Sea Swirl – Mystic CT

21 08 2008

Sometimes the best laid plans are attached to ancient maps that send you on wild goose chases through ghost towns. That’s what it seemed when I pulled off 95 in Exeter, Rhode Island figuring that one of two locations on the same road would be viable. Neither was, and forty five minutes later I found a Chocolate Peanut Butter cone on Connecticut’s South coast.

I pulled off in Mystic knowing that it was my only chance at finding an unfamiliar cone, because I had a destination in mind if I made it all the way to New London. I followed signs for some sort of tourist bureau and found a darkened building with ads for all the neighboring hotels. I did pick up a visitors guide and made it to the only food entry that mentioned ice cream.

Conveniently located at the intersection of the two numbered roads in Mystic (1 & 27), Sea Swirl was easy to find. As ice cream goes, this place has been serving it for over 50 years with the first half of its existence as a Carvel and the past 23 operated by the Blaney family. The place has the look of a classic roadside scoop shop, and I half expect to be buzzed by a waitress on rollerskates.

Instead I nearly have to flag someone down inside to come take my order. They have both soft serve and hard pack ice cream and the two each have their own pricing scales. I was looking for something interesting and different to order. Both the banana chocolate chip and the cotton candy seemed like potentially terrible ideas so I found solace in chocolate peanut butter.

My waitress disappeared into the back of the shop as though ice cream really wasn’t that significant an offering here. What emerged is the tiniest cone that I have yet encountered, with the small checking in even smaller than some kiddie cones that I have sampled. There were two tiny scoops placed precariously atop the cone, with serious effort seeming to have been made to prevent any ice cream from going inside. The chocolate ice cream is simple and the peanut butter ice cream takes up a third of the mass of the cone. It’s a nice cone to eat while seaside, but next time I’m in Mystic, I’m going to try the place right at the drawbridge.

This place is reknowned for their fried clams, but I’ve got a bagel with lox in the car and opt out of the food. It’s surprising for a place like this that there really aren’t people here that are just eating ice cream. Between 6 and 7 pm, I’m sure they do brisk dinner business, but I expected to see more cones, not just families gorging themselves on fried fare.

Cone – small $3.25 large $4.29

Sundae – small $3.99 large $4.76

Shakes $5.88

Sea Swirl Seafood Restaurant and Ice Cream

30 Williams Ave, Stonington, CT 06378

860 536-3452

Open seasonally

Daily 11a-9p




2 responses

23 08 2008

The place at the drawbridge, Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream, is one of my all time favorite places to go! My favorite flavor there, that you can’t get anywhere else, is Sticky Fractured Finger – butterscotch ice cream with butterfingers. Enjoy!

28 12 2008

As a Mystic/Stonington native, I must ask- what were you thinking going to Sea Swirl rather than the Drawbridge?? As an ice cream fanatic, you should have done your research before beginning your trip!

I do have to say I’m surprised you had to flag someone down to serve you though, usually it’s hopping in the summer and they have 2 people manning the windows at all times.

However: for locals, Sea Swirl is known for their fried clams- that’s why everyone goes. Only tourists go there for their ice cream (rather than Drawbridge) because they don’t know any better. The only time I go to Sea Swirl for ice cream is if I want a quick, simple soft-serve twist (sometimes dipped in chocolate). And for the hometown ambiance of sitting roadside on a sticky picnic table bench…

Sorry you had a lousy experience; I would highly recommend Drawbridge next time you’re in town (don’t even bother with the place across the street from Drawbridge— I can’t even think of their name offhand). I would recommend the Coconut Ice Cream with hot fudge on it, or if you’re a Chocolate-PB fan, they have one that’s a Chocolate base with chunks of Reese’s cups in it.

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