Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lookout Tavern in Oak Bluffs

What was that I was saying about kitschy signs? No problem here, the parking was difficult, the restaurant was packed and we nabbed the last whole lobster in the place. This was the New England seafood we were after and the atmosphere was mom and pop perfection with a bit of blue collar thrown in for a rough around the edges feel. It really was a tavern.

Finding clam chowder on every menu in the state did not deter us from ordering this creamy rendition at the Lookout. It was simple with few items tossed in other than clams, cream and onion. A shake or two of paprika was not even necessary because the flavor was clean and strong with clams and needed nothing more, but the paprika did perk up the color and perhaps that's all it was intended to do.

Not wanting to pout or fight over the last boiled lobster, I ordered a lobster roll and ended up with more lobster than could be comfortably held by the "white bread bun" so common in Massachusetts. The abundance of lobster meat was eaten with a fork until the bun held just the right amount of lobster and mayonnaise for a bite, with lobster and bread in perfect proportion. The chips and pickle were an afterthought and seemed unnecessary as they really could not add taste of the lobster roll, but what could?
"Last one out of the water is...." an amazing seafood dinner. As we walked to our table we over heard another patron ask and then debate about ordering the boiled dinner. Since her waitress was telling her there was only one left, we ordered then and there without a menu. Her indecision was our good fortune.
8 Seaview Ave
Oak Bluffs MA 02568
Phone: (508) 696-9844

Barnacle Bill's Seafood in Buzzard Bay

"What's in a name?", you might ask, concerning dining establishments. For one thing, they may pique our curiosity and get us to walk in the door; for another, they set up for us a sense of "place". Since we were looking for a mom and pop establishment with good home cooked food, on our way back to Boston from Martha's Vineyard, and were looking for lobster, Barnacle Bill's conjured up the image of what we were hoping would suit us. They had lobster rolls, but we elected to get the 1 pound lobster for $14.99 with sides because it looked like a deal.

It was a "deal"...for the restaurant. I knew we were in trouble the minute our order arrived at the table on paper plates and both Styrofoam and aluminum bowls. It was not a small lobster as we had imagined, but lobster pieces with very little tail and no claws, just lots of spongy legs and they were breaded and greasy. Not greasy enough though, as we were served melted butter along with it, in a black plastic bowl. The cole slaw was alright, the onion rings okay, but the fried zucchini was not good either, having been fried in grease that had seen one too many fryings. The star of each plate was a plentiful helping of rice pilaf that seemed like an odd accompaniment, but it helped make the lobster palatable. This is by no means a restaurant I would recommend. It serves as a warning to all who would choose a restaurant based on a kitschy name. It's better to judge by the number of cars in the parking lot, or the smells as you walk in.

Legal Sea Foods

Every time we visit Boston, we make a pilgrimage to Legal Sea Foods. This is where I discovered that Blue fish is not to my liking, as it is too oily for my taste. This is also where I discovered a delightful salad of blackened shrimp over mixed greens that is no longer on the menu, but inspires me to try and recreate it one day. Although it is a chain restaurant, the menu is creative, ever changing, and the seafood always fresh and delicious.

Lobster bisque is a great way to start any meal and we find ourselves (credit goes exclusively to my husband here) making it as a first course for holiday dinners at home. It is delightful to have someone else do the work while we reap the benefit. The crab cake is less time consuming to make, but equally rewarding on the plate and beautifully paired with a spicy mustard sauce and a seasonal salad. the one photographed is the appetizer.
Once again, our appetites got the better of us and these photos were taken just minutes before finishing the lightly fried New England full belly clams with cornbread, an appetizer worthy of any entree, and a special that evening, a seafood ravioli in tomato sauce.
A trio of house made ice creams was a nice ending to the meal. You may select from a group and this was Kona coffee with macadamia nuts, Belgian chocolate and vanilla bean.

255 State Street
Boston MA 02109
Phone: 617.742.5300
Fax: 617.523.0512
Sun-Thurs: 11:00am - 10:00pm
Fri-Sat: 11:00am - 11:00pm