Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Objectives achieved with Row 34 expansion

You may notice something very familiar about Row 34 if you have visited Island Creek Oyster Bar in Boston. Apparently, both establishments have the same owners who decided to bring their restaurant success out of Massachusetts to the Granite State. The first Row 34 was opened in the Boston’s Seaport area and now they are attempting to gain traction on the New Hampshire Seacoast with their new restaurant in Portsmouth.

As you enter the bright and open space, everything is easily seen from large windows in front to seeing the other customers indulging on items from their kitchen. The light gray and stainless steel give the place a clean and modern look.

Beer aficionados will appreciate their ample selection of craft beers (sorry Budweiser) to go along with your seafood featuring options such as oysters from the raw bar ,fried and grilled fish, lobster rolls in butter or mayo and whole belly clams. Surprisingly, when we asked our waitress to name her favorite menu item she picked their Bacon Cheddar Burger. Seeing that we were indeed at a seafood place we opted to stick with that and decided to try the burger on another visit.

We began with their shrimp cocktail and these crustaceans were plump while at the same time light, firm and airy. Thinking that in the future this would turn into my main meal and could be seen gorging myself on 20 instead of the just a few that were ordered. These were served with extra horseradish on the side to give the cocktail sauce more kick.

Next their fried whole belly clams was my selection. So much meatier than clam strips, a light batter covering with just a slight crunch gave way to the most pleasant of flavors.

My wife was immediately drawn to the lobster rolls and had a tough time deciding between the traditional one with mayo or the hot buttered version. In the end, the warm one won out and she was very happy with the selection and the thick cut fries.

To add to our gluttonous day, we were intrigued to see cornbread with maple butter as a side so we had to try it. The flavor was very good although we think it may have been left in the oven just a minute or two longer than it should as it was a little on the dry side.

One would think that we couldn’t possibly eat another morsel but we rallied and decided to split the butterscotch pudding for dessert. It was creamy with a rich buttery flavor. A definite must order again!

The owners of Row 34 have brought a classy seafood restaurant to the bustling Portsmouth dining scene. We look forward not only to visiting again but to finding out about their future plans for new dining concepts in New Hampshire.