New England Dining Reviews>>> Jake's Seafood Restaurant, Hull, Mass.
For Goodness Jake's!
Jake's Seafood and Fish Market is a summertime favorite seafood restaurant at Nantasket Beach in Hull, Mass.
Article and photos by Eric H.
Jake's Seafood Restaurant and Fish Market at Nantasket Beach in Hull,
The ultimate place to be on a summer night, Jake's appeal resonates the moment you step into this lively, friendly local favorite restaurant (in business since 1949!) with a bar and two dining rooms. The owner, an older man named "Mr. O'Brien," greeted us with a hearty New England accent and a gregarious dose of gratitude that we chose his restaurant as the place to be in Hull. With a dramatic orange sunset and bay views outside the dining room window, we waited a few minutes by the appealing fish market (amazing displays of fresh fish) before being seated in the main dining room.
What a great scene: families, couples out on date night, working professionals, townies, beach dudes and "dudettes," and senior citizens all happily congregated in this modestly-sized dining room to feast on amazing-looking lobster, fried clams, salmon and seafood and pasta dinners. Being closer to the water than what we saw from the waiting area confirmed at this appealing combination of seafood shack and informal restaurant that we were indeed officially in New England, by the sea. Looking at this grand New England scene made me think to myself, "I don't want summer to ever end." (More of this article after photo below)
Sunset view from Jake's
Tracey, our young and personable waitress, also gave us a hearty welcome -- straight out of the "Mr. O'Brien" school of hearty welcomes -- and proceeded to serve us with the utmost efficiency and professionalism. Unlike so many waitresses her age, she had a real personality. Tracey joked around, stressed to us with pride that none of the fish at Jake's is ever frozen ("only fresh"). She also spoke with affection of "Mr. O'Brien," stating that he is always interacting with the staff and customers "all the time." As she said that, I saw Mr. O'Brien kindly, but firmly, giving some direction to one of his employees. Then, he proceeded to mill around the restaurant talking with people at the bar and in the dining room with an arm-around-the-shoulder buddy presence.
The dining room was something to behold with coastal-theme paintings, collectibles and memorabilia all over the place, stained glass with a lobster drawing and a partition with a porthole. Pictures of the O'Brien family also grace the walls, making you feel like you're entering someone's home. Looking outside the big picture windows revealed another appealing aspect of Jake's: an outdoor dining area. I can't quite recall a nicer location in the Boston area for an outdoor dining spot, overlooking that scenic bay. As the sun went down and boats peacefully bobbed up and down in the water, my affection for this went went up -- even before eating the food.
Our first round of food came quickly. After sampling homemade New England clam chowder (no typical dining critic filibuster here, I'll just say the creamy, thick chowder was full of clams and tasted great!) fine dinner and Caesar salads -- and some homemade rolls -- Tracey brought our seafood casserole and baked scallops dishes. All we can say is "Absolutely fantastic!" The seafood casserole not only excelled with its loads of scallops, shrimp, clams and haddock, but also what it didn't have -- food drowning in butter and too many breadcrumbs that we find all too often at other New England restaurants. The baked scallops were cooked just right, leaving enough tenderness to make this one of the best dishes of its kind we've tasted in New England.
The value is fantastic, too, at Jake's, as both our main meals came in under $20.00 each and that included a salad, vegetable (the corn tasted farm-fresh) and the aforementioned rolls. We've dined at other restaurants in the area that charge up to $10.00 more for each seafood plate, and frankly, aren't as good as Jake's.
Given that we expected to pay more, we decided to apply the saved money for dessert. We had just enough room to split an out-of-this-world key lime pie that was tangy and ample.
Tracey thanked us, with the utmost sincerity, for coming to their restaurant. As we walked out the door staff that we didn't get to meet waved good-bye. It was almost like being with family.
We look forward to many return trips to Jake's to try the lobster bisque, steamers, mussels, fish and chips seafood platter, shrimp and scallop pesto pasta, fresh salmon, roasted rainbow trout, swordfish parmesen, bluefish and the clambake dinner with lobster, chowder or bisque, corn, steamers or mussels and a salad. And to perhaps bring some fish home from the fish market -- including, perhaps, lobster meat, tilapia and wild salmon -- after a day at the beach.
While walking out into the Nantasket Beach night, we talked about the glory days of this great stretch of beach where Paragon Park provided amusements synonymous with growing up in the Boston area. The area hit a rough stretch after that, but has really rebounded nicely with shops, restaurants, hotels and joyful remnants of the Paragon days: a working carousel, mini-golf and arcades right around the corner from Jake's. And, of course, there's still the two-mile stretch of sandy beach with wonderful pavillions and plenty of parking.. We're glad Jake's never left Hull, as, now, we've found a new reason to start a new relationship with the Nantasket Beach area.
Thank-you, O'Brien family for keeping this local dining tradition intact!
Editor's note: Jake's is open 11 a.m.- 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. After the summer, please call ahead for changed hours
Jake's Seafood Restaurant and Fish Market
50 George Washington Blvd.
Hull, Mass. Tel. 781- 925-1024
Related Nantasket Beach area articles and resources:
Life is a Merry-Go-Round at Nantasket Beach in Hull, MA
Book a Hotel Room at Nantasket Beach
Scituate is an underrated coastal community
Visiting Cohasset and Scituate (at our Facebook Fan Page)
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