By: Maren Swanson • June 5th, 2014
I re-visited Connie and Ted's of West Hollywood the other day because a.) it was their 1 year anniversary b.) they were giving away a complimentary cocktail and c.) it's walking distance from my home. A no brainer. I will never forget my love for it's previous tenant, The Silver Spoon (home of my favorite Rueben sandwich), but I have grown to love it's new owners for many reasons.First of all, I'm a huge sucker for fresh seafood, and they have loads of it. Fresh oyster options and prices are displayed above their bar and raw bar. Next to a crushed ice runway of fresh crab and oysters, you will notice a lobster tank filled with an abundance of frantic red shellfish. Connie and Ted's patrons just stare at it. Hungry. Excited.
When I first experienced Connie and Ted's restaurant following their grand opening, I sat at the bar with my boyfriend and watched as the new place filled to capacity with eager guests waiting to taste what all the buzz was about. One year later at the bar, I was experiencing déjà vu. The place was starting to swarm as early as 5:15 p.m. and they don't even serve a happy hour. What they do serve is an awesome array of craft beers bottled or on draft and their cocktail program is continuing to improve. The decor is modern, subtly nautical and not overly pretentious.Right after we took our seats at the bar, the bartender greeted us excitedly and mentioned the news of their one year anniversary and offered us a complimentary Jameson craft cocktail sprinkled with fresh shaved nutmeg. Don't mind if we do and…delicious.
Next we scanned the beer menu for our next victim and I found myself drowning in a sea of indecision; so many excellent beer choices and no clue what to get. The bartender noticed. "Need help with anything?" she asked. Um, YES. She offered us samples of 3 different beers to try: an IPA, some ale made with yuzu and shiso and a local hefeweisen. My guy went for the a Russian Imperial Stout with the highest AVB of coarse (9%), Old Rasputin, served in a snifter and I ended going for a 500ml bottle of La Merle Belgian style farmhouse Ale. Contrary to other local West Hollywood beer bars, Connie and Ted's prides itself on local, boutique beers; you won't find Budweiser, Corona or Blue Moon here.
We were taking it light that day, so we ordered a the calamari appetizer and some of their piping hot buns topped with coarse sea salt. Yes, we were playing it a little safe, but we had every intention of returning on Wednesday for their anniversary special of half a dozen oyster and a stout for only $12. I prefer my calamari a little crispier than how they served it, but the accompanying sauces were a great pairing and I definitely noticed the quality and freshness of the overall dish.
So there we were, sipping on our brews, snacking on some seafood and people watching when the very attentive female bartender again approached us with the offering of "family meal." Huh? She translated for me: free booze. Ok, this place just got even better. My grin grew as a I watched her pour the majority of the consenting bar patrons a shot of Jameson. And then we all toasted and imbibed.
West Hollywood, CA 900467