By Margaret Locher, Contributing Writer
Northborough – I was eager to try the Sea Dog's new location in Northborough ever since it opened two months ago. A friend and I met there for dinner recently, and can's wait to go back with our husbands.
The friendly hostess sat us in the calm atmosphere of the dining area. A wall of stylish frosted glass separated us from the lounge area, where patrons were gathered at the bar, sampling some of the many available beers. We ordered a hazelnut porter and a seasonal pumpkin beer from the restaurant's selection of Sea Dog brews.
We took the server's recommendations for appetizers and tried the fried calamari ($9.95) and the grilled Caesar salad ($7.95). The calamari was served in sweet chili sauce with chunks of green and red peppers. Neither of us had ever had a grilled Caesar salad, but we loved it! Giving the romaine hearts a few minutes on the grill before serving them with toasted pieces of parmesan bread gave them a lot of flavor.
While the Sea Dog's Hull location has more seafood items, the Northborough location's menu focuses more on meat options, such as lamb chops ($24.95), pork chops ($16.95) and broiled veal chops ($26.95). Each entree comes with a unique combination of sides such as peppercorn mash or green beans.
Sea Dog Pubs are not cookie cutter kinds of places: Chef Jason Carron created a different menu for each of the three Massachusetts locations. He changes each menu every few months to keep things fresh, add new items and retire others. Patrons are unlikely to get bored of eating at a Sea Dog. Chef Carron graduated from Culinary Institute of America and has worked in California and southern Italy. He was integral to the successful launch of Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine bar before joining the Sea Dog.
After studying the menu, I ordered pan-seared scallops ($21.95), sprinkled with leeks and pancetta bits and served with flavorful wilted spinach and mashed potatoes. My friend ordered the grilled salmon ($17.95), which had a stout glaze and a side of asparagus and au gratin potatoes. We each tasted everything on the other's plates, saying, “You have to try this. And this!”
Even after such great food, we couldn's pass up dessert. My friend ordered the stout walnut turtle pie drizzled with chocolate syrup ($5.95), to carry the beer theme throughout her whole dining experience. I opted for a traditional slice of cheesecake ($5.95), which was served on a plate with fresh whipped cream and slices of fresh strawberries. Talk about a cherry on top of a perfect meal.
The Sea Dog Steak & Ale hosts a wine and a mug club, as well as NFL Sundays. The pub is located at 318 Main St (Route 20 East) in Northborough. Call 508-466-8531 for reservations and keep up to date on the latest menu and brews at www.seadogsteakale.com.