Boston Restaurant Blog -- September, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
I recently took a trip to Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard, checking out a few restaurants along the way--including Betsy's Diner in Falmouth, which we "re-reviewed" (still good) and Jimmy Seas in Oak Bluffs, which we have subsequently featured. Another spot that I got to try was a restaurant and brewery in Oak Bluffs that has been around for nearly 15 years. And the Offshore Ale Company was a very fun dining experience, with decent food, great atmosphere, and terrific beers.
Like the aforementioned Jimmy Seas, the Offshore Ale Company is located on a narrow side street (Kennebec Avenue) that runs parallel to Circuit Avenue, which is Oak Bluff's main drag. Just west of that street are the historic gingerbread cottages that so many folks visit, but few tourists seem to head east of Circuit Avenue to Kennebec Avenue, instead dining and shopping on the main strip. This makes the Offshore Ale Company a bit easy to miss, though locals (and tourists in the know) certainly go there. The building that houses the place is rustic and charming, with a barn-like feel coming from the high angled ceiling and the abundance of woods used throughout the structure. Plenty of tables can be found on the ground floor (as well as a small bar), with the brewing equipment in clear view on the second floor. Because of the high ceiling--and the hard floor--it seems that the dining and bar area are prone to a high noise level, so don't expect to come here for quiet conversation.
We arrived at the Offshore Ale Company toward the end of lunchtime, but the place was still nearly full. The host sat us down at one of the last empty tables and our server immediately came over to take our drink order. We opted for a medium-bodied nut brown ale and a refreshing amber ale, both of which were excellent, and also ordered an appetizer of soft Bavarian pretzel spears, which could have been cooked a bit more and needed a little salt, but were otherwise tasty (and the house-made pale ale mustard was very nice). Our meals soon arrived, with the fish and chips featuring lots of flaky, fresh cod coated in an amber ale batter and the fries seeming to have a slight truffle taste to them, while the wood-fired tartufo pizza had a deep, earthy truffle mushroom flavor, though one small complaint about the pizza was that it was a little underdone, needing another minute or so in the oven. Our server was friendly and efficient from start to finish, and prices were actually pretty good considering that we were on the Vineyard, which is known for its high restaurant prices.
While the food at the Offshore Ale Company didn't quite match up to the tremendous dishes we had at Jimmy Seas, our overall experience was certainly a positive one, confirming that this is a place I could see myself going to whenever I'm on the island (whether it be for a round of drinks or a bite to eat). Kennebec Avenue may not look like a place to go for dining, but between this place and Jimmy Seas, this is indeed a pretty good road to head to if you're hungry.
If you are looking for the address for the Offshore Ale Company, here it is: Offshore Ale Company, 30 Kennebec Avenue, Oak Bluffs, MA, 02557. Phone: (508) 693-2626.
I discovered this place when I stayed at the Kennebec Hotel right across the street, ten years ago. In fact I'll never forget the date, because I was there on September 10, 2001, the day before the 9-11 attacks. Despite the association with that terrible time, I enjoyed the Offshore during an evening visit, as they had some really good live music in addition to their excellent brews.
Posted on 9/29/11
Fries with rosemary, parm cheese and truffle oil are THE thing to get. Goes great with the beer. Cranberry walnut chicken salad and lobster salad with homemade potato chips rounded out a good lunch.
Posted on 10/19/11
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