By Debra Roberts, Contributing Writer
Marlborough – I recently met up with friends for a late lunch at Welly’s Restaurant in downtown Marlborough. I parked in a convenient public lot half a block away from the restaurant. It was drizzling that day with a bit of a chill in the air but, once inside, I felt instantly comforted by the warm, welcoming atmosphere. Upon arrival, I noticed the multiple trophies for “best clam chowder” at the entrance and a very attractive bar area with a gleaming wooden facade. To the left was a cozy dining area, which was the side that was open for lunch that day. The dining room on the right side of the restaurant also had a warm, homey feel with brick walls, a fireplace, and charming accessories displayed throughout the room.
My friend Ruth was already seated at a lovely window seat when I arrived. A smiling waiter promptly greeted me and took my drink order. Our friend, Satnam, arrived shortly after and she informed our waiter that she only had 35 minutes for lunch. He remarked that it would be no problem and gave us a few minutes to look over the menu. There were so many delicious-looking choices that we had a bit of a hard time deciding what to order. I also perused the separate gluten-free menu that offered many enticing options, like the Salmon Stephanie, a sautéed salmon filet topped with chopped tomatoes, olives and served with mashed potatoes. There was also a long list of lunch specials that day with very reasonable prices ranging from $8.95 to $12.95. Choices included standard pub favorites like chicken pot pie, tuna melt, and burger, but also had some unique choices, like a grilled naan turkey sandwich and fish tacos.
Ruth decided on the Ultimate BLT, which also had avocado in it. Satnam ordered the Reuben sandwich, and having been chilly on my way into the restaurant, I opted for a comfort food – the Irish Country Side Shepherd’s Pie. As promised, the food was brought out promptly and all was delicious and perfectly cooked. Ruth and Satnam’s sandwiches both looked amazing and I made a mental note to order a sandwich next time. They both remarked how they particularly enjoyed the crispy fries, which had a bit of a battered layer on the outside. My shepherd’s pie was flavorful and fresh with a generous amount of tender and deliciously seasoned ground beef, carrots, corn and peas, topped with whipped potatoes, caramelized onions and a sensational demi-glace.
Our waiter was attentive, but not overbearing, and made sure to check in on us from time to time to ask if we needed anything and if we were enjoying our meals. We enjoyed the comfortable ambience of Welly’s, the upscale quality of food, the friendly service, and we all felt very much at home there. We agreed that we would definitely come back either for another lunch date or for a meal with our families, as there were many kid-friendly choices.
Dinner entrées at Welly’s are more upscale but reasonably priced with a wide variety of meats, fresh seafood, pasta dishes and pub favorites to choose from. There is catering available and a function room that holds up to 50 people. Welly’s also hosts an open mic night every other Tuesday starting at 7 p.m. and offers half-priced appetizers during New England game nights.
Welly’s is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.