From Fine-Dining Hot Spots To cozy and quaint cafés, a number of eateries have collected a loyal following and claimed a coveted place on the Hingham dining scene. Whether you’re craving fancy fare or comfort food, you’re sure to find it in the following profiles of five of the town’s treasured standbys. Bon appétit!BY COLBY RADOMSKI
94 Derby St., #249
Tucked in the corner of Derby Street Shoppes, Burtons Grill is anything but your average outdoor-mall eatery. Complete with chic décor and an equally upscale yet comfortable dining atmosphere, this any-occasion restaurant boasts a reasonably priced and wide-ranging menu—from succulent seafood to savory sirloins—sure to satisfy the pickiest of palates. And with its all-star service, it’s no wonder Burtons, which celebrated its 10th birthday this year, has remained a town favorite. Be on the lookout for some exciting menu additions, including fresh salads and creative cocktails, like stonefruit sangria and tiki-inspired drinks, that are sure to make a splash this summer.
Hingham Lobster Pound
4 Broad Cove Rd.
On summer days, strollers passing by the Hingham Lobster Pound can see patrons munching delightfully off paper plates atop their car trunks or lined out the door of the tiny red shack located off Route 3A. Open since 1958, this no-frills seafood joint has been hailed as one of the best places for takeout seafood south of Boston. Owner Jack Daily says its success boils down to quality, even if it means sacrificing a little profit. “It’s more important to hold onto the name,” Daily says. Standouts include the lobster roll, done Jack’s way (claw meat tossed with “just a touch of mayo” and piled on a soft hamburger bun, with lettuce), tasty homemade chowders and fried seafood plates, like fresh haddock and sweet whole-belly clams, which come expertly golden-fried in a special batter.
8 North St.
Homey and true New England best describe the Liberty Grille restaurant. Since opening in 1999, the Liberty has been a tried-and-true standby, known for its traditional Yankee dishes and hearty comfort food, like fish and chips, seafood casserole and pizzas hot out of the oven, and its friendly, come-as-you-are atmosphere. “We’re a true family restaurant and we take pride in its Colonial roots,” owner Christian Thompson says of the historic restaurant, which was built in 1723 as an extension of one of Hingham’s oldest buildings—a circa 1640 grain mill.
14 North St.
It’s fair to say Tosca played a big role in shaping the food scene of downtown Hingham. “Tosca is like the Godfather,” Eat Well, Inc. managing partner Jim Hodgdon says. “We were there to give some confidence to [prospective restaurateurs] and show that a Boston-quality restaurant could be successful.” So what’s their recipe for staying a stronghold for more than two decades? First, “the design,” general manager Chris Sugrue says. “People are still mesmerized when they walk in.” Longevity of the staff and quality of service have also been key, explains Sugrue, whose tenure spans 16 years. And let’s not forget their high-caliber menu—filled with heavy-hitting, Italian-inspired dishes like zesty wild boar Bolognese, filling short rib meatballs and balsamic-marinated pork tenderloin (pictured).
Scarlet Oak Tavern
1217 Main St.
While known far and wide for their selection of perfectly aged steaks, the Scarlet Oak Tavern offers a versatile menu filled with refined American favorites like wood grilled pizzas and locally sourced seafood. With its farm-to-fork philosophy and Chef Stephen Sherman as their secret weapon, the Queen Anne’s Corner eatery has maintained a faithful following and is the kind of place where guests can saddle up to the bar and sink their teeth into a juicy burger or enjoy a fancy sit-down dinner in the tavern’s sophisticated dining room. “It’s about delivering an all-encompassing experience,” Sherman says. While maintaining a cozy atmosphere in the chillier months, the restaurant is in full glory during the summertime with its large outdoor patio, which allows guests to dine al fresco underneath the stars.