Carmen Anthony Fish House

Carmen Anthony Fish House


Being in the mood for a martini on a recent date night (big surprise there, right?) Dave and I drove to Woodbury to sample those made at Carmen Anthony Fish House. In all honesty, I didn’t have very high expectations of finding a quality cocktail there even though I recall seeing them at the 2012 Food Schmooze Martini Competition back in June. And as I recall, seeing was the operative word for the line was so long in front of their station that I couldn’t get near it. So, being the enterprising person I am, I passed everyone and walked to the table where I put down my business card and told the mixologist to “check it out”. Fast forward three months and here we are sitting at the bar at the Fish House with none other than Carl, the Food Schmooze mixologist, in front of me.

After a brief chat, Carl whipped up a delicious Blood Orange Martini using Stoli Vodka and fresh blood orange juice that, after the first sip, quickly passed muster with its intriguing flavors.  As I enjoyed my martini and Dave cuddled his Corona, we chatted with Carl about his years of bartending and how he became a mixologist. I guess it was my lucky night because Carl very modestly mentioned that he was the 2011 CT Mixologist of the Year. SCORE!  (Yup, that was me you saw jumping up and down with delight!)  “I found one, I found one!” was playing loops in my head.  It’s not often that I find a really good mixologist; someone who appreciates the mystique of a martini and can orchestrate the nuances and flavor profile that a well-made cocktail provides. Double Score!!!


Carl's 5-Star Martini

Five Star Martini – A MartiniHunter Exclusive


Not having eaten dinner, we wanted a little nibble so chose the outstanding Blue Point Oysters for Dave and Jumbo Shrimp for me. On this night we were honored to meet the man himself, Carmen Anthony, as he made the rounds of the dining room and bar.


Carmen Anthony Raw Bar


Such a nice gentleman, he stopped to chat for a moment then continued to the kitchen to check the quality of the food. I must say, we didn’t expect to see him but it was reassuring to know that he was so engaged in his restaurant that he QC’d the dinners coming from his kitchen. We finished up our drinks, paid the tab and headed for the car.

Several weeks later we again stopped in for our usual Friday date night and found a new guy on duty behind the bar, JR was his name. Uh-oh, where’s Carl?  Apparently working in Waterbury at the Carmen Anthony Steak House for the evening. Damn! I didn’t want to go to Waterbury to have a good martini so I mentally chalked one up to taking one for the team. Turns out that JR is a joker for he told me this was his “first day” on the job and he’d “see what he could do” with my martini.  Great!  I was heading for the door to make the drive to Waterbury when he started laughing.  Seems that he’s an experienced mixologist with 8 years experience and  quickly served up my passion fruit martini with a professional flourish. Delish!  His wicked sense of humor had us chuckling throughout our stay. Score again!

I must give props to Carmen Anthony for caring as much about his bar patrons as his dinner patrons by giving us two great mixologists to enjoy and tempt our palate with their original libations.  There’s also a martini-maker-in-training but, my bad, I don’t recall her name. (You know who you are!)  and under Carl and JR’s tutelage I know she’ll continue the tradition of great martinis at Carmen Anthony’s.  And I’ll be happy to taste test your efforts!

If it’s Friday and you’re in Woodbury be sure to stop by and enjoy Happy Hour with Carl or hit up the Steak House in Waterbury and joke around with JR.  You won’t be disappointed and if you happen to see us there, be sure to stop by for a chat.  It’s all good in my martini world.  Cheers!


Carmen Anthony Steak House, 496 Chase Avenue Waterbury, CT   203.757.3040
Carmen Anthony Fish House, 757 Main Street Woodbury, CT   203.266.0011
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