Stephen AnthonyĂ˘€™s Restaurant
Marlborough – When I have something special to celebrate or I just want a great meal, Stephen Anthony’s is at the top of my list. Owned by chef Anthony Scerra, everything about the dining experience is a pleasure.
First, there is the setting, tucked on the shores of Hager Pond; it is one of several businesses adjacent to the Wayside Country Store, once owned by Henry Ford. The white clapboard charm of the outside is only a hint of the inside: a well-stocked bar and bright, open dining area. One wall is decorated with photos of generations of the families of Scerra and his wife, Sara. Framed posters and prints of the Victorian-era Gibson girls add more atmosphere. Entering is a little like entering a well designed home.
That feeling is only emphasized by the friendly, attentive wait staff . On this visit, my husband and I were quickly seated at one of the booths featuring a window facing the pond. In no time, we had our wine, a bottle of St. George cabernet ($18). We were in no rush, so the wine was a nice accompaniment to our perusal of the menu. The basket of warm, crusty bread was a welcome prelude to our meal.
We both ordered the red pepper soup ($3.95 a cup or $4.95 for a bowl) to start. Rich and thick, the soup came served with a dollop of sour cream. The flavors of roasted red pepper with an undertone of tomato melded perfectly.
My husband ordered the seafood Oscar ($19.95) from a long list of specials. Served atop a puff pastry, the scallops and shrimp were dressed in a light, lemony hollandaise sauce that surprised me. I had thought of ordering it, but decided against it, recalling heavy hollandaise sauce often served in other restaurants. As with everything at Stephen Anthony’s, the sauce is made fresh, according to Scerra’s own recipe. The meal came with perfectly cooked asparagus and a delicate rice pilaf.
I decided to try the New England scallop pie (18.95), which our server told us was a popular item. It came sizzling in a casserole dish, topped with a crispy lemon butter crumb topping. The scallops were tender, baked in a delicate cream sauce. The dish was superb. Served with it was a medley of tasty roasted vegetables, including peppers, carrots and snow peas, and a healthy serving of rice pilaf.
As with the dÃ©cor, the food and flavors of a meal at Stephen Anthony’s combine to off er more than the sum of the parts: a complete gustatory event that leaves me feeling not only satisfied with the food, but also relaxed and comfortable. When Scerra entered the dining room to chat with diners, his cheerful and welcoming demeanor added yet another layer to the experience.
Stephen Anthony’s Restaurant at 999 Boston Post Road, Marlborough, is open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. For more information, visit www.stephenanthonys.com or call 508- 460-9618.
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