Plenty of rustic, cozy old dining spots can be found in Eastern Massachusetts, including such places as the Colonial Inn in Concord, the Barker Tavern in Scituate, the Wayside Inn in Sudbury, the Lafayette House in Walpole, and the Daniel Webster Inn in Sandwich. And while these eateries are fairly well known for the most part, there are others that run completely under the radar, including a charming place in Marshfield called The Fieldston. This elegant but casual spot is one of a number of restaurants on the South Shore (including the aforementioned Barker Tavern) with the type of historic atmosphere that you often seem to find in New England, but in this case, you also get the added feel of discovery as very few outside of the immediate area seem to know about it.
The Fieldston is located at a bend in the road where Route 139 first meets the sea (and follows it for a couple of miles before returning inland again). The restaurant resides in a former boathouse that has loads of ambiance, with a dark and warm bar that includes a working fireplace to the left, a quiet and comfortable dining area to the right that also includes a fireplace (though this one is electric and rather funky-looking), and a long, enclosed porch by the entrance that is used during the warmer months. The low ceilings, abundance of dark woods throughout, and attractive sconces--along with its location about a block from the water--make The Fieldston a very romantic spot that is perfect for couples, though it is certainly family-friendly as well.
As you might expect, The Fieldston features a mix of classic American cuisine and seafood items with a bent toward New England fare, though the restaurant also offers several Italian dishes as well. The menu includes (depending on the night as well as the season) a solid Caesar salad that comes with house-made croutons; fried artichokes stuffed with gorgonzola cheese and including a smoky tomato sauce; a plate of nicely-seasoned stuffed grape leaves with olives, roasted red peppers, sundried tomatoes, and a drizzle of balsamic; a substantial--and extremely low-priced--chicken parmesan plate; roasted duck breast that comes with a black cherry sauce; a haddock plate with crabmeat stuffing, with the fish placed on top of a sweet-tasting lobster risotto; a herb-crusted pork loin that is roasted perfectly and tender with very little gristle; and a lamb shank that is braised in a sweet and savory tomato stew. Desserts are always changing, with one option being a decadent donut bread pudding, while drinks include a wide variety of wines, a handful of beers on tap and in bottles, and cocktails.
Marshfield may seem like a bit of a drive from downtown Boston, but barring traffic jams, it's really just 40 minutes or so from Faneuil Hall to The Fieldston, making it about as much of a trip as several of the other restaurants mentioned above. And its location where the land meets the sea and its wonderful atmosphere, impressive food, and friendly service certainly make the ride worth it. If you love classic, historic-feeling New England spots, The Fieldston is definitely a must-visit.
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