Liv's Oyster Bar

4.6
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1670 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Seafood
Opening in 2006, Liv’s Oyster Bar quickly became a dining destination in Old Saybrook. Inspired by his daughter, Olivia, and years of experience in the restaurant industry, owner John Brescio set out with a desire to welcome the community to his family’s table. Dining at Liv’s, whether in the main room, at the bar, or on the patio, is an experience to be savored with friends and family long after summer on the shoreline has past.
John Brescio also serves as Liv’s Executive Chef, creating simple, focused dishes with an emphasis on local ingredients, and the stunning seafood that the area provides. The menu at Liv’s changes with the seasons, bringing guests a true taste of the pristine environment. John works closely with Liv’s partners to make sure only the best produce is used, as he would serve nothing less to his family.
Together with his exceptional staff, John welcomes you to the special experience he’s created at Liv’s Oyster Bar.
What 1670 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
98% of people would recommend it to a friend
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RB
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We couldn't have had a better experience! The food, staff and service were amazing. It was the best meal we both have had in a long time. The oysters were fantastic as were the meals. Some of the best clam chowder! Loved this place and will definitely be coming back!

Liv's Oyster Bar
Responded 4 days ago

Thank you Rebecca!

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M
New York Area
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have already told several people about Liv’s. Food, drinks and wait staff were a 10. We live in New Canaan Connecticut and wish we had a Liv’s in our town. Old Saybrook is lucky to have you! Definitely will be back as there were so many delicious choices on your menu. Wine choices were a thumbs up! Hope to see you again next fall!

Liv's Oyster Bar
Responded 4 days ago

Thank you!

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RC
New York Area
15 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

New menu great

Mushroom appetizer very good
Tagliatelle even better than the cavatelli-lighter?
Swordfish delicious
Alex’s service his usual excellent

Always a great meal at Liv’s!

Liv's Oyster Bar
Responded 4 days ago

Thank you RichC! We will let Alex know!

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JC
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service. From appetizer to dessert, the food very tasty and perfectly prepared. We had the swordfish and the tuna as entrees. Both were delicious. Very conveniently located to the Katherine Hepburn Performing Arts Center. It was our first time, we will definitely be back.

RP
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on 10 October 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

As always. Excellent food and drink! One of my go to restaurants on the shoreline.

B
1 review
Dined on 9 October 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was delicious. We enjoyed an order of clams on the half shell followed by the seared scallops and tuna entrees. The wine was also wonderful. The best part was the exceptional service. Our waiter was very attentive but did not rush us. It's a little pricey, but the quality of both the food and the service are worth it!

M
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 6 October 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our family enjoys Liv's Oyster Bar not only for the quality of the food, but also for the knowledgable and professional wait staff.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 5 October 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

The service was initially slow and then spotty during dinner. The tables for 2 are oddly long. Meaning, my companion seemed far away and we had to speak loudly to be heard.

S
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 5 October 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We made reservations and were taken in to be seated right away. The food was excellent but the prices were a little high for the amount of food we were given. Service was outstanding.

HC
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 3 October 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Scrumptious food, and a lovely, welcoming, calm ambience. I'll come back as often as I can!

AL
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 29 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent service. Impressive presentation and outstanding cuisine. Highly recommend.

PT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 29 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great choice for dinner. Food was amazing. Halibut was to die for!! You won't be disappointed.

DE
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on 27 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

wonderful food. server was great. Love Liv's. wish you were closer to our home

RS
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on 21 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was delicious, especially the mussels & I had seared tuna cooked perfectly. Our server was exceptional attentive, friendly, made our night & my husband's birthday special, we will definitely be back even though it's an hour drive from our home. It was that good!

JD
New England
1 review
Dined on 16 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is alway good, ive never been disappointed with the quality, portion or taste. People are great too. Waitstaff is great, knowledgable, pleasent and attentive. Love it at Liv's

KG
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on 13 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a wonderful surprise in Old Saybrook! The food at Liv's was outstanding. From the very lightly fried green tomatoes and lobster to the scallop entree, everything was just perfect. The staff was friendly and professional. And, when we complimented Julie, the manager, on our great evening, she even recommended the perfect restaurant for the second night of our visit. Can't wait for our next visit.

BS
1 review
Dined on 12 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a fabulous dinner. We shared a bunch of appetizers and a few entrees Julie, the hostess, is fantastic. She was attentive, made us feel welcome and was great fun! The beignets and are THE BEST. Worth s visit just for those desserts alone
5 stars

d
New England
7 reviews
Dined on 11 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Livs was recommended on TripAdvisor then a friend said To go there. Known for their oysters we ordered the sampler platter. Each oyster was labeled, fresh and delicious like it has just been plucked from the sea. Dinner was fantastic; New England Seafood Roast, salads with fresh salmon and scallops filling and delicious.

M
New England
5 reviews
Dined on 8 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went to Livs on a Sunday evening in early September - after the season and it was a delight. From walking in to finishing up our cappuccinos, everything was great. Yummy oysters! A beautifully prepared piece of salmon ( hard to get it medium rare!). Enough of a crowd to feel like we were out, but quiet enough for a conversation. Attentive service. Kudos!

OT
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on 7 September 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

We are local to Liv’s and visited recently. The mussels appetizer was outstanding! My wife ordered the Halibut and I had their shellfish bake (stew). Both dinners were well presented and mine was great, but my wife felt the halibut was overdone and dry.

