Sea Dog Steak & Ale's menu catalogs hearty pub food and a deep well of beer. Every item on the menu pairs almost perfectly with one of the pub's 10 locally crafted brews served on tap, whether it's the milky Sea Dog Stout and the marinated grilled steak tips, the malty Winter Ale to wash down the chorizo-crusted haddock, or the crisp flavor of the Raspberry Wheat Ale as a palate cleanser after dinner. Sea Dog's chefs also grill 8-ounce filets mignons, which are as heavy as Willy Wonka minus his candy weight. The patties of seven specialty burgers blend ground beef, short rib, chuck, and brisket, all piled with toppings ranging from balsamic-marinated onions to root-beer barbecue sauce.
The alehouse's nightly crowd adds to the convivial ambiance of the pub by sharing drinks on its outdoor patio or in its rustic wood-paneled, chocolate- and almond-colored dining room. Frequent visitors can join the wine or mug clubs, which toss in benefits such as personalized mugs, T-shirts, and a spiritual connection with America's most famous beer drinker: Benjamin Franlin, the inventor of both mugs and T-shirts.
Through the windows of Bridgeman's Restaurant's upper- and lower-level dining rooms, the churning blue sea entertains diners awaiting entrees of pasta, steak, and locally caught seafood. From their table they can also watch the open-theater kitchen to see cooks toss pasta and cut seasonal vegetables that are delivered daily. Or patrons can scope out Bridgeman's wine list, which features varietals from boutique vineyards in France, Australia, and Italy. In warmer months, Bridgeman’s invites guests to eat housemade ice cream and gelato on the outdoor, beachfront patio, using the sweet treat to convince merpeople to come ashore.
Owned and operated by a love-crossed duo of experienced restaurateurs, the retro diner known as Toast serves a massive menu of breakfast and lunch classics. Fuel bellies with a hearty breakfast before a day of speed tanning with a customized, three-egg omelette—served with a side of hash browns and toast ($5.95+). A doughy, four-caked pancake tower arrives tableside topped with real maple syrup ($6.25), and the bagel-hugged smoked-salmon sandwich swims toward the stomach with cream cheese, tomato, and capers attached ($7.95). Challenge high-noon hunger pains with one of Toast's specialty lunch sammies—served with choice of fries, coleslaw, or potato salad—such as the Mayflower, which unites roasted turkey, cranberry, stuffing, and mayo inside of a fluffy wheat wrap ($6.95).
While Dalat's cuisine is grounded in the long-standing Asian culinary tradition, its chic, upscale dining room is unmistakably modern. An outdoor patio sits on Nantasket Beach with gorgeous views of the water, and stylish track lighting illuminates the indoor dining room's Asian artwork, elegant floral displays, and fish-filled aquarium. The menu is comprised of entrees from many different regions of Asia, such as Chinese-inspired orange chicken or Japanese-inspired beef teriyaki. Additionally, sushi chefs wrap tender morsels of raw salmon or tuna in seaweed and rice, often serving them aboard wooden dishes resembling ancient boats.
Jenn and Donny have long accepted their elitist take on coffee. As college students and self-professed coffee snobs who both worked in the food industry, they bemoaned a lack of sophisticated brews and attentive service, finally deciding that innovation would be the best form of protest. They dreamt up their own café where the beans would be freshly micro-roasted, the cocoa would incorporate three types of chocolate, and every drink would be handmade by the same person who took your order. The resulting venue, Coffee Break Cafe, lined its menu with libations of all temperatures and caffeinated creeds.
The café's house blend hails from locales such as Sumatra, Colombia, Africa, and South America and is shipped from specialty roasters who prep the beans in small batches. Jenn and Donny's commitment to coffee quality is matched by their enthusiasm for the natural world—they stock organic and fair-trade options, as well as dairy products from a hormone-free farm. Though they stand by meticulous barista techniques, they are hardly sugar-shunning purists. They readily infuse hot and frozen drinks with dessert flavors, ranging from red velvet cupcake to cinnamon bun, crafting a far superior breakfast sweet than grapefruit pie. Bagels and pastries, delivered daily by neighborhood bakeries, balance out refreshing sips. The morning hotspot's communal spirit is reflected in hanging pictures by local artists, live music, and complimentary story readings for kids.
After more than 25 years as a lobsterman, Peter Dawson experienced what many others never see in a lifetime—fishing off the New England coast, he reeled in a blue lobster. Nicknaming it Baby Blue, Dawson couldn't bear to let it see the pot; today, the arthropod lives out its days at the New England Aquarium, turning red only when it blushes from too much attention.
Transferring his love of the ocean to his own enterprise—and energized by a life's worth of bragging rights—Dawson opened The Lobster Stop right along the docks. That proximity to the sea ensures a bounty of fresh, native seafood, from fish, clams, and scallops to live lobsters—a specialty, of course. Comprised of Dawson and his family, the shop's staff also prepares cuisine for takeout, serving up platters and sandwiches behind a large display case, and a large mural behind the counter depicts two whales just waiting for the day when the menu includes bowls of plankton soup.