318 Main Street
Northborough MA 01532
They say email doesn’t have a tone. While a true statement, a recent email from my friend Cindy was effervescing with delight, “I won a Groupon to a new restaurant; do you think we can go?” You know Cindy…she suggested including pictures of food starting with Allora, and we’ve taken pictures ever since.
“I’d like that…as long as I can take pictures.” Taking restaurant food pictures is a simple suggestion. Having them turn out well is a challenge. I used to take pictures with my BlackBerry, and the quality sometimes missed. Now using a dedicated digital camera, the quality improves and any motion in a darker restaurant is picked up with the longer exposure. Another friend, Aaron, says a tripod will help..so we’ve added that.
Suffice to say taking pictures of food while people are waiting to eat is pressure! Not being a food stylist helps, the pictures are what the camera captures.
Groupon is a deal a day website launched in November 2008. Cindy got a Groupon (Group Coupon) for Sea Dog Steak and Ale for $25 for a dinner for two, including 1 appetizer and 2 entrees (up to $20.95 each each.)
With the Groupon printout in hand, we were off to Sea Dog Steak and Ale. The restaurant is close to The Texas BBQ Company, in the site of the former Lazio Italian Bar & Grille. Lazio diners will recognize the basic layout of the restaurant, and appreciate the general brightening of the interior.
Folks traveling to Maine may already know the Sea Dog name. The Sea Dog Brewing Company was founded in 1993, and operates a main Maine location comprising a 540-seat restaurant and microbrewery on the Penobscot River in Bangor, ME. While the locations share (parts of) a logo, the menus look similar and you can get some of the Sea Dog Brewing Company beers in Northborough, a call to the Northborough location revealed the Massachusetts’ locations (including Hull and Woburn) are independent.
Entering the restaurant, a glance to the right shows a large well lit bar area, with plenty of TVs (including a set above the bar, in a layout similar to the scoreboard at the Garden.) The soffit is lined with numbered mugs, saved for members of the Sea Dog Club. This was not an old style dark bar…this is a newer style nicely lit bar. (Lazio diners will be amused to know the Godfather table is gone.)
While the Bangor Sea Dog Brewing Company feels like a brew pub serving food, the Northborough location has a restaurant feel….a restaurant serving beer.
The restaurant area is a rather typical space….not particularly special.
We like the open area to the kitchen, and were seated at a table close to the action. Watching the kitchen in action is a treat….I admire people who can take raw ingredients and “create.”
We started with wine. Cindy was funny; she knew the wine she wanted and was turned off by the $54 price. It was her taste conflicting with her New England financial sensibilities. After trying a sample of a less expensive wine, she caved. Our waitress was very understanding, weighing in appreciatively on the final choice (Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc.)
My chicken under a brick was good, and not great. Sporting marinated chicken roasted potatoes and asparagus topped with a cherry tomato vinaigrette, I found the chicken a bit dry….and in need of some more marinade for moisture and flavor.
The decision to split a molten chocolate lava cake was solidified when we found out they had decaf cappuccino. The lava cake was thick and rich…so rich we didn’t finish it.
The following text messages were exchanged in the following hours:
11:00 PM I am wide awake. Not decaf cappuccino?
6:20 AM I had the same problem. Still had the phone on silent.
6:20 AM This may require an AMBER light!
Backing out the $54 wine, the bill for two was $21 with the Groupon, or $46 total. Not bad for two dinners, apps and dessert. So with a caution on cappuccino, Cindy and I agree if you are in the area, dropping by the Sea Dog Steak and Ale for some apps and food is a good plan. While not a destination restaurant, you should have a nice time.
Sun- Wed 11:30AM - 11:00PM
Thurs- Sat 11:30AM - 12:00AM
Sea Dog Steak and Ale gets a GREEN LIGHT…go and enjoy.
About the RAG scale:
Green Light – Go and enjoy
Amber Light – Use caution
Red Light – Save your time and money