On the Dock of the Bay

Inside the Tavern on the Wharf, Plymouth’s newest waterfront restaurant

By Riley Stefano • Photography By Tommy Costello

A weathered wooden boat sits atop the roof of the Tavern on the Wharf restaurant in Plymouth. The “captain” of the ship went missing several years ago, but local carpenter John Nickerson set out to make a replacement for the new waterfront restaurant, which opened at the end of June.

A nautical theme continues inside the restaurant, which has commanding views of Plymouth Harbor. Wooden paneling covers the bottom half of the interior walls and a steely-blue paint on the upper half mimics the look like a clear blue sky. The backsplash of the bar is made of beautiful tile, chosen to look like the inside of a mussel shell, and a tilted compass pointing north is painted on the back wall. Local paintings, framed sea glass pieces and antique maps depicting Plymouth’s historic wharfs (there were once nine in town) decorate the restaurant.

Co-owners Peter Lucindo, who owns the Sea Dog Brew Pub in Hull, and Paul Tupa, owner of The Red Hat Restaurant in Boston, teamed up to create an eatery that is modern and welcoming. From salads and seafood to Sicilian-style pizza, the menu offers a diverse selection of American favorites presented with a unique twist.

“Plymouth needed a good all-around restaurant,” says General Manager John Murray, who calls the Tavern on the Wharf “casual, comfortable and classy.”

On our recent visit, we started off our meal with a watermelon salad. This seasonal special is made with feta cheese, blackberries, and an attractive blend of yellow and pink watermelon. The salty flavor of the feta contrasted perfectly with the fresh sweetness of the watermelon.

Steamed lobster is a staple at many South Shore restaurants, but at the Tavern on the Wharf presents it in a special way. The lobster is served with sides of parmesan baby potatoes that are slightly smashed with a salty brine, and Mexican “street corn” that is flavored with chipotle aioli to give the corn a sweet and spicy kick.

Another menu favorite is the Portside Biscay. This head-turning entrée is a creative deconstruction of the classic lobster bisque.  All of the elements of the soup—scallops, lobster meat, potatoes, shrimp and pieces of biscuit—are lined up in a row atop creamy lobster sauce. It is a dinner that is outside of the box and easily sharable.

Pair any of these meals with a refreshing Tavern Sangria. The restaurant serves two equally delicious recipes (brought in by Murray and his Assistant Manager Misty Phelps) so you never know which secret sangria you’ll get, but both are filled with fresh fruits and red wine and are perfect for a sunny day.

The bar has Sea Dog Bluepaw (wild blueberry wheat ale) on tap, as well as other craft beers not commonly found at local restaurants. Throughout the summer the restaurant is keeping things fun and entertaining with live, local country bands playing on the patio on Thursday nights, and hope to start hosting medieval themed nights with drinks served in chalices and the movie Brave playing on the television.

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