15 Sep 2014
51° Clear
Patch Instagram photo by body_karma_studio
Patch Instagram photo by body_karma_studio

Don't Miss Out On Summertime Eats

Clinton's Sal D's Dockside Grille And Lobster Landing Are Seasonal Eateries—So What Are You Waiting For?

Down at the newly-renovated town dock you’ll find Owner Bob Voss, who works for the town’s public works department and serves as the chief of the Fire Department has heated up heavy demand.

“This is our third season,” said Voss. “It’s actually been very busy this season and thank God. [Business] has tripled. We’ve always had a good following and more of the local than tourist.”

Though this is the third season under Voss’ management, locals have frequented the shack, as it is more popularly known, for years. Recent work on the marina walkway has encouraged tourism to the area.

“They made it a lot more user-friendly,” said Voss. “People come out here and enjoy themselves, enjoy the view.”

Sal D’s prides itself on good food at reasonable prices. “We’re not gouging anybody,” Voss chuckled, “not for a view. We’re a glorified hot dog stand if you will.”

The Grille offers more than hot dogs. All Sal D cooks are trained chefs—one even graduated from culinary school. This season’s specials include a Cajun chicken salad wrap, a homemade pulled pork sandwich, a grilled chicken and provolone sandwich with roasted red peppers, and a tuna melt on rye. Ingredients are fresh.

“The burger meat we grind ourselves,” said Voss, of the shack’s 8 oz. burger special. “And we pride ourselves on probably one of the best egg sandwiches you’ll find around town too.”

The weekends are busy for this little shack—with an average pull of 30 to 40 people on Sunday morning alone.

Voss now finds it difficult to accommodate the demands of a hungry crowd with shack’s limited storage space.

“My battle is keeping enough food here to feed everybody,” said Voss. “We’re not just busy on weekends; we’re busy all week long. It’s definitely a good problem to have, [but] it’s tough sometimes keeping up with it.”

This dedication to service is perhaps why the shack has been so successful in garnering repeat business; a humbling fact that doesn’t go unnoticed by the owner.

“If anything,” Voss said. “I’d like to thank everybody. Thank them for their support. Without them, I wouldn’t be in business.”

Just around the corner from Sal D's, Enea and Cathie Bacci have been the dedicated proprietors of for nearly 17 years.

Located on the marina in Clinton, this small lobster shack sells live product—like crab, mussels, and, of course lobster—but has been making waves for its food.

“People come here for the lobster roll,” said Cathie. “That’s our primary.”

Lobster Landing’s lobster roll, which the couple incorporated into their business efforts in 2002, has received some high praise, including attention from the likes of the New York Times, Boston Globe, and National Geographic.

“It’s actually what you can get in a restaurant, which they call a ‘Lazy Man’s Lobster Roll,’” Cathie explained. “It means that we’ve cooked it [lobster], we cracked it, we pick the meat. So you have no work at all. Your work is to eat it.”

The lobster roll differs from other sandwiches in its simplification. “It’s only lobster meat, lemon, and butter;” said Cathie, “or no lemon, no butter on a regular roll. If you can’t eat wheat or can’t have gluten we provide a gluten-free roll. We try to accommodate everybody.”

The recipe was perfected over the years by Enea—Bacci to most—who was raised in a restaurant family.

In addition to serving lobster rolls, priced at $15.00, Landing offers hot dogs, ice cream, gelato, chips, drinks, and a sausage, onion, and pepper sandwich ($5.50).

The lobster comes to Lobster Landing from a handful of independent, local fisherman and is cooked fresh every morning.

“We have customers that come once a week,” said Bacci. “We have one gentleman who pulls up [and] he likes the sausage better. So, he gets the lobster for his wife and buys the sausage for himself, every single Wednesday morning.”

Customers also flock to Lobster Landing to take advantage of its senior day. Every Wednesday the shack offers lobster rolls at a 20 percent discount to individuals 60 years of age and older.

“For us, I think our advantage is that we are reasonably priced,” said Cathie. “Reasonably priced, good quality food, fantastic ambience— and we’re on the water."

“We’re casual—very laid back,” she continued. “There are not that many restaurants on the water. And if you sit up on the deck, you’re basically in the water.”

“People come to us with salad and dessert and maybe a bottle of wine,” said Bacci. “And with a family of four, if they would have gone to a restaurant, they spend close to $160.00 to $200.00. They come here, they spend $60.00 and they have a fantastic dinner. They can stay as long as they want. There is no traffic; there is no noise of somebody’s motorcycle. You sit down and you’re almost in another world.”

“I’ve lived in Madison for nine years,” said Melanie Brigockas, who was joined by daughter Ashley Grimes, and friend Richard Gates, “and I got to know a lot of places along the shoreline. But we didn’t go to any of the traditional places because very few of them had outdoor seating. We felt like lobster and the outdoors and a casual setting, and this fit the bill.”

“Someone had said to me a year ago that they had come down here and had the lobster,” Gates explained, “and that [it] was the best that you were ever going to get on the shoreline. So here we are.”

“I think it’s the best lobster roll that I’ve ever had,” said Josh Vittor, a first-timer from New York and visiting with college friends Paige Maehara and Ben Zachs. “I go to Cape Cod a lot and this feels exactly like Cape Cod.”

“This is our second round,” Vittor continued. “Between the three of us, we’ve had five lobster rolls and a sausage sandwich.” (“We’re not messing around,” added Zachs.)

Lobster Landing’s success and dedicated staff, most of whom have been working for the Baccis for over five years, have allowed for healthy growth of the company. The restaurant will unveil a new addition, a gift shop, by the end of the summer. The shop promises to offer handmade, sea-themed crafts by New Englanders along with hats, t-shirts, and jewelry. 

“I think to a certain point, why people drive out from New York or Boston, is because we are simple, as you can see," said Bacci. “But our quality is probably the best you can come by.”

Lobster Landing is located at 152 Commerce Street and open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from April through December. is located on Riverside Drive and open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week during the summer.

Photo Gallery

Share This Article