By Tab Hauser
The Lighthouse Waterfront Café (formerly the Boat House) at the Brewers Marina on Shore Road has been open all summer, seven days a week, including Sunday brunch, lunch and dinner. The restaurant consists of two parts: an outdoor area with tables and umbrellas, perfect for in-season al fresco dining, and when the weather cools, a comfortable dining room to be seated indoors. In between both seating areas is a friendly outdoor bar with plenty of awnings to keep you shaded. Friday night music, as well as music during brunch is played in the outdoor area.
We recently visited this waterside place for dinner and came up with positive results. We started with a round of their favorite cocktails. This included their green specialty mojito mixed with Bulgarian ginger vodka, tequila and mint. The first sip causes an explosion of flavors to wake up your taste buds. Served also was a traditional seafaring drink, the Dark and Stormy, mixed with fresh lime juice and a classic piña colada that works so well in an outdoor bar by the water.
With cocktails at the open air bar behind us, it was time to get down to business. The first appetizer ordered was the Mac and Cheese with Lobster. The two things you notice when served is that portions are large and there is plenty of lobster meat sticking out of the pasta. Diner’s caveat: Do not order this for yourself as a starter, because you won’t make it to your main course. This is a perfect dish to share. In fact, four people can get an ample taste. The flavors here are rich in lobster because the chef uses lobster bisque as the base with the cheese. Next we tried Mahi-Mahi Tacos and Buffalo wings. We were presented two rolled soft shell tacos filled with slices of grilled mahi-mahi, lightly covered with a chipotle mayo and a mango, pineapple and red pepper cilantro salsa. The portion was perfect for two people to share. We went classic on the third starter, ordering the buffalo wings medium. This had nice heat and was crunchy outside with the meat moist and tender. Other first courses we tried on a previous visit included their fried shrimp and Maryland crab cakes. The fried shrimp was butterflied and pan fried rather than deep fried. The taste was all shrimp because the coating was pleasantly thin. There was also nothing greasy about this dish. The crab cakes are made in house where they shell the meat, which helps give this dish a fresh taste. Other dishes to consider are the baked clams oreganata, garlic fries, Sicilian calamari and whole belly fried clams, which I can’t wait to try on a future visit.
The main courses ordered included the “Cod Father,” the Lighthouse version of traditional fish and chips. Ordering this gets you three nice size pieces of fish, along with a large helping of fries. We liked this because we found the outside of the fish crunchy with a good mild fish flavor in the center. Another recommendation was The Captain. This was medley of each of the four shrimps, scallops and four cheese raviolis in a brandy-infused cream sauce. Presentation and taste were both equally good. On a recommendation we tried the Chilean Sea Bass. This was seared and then baked with a butter sauce having a hint of tarragon, rosemary and wine that melted in your mouth. The texture of the fish was consistent and worked well with the sauce. This was served with a side dish of broccoli and carrots served al dente and a lightly flavored rice that we soaked up the excess sauce in to finish. All main dishes come with a small mixed lettuce and tomato salad, of which many of their dressings are house made.
For dessert we sampled a death by chocolate layer cake, strawberry rhubarb pie and a chocolate cream pie. Our favorites were the layer cake due to its rich chocolate covering the cake and in between the layers. The pie had a fresh fruit taste and buttery flaky crust. Desserts are not made in house, as they come from the Milleridge Inn Bakery, which is also owned by brothers Jerry and Mark Murray.
There are a total of 18 main courses to choose from along with the nightly steamed lobster special or the traditional clam bake that includes lobster, clams, mussels and shrimp. Non-seafood diners have a choice of three different chicken dishes, a marinated skirt steak or a pasta dish. Vegetarians can order pasta, salads and grilled vegetables or a veggie burger. Prices for entrées start at $18 and go to $35.
The Lighthouse serves an extensive Sunday brunch, with prices ranging from $2.25 for a bagel to $17.95 for Lobster Benedict. Most entrées average around $10, plus drink specials are offered for $6. If you go for lunch, do not miss their traditional lobster roll. Visit www.glencovelighthouse.com for more information.