JW
Orlando
1 review
Dined on 7 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very nice! They surprised us with a $10 gift card toward our next dine because it was our Anniversary.

W
New England
2 reviews
Dined on 7 September 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 4

Yes and no. The wine list was consistently only offered to the male-identified person at the table, which feels really quite backwards for 2019: is this their house policy? I was accidentally given fully-caffeinated coffee with dessert instead of decaf, which the server acknowledged but which was really pretty careless. The food was excellent, but in the case of a cherry tomato, cucumber, heart of palm salad quite overpriced.

B
1 review
Dined on 6 September 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Menu extremely limited. Waiter, while dutiful, had absolutely no personality- couldn’t even recommend a wine to pair.

BT
New York Area
100 reviews
Dined on 5 September 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Liv’s is consistently one of our go-to places.
The food is excellent, the service is excellent and we go there frequently.
You should, too....

CT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 30 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Liv’s lived up to our expectations, informed by previous visits. The meal
was competently prepared - seared halibut on a bed of appealing, if a little dry, seasonal vegetables. The warm mushroom salad appetizer had excellent flavor but much more lettuce than mushrooms. Good wine choices. The service stands out. Even on a holiday weekend at peak dining hours, the server was attentive without being intrusive, very pleasant and happy to answer any questions we had. Another good experience and we’ll go back when next in Old Saybrook.

F
New York Area
42 reviews
Dined on 30 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Celebrating our35th wedding anniversary. We are staying in Old Lyme at Colony Beach for a few days. Liv’s came highly recommended and did not disappoint. Our raw bar platter was worth the wait. Clams and Oysters were the best we have had all summer. Ben , our waitstaff very attentive and personable. We tried the old bay fries, RI calamari and the beignets, all were delicious. The surprise of the evening came as we were leaving , we were presented with a Liv’s gift card for our anniversary, how nice was that. Can’t wait to return!

M
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on 28 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was felt. The ambiance is lovely. My only critique would be the food came out very fast. We were not rushed to leave after so all ok!

MG
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on 28 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We go to Liv's often. It's always a great experience all around. One of our all-time favorite restaurants!

A
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined on 25 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our meal was delicious and stylishly prepared with fresh ingredients. The summer salad, filled with garden vegetables and heirloom tomatoes and topped with a savory dressing, was especially delicious, and the service was efficient and polite. All in all, it was a very satisfying dining experience in our second time at Liv’s; the first was also quite enjoyable, so we’ll definitely be back again.

SR
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 24 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service. Oysters are amazing - One of our favorite spots for dinner.

CW
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on 24 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Retirement

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PQ
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on 24 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Good food overall but the portions were a bit small.

L
New York Area
135 reviews
Dined on 24 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best food on the shoreline. Excellent wait staff, bar and front. And a great vibe. Can’t go wrong here!!!

JM
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 24 August 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 2

There was a line at the hostess stand when we arrived and in order to make room and clear the door, my husband took a step to the far left. The hostess stopped what she was doing and in front of a line of other customers, looks at my husband and said, “Um, hello?” like he was a cretin. She was unwelcoming and brazenly snobbish.
After being shown to our tables, our server, was aggressive and intrusive with wanting to take our drink and entrée order. He was never rude, don’t misunderstand, but would just not leave us alone. We distinctly got the impression that his goal was to flip this four-top as soon as possible. His ‘enthusiasm’ continued throughout our entire meal – he was a constant interruption to our dining experience and conversation. Good service is appreciated but this crossed a line in a rather large way.

Some of the food was excellent and some was extremely disappointing. The fried Rhode Island calamari, the PEI mussels and the raw little necks were to die for. The Sesame Crusted Yellowfin Tuna seemed like it had been seared ahead of time as it was not hot on the outside or cold on the inside. The noodles it was served with were sticky and seemed ‘leftover; also very unappealing to the eye. The whole entrée was room temperature. The New England Clam chowder was good – however, more smoky flavor than clam flavor – the menu indicates that it is served with biscuits – there was one of the tiniest biscuits I’ve ever seen in the center of the soup. The “BLT salad” should be called an “L” salad as there was a dusting of some chopped bacon over the top and very little tomato– also, menu indicates that it was served with shrimp – there were none. The crème brulee was excellent and I’m not a crème brulee person. All in all, we won’t be returning to Liv's. The inconsistency in the food quality and the over-bearing service do not support their price points.

M
New York Area
22 reviews
Dined on 21 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious chowder! Lovely wine. Yummy oysters on the half shell. Fish was perfectly cooked. Just great dining!

E
New England
1 review
Dined on 18 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was absolutely delicious. I had the tuna and it was so flavorful and one of the best I’ve had. Our waitress was very sweet and always made sure we had water, bread, etc. The ambience was very nice and they had beautiful photography around the restaurant. Overall dinner was lovely and I would definitely go again

JB
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 18 August 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We have been here before and it is always good and the people are so friendly and nice. Food is great and so is the atmosphere. recommend highly. I understand they have some other new spots and cannot wait to try them as well.

D
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined on 18 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is the best place in CT. Excellent food and superior service. My wife and I travel an hour to go there for special occasions.

RH
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on 17 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Fantastic service as always. New preparation on the PEI Mussels which we liked. Super fresh stripped bass with crispy skin over local corn and favs beans.

OT
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on 16 August 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

We were there on a busy Friday night and the noise level was high. Server was pressed but friendly and as attentive as he could be. Food was excellent.

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