Either simple or fancy, this fare satisfies
Nestled among beach houses overlooking Brant Rock’s seawall, the Fairview Inn Restaurant in Marshfield stands out, with its attractive Victorian exterior detail crowned by peaked roofs and turrets. A spacious deck spans the front so patrons can enjoy the ocean view during weather that’s much balmier than it has been lately.
Arriving at lunchtime, we chose to sit in the main dining room, where walnut wainscoting and rug-covered oak floors create a feeling of warmth. The restaurant also features a smaller dining room and lounge with an expansive bar and a large wood-burning, two-sided, fieldstone fireplace.
Owner Paul Disch characterized the menu as “American with a strong emphasis on seafood.’’
Appetizers ran the gamut from simpler fare, such as pita chips with dip or a plate of onion rings, to fancier stuff like black-and-blue tuna with an aged Japanese soy sauce and pickled ginger. We chose the fried calamari ($9.50), which was tender and flavorful, seasoned with zesty Thai chili sauce characterized as amazing by one diner. Every last one of the spindly-legged sea creatures was consumed.
The server, without being asked, brought the iceberg blue salad ($7.25) on two separate plates since a couple of us were sharing. The lettuce wedge was generous, topped with crisp freshly made bacon bits, a sprinkling of grape tomatoes, and a large dollop of chunky blue cheese dressing.
My main meal was baked panko-encrusted chicken breast topped with melted mozzarella, diced tomatoes and an herb Dijon sauce, with sides of creamy mashed potato and asparagus spears. The meal, $15 at lunchtime and $19 at dinner, was some of the best dining out fare I’d been served in ages, with the chicken remarkably tender and juicy. It was also refreshing to be offered asparagus that was simply lightly steamed rather than doused in sauce or heavily seasoned.
Another of our diners selected the sourdough panini, stuffed with ham, Swiss cheese and apple slices, and topped with honey mustard dressing, one of the day’s specials at $10 and served with sweet potato fries. The apples and honey mustard created a tasty play of tart and sweet.
Our third diner, a strapping twenty-something who favors basic foods, consumed a burger topped with applewood smoked bacon and cheddar cheese, and accompanied by fries, priced at $11. The burger was cooked just as he had requested, leaving a small hint of pink. The meal was so satisfying, the 6-footer, usually capable of eating whatever appears on the table, called it quits without dessert.
Along with sandwiches and an assortment of beef, chicken, and seafood entrées, the lunch menu also offers a variety of grilled pizzas. Most items can be ordered at dinner as well, although that menu includes some fancier offerings, too.
I split the crème brûlée with a fellow diner, thoroughly enjoying the crisp burned sugar glaze and warm vanilla custard beneath ($7). Other desserts, all $7 each, were molten chocolate cake, white chocolate bread pudding, and apple crisp with fresh whipped cream.
The original Fairview, built in 1874, offered tourists visiting from Boston some hearty fare along with a warm bed for the night. That building burned in 1998. Its current owners, Paul and Betty Disch, rebuilt the restaurant and reopened in November 2001.
Whether you’re in the mood for a major meal, a sandwich with some tasty sides, or just a salad, with or without meat, the Fairview Inn Restaurant will have something to satisfy, day or evening. And if your meal puts you in the mood for a snooze, the place has seven cozy rooms, many with ocean views, to accommodate overnight guests.