear. It was called Bindloss's Dock then and it was where my Grandfather fished out of.

Walking into the place I loved how the place was renovated. It needed it - much brighter inside, new bar, new layout and the new docks also looked great. We were seated promptly at an outside table and our waitress soon took our drink orders. My wife ordered Confit Chicken Salad $15- she liked it.. One cousin got the Fish and Chips $16 - she thought it was just average F&C which I tasted and had to agree. The other cousin and myself both ordered a bowl of RI Clam Chowder $8. We agreed that it didn't even deserve an average score. Besides not even tasting like a RI Clam Chowder there were only two small pieces of clams in mine. Loads of potatoes and onions some salt pork and barely any clams in either bowl.

$16 fish and chip, $15 Chicken Salad and $8 Clamless Chowder - We all expected something better. I get the fact that the great view and renovations have to be paid for but I won't be chipping in again. I really wanted to like the place and I do hope they improve but it's like what I'm hearing from friends and family - too expensive for just average food.

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5  Thank Al C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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