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Two seafood restaurants hope for a boost from an in-flight magazine

HARTFORD – Winter typically sees business flounder for Connecticut’s seafood restaurants but a recent American Airlines magazine spread could change that ...

HARTFORD - Winter typically sees business flounder for Connecticut’s seafood restaurants but a recent American Airlines magazine spread could change that this year for two local institutions.

Lenny’s Indian Head Inn, in Branford, has been a Connecticut seafood staple since 1968, having been recognized numerous times before.

“With Boating Magazine, in the early 80s, when we were in the top 10 boating destinations and we've been through it with the New York Times with the whole clam write-up,” said co-owner Chris Conlin.

Wayne Capone, the owner of West Haven’s Stowe’s Seafood, a fixture since 1980, says he wasn’t aware of the publicity until someone told him about the article a couple of weeks ago. When he saw the write-up last week, he remembered exactly who the writer was.

“Well, he was driving a Rolls-Royce, so he stuck out,” laughed Capone, who noted the man never identified himself as a writer. He simply asked to take picture, which Capone said everyone does.

The fall edition of American Airlines Celebrated Living Magazine included a write-up on New England’s lobster trail. On the advice of a chef, who consults the magazine, Lenny’s and Stowe’s were among three Connecticut restaurants the writer reviewed.

“This is another nice feather in the cap," said Conlin.

The writer described Lenny’s lobster mac and cheese as making him “feel like a very mature eight-year-old" with every bite.

“When you've taken a grown man and reduced him into an eight-year-old, boy, you've done something right,” said a smiling Conlin.

For Stowe’s, lobster bisque pleased his palate. One of their regulars says she doesn’t even like fish.

“I've been here (in West Haven) about five years now and every year my family comes, this is the first place they go,” says Bev Grzymala. “We’re from around Lake Eerie and this is the best fish place.”

The publisher of Celebrated Living, which is available to American Airlines passengers flying first class or business class, estimates the annual readership is nearly 20 million.