From the moment we walked up to the hostess stand outside Bluewater Boathouse ‘Tent City’ Grill, we were welcomed and noticed that they were diligently adhering to the new safety protocols, seating only one party at a time and sanitizing as needed. We felt very comfortable with the procedures in place and General Manager Derik Morse commented, “I have to give kudos to my core staff for learning and adapting to all the new rules. They have chipped in wherever we needed to make things run smoothly.”
Since we arrived a few minutes before our 5 pm reservation, we waited our turn to be seated at a table at the end of the patio with the most amazing view of the yachts moored in the bay. A huge fish lover, my husband Flavio selected the halibut which our server Katie, who was very personable and attentive, had suggested due to it currently being in season. When Flavio was opting for the chimichurri sauce, Katie highly recommended pairing the halibut with the lemon butter caper sauce instead. While that is not normally his first choice, he took her recommendation and was glad, saying that it perfectly complimented the moist and flaky fish, which was coupled with scalloped potatoes and a seasonal squash vegetable medley. The grilled lemon was a nice presentation on the plate.
Since I am not the biggest fish fan, I opted for the tender Top Sirloin with garlic herb butter, accompanied by cheesy scalloped potatoes, grilled grape tomatoes, and asparagus. To say we are big fans of the crusty sourdough bread, that precedes the meal, is an understatement, and we weren’t disappointed. The decadent key lime pie with raspberry coulis was the perfect way to top off our outstanding meal.
Many devoted Bluewater followers request their ever-popular New England Clam Chowder, with a recipe used in all eight of the company’s restaurants, which also have similar menus. They also offer oysters on the half shell, steamed clams, baked crab and artichoke dip and a variety of other appetizers and salads. Fish lovers will have a hard time deciding between the multitude of options, including fish tacos, beer battered fish and chips, lobster rolls, and more. A choice of six fresh fish varieties including sanddabs, Pacific mahi mahi, trout, Scottish salmon, and swordfish can be paired with a signature sauce and come with two tasty sides from healthy vegetables to splurging on house made potato chips or French fries. An angus cheeseburger, steak, and chicken under a brick are alternatives for the non-fish devotees.
While we didn’t sample any of their libations, Bluewater has an extensive handcrafted cocktail, wine, and brewskis menu. A crowd favorite is the Captain’s Mai Tai, which is a combination of rums, pineapple juice, lime, triple sec, almond and simple syrup, served in a souvenir mug.
“We have been pleased at how the locals have responded to our tent city concept. Some knew the history and others have enjoyed learning about it,” says Morse. This iconic boathouse restaurant sets the stage for a memorable evening with a quiet ambiance and deliciously prepared food. As we looked around, we saw a mixed blend of guests from families with kids to seniors, all enjoying themselves in a safe and relaxed setting. A children’s menu is available for more persnickety taste buds.
With the new blue tent city addition in the front of the restaurant, they can accommodate 119 diners. Having only recently reopened since the pandemic shut down indoor dining, starting this week they will be open for dinner seven nights a week, in addition to lunch on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Morse says they are working towards increasing to daily lunches by hiring additional staff to accommodate this. The maximum party size allowed is currently 10. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 619-435-0155.
“Here’s to tall ships, to small ships, to all the ships on the sea. But the best ships are friendship, here’s to you and me.”