Falmouth Sea Grill
By Colin Sargent
Handy Boat Yard has always been a must-stop watering hole for yachtsmen since Merle Hallett held court here as owner of The Galley restaurant here and skipper of his speedy sloop Scaramouche. If you bumped into Walter Cronkite or Andy Rooney at Town Landing Market on Route 88, you didn’t have to ask them where their boats were tied up or where they were dining tonight.
So it is today.
Port City Architects completely razed Falmouth Sea Grill at this location last fall and rebuilt this modern window on the water for diners, with spectacular views of roughly a million sailboats and Clapboard Island.
The first level, which opened in late July sports a futuristic marine canvas motif, stone bar and al fresco dining; the upper floor, with more beautiful views, debuts this month.
You should see the bar and the stone fireplaces here.
Because it was a sharp fall evening during our recent visit, we sat outside beside the new fire pit–perfect for romantics.
There are few better places this side of Bermuda to order a Dark & Stormy. Don’t miss the raw oysters here, which include Pemaquid, Beau Soleil, Winter Point, Flying Points, and Onset, but you just have to leave room for the Maine-caught Jonah Crab Claws at just $1.75 each, with lemon tabasco aioli.
The Hearts of Romaine ($9) were crisp, fresh, and delicious, with thyme croutons, manchego cheese, white anchovies, and garlic dressing. For $1 extra, it’s more than just worth the while to order exquisite salmon added (Falmouth Sea Grill was founded by a former executive at Legal Sea Foods, and it is a point of pride for them meeting and exceeding Legal Sea Foods’ standards here).
Knowing of the Legal connection, we looked forward to the Seared Rainbow Trout ($20) and found it perfectly cooked, tart, and delicious–served with haricot vert, pistachios, and brown butter. The Grilled Skirt Steak ($24) was fabulous, too, with mouth-watering creamed spinach, grilled beech mushrooms (extremely attractive on the plate), cipollini onions, and horseradish sauce. Just as there was a sharp bite in the air, so did all of these dishes hit the spot, with marvelous bite and freshness. Obviously, seafood is a strength here, and offerings include North Atlantic Swordfish, Faroe Island Salmon, Yellowfin Tuna, and piquant sauces like Lemon Emulsion, Salsa Verde, and Tomato Vinaigrette. This terrific new port of call, with its breezy modern décor, is going to have an impact on generations of new crowds creating new histories here. Tie up and tie one on!