October 23, 2017
Eat / restaurants / Zack's Bar & Grille

Zack’s Bar and Grille, Stonington


By Dan Pearson

Every salt from Fenwick to Watch Hill knows the Seahorse bar and restaurant in Noank. But not nearly as many know Zack’s, its companion bar and grille in Stonington Borough. Hidden under the viaduct bridge, along the Amtrak tracks on a dead end street by an art-deco building housing a harpsichord maker, Zack’s is the true locals’ local. Run by veteran restaurateurs Lynn and Zack Tsagarakis, Zack’s, like all great works of art, presents a mix of dualities. It’s dark but bright and welcoming. It’s staunchly traditional, but the nightly specials can be inventive and surprising. The clientele is a bit older, which explains why dinner rush occurs about the same time the elementary school kids are getting off the bus, but Zack’s couldn’t be more now. Take a look around, and every element is covered. Prime Rib. Check. French onion soup. Check. A couple local draughts. Sox game up on the televisions. Bomster scallops. Calamari two ways. Check and check again. Hipster bartenders with obscure bitters and candied bacon? Nope. Zack’s makes classic cocktails the way they should be: without flourish or fuss. As if that wasn’t good enough, six nights a week Zack’s offers the Zack Attack happy hour with drink specials and half-priced soups and appetizers, including perhaps the best buffalo wings between Hot Rods in New London and Bridge in Westerly, which, because it’s all about the little things at Zack’s, are served with a dinner roll, finger bowl, and a wet-nap. And yes, in case you were wondering, Zack’s, back then under different ownership, is the place where Julia Roberts first meets her rich beau in the film Mystic Pizza. Young Julia knew to hitch her wagon to a star. As one patron said of Zack’s: “It’s so good it’s unreal.”

zacks wings

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