I am a huge fan of the "cuisine" served at Mary's Fish Camp and Pearl Oyster Bar so I could not have been happier when I parked my car to go to dinner and a movie at the clocktower and spotted day Boat Cafe. One look at the short menu and I was ready to blow off Bistro Citron, but it was a Saturday night and they had no room for over an hour. With the meter running on the babysitter and limited movie times I had to skip it, but I returned the following Sunday night with the family. The bottom line for me is that the food is terrific, service is solid and I am very excited to have the place nearby. It is visually a knockoff of Mary's/Pearl, but in a good way. Weather beaten white walls, white marble bar and a set of oars by the front door make for a kitchy but pleasant atmosphere. As for the food,
New England Clam Chowder, identical to the other joints, smokey, filled with bacon, soft potatoes and abundant tender clams. Perfect and a large serving.
Caesar salad seemed like it was an afterthought. Very light dressing,almost non existent, with a few tasteless croutons and despite it being a fish house, no anchovy.
The shrimp cocktail had good size shrimp and I'm not sure if it was four or six because my daughter ate most of them before I got around to counting. She loved them.
Crab Cakes, very good, but not the kind that seem to be full of jumbo lump meat nor were they the kind that barely held together. However, I would order them again. The cole slaw that accompanied them was unusual and delicious - not cabbage, but unsure what it was.
Lobster Roll, of course. Meat was mostly tail, may have had some claw and knuckle but was very tender and tasty. Lightly dressed with mayo on a grilled split top "Pepperidge Farm" style hot dog roll. The roll came with the haystack mountain of super thin fries, properly salted.
Seared Sea Scallops were also perfect. Four large scallops, cooked correctly with awesome mashed potatoes, not too buttery, and a few spears of asparagus.
Bow Tie Pasta with Shrimp. For my young son we altered it from red sauce to garlic and oil and had to leave out the green vegetable. That being the case, it was nonetheless polished off by my otherwise picky kid who lives on pasta.
Since the owners also run a nearby bakery, and one I have eaten at many times, I was expecting greatness. We got excellence - less than greatness - but that was fine. Mixed berry tart and strawberry rhubarb pie were tasty.
Beverages: I had a Blue Moon tap beer. The wine list is short but I'm a beer guy so I didn't even look at the list.
The food was terrific, service, was spot on at all times and Diane was on the floor checking all the tables and being a nice host. One oddity, no bread basket was offered or served to any diners. As I wrote above, they own a retail bakery a mile away so this was puzzling. I will be doing my best to be a Day Boat Cafe regular and envision many weekend evenings of dinner at Day Boat followed by a film at the nearby theatre.
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