I would like to tell you about three restaurants I visited in Chatham over the weekend. The first two were new to me and the third is one that I have enjoyed previously.
Pisces, Thursday Evening's Restaurant (2653 Main Street)
I was anxious to try Pisces because I heard so many good things and I was told to make a reservation because it is very popular and very small. My reservation was for two people at 8:00pm. There is no parking so our car had to be valeted. The door swings open to reveal a very busy, very noisey restaurant. We were told our table would be ready shortly and that the couple occoupying the table was finishing their dessert. We waited at the very small five-seat bar. Two couples entered the restaurant and stood behind us at the bar ordering drinks; their voices were so loud, I actually could hear the pounding in my head. I realize this is not the fault of the restaurant, but the entire restaurant was unbelievabley noisey; you could hear different conversations at the same time. We were finally seated 45 minuts after our reservation time. We ordered a beet salad with arugala and citrus vinagrette and I had the special salmon with risotto and, frankly, I forgot what my husband had. The salad promised a light dressing, however, there was no dressing at all it was dry and tasteless. My salmon was nicely cooked, moist and the accompanying risotto was good. I didn't feel the restaurant lived up to it's reputation. My entree was over $25.00. All in all, the atmosphere did not provide a dining experience that could be enjoyed and I know that I would not return, even our waitress said her parents loved the food but were annoyed by the noise.
Friday evening, The Golden Clove (Crowell Road)
We were pleasantly surprised; I guess because we were a little shell shocked over the previous night's experience. The restaurant is charming. It has a warm feeling with it's wood floor, and a golden/orange painted walls, small dining tables dressed with white table cloths and a fireplace. The bar is mid-to back part of the dining room. The restaurant was more subdued. Of course this could have been due to the fact it wasn't as crowded or filled as Pisces. We shared a baked oyster appetizer that had a lovely sauce and a bit of spinach with it. It wasn't a Rockefeller sauce but it was delicious. We shared a roasted pear salad that had lots of flavor. I had a panko-coated sole dish with mashed potatoes and it was perfect. It had a light, lovely citrus sauce on the fish. My husband had the shortribs, with a maple, coffee, rum sauce, that he is still talking about. No room for dessert, but I truly enjoyed the experience.
Saturday Night, The Impudent Oyster (Chatham Bars Road)
We joined another couple at this very popular restaurant. I know some people say their meals are uneven at times, but I have never found this to be true on the occasions I have visited. I think they try to incorporate new tastes and ideas with their seafood selections. I had the tempura battered haddock on Asian slaw--lots of wonderful flavors. We started with raw clams and oysters. My friends got the sea bass -- it was a difficult decision ordering because everything sounded wonderful. My fish was perfectly cooked, not greasly at all in the batter, and the Asian flavors on the slaw were perfect--a very enjoyable meal.