On a late Saturday afternoon having spent much of the day looking on the Cape for venues for an upcoming event, we decided to grab something a little light - I had a hankering for something a little lighter, maybe some broiled scrod. We hadn't been to the Chowder House for quite awhile so we decided to stop in. It was about 6 pm when we pulled into the lot. It wasn't too crowded at that point and we sat in the bar area at a small table - we couldn't fit at the bar itself because the Sox were playing game 2 of their series with the Rays and there must have been a few regulars there for the game.
The physical plant hasn't really changed from the last time we'd been there...no complaints here though. A server was prompt. She was new, but she was attentive. She was working with another server and they actually made a good team. We ordered a glass of pinot grigio and a light beer. Again, service was quick and helpful.
We looked at both the bar menu and the entree menu. My wife was very interested in the oysters. Here's a VERY interesting oddity I noticed. If you order a single oyster in the bar they are priced at $1.35 each. But then if you order 1/2 dozen, they are listed at $9.99. Huh???? So unless this was a huge misprint, if you ordered 6 oysters as "singles" it should come out to $8.10, yet a half dozen is $9.99. So, I suggested my wife order 5 at a time. Sure enough when I saw the bill, there were five entries of $1.35 each - accurate. What further intrigued me was that a cool dozen was $16.00. (Now 12 individuals at $1.35 would be $16.20, so you'd save 20 cents). Perhaps this $9.99 thing was just a big misprint, but it was curious.
In addition to the oysters, she ordered a cup of French Onion Soup and I ordered the broiled scrod, breaded with roasted potatoes and a side of squash. The French Onion soup came out reasonably quickly. It was really tasty. The crouton had a nice flavorful crust, the broth was rich and there was plenty of tasty cheese on top. I'd definitely have another there.
Now as we sat there, there was a small band setting up. Two acoustic guitar players who happened to be a husband and wife team. So we watched and we were excited to stumble on some live entertainment. This kept us occupied because it did take a little while for our meals (the oysters and the fish) to come out. Not enough to complain about, but it did take longer than I thought.
So the oysters - I'm not a fan but my wife is. She said they were good but the shucking wasn't the greatest as there was a little piece of shell in just about each one (she ordered a 2d set of 5). My scrod was a let down, which is a surprise given that they have a fish market associated with the restaurant. It was over done which isn't a great strategy with scrod. The breading was good enough, a little to buttery which overpowered the fish. But, the problem was that the fish was tough from being overdone. I wasn't inclined to send it back because the servers at the bar were very good and I didn't want to make a fuss, but I'd figure that a "Chowder House" would have some pretty high standards for its fish coming out of the kitchen.
The potatoes were good. Nothing to write home about. I needed to add a little salt to boost the flavor. The squash was okay I am told (not a mashed squash fan here so my wife had it).
The highlight of the night was staying for the live entertainment. They were a huge addition to this evening out. Had it not been for them, we would've left right after dinner without a very good impression. But, the servers were good and we stayed for another beer and wine to enjoy the show.
Overall, I'd say the two servers in the bar were great. They were attentive. The cost of the wine and beer was VERY reasonable too. Soup was delicious. Fish, not so great. The only reason we might go back? The entertainers.
Maybe this was just a "fluke" (well, a little pun intended here) night and the fish was just a mistake. However, reading some of the other reviewers, I'm not so sure.
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