Firing up the Flavor

Harbor Fire Grill spices up Marshfield’s food scene with a Cajun-inspired menu

By colby radomski
Harbor Fire Bar and Grill
239 Dyke Road,
Green Harbor, Marshfield

Fried chicken and waffles, gumbo and . . . alligator bites? Yes, those Southern specialties are just a sampling of what you’ll find on the menu at Harbor Fire Bar and Grill in Marshfield.  The marina eatery (previously home to The Deck) underwent a top-to-bottom makeover that included not only aesthetic changes but also an elevation of the restaurant’s overall culinary concept. The result is a refined yet approachable new-American menu with just the right amount of Southern twang.“We want to stay on top of the trend,” General Manager Lindsey Disch says about Harbor Fire’s Cajun-inspired menu, which was designed by Chef Chris Dillon. Going the Southern route was due in part, Disch explains, to the area’s blossoming food scene and the challenge of distinguishing the restaurant from other eateries.

Since opening in the height of the summer season, the restaurant has generated some serious buzz around town. I finally had the chance to check it out for myself last month and was immediately impressed by the visual changes, which included replacing the predecessor’s decor with more contemporary design elements like gleaming dark wood floors, walls painted in gray hues and clad in custom wainscoting, and a rich mahogany deck with cable railings. An abundance of natural light flows throughout the space, making it airy and bright. The addition of several simple yet chic design elements, like ornate globe pendant lights and glass tabletop fireplaces, make the redesigned space feel sophisticated and elegant.

Lucky for me, I visited on a day that was warm enough to take full advantage of the restaurant’s outdoor dining space, which overlooks Green Harbor Marina and the marshland beyond. In addition to nearly a dozen dining tables, the restaurant’s deck has a lounge area with several outdoor couches, making it an ideal spot to catch a sunset or sip drinks with friends.

My meal included an eclectic spread of Dillon’s specialties. Since taking the helm, Dillon has made it his mission to raise the culinary bar by experimenting with new flavors, ingredients and techniques. “I’m a bit of a food nerd,” he admits. “I like to try different things and I like the freedom to explore with the menu.”

First up was a refreshing and tasty spinach salad. Dried cranberries, tart Granny Smith apples, roasted red peppers, tangy Gorgonzola cheese, toasted almonds and spicy Cajun-style grilled shrimp were piled atop a bed of crisp spinach. Entrées included a standout grilled salmon filet and fish tacos. A Cajun spice rub gave the salmon a spicy yet welcome kick, while the roasted potatoes and grilled asparagus topped with herb truffle butter provided a savory element to complete the dish. Though messy to eat, the fish tacos packed a powerful flavor punch, stuffed with a heaping portion of crispy, golden fried cod, homemade coleslaw, spicy mango salsa, crème fraîche and manchego. As the seasons change, so will the menu. Wintertime offerings will include heartier options like shepherd’s pie, pumpkin ravioli and Guinness stew.

Like she’s done with the kitchen, Disch is striving to keep the bar program ahead of the curve by offering a number of seasonal, craft draughts as well as an innovative wine tap system. Live music is a weekly feature. Looking ahead to the winter months, Disch has monthly events on her agenda and is currently accepting reservations for holiday parties in the remodeled dining and function room.

With a standout menu and elevated concept, it’s no surprise that Harbor Fire Bar and Grill has climbed its way up the ranks as a go-to dining destination.

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