Thanks to all who posted with suggestions for outdoor waterfront dining in MA last week. We ended up taking my mom to The Back Eddy in Westport, as AGM/Cape Cod suggested. She loved it and it was a great choice. It's over an hour between Westport and Arlington MA (and the directions on their website from the Boston area are messed up so it took even longer on the way there) - but the food was worth it.
Nothing special. Sliced bread, cold butter. But they give you a little dish of some homemade pickles to go with it.
Margaritas were great. Someone tried a hypnotini, which she said was good and looked fun (part of it came in a separate beaker so you could pour it in yourself), but I noticed she had only one and then moved on to margs.
Coriander-crusted Cod Cake - one crispy cake, made with plenty of fish, atop a very tasty bed of mango, mustard, and greens.
Raw mussels - fresh fresh fresh
Clam and corn chowder - didn't taste it but was told it was great. The portion was big and came piled with potatoes, corn, and clams.
All entrees were great - people had tuna steak, scallop tournedos, fish & chips, fried scallop platter, "Asian big bowl" (special with all sorts of seafood in broth with greens), and grilled salmon. Portions were generous.
Chocolate ice cream and chocolate chip cookie - fine, not great.
A bit forgetful but alright - she asked how our apps were at the appropriate time, but didn't realize that the chowder had never been delivered to two of the diners, about 10 minutes after everyone else had received their apps. She went to check on it, and came back saying it would be a little longer as they were making another batch of chowder. (Is it normal for a seafood restaurant to run out of clam chowder at 7 on a Saturday night?) The entrees took a long time to get to us - well over a half hour after apps were cleared - for which she apologized. (We had a few drinks by then and didn't really care.) And those who ordered coffee at the end of the meal did not receive it until they asked for it a second time. She did take the coffee off the bill though.
One other quibble - When making the reservation, I inquired about outdoor seating and was told that it was available only to parties of 4 or fewer. We were 6, so were put indoors. I asked if there was a water view from our table, and was told we were in a room "surrounded by windows". Technically, I guess we were in that room...but not really. The windows part of the restaurant is separated from an inner portion by a half wall (the bar is also in the inner portion). We were in the inner portion, well away from windows. I wish they had tried to get us closer since I obviously wanted the water view if we couldn't sit outside.
Fun and loud. Very bustling. When I walked in, I overhead the hostess giving a 2 hour wait time. Outdoor bar looks fun.