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.
At 88 Wharf Riverfront Grill, chefs craft New American dishes from scratch with ingredients such as fresh meats including North Atlantic lobsters, greens, and tart macintosh apples. Visitors enjoy entrees such as nested tenderloin steak and appetizers that include steamed mussels in a dining room noted for soft lighting and hardwood floors, as well as water-front views and an intimate bar. The grill also hosts special events and private functions.
Main Street Bar & Grill douses the raging fires of hunger with a menu of gourmet surf 'n' turf served up among warm, mahogany accents and friendly patrons. Warm up bellies with a starter of tavern classics such as the sidewalk sliders, four mini burgers strolling pleasantly to your palate while holding hands with caramelized onion and homemade pickles ($8.99). The eatery's skilled chefs have artfully arranged an array of meaty entrees, including the succulent Main Street steak tips ($14.99+), the baked haddock dressed in a breadcrumb coat ($13.99), and the grilled brine pork chops drizzled in cabernet sauce ($15.99), each designed to quell hunger and serve as makeshift werewolf bait. Those who eschew silverware can grab hold of a Smokey Joe burger, smothered in barbecue sauce and clutching a security blanket of bacon strips ($9.99). The Main Street flatbread pizza satisfies saucy appetites with a secret recipe crust piled with gooey mozzarella, great for practicing fractions homework and tempting mutant turtles.
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.
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.