Promising start, disappointing end
Cape Cod Times (Hyannis, MA) - May 11, 2007
Author: LAURIE HIGGINS
On the recommendation of a couple of guys we know, my hubby and I decided to check out the Lost Dog Pub in Dennis. It was an eye-opening evening that illustrated just how subjective the dining experience is and gave me a solid example of how one person's favorite place could be something less than that to someone else.
The menu was large and prices were great. There was a nifty selection of gourmet pizza pies with cool toppings like Gorgonzola cheese, baby shrimp and artichokes priced from $9.50 to $15, and we had heard the burgers were great. The dinner menu consisted of the usual suspects in pub fare, but since entrees included a choice of soup or salad, we decided to sample dinner.
We started our meal with soup for me and chowder for my husband. In my family wandering utensils are the norm, so we both tasted everything. The soup of the day was beef barley. Beef, carrots, onions and celery were all cut to a small size that complemented the barley, and the broth was thick and smoky tasting. The chowder was also excellent, with a pleasant briny flavor and plenty of tender clams.
Our great start didn't prepare us for the rest of our meal, which was disappointing. We shared a baked stuffed quahog for $3.50. The spicy stuffing had plenty of diced red and green peppers, but not very many bits of chopped clams, and the ones we could find were rubbery. The stuffing itself was dry around the edges and chewy in texture, suggesting a microwave had been used to heat it - or maybe it had just been overcooked in the oven.
Overcooked became sort of a theme for the rest of the meal. For dinner I had the broiled scrod ($12.50) and my husband ordered the charbroiled sirloin tips with a side of horseradish sauce ($12.99). Despite the topping of a light coating of bread crumbs and a whole bunch of paprika, the fish had very little flavor and was quite dry.
The steak tips were cooked to order, but for our taste they could have used a more flavorful marinade. Both dinners came with a huge portion of mashed potatoes that had a nice garlicky flavor, but the consistency was too lumpy and starchy. They also came with a veggie medley that offered great variety (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, summer squash and onions), but no crunch.
As someone who cooks extensively at home, I appreciated the fact that all the ingredients were fresh, but I couldn't help but wish they had taken a little better care with them. I also wished I'd ordered a "gourmet pie."