We hardly ever dine at the standard times. The Big Dog is usually working at what others would consider lunch and dinner time, and it just seems weird to be in from the sunshine at noon. The downside to our approach is that we don’t necessarily observe how the waitstaff handles a busy room, and in the case of the Inn on Shipyard Park, our midafternoon lunch/dinner meant we probably missed a rollicking crowd. But what we got was the full attention of Tom, the pleasant bartender, and the skilled kitchen.
You may remember the Inn on Shipyard Park as the Kinsale Inn, an old-timey pub in Mattapoisett’s quaint downtown overlooking the charming Mattapoisett Harbor. They describe themselves as “the oldest seaside inn in the nation,” but the fact is, when you’re deep inside this rustic restaurant, you might as well be in Scottsdale for all the seaside you see.
But so what. We sat at the bar and watched ESPN, and had one of the best late lunches we’ve enjoyed in a long time.
We started with lobster egg rolls ($12). There was the expected kvetching about what the menu called “fresh curry mango chutney” but which tasted like mayonnaise mixed with pineapple juice. We didn’t really care, because the egg rolls were so delicious on their own — crunchy on the outside and meltingly moist on the inside. We think the stuffing was simply cooked julienned carrots and cabbage with enough lobster to get some in every sumptuous bite, without an overwhelming lobster flavor.
With the egg rolls behind us and full glasses of Mayflower Seasonal (Spring Hops) and 14 Hands Cabernet, debate ensued. This is not a good menu for those who find decision-making difficult. Through one half-hour segment of SportsCenter, we came up with dozens of appealing combinations, but finally settled on a cobb salad ($12) for her, and “savory meatloaf” ($11) for him, the latter because of a promise of green beans which never materialized.
In their place was a heavenly melange of flavorful summer squashes and red peppers. The meatloaf was mousselike in its lightness, grounded with dollops of gravy. A hearty scoop of mashed potatoes shared the gravy and a dusting of flavorful dried herbs, maybe parsley.
The cobb salad was simply the best we’ve had. The base was spinach. The toppings included a half avocado, a hard-boiled egg, grilled corn that was a tad spongy in April, nearly half a cup of bacon hunks, some bleu cheese, and halved cherry tomatoes. The garnish was a generous serving of grilled chicken slices. This was the kind of salad that makes one wonder why one can’t lose any weight. In fact, there was so much that we brought half the salad home for our “Dog House” dinner.
In all, The Inn is somewhere that we will frequent throughout this next summer season. Looking forward to sharing the experience with friends who we know will enjoy it as we did.
Inn on Shipyard Park
13 Water Street, Mattap0isett, MA