Pleasing a Crowd at Gloucester’s Latitude 43

Posted: January 18th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Gloucester, Latitude 43, Seafood | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

We had a diverse group last weekend, with some craving sushi and others leaning toward fried food. Luckily, we thought of Gloucester’s Latitude 43, which perfectly filled the bill. Overall, we had a terrific meal with a welcoming atmosphere, attentive service, and the freshest of seafood.

There were a couple of missteps, including the mussels appetizer ($12), which we found quite bland. Go for the calamari instead; we had them Asian style and quickly finished the generous, crispy portion ($9). The bacon clam chowder was also outstanding: thick and smoky with a perfect amount of clams ($6). With our appetizers we sampled one of the bar’s specialties, an apple old fashioned that was tart and refreshing ($9).

The restaurant’s sushi menu features a huge selection of specialty rolls, and several of us chose these over an entrée. The dragon roll, with shrimp tempura, crab, avocado, and fresh water eel, was an unbeatable combination of textures ($15), and the titanic roll was also well received (spicy tuna, salmon, yellow tail, albacore tuna, escolar, and shishito peppers, $16). The Lat 43 roll was good but didn’t hit the heights of the others (tempura tuna, wasabi goat cheese, avocado, enoki mushrooms, tobiko, and mango wrapped with daikon radish, $18). We also sampled the maguru nigiri (tuna), which was meltingly tender and delicious ($7).

The fish and chips entrée was perfectly cooked and seasoned, with crisp, salty fries and a sweetened tartar sauce that was addictive ($18). The corn and lobster tortelloni was not as successful. The lobster was succulent and plentiful, but the pasta was slightly undercooked, and the filling had an unpleasant mealy texture ($21).

It’s hard to go wrong with a flourless chocolate cake, and this one did not disappoint, with vanilla ice cream, a caramel crunch, and plenty of oozy chocolate to go around ($6).

Whether you’re craving fried food, sushi, a warm bowl of chowder, or just need to please a crowd, Latitude 43 is a great choice.

Latitude 43
25 Rogers St, Gloucester
(978) 281-0223
http://latfortythree.com

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A First Look at Hooked, Marblehead’s Newest Seafood Eatery

Posted: July 14th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Hooked, Marblehead, Seafood | Tags: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

When I visited Ben Rhodes and Rafe Hershfield back in May to find out about their new venture, Hooked Seafood and Grill, they explained their theory for the new eatery.

Similar to the fast-casual concept that’s all the rage, Hooked is a combination of restaurant and take-out, where the quality is better than fast food and less expensive than a sit-down restaurant. Like a standard clam shack, diners order at a counter and bus their own tables, but the meals are served on china by waitstaff, and beer and wine is available.

This Sunday it was too hot to cook, so we headed over to test the theory and the food. Apparently we weren’t the only ones with that idea. The restaurant, which opened last weekend, was packed. All the tables were filled, and people were waiting in line for takeout. Luckily, we were able to snag a spot after a minute or two.

The space has been totally renovated and looks terrific, especially if you remember the erstwhile Super Sub. Hooked’s menu offers quite bit to choose from, including both grilled and fried seafood entrees. We placed our order at the counter, paid, and were given a number, and when our food was up, a waitress brought it to the table.

The daily special, a Long Island striped bass roasted with lemon and herbs, was terrific—moist and delicious ($11). The fried haddock plate offered quite a generous portion of both fish and onion rings that tasted fresh and weren’t greasy ($11). The grilled swordfish kabob was tasty, if a bit overcooked ($10); the breading on the fried shrimp was just a tad heavier than I generally like, but shrimp were large and flavorful ($15). The junior member of our party ordered a cheeseburger from the 1st Mate menu ($4.50 with a drink and fries), which received a double thumbs up.

Of the sides we ordered, the onion rings were the best; savory, thin and crunchy. The cole slaw tasted freshly made and although a bit heavy on the mayo had a nice zing from caraway seeds. The fries seemed to be lightly coated, but were tasty and crisp and disappeared from the table in a flash.

It’s clear Hooked is still refining it’s work flow, but it’s early days, and the staff were all friendly and helpful, so no doubt they’ll find their groove. The take-out business seemed to be booming, and in the small space customers waiting for their orders blocked the door and counter area. We found ourselves wondering if they could install a take-out window on the driveway side to alleviate the congestion.

We plan to return once the crowds abate a bit and look forward to trying their rendition of two of the most hotly debated summer foods on the North Shore: lobster rolls and fried clams.

Hooked Seafood & Grill
114 Pleasant St., Marblehead
781-631-8200
www.hookedmarblehead.com

Hooked Seafood & Grill on Urbanspoon

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