Michael Cimarusti’s restaurant Providence is renowned for its food and service, so when news came that the chef would open a more casual concept in West Hollywood, eager ‘hounds counted down to opening day.
Named after Cimarusti’s immigrant grandparents, Connie and Ted’s is a contemporary seafood shack with a truckload of East Coast classics. There’s a raw bar with fresh oysters and clams, Rhode Island “stuffies” with linguiça, chowders, Portuguese fish stew, a lobster roll (served hot or cold), and slew of other dishes sourced from the sea. For dessert there’s a blondie with vanilla ice cream and salted caramel sauce and an Indian pudding made with New England cornmeal and molasses, among others. Bold red accents, dark wood tables, floor-to-ceiling windows, and one wall papered in old delivery slips make up the interior. “It’s a very playful, fun look,” says susiequeue.
Both namstermonster and susiequeue visited the restaurant on opening night, and unsurprisingly found both successful dishes and a few needing improvement. For namstermonster, the day’s Beausoleil and Tatamagouche oysters and an order of crab cakes were delicious, and a soup sampler with versions of Rhode Island clear, New England, and Manhattan chowders (pictured) with homemade oyster crackers also impressed: “All 3 chowdas were delectable, each in its own right.” On the other hand, there was an overcooked side of mac ‘n’ cheese and a less-than-hefty lobster roll.
Chowhound susiequeue was another fan of the soup trio, as well as the perfectly broiled scallop appetizer. Entrées of striped bass and wild Mexican shrimp were a bit shaky, but service was friendly, the environs exceptional, and the energy high.
“All in all I’m so glad they’re finally open,” namstermonster says. “I’m confident they’ll do well, especially with the lack of seafood restaurants in the area. Can’t wait to go back!”
Connie and Ted’s [West Hollywood]
8171 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood
Photo from Connie and Ted’s