Kitchen Little follows its mantra: "No Bad Days"
If you want breakfast from Kitchen Little, and yes, you probably do, bring your patience because there’s a good chance you will have to wait to get a table.
But that’s OK. Located at the Mystic River Marina overlooking the river of the same name, Kitchen Little has been piling up accolades for its scrumptious breakfasts for more than 35 years.
The restaurant today continues to pay tribute to its late owner, Flo Klewin, and as her son James Woolley said on a recent visit, “I’m here to keep her legacy alive.”
No doubt, Flo is smiling down from above.
We visited about mid-morning on a Friday, and we were told it would be a 30-minute wait. We used the time to walk around the boatyard property and check out all the boats tied up at the adjacent docks. But it turned out our wait would only be about 15 minutes, and soon enough we found ourselves seated inside at a table, and a big-smiled little girl came over to ask what we’d like to drink.
The menu is extensive at Kitchen Little and includes various versions of omelettes, pancakes, French toast, waffles, Benedicts, and just plain eggs — scrambled, fried, poached — or served between two pancakes if you dare.
Then there are the extras — the home fries, bacon, sausage, chourico, corned beef hash, pierogies, biscuits with sausage gravy, granola, seasonal fruit, smoked salmon, cinnamon buns, muffins, and more.
There are almost too many choices, and regulars blame the extensive menu as a reason for making repeat trips.
We decided to get one of the many Benedicts — as in eggs Benedict — and decided on #18, the Surf and Turf Benedict. This combination arrived with lobster on one half of the toasted English muffin and a petit filet mignon on the other, all smothered with Hollandaise sauce, for $19.99. It was very, very good, with one exception, and that is that it could have been warmer. We suspect it was the sauce that wasn’t warm and was ladled over the top.
But the filet was perfectly cooked medium rare, as we asked, and the lobster, a perfect portion that was both sweet and salty. Whoever poached the eggs has perfected the art — the whites were firm and the yolks runny.
We split an order of red potato home fries ($1.99) and a Cinna-Bun with cream cheese drizzle ($4.99). Both were good, especially the unadorned home fries, and we easily could have shared a double order. You can get extras on the potatoes — Hollandaise sauce, American cheese, onions, or all of it — for an added cost. But the potatoes themselves were tasty, crispy and, yes, good greasy.
We also opted for the Reuben omelet, $11.99, which stacked corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and thousand island dressing between three scrambled eggs. You can get rye, whole wheat or white toast. The combination was good, but it didn’t blow our socks off. We had higher expectations.
The cinnamon bun was sinfully good. It was oversized and gooey sweet, with heavy hints of that distinct woody, spicy cinnamon flavor and just the right amount of cream cheese drizzle on top. It arrived warm and we devoured it.
Kitchen Little was originally located off Route 27, not far from Mystic Seaport, and about a decade ago, relocated to Masons Island, off Quarry Road at the Mystic River Marina.
It’s bigger now but just as quaint as it’s always been. It’s located above a ship’s store at the marina, and there’s seating outside on a deck, or indoors. The day we went, it was overcast and mild, and all the windows were open to let a fresh breeze in.
The walls are adorned with all the honors that Kitchen Little has racked up over the years — praise from Gourmet, Connecticut, and Yankee magazines, The Food Network, and Trip Advisor. There’s also a wall dedicated to Flo with photographs and an original restaurant sign.
Kitchen Little is a local institution and many regulars have been going for breakfast for the better part of 30 years. Tourists and newcomers have found it, too. The food is good, the prices are fair, and the owner and his staff will do everything they can to fill your belly and make your visit enjoyable.
36 Quarry Road, Mystic
Located at the Mystic River Marina
Cuisine: This is a place that boasts "the best breakfast in Mystic" and offers a supersized menu to match every appetite.
Atmosphere: The restaurant is located over a ship's store in a boatyard and offers views of the adjacent Mystic River and a lot of boat activity.
Service: No complaints
Prices: You can get two eggs with wheat toast for $3.99 or French Lobster Benedict for $20.99, and a whole lot more in the $5 to $15 range.
Hours: 7:30 to 1 p.m. Monday to Friday or 6:30 to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Credit cards: Yes
Outdoor space: Yes
Handicapped access: No. The restaurant is a leased property and is up a flight of stairs.
What else: Their motto is: "Be kind to each other and remember, No Bad Days." That was the mantra of the late Flo Klewin, mother of the current operator, and it's a truism. The staff is friendly and accommodating. Their goal is to make your meal enjoyable.