Boston Restaurant Blog -- September, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
I keep finding myself in Rockport this year, having gone there a couple of times in the spring and one more time on a recent trip this summer. The last time I was in this charming seaside village on the North Shore, we went to Roy Moore's Fish Shack in Dock Square, and it was a very satisfying experience, with great food (including delicious lobster) and nice water views from our table. This time, we went literally across the street to a place called The Seashell Cafe, and while there were some highlights to our meal--including spectacular water views--I think that our meal at Roy Moore's Fish Shack was more impressive overall.
The Seashell Cafe (formerly The Greenery Restaurant) looks like a little cafe-style dining spot from the outside, with a counter area that includes food on display, some tables by the window, and artwork on the walls. But as the sign in the front window says, there is a back dining room that has the aforementioned views of the water (better views than from Roy Moore's Fish Shack, in my opinion). The dining room is slightly cramped, and depending on where you sit, the ceiling lights can be rather glaring, but the views make up for these fairy minor shortcomings.
We were lucky enough to get a back corner table up against the windows overlooking the water at The Seashell Cafe. Our server promptly came over and we started out with non-alcoholic drinks (Rockport is no longer dry, but I never think to order beers there for some reason) and appetizers. The clam chowder was excellent, with plenty of clams and a broth that was just a bit on the thick side. The chicken vegetable soup was decent as well, though some of the veggies did not seem to be cooked enough, with the carrots being especially hard. Our entrees were a mixed bag, with one dish being outstanding and the other being disappointing. The linguini with seafood was simply wonderful, with a medley of seafood (including big chunks of lobster) and a rich cream sauce making this a particularly tasty dish. The baked scrod was inexplicably watery, however, and the herb crumb topping could only soak up so much of the water. The mashed potatoes that came with the dish were pretty good, though, with an abundance of garlic boosting the flavor. Service was friendly and efficient, while prices were just a tad high, but maybe not so much considering the restaurant's location.
I loved the views from the back room of The Seashell Cafe, with other high notes being the service and that terrific seafood linguini. But Roy Moore's Fish Shack still lingers in my memory, so the next time I am in Rockport, I could very well end up back there--or at their "in the rough" lobster pound just up the street on Bearskin Neck, which seems to receive rave reviews from friends and restaurant critics alike.
If you would like the address for The Seashell Cafe, here it is: The Seashell Cafe, 15 Dock Square, Rockport, MA, 01966. Phone: (978) 546-9593
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