Globe South Dining Out

Comfort food, kicked up a notch

The Fox & Hound’s Blackened Sampler is served in a cast-iron skillet and features shrimp, steak, and chicken topped with Cajun spices, citrus, peppers, and onions. The Fox & Hound’s Blackened Sampler is served in a cast-iron skillet and features shrimp, steak, and chicken topped with Cajun spices, citrus, peppers, and onions. (Mary Donius for The Boston Globe)
January 3, 2010

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Fox & Hound Wood Grille and Tavern
123 Sea St., Quincy
Open Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday until 11 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 10 p.m.
All major credit cards
Reservations accepted
Accessible to the handicapped

When Steve Curran opened the Fox & Hound on Sea Street in Quincy in 2004, his intention was to offer good food at reasonable prices, a mission he has stuck with and perfected over the past five years. The same menu is offered at lunch and dinner.

Our family of six felt comfortable right away in the restaurant’s roomy tavern and we were delighted to be seated at a large round table right next to the fire and enormous stone hearth. A second dining area is more formal but offers the same menu as the tavern. The tavern was quiet when we arrived on a recent Sunday night, but it offers live entertainment on Friday and Saturdays.

Curran hesitates to describe the menu as “comfort food,’’ preferring to describe it as “classic American foods kicked up a notch.’’ I agree, but any menu with meatloaf and fried chicken feels warm and inviting, especially on a cold winter night. I also found the varied menu appealing for families with picky eaters, children who don’t order anything but chicken nuggets and cheeseburgers, as well as more adventurous souls.

We started with an order of buffalo fingers ($8), which was tasty but not overly spicy, and served with a huge portion of delicious chunky blue cheese dressing. The kids gobbled it up. We also tried the pan-seared scallops ($10), which were wrapped in bacon and served with a tangy citrus balsamic sauce. I barely noticed the balsamic sauce: It was overpowered by the flavorful crispy bacon.

My favorite entrée wasn’t an entrée at all, but an appetizer the server recommended when I inquired about the house specialties. “You mean what we’re famous for?’’ he asked. “You should try the Blackened Sampler.’’

The Blackened Sampler ($12) was served piping hot in a small cast-iron skillet and was a delicious combination of shrimp, sirloin, and chicken. The authentic Cajun spices didn’t overpower the meat and seafood but complemented them. Curran says that true blackening doesn’t have to be hot and spicy; his restaurant’s secret blend of seasonings and citrus is a winner in my book, and I would make a special trip to have it again.

The Fork and Knife Fried Chicken ($14) was an 8-ounce chicken breast pounded thin, fried, and served with a classic, creamy country gravy - a simple and generous offering that was served with mashed potatoes. The chicken scampi ($14) was also a classic recipe with a delicate lemon-garlic-wine sauce over angel-hair pasta and very thin pieces of chicken. It, too, was delicious. It was also a bargain: There was plenty of pasta for lunch the next day. The children’s menu cheeseburgers ($7) were large and served with a huge mound of french fries.

The brownie sundae ($7) and carrot cake ($7) were fine, but didn’t make the impression that the entrees did. Overall, the Fox & Hound is a comfortable and reasonably priced restaurant that serves up satisfying and, in some cases, delicious food.

Mary Donius

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