After years of getting drinks at the same old spots every week (don't worry, we still love you, Barracuda and Elm City Social), it's about time New Haven got another bar with fancy cocktails and banging small plates. 

Concluding a short hiatus, Anchor Spa has reopened under new ownership and is ready to take New Haven by ~storm~ with decor reminiscent of an old ship's captain's quarters and cocktails named after ports around the world. 

wine, coffee, tea
Nicole Laszlo

When I went with a friend, the bartender took one look at us and knew we needed drinks— a lot of them. So he hooked us up with all of his favorites. I'll skip the "Yale Beets Harvard" (which frankly made me wish Harvard won instead) and just share the best of the best of what we ate and drank there.

Heading West (Plymouth, England)

coffee, espresso
Nicole Laszlo

This British twist on a Gin Fizz featured British gin, lime cordial and "sea foam." It tasted fresh and slightly sweet, but still packed a punch (aka lots of alcohol). I was really glad to hear the sea foam wasn't actually from the sea. 

The Legend (Pireaus, Greece)

soup, tea, broth
Nicole Laszlo

This drink was good. In fact, it was so good, my non-Spoon dinner companion kept hogging it (like excuse me, I am obviously a serious food critic and you're messing with my work and my buzz). 

I don't know how brandy, honey, lemon juice, bitters, black cherry and thyme mix to create the perfect balance of sweet and tart, but I'm not going to question it. Or maybe I just fell in love with the adorable, ceramic Greek coffee glass it was served in.

Crescent City Highwayman (New Orleans, LA)

cocktail, ice
Nicole Laszlo

At this point, my companion and I had collectively tasted seven drinks and I did not listen to what was in this one. All I knew was that there was passion fruit involved and I enthusiastically wrote "my fvavoritg" in my notes, which I think I can safely interpret as "favorite."

Clearly, the drinks are good at Anchor Spa. 

Now let's get down to the important stuff: the food.

Fish and Chips

fish and chips, fish, chips, beer, french fries, sauce, batter, potato
Nicole Laszlo

These fish and chips taste nothing like the Gorton's fish sticks of your youth. They're made with freshly caught fish—as in 4 am same-morning fresh—and are melt-in-your-mouth amazing. Actually, you could call them "melt-your-mouth" because I burnt my tongue, too eager to devour them.

The chips (aka fries) were just as impressive, as well as the house-made ketchup and tartar sauce that came with them.

Grilled Shrimp with Toasted Sourdough

Nicole Laszlo

This dish fully convinced me that there is nothing better than New England seafood. The shrimp were SO FRESH, as well as cooked and seasoned perfectly. 

I am from San Francisco, so my standards for sourdough bread are very high, and this sourdough toast lived up to my every expectation. I officially have no reason to go home anymore (sorry, Mom and Dad). 

Clam Flatbread

pizza, sauce, cheese
Nicole Laszlo

New England Clam Chowder. On a pizza. Bacon. Clams. Potatoes. Wow. I am at a loss of words now as I was when I was actually eating this. Pure genius. 

White Chocolate Beignets

Nicole Laszlo

For dessert, our tastebuds took a journey from New England to New Orleans (and then to heaven) with white chocolate-stuffed beignets and house-made blueberry dipping sauce. Anchor Spa knows how to make condiments. 

Anchor Spa knows how to make people happy.