Each year the seaside town of Mystic, Connecticut organizes their Restaurant Week. This is a part of the larger Connecticut Restaurant Week, which saw 30 towns participate this year. 17 Mystic restaurants participated, including Oyster Club, Azu, Ancient Mariner and the Steak Loft. On Friday, Nov. 8, Mystic geared up for the tradition once again, and Conn students were lucky enough to have the opportunity to go through SAC’s off-campus trip.
Go! Mystic Restaurant Week was put together by Cassandra Saimond ’14, Student Activities Council Director of Off-Campus Activities. When thinking up ideas for off-campus events Saimond used her past experiences and explained that “[I often] just think of things that I would enjoy doing, because I always did a lot of day trips as a kid and I live in the area, so while I don’t test the trips out beforehand, I have been to many of the places that we go to.” She also mentioned that in order to ensure some variety she looks to her “amazing committee that helps think of ideas and what different types of people would enjoy doing.”
It’s not unusual for students to complain that there’s nothing to do on campus, but it’s often that they aren’t taking advantage of this huge subgroup of SAC that offers more than just Cro dances and concerts. They are most well-known for their off-campus trips. “If students want things to do, they can find something, they just have to look outside,” explained Saimond after describing the lengthy list of upcoming events.
The trip provided transportation to and from Mystic that evening, and was a great way for freshmen or any students without cars on campus to get out and see what the surrounding area offers in terms of unique dining experiences. In addition to the transportation, Mystic Restaurant Week offered a prix fixe meal for $20.13, a friendly price for college students, especially when compared to the normal prices these restaurants offer. Students who did explore outside and went to enjoy Mystic Restaurant Week had raving reviews.
Olivia Wilcox ’15 dined at Bravo Bravo, part of the CK restaurant group that owns Azu and Olio. Rated 4 out of 5 stars on the reliable site Yelp!, Wilcox took advantage of the Go! Mystic Restaurant Week trip to put this rating to the test and experience what the trip had to offer. She told the Voice that she had been to Bravo Bravo with her parents, but never with her friends, and that she enjoyed being able to spend time with them in a comfortable environment off campus. Wilcox especially enjoyed the freedom the prix fixe menu gave her (along with the free transportation), saying that she “didn’t feel so guilty splurging on the pâté special.” Wilcox’s favorite part of the meal? Dessert, of course. “The dessert was definitely my favorite part, I had the chocolate bread pudding!” Wilcox added that she went to buy hot chocolate at Drawbridge Ice Cream afterwards, even though this store wasn’t participating in Restaurant Week.
With overall positive feedback from those who went on the trip SAC hopes that students’ interest in the trips continues. Attendance this year has been strong and despite budgeting challenges and planning around what is happening on campus, it appears as though taking advantage of these discounted trips can change and shape students’ experiences at Conn while helping to briefly escape the comfortable bubble we all fall victim to once in a while. •