This is a new restaurant that opened up around May 2016. It comes with high review, and therefore, not easy to make a last minute reservation on weekend. We were lucky enough get one by becoming early birds. We don’t mind eating dinner early, that gives more time to digest before going to bed!
It seems like there are few new restaurant popping up in this area. We recently visited another one with waterfront dining, The 41-70 (you can read about it here: http://www.foodlovergirl.com/the-41-70/). And just like The 41-70, this restaurant is sitting on the water, so you get a great view of the water if you get a table by the window.
When we walked in, we were greeted by mint-green, antique oven acting as a cute little table for plants and such. Very adorable! The interior had a lot of wood, creating that nostalgic feel (to me). They have good number of table seating, but not as many as it might look from the out side. One thing to note, they will not seat you until your party is complete. So, if you are meeting up with people, make sure everyone is on time!
One of the reason for less seating might be because of their bar/kitchen taking up space in the dining area. The bar was pretty and I like the semi-circle shape.
The first thing I noticed after we sat down was the stones on the napkins. They are real stones, so each one had different color, texture, and size. It was so interesting. Now, they are NOT for you to take home with, they actually have a purpose…which we didn’t know at this moment. Also, I liked the candle in yellow seashells, sitting in a mason jar. It was simple yet so pretty and matched the place perfectly.
They had mismatching plates, which I always adore. I just think it is so cute and pretty to do that, especially if they are a bit antique, collected from everywhere. Now, the stones on the napkins. I had them all stacked up (just playing around), and then the waitress came and asked to have the stones. She placed the stone on the side of the dish, and put silverware on top. We were all like “ahhhhhh! That is what that’s for!” Certainly unique and creative. I liked that a lot, it just completed the look.
The surprising thing about this place is that they do NOT offer complementary bread. If you want some bread, you need to order them. I can kind of see a good reason for this – for there are many people who don’t really eat much of the complimentary bread, and therefore they go to waste. If you have to pay for it, then you feel like you really ought to eat them, and not waste them. Still, I appreciate the place that offer complimentary bread… Since we wanted some bread, we ordered their Daily Bread ($5 for large), which are house-baked and served with radish butter. It came in a cute wooden basked, and good amount of fresh baked bread, more than enough for four of us. It was still hot when it arrived, dense but yet airy and tasty. Radish butter was very interesting, it did NOT taste like straight radish or anything, but hint of the fresh veggie flavor mixed with the butter. I thought it was pretty cool.
We started with few specialty cocktails. We ordered Old Rum Mojito ($12), Village Elder ($12), and their “today’s punch” which is basically a special drink of the day, Strawberry Anise ($10). The Old Rum Mojito is made with Brugla aged dark rum, mint, and lime. It was kind of small, had a little mint leaf floating on the top. It was mostly sweet, but nice and strong.
Strawberry Anise is made with gin, aperol, ederflower, and lemon. It was very pretty, light pink color and had a lavender on the top. It was sweet from elderflower, but refreshing at the same time with hint of lemon. This one was also nice and strong.
Village Elder is made with Uncle Val’s Botanical gin, lemon, elderflower, sage, and sparking wine. It came in a champagne glass, more on a light side, but not weak since it does contain gin. It had a very pretty leaf floating on the top, which I am not sure what kind it is… It was nice and bubbly from the sparkling wine, not too sweet, and refreshing from the lemon flavor.
For appetizer, we ordered Hand Picked Lobster Steam Bun ($14) with brown butter aioli, and preserved lemon. I somehow thought it comes in two, maybe because of the price, but it was just one steam bun. I was a bit sad, but it was not a small bun, and was packed with generous amount of lobster. I mean, a lot of lobster meat! It was pretty tasty, loved the brown butter aioli. It was buttery, a bit sweet, and refreshing with the lemon. Very satisfying.
We also ordered Fried Oysters ($16), which comes with celery caeser, lemon, bread crumb, and Parmesan. They were plump and juicy, not fishy, cooked very well. Good amount of lemon flavor, and fried lightly so that they are not greasy. Having Parmesan with fried oysters were unique, it was pretty good. Still, a bit pricey for a “small plate” or an appetizer.
For main, we ordered Roasted Lamb Loin ($31), Cioppino ($33), and Monkfish ($28). The Lamb Loin comes with ratatouille, heirloom tomatoes, herb salad, pearl barley, and cabernet jus. We asked for the lamb to be well done, and most of them were well done. Few pieces were still pink in the middle, but it was shared among the ones who don’t mind it being pink. Other than that, everything was really good, juicy and tender even thought it was well done. The plate was cleaned up empty at the end. Ratatouille had great flavor, and all the ingredients worked perfectly together.
Cioppino comes with lobster, mussels, monkfish, in tomato-fennel broth, and grilled bread. It was slightly spicy, with a huge chunks of lobster. The price is high but they do give generous amount of lobster and mussels. The monkfish was pretty good also, but lobster really took the main stage on this one. The broth was very tasty, smooth and comforting.
Monkfish comes with curry butter, carrot-ginger puree, aloo saag, and green bean slaw. I thought it was an interesting dish, combining monkfish with curry flavors from the curry butter and aloo saag (potato spinach curry), and the waitress also recommended it. Under neath the green bean slaw was a huge piece of monkfish, very moist but yet flaky, and very tasty with the curry butter. The curry flavor was very good, without being overwhelming in any way. It was mild enough that it was complimentary to the fish. Green bean slaw provided extra firm texture and flavor, good contrast from the fish and curry, but yet worked perfectly together.
We somehow squeezed in couple of desserts after these rather large meals. I am still amazed how we did this. We ordered Dark Chocolate Plum Torte ($8), and Ice Cream Sandwich ($8). The chocolate torte is made with amaro brown-sugar whipped cream, and toasted cashew. It had a pretty yellow flower on the top (I don’t think it was edible, just for the look). The chocolate had nice flavor, the sweetness was not too overwhelming, since it was dark chocolate. The plum sauce was very rich and velvety. I liked the toasted cashews, the toasted crunchy bits added so much to otherwise simple chocolate torte. The whipped cream didn’t really taste anything extra special, but homemade whipped cream always is better than store-bought for sure.
I heard great things about their ice cream sandwich, and the waitress also told us that it is their most popular dessert. It is made with chocolate cookie, vanilla ice cream, and salted caramel. The chocolate cookies were soft and moist, and very chocolate-y. It could be a bit too much of chocolate flavor for some, but for chocolate lovers, it is really great. The vanilla ice cream was very tasty, I could see the vanilla bean in the ice cream. Velvety and smooth, very rich and decadent. Fresh strawberries were nice additions, went great with the salted caramel.
Needless to say we were completely stuffed, I think we needed to walk for few hours after this meal (which we didn’t). Everything was well prepared, delicious and we all enjoyed our meal very much. Their nice touch on presentation didn’t end with the stones, plates, and dishes. They brought the bill in a very nice, fabric covered holder. We also was given a sticker. The server was polite and pleasant, very pretty too! She took a good care of us, we had a very nice time here.
I am so glad to see new, wonderful, yummy restaurants opening up in this area. Although they are a bit pricey, but the quality is high, both in food and service. It is a “relax and enjoy” type of place, so the service is not fast, or I should say it is “not rushed.” I would like to go visit again for some more delicious dishes!
Water Street Kitchen – 56 Water St, Woods Hole, MA 02543