It is mid-afternoon in downtown Mystic and I’m looking for a snack and a place to sit down with a friend. The cheerful yellow and white exterior of DRWB@24 beckons. Simple seating, natural wood tones and hanging light fixtures create a fresh, comfortable vibe. Something about this place is familiar though this is my first visit. Huge chalkboards promote Espresso, coffee bar drinks, fruit smoothies, fruit cocktails (with alcohol), beer and wine but I’m in the mood for food. Two soups and quiche are available but I’ve arrived at the beginning of happy hour which includes deals on “small plates” and half price beer and wine. My friend Lisa orders a glass of wine then joins me in walking up the wide, open wood stairs with stainless steel railings. We’re greeted by an airy, cheerful space with huge windows overlooking downtown.
At 3 p.m. this spacious room is quiet. Sabrina, our waitress, lets us know free wi-fi is available and I envision myself on another day settling into a comfy spot to write. This open and inviting upstairs room is available for parties and special occasions. Seating is already set up for 30 but up to 50 people will fit when seating is removed. There is room for a DJ or live entertainment.
A tiny menu highlights some of the half-priced “small plates”. Guacamole comes with blue corn tortilla chips, house made pico de gallo and sour cream. The guac has balanced vibrant & smooth flavors that are absolutely perfect with the pico and chips. It is hard to believe this yummy snack is only $3. I’m already happy.
Cheese plates (options rotate) and smoked salmon plates are great for sharing. A Mediterranean plate with house made hummus, Kalamata olives, crudités (raw veggies), Tabouli and warm pita catches my eye but more options are available. A Lamb slider arrives nestled within a half pita with hummus, crunchy cucumber slices, and a carrot ribbon. The meat is flavorful and the combination is deliciously satisfying. Additional sliders flavors include Beef and Seared Tuna. At $3 each or 3 for $7, the sliders are a home run. Quesedillas with roasted veggies or chicken are frequent happy hour specials with wide appeal. Silverware and napkins are located at each table to facilitate sharing and family-style comfort.
While chatting with Lisa and enjoying our mid-afternoon “gappetizers” I peruse the full menu. Breakfast is served 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. every day featuring homemade biscuits, avocado toast, creative Bennys (Benedicts) and a kale, quinoa, potato and egg breakfast bowl. I’m kinda wishing I’d arrived earlier as the idea of a Mexican Benny with poached eggs on sweet corn cake with black bean salad, cheese, salsa, avocado and hollandaise sauce has me drooling. Omelets, bagels, pancakes, muffins and French toast round out breakfast. Made-to-order smoothies include juices, fruits, almond milk and optional boosts of chia seeds, peanut butter, matcha, and other virtuous foods. A Charlie Brown smoothie with chocolate, peanut butter, banana and almond milk would be a great portable meal or snack.
Lunch looks delicious with traditional options alongside Salmon Burgers, Grilled Flank Steak Burgers and Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches. At my invitation, Sabrina is happy to identify her favorites: Curry Chicken Salad Sandwich, Hummus and Tabouli (one of 6 vegetarian sandwiches), and a Marinated Kale Salad. Yum! The Power Bowl has roasted veggies, spiced chickpeas, red quinoa or brown rice with a choice of steak, chicken, tofu or egg with Thai Peanut or Yogurt Tahini sauce. I’ll definitely return for that. Sabrina says it is both delicious and popular.
I bounce back from daydreaming about other meals because my sandwich has arrived. Black sesame encrusted ahi tuna is topped with an Asian cabbage slaw and wasabi cream cheese enclosed within soft, herbed focaccia bread. The tuna is served rare and each bite is vibrant. Without embarrassment, I make yummy sounds while eating. A bag of bite-sized eggnog cookies is a slightly-sweet and portable ending to my meal.
DRWB@24 (Drawbridge at 24 W. Main) is the sandwich shop previously located inside Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream. I’ve heard people ask why the food options are no longer at the ice cream shop and now I know. Just a few doors down from the iconic ice cream store, this “Brunch Bistro” serves healthy, locally-sourced food and is owned by Cheryl Robdau. She and her husband also own Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream. The décor in DRWB mirrors the friendly ice cream shop which is why my first visit feels familiar. At the daily helm is Manager/Chef Anthony Rowlette, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. He creates a bounty of variety and flavor including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free options. Pie, cookies, and gluten-free cookies are always available and are baked at the ice cream shop.
Farm to Table dinners are served Friday & Saturday from 6-9 p.m. and offer 4-5 entrée options. Recent meals included Espresso Pork with Apple Chutney, Seared Fluke with Pumpkin Puree and Quinoa Salad, Beet & Squash Salad, Braised Pork Belly with Clams and Mussels. All meals are created with the freshest local, seasonal foods so a standard menu is not available.
Already a great stop for breakfast or lunch, happy hour pricing makes this a foodie bargain…especially in beautiful downtown Mystic. With coffees, beer, wine, and delicious food, there’s something for everyone. A draft glass of wine or beer and an appetizer is under $10. Draft beers include Mystic Bridge IPA, Lil’ Heaven, Safe Harbor, & Flat Rock Amber Ale. Draft wines include 13 Celsius Sauvignon Blanc, Stellia Di Notle Pino Grigio, Cartlidge & Brown Chardonnay, Celler No. 8 Pinot Noir, Chateau St. Jean Cabernet, and Argengo Malbec. Draft wine & draft beer happy hour specials include carafes. Upstairs provides a calm refuge from shopping or a convenient place to meet friends. And if you linger a while after eating and visiting, award-winning ice cream is just a few steps down the street toward the drawbridge. You may already be too happy and satisfied to eat ice cream but you never know.
Happy Hour: 3-6pm
Daily specials are posted on Facebook.
Regular Hours: Sun. – Thurs. 8am-6pm. Friday, Saturday 8am-9pm
24 W. Main Street / Drawbridgeat24.com / 860-245-5686