NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The owners of Tavern on State, which has been open for the last two and a half years, are opening a second restaurant — an oyster bar and seafood restaurant on the riverfront in the Fair Haven section of New Haven.
Emily Mingrone and Shane McGowan will open the doors of Fair Haven Oyster Co. at the Quinnipiac River Marina in May.
“We always knew we wanted to expand our restaurant group, and once Tavern was up and running and successful, we almost, you know, within the first year, wanted to start our second venture but once COVID hit, we kind of put that on the back burner,” Mingrone said.” It was always floating around in our minds. Once the space became available on the Quinnipiac River, we knew it was the perfect fit. So, that’s when we decided to move forward with it.”
McGowan said he wasn’t even supposed to be involved.
“We just became friends, and we were just talking, and one day she wanted to look at a place,” McGowan said. “I wasn’t supposed to be involved. I was supposed to be there just to give a second opinion, and then we kind of just went 100 miles an hour from there, and then here we are.”
Guests can expect quite the spread at the new restaurant.
“If anyone is familiar with our place, the Tavern, you’ll notice that I do get quite ‘cheffy’ and creative with a lot of the menu items, but we always have a few staples that are there for the less adventurous few. So for Fair Haven, we’ll have a full raw bar, oysters, clams, shrimp cocktails. I’ll do some classic New England seafood, oysters Rockefeller, stuffed clams, and lobster rolls. But, for example, the scallop dish I’ve been working on is a lightly grilled scallop with aji amarillo, which is a Peruvian chili paste, some crispy sweet potatoes, and brown butter. So, we are going to serve both ends of the spectrum.”
What about cocktails?
“A lot of gin cocktails. Sherry is going to be a focus too…things that pair well with seafood and lighter fare, but we’re still kind of playing around with that as the physical bar gets built out, I will then be able to envision what we’re going to be doing, but definitely going to be having a cocktail list as well.”
Mingrone and McGowan also own Provisions on State, New Haven’s first and only full animal butchery.