It is no secret that the North Shore of the Greater Boston area is famous for its top seafood restaurants and clam shacks. From the comfortable dining room of the Village Restaurant in Essex to the casual self-service dining of Woodman's, also in Essex, to the highly-regarded Clam Box in Ipswich, this scenic, laid-back area is a seafood lover's paradise. And while many of the clam shacks and seafood restaurants on Cape Ann and in other parts of the North Shore are constantly packed with tourists during the summer months, there are a few places that the public does not seem to know about. One of the best of these is The Lobster Pool Restaurant on the outskirts of Rockport, a seafood shack located just before the Gloucester line in a quiet section of Cape Ann--and a restaurant that has gotten a second life of sorts.
One thing that makes The Lobster Pool so special is the fact that this casual restaurant serves outstanding seafood in a setting that can be conservatively described as "spectacular." Situated on Ipswich Bay, The Lobster Pool has a west-facing view over the ocean, a relative rarity in New England. On a warm summer evening, diners order their food at the counter, then wander over to one of the outdoor picnic tables to the right of the place or down back and soak in the exquisite view of three states, including New Hampshire and Maine. There are few spots on the Massachusetts coast that are this beautiful, and even fewer that have the benefit of a great restaurant.
As hinted at earlier, the future of The Lobster Pool had been in question not too long ago, but it is now under new ownership with many of the same items remaining on the menu. Offerings here remain varied, including such items as lobsters (of course), a delicious clam chowder that has a relatively thick broth, fried clams that rival some of the best places in the area, flaky fish and chips along with a similar fish bites options, both of which are made using haddock, lobster rolls that include meat that's about as fresh off the boat as can be, and good takes on both steamers and mussels. And for those who do not eat seafood, the menu also has hot dogs, hamburgers, and chicken sandwiches along with chicken tenders and veggie burgers. Prices at The Lobster Pool are mostly reasonable, especially considering the quality of the dishes and the views that come with them.
The next time you are looking to escape the heat, or just want to enjoy the day on the wonderful Cape Ann, head west out of Rockport past Halibut Point State Park, then look for The Lobster Pool around the bend in the road. It will likely be the perfect ending to a great day, and you may even catch a memorable sunset over the ocean from the picnic tables of this local seafood shack.
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