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“Fresh fish, flawed execution”

The Sole Proprietor
Ranked #2 of 587 Restaurants in Worcester
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: American, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Special occasions, Business meetings, Bar scene
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast, Lunch, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: West Street
Reviewed June 2, 2014

The Sole is hands-down the best seafood restaurant in Worcester. That being said, there isn't any serious competition, as most other restaurants are pub-style or national chains. I have always enjoyed fresh seafood at the Sole, so the raw materials are where they need to be. Where the gild has come off the lily for me is in how the meals are prepared.

I love shellfish, and tend to seek out lobster or crab legs at fish restaurants. They offer to shell the lobster for you, which is appreciated if you don't want to "work" for your food, or make a mess of yourself (and perhaps your dinner company) by cracking shells and digging for meat. The best part is dunking sweet lobster meat in melted butter, but the butter they serve is clarified butter. If you're not familiar, it is clear instead of cloudy. I find the taste off-putting, as it tastes more to me like vegetable oil instead of butter. For me, it totally ruins the shellfish-butter experience.

The lobster meal comes with a typical side of mashed potatoes with mixed vegetables. These veggies are usually carrots, yellow squash, and zucchini. They are barely cooked, and taste closer to raw vegetables and are quite hard to chew. Once I asked for the veggies to be cooked well-done to soften them, and they were blackened on the grill and had an overwhelming charcoal taste. It is for these reasons that I am less likely to visit the Sole.

Service is done in pairs; you will usually meet one server and s/he will tell you that s/he is working in tandem with someone else. Beause of this tag team approach, I have always had attentive service. The restaurant is near a college campus (WPI), so there are often college age waitstaff.

Meals are served with fresh baked dinner rolls, which are good. I have tried the clam chowder, but I definitely prefer the chowder from Legal Sea Foods, as it is creamier and has more flavor.

They have a full bar, although cocktails are pricey, and the wine list is quite extensive.

If you sit in the bar area, there is a special bar menu as well the full restaurant menu.

This is an incredibly busy restaurant, so I highly recommend reservations if you don't want to wait an hour plus for a table. There is a small, free parking lot with the restaurant, but it is often packed. They do have parking lot attendants for busy times.

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Thank Karen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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568 - 572 of 879 reviews

Reviewed May 29, 2014

We had dinner on easter sunday at 3pm, eventhough without reservation it wasn't too crowded at that time. My wife had shrimps with pasta and I had to take the Surf & Turf, which was awesome!!! Very fresh, tasty, it's an experience. Interior, ambience and staff is like upper restaurant, but so are the prices, but it wasn't so way off and worth it!! Allthough one downside, the waiter was not too enthusiastic and friendly - as always, smile and small talk should be key in restaurant to comfort the customer, however the waitress who brought food and drinks and took care of us was it even more and compensated that again :-) .. Thumbs up for the Sole!!

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1  Thank KKBuddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2014

Fresh seafood and great service. Always visit when visiting family back East. It can be noisy when busy but the food is worth it.

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Thank Alvine D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2014

Consistently high quality food and service. Make sure to make reservations well in advance.
Only negatives are that both the dining area and bar are noisy and the entrance/waiting area is awkward.

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Thank Doug P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2014

I've been going to this place for 20 years. It's not getting better and it's not keeping up. The service is just plain hokey, Hi My Name Is.. and I'll Be Assisted By So and So...what are they financial advisers???? And try to get something from so-and-so if you need to...not so friendly once all the phony introductions are done. The fish was terrific here. My so shell crab was just plain scary. Previously frozen giant with flaccid interior and over panko crumbed exterior...dry as a desert. accompanied by sad and pooped out veggies. I need to recover before I go back, and I just hope that this chain hasn't over expanded (11Chop house and Via in Worcester)....by the way we were the only ones in our room at 7pm and we felt rushed, where were we, Florida???Nothing was right.

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1  Thank Kent R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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