Mystic, CT Restaurants, Restaurant Menus & Dining
The designation Mystic for this former whaling and shipbuilding center refers neither to mystery, mystical nor mist. Rather, the Native American missi-tuk describes a large river whose waves are created by both wind and tides. In 1654, the English settlers changed the spelling to “Mistick,” to which the current Y and C were eventually added. Prophetically, this current historical magnet, home to the well visited seaport museum and aquarium, was old before its time. As early as 1890, the village centered around the Mystic River Bridge was called “Old Mystic,” (and the Seaport Museum was founded only forty years later). This is not to be confused with the contemporary “Olde Mistick Village,” an artful collection of craft and gift shops several miles to the north. Paradoxically, Mystic is not actually a town in itself but is split between Groton and Stonington, and adding to that, the river is not a river but a salt water estuary. Because they are shaped by water flow, both bridges and waterways are habitually unique. Mystic’s are formed with a beautiful ebb and flow. The river expands to lake like dimensions below the Elm Grove Cemetery, and then contracts at the bridge before it empties into the harbor, which is subsequently protected by the outstretched northern legs of Masons Island. The Mystic River Bridge’s outsized and oddly shaped “bascule” style counterweights (230 tons each!) allow the bridge to open for boats and close for traffic heading to or away from, of all things, Mystic Pizza. Rising above and looking down and out towards the harbor and Long Island Sound is a magnificent colonial mansion that is the centerpiece of the Inn At Mystic. A pond just below the the mansion reflects the twilight colors and shadows in a way that in fact could only be described as Mystical.