Serious dining in a candlelit little bistro is the name of the game at Boom (194 Water St., 860/535-2588, 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m. Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Sun.; 5:30–9 p.m. Tue.–Sun, $13–25). Dinners can be as simple as a duck quesadilla, or as constructed as pan-roasted halibut with roasted tomato-leek tarragon broth.
Sitting on 600 square feet of dock space, Skipper’s Dock (66 Water St., 860/535-0111, www.skippersdock.com , 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon.–Sun.; closed Tue. during winter, $8–26) gives its patrons ample opportunity to gaze out at passing boats and nearby Fisher’s Island. This is what coastal dining should be: simple seafood at moderate prices, with amiable service and a setting that makes you feel as close to the ocean as possible (without getting wet, that is).
The prompt service deserves its raves at Noah’s Restaurant (113 Water St., 860/535-3925, http://noahsfinefood.com/new , 7:45 a.m.–9 p.m. Tue.–Thu.; 7:45 a.m.–9:30 p.m. Fri.–Sat.; 7:45 a.m.–9 p.m. Sun., $14–21), the small, tin-ceilinged spot where locals bounce between the cherry booths and bar. Opt for the seafood—dishes of tender swordfish or the superb lobster roll—and you won’t be sorry.