CT Oyster Trail, Stonington shellfish farm film unveiled

Connecticut Oyster Trail map

Gov. Ned Lamont announced the launch of Connecticut’s first-ever oyster trail, accompanied by the premiere of the new short-form documentary, Rising Tide to Table, which celebrates the state’s thriving oyster industry, from farm to fork.

The Connecticut Oyster Trail meticulously maps out the diverse array of oyster farms and culinary destinations statewide, encourages residents and visitors alike to savor the local flavor of Connecticut’s acclaimed oysters.

“Connecticut is the Napa Valley of oysters,” Lamont said during a May 15 announcement event. “Once hailed as the ‘Oyster Capital of the World,’ we are reclaiming our place at the forefront of this maritime and culinary tradition. Today, we honor the tireless dedication of our aquaculture farmers, whose passion and perseverance are instrumental in inspiring a new generation of chefs to think about this fruit of the sea as king of the kitchen.”

Image from "Rising Tide to Table" of Stonington Farms Shellfish owners Beth and Kris Simonds harvesting oysters
Image from “Rising Tide to Table” of Stonington Farms Shellfish owners Beth and Kris Simonds harvesting oysters

With breathtaking visuals and poignant narratives, the documentary chronicles the journey of Stonington Farms Shellfish, a resilient family united by adversity, whose commitment to excellence echoes through every succulent oyster they cultivate. From the pristine taste to the deep cup and unparalleled quality, each oyster tells a story of craftsmanship and dedication.

“It comes as no surprise that our aquaculture farmers are working closely with our best chefs to ensure the world knows that Connecticut has some of the nation’s best oysters,” Anthony Anthony, Connecticut’s chief marketing officer, said. “Rising Tide to Table tells the story of a small handful of our state’s best makers and entrepreneurs. We invite viewers to see their passion and creativity put into the farming and culinary craft, while experiencing the beauty of Connecticut’s coast in this vibrant short film.”

The newly minted Connecticut Oyster Trail charts a course through over a dozen oyster farms and more than 20 restaurants and stores, offering enthusiasts a firsthand glimpse into the thriving oyster culture that defines our state.

“From the ground to the Sound, Connecticut agriculture offers a diverse array of farm fresh products,” Connecticut Agriculture Commissioner Bryan Hurlburt said. “Among them are Connecticut oysters, which have a unique flavor profile due to the waters in which they are cultivated, and an industry committed to protecting and restoring native shellfish habitats to guide their growth. The Connecticut Oyster Trail honors the rich traditions by connecting harvesters with consumers seeking dock sales to shuck at home or a night out at a dining venue featuring Connecticut oysters.”

“As we celebrate the launch of Connecticut’s first-ever oyster trail, I urge our state’s restaurants to embrace our local bounty and feature Connecticut oysters on their menus,” Lamont said. “Supporting our local oyster farmers not only strengthens our economy but also allows diners to experience the exceptional quality and freshness of our coastal treasures right here in our own backyard.”

Image of oysters from Connecticut Tourism Office
Image from Connecticut Tourism Office

“The Connecticut Restaurant Association echoes Governor Lamont’s sentiment and encourages restaurants statewide to embrace our local flavors by serving Connecticut oysters,” Scott Dolch, president of the Connecticut Restaurant Association, said. “While many of our restaurants already feature Connecticut oysters on their menus, we extend a friendly call to those who have yet to join the fold. By supporting our local producers, restaurants not only enrich our culinary landscape, but also provides diners with an authentic taste of our coastal delicacies. It’s a win-win that fosters a culture of local pride and celebrates the unique flavors of our region.”

Anyone interested in viewing the map of the Connecticut Oyster Trail and watching the documentary can find both on the Connecticut Office of Tourism’s website at www.CTvisit.com.

These two projects were created in partnership between the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development and the Connecticut Department of Agriculture.