We recently returned to Surf for the second time; the first was several years ago, shortly after it opened, which makes it about ten years ago. Most restaurants, even if very good at the beginning, go into rapid decline after a few years, especially in Boston. Not Surf! The menu in 2013 is more interesting than it was ten years ago, and the kitchen’s skills are sharper. Surf is definitely worth the trip from Boston.
Our opening course was the bowl of fried Ipswich clams, the best specimens we have had in a long time, and this is one of our favorite dishes. No, you Boston restaurants, clams do not have to be soggy or half-cooked or overcooked or uncleaned. The raw clams can actually be of first-rate quality, prepared properly before cooking, lightly breaded, then fried in fresh oil for the correct amount of time and served promptly. Amazing!
Our more complex main dishes maintained the high level of quality. The Portuguese seafood stew contained monkfish, shrimp, haddock, scallops, and mussels along with small chunks of chorizo and herbs. The fish and seafood were perfectly fresh and the broth had a slightly spicy, buttery flavor. The shrimp and lobster carbonara was a heavier dish, with creamy rich flavors and highlights of pancetta and sundried tomatoes.
The martinis were excellent and so was the service even though the place was mobbed because it was Mother’s Day weekend.