Kitchen Little, Mystic
By Dan Pearson
Typically, in drawing up a business plan for an eatery, it wouldn’t be prudent to stick your restaurant up on the second floor of a marina supply store in a seasonal community and serve only breakfast and lunch and, on weekends, breakfast alone. But Kitchen Little has the following and the reputation to pull it off, a reputation they earned over many years in a highly visible spot on Route 27 between Mystic Village and the Mystic Seaport. That spot was indeed very, very little, so much so, that part of the marvel wasn’t just the food but watching patrons and staff execute a gymnastics floor routine to move chairs and deliver coffee. The owners loved that location but were forced to vacate in 2012 when the rent became prohibitive. Now, Kitchen Little finds itself in a much more spacious spot in the Mystic River Marina on Mason’s Island (even though it still gets packed high season and weekends,) where it continues to have a wide open waterfront view and to serve classics alongside Kitchen Little trademarks, including the spicy Portuguese Fisherman and the Portuguese Benedict, which both pay homage to the generations who fished out of Stonington. It’s not just the food, however, that makes the restaurant so strong, it’s also efficient service and creative specials. The sign out on Route 1 is at ankle level and the size of a bumper sticker. Once on Mason’s Island, there isn’t anyting pointing you through the maze of residential streets that even locals struggle to navigate. But it’s well worth the search.