This is actually the first standalone restaurant review we have ever done. All the prior one’s have been included in road trip reports. However when a restaurant consistently makes the best lobster roll in New England, it has earned the right to have its own review. The Bayside does, and it certainly has, for the two years since we first discovered it. You don’t need to take my word for it, Food & Wine Magazine voted it as one of the Best Lobster Rolls in America (Food & Wine’s Best Lobster Rolls).
The Bayside is family owned and operated. It has been around for almost 50 years now. Its one of those local establishments that if you know, you know. It’s crowded from the day it opens right after Easter to when the doors close for the Winter right after Thanksgiving. The people at other tables begin to look familiar after a few trips because they are. The Bayside is one of those places people just keep coming back to, and for good reason.
The Bayside is located just off Buzzards Bay on 1253 Horseneck Road in Westport, Massachusetts. On a nice day, the views from the outdoor tables are sureen as you look out on to both the bay and a beach that stretches for miles. The Elisabeth Islands sit on the horizon, and in the summer, the bay is filled with sail boats of all sizes. Inside it is a bit more crowded and noisy as the tables (pre covid) were placed closely together in more of a typical bistro style. The atmosphere and décor inside is what I would term chic classic beach shack, right down to having the main menu on a large chalk board. It is perfect for the location.
The menu is an interesting mix of classic New England Seaford, with a number of Mediterranean and Portuguese inspired dishes. Many of the receipes have been handed down from generation to generation and the ingredients are fresh locally sourced. We have tried quite a few items, normally off the specials board, but I always come back to the lobster rolls. They are simply superb and when something is that good, why would you order anything else? Mrs. SSO is a bit more adverturious and has tried just about everything on the menu. The lobster and asparagus salad and the Greek Shrimp are other favorites.
What makes the lobster rolls at the Bayside so outstanding is quite simple. It’s all about the lobster. You get a lightly toasted top-split potato roll with a single large piece of lettuce in the bottom that is then piled high with fresh, perfectly cooked, lobster meat. No filler, no pre mixed sauce, just lobster meat in the bun. You then have your choice of melted butter or mayo on the side. The fries are hand cut, fried in 100% sunflower oil, and then served fresh out of the deep frier. The house made coleslaw is light and crisp. Unlike many restaurants that tend to stuff their lobster rolls with less expensive claw meat, the Bayside lobster rolls are served with a mix of both tail and claw meat.
One of the biggest challenges post the lobster roll is finding room for desert. There are always a selection of 4-5 freshly baked pies. Personal favorites are both the apple and lemon merange. However the main courses are normally so filling that we just split a piece between the two of us. The pies are quite locally famous in there own right and we have ordered them for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Harrison Ford’s summation of his Bayside experience neatly captures the essence of the restaurant: “Bayside, Great food and wonderful service. Even better, no one recognized me or at least didn’t bother me”.
The Bayside Restaurant
1253 Horseneck Rd.
Westport, MA 02790
Open: Wednesday – Sunday 11:30 am – 8:00 pm
Closed: December, January, February, March
Karenable Rating: 🍾🍾🍾🍾🍾
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