1047 Broad Street
OPEN Lunch and dinner, daily
S T YLE Neighborhood pizzeria and Italian restaurant with a
welcoming vibe and a handful
of tables, plus sidewalk seating
in warm weather.
THE SCOOP Owners Izzy and
Nafi Sela pride themselves on using fresh, high-quality ingredients.
Most dishes are cooked to order,
with obvious exceptions like their
superb baked lasagna. They’ll try
to accommodate special requests,
as they did when a friend of mine
on a diet asked to have chicken
replace the pasta in a pasta
THE MENU Pizzas come in
thin-crust and thicker Siclian
style, with a wide range of
toppings. Both are good. The
Selas use just enough cheese to
balance the sauce and toppings.
Pastas are another strength, and
include several standouts with
seafood, such as linguine with
shrimp and broccoli rabe. Check
the chalkboard for specials,
such as the recent 3 Season,
which topped lightly breaded
chicken, veal and shrimp with
marinara and mozzarella,
or the gnocchi (left) with
shrimp, broccoli rabe, mush-
rooms, fresh tomatoes, garlic
and oil and a touch of marinara.
HEADS UP Portions are
generous. A big liquor store two
doors down has an extensive
wine selection. There’s parking
in a shared lot. Prime Time also
delivers to neighboring towns.
The Ark Pub
● POIN T PLEASAN T
401 Route 35 North
OPEN Daily, lunch and dinner (until
STYLE A longtime favorite with
locals and summer visitors alike,
the Ark (a bit like Noah’s) is no-frills but welcoming. Unlike the
Biblical version, this one carries
more than 100 beers.
THE SCOOP Attractive happy
hour prices (and marathon dura-
tion, 11 ;; to 6 ;;), plus events
like Wednesday karaoke and
Thursday trivia, draw a young
crowd to the bar, but the dining
room is always family friendly.
THE MENU Burgers rule, includ-
ing the Award (port wine ched-
dar, caramelized onions, honey
barbecue sauce) and the Reuben
(Swiss, sauerkraut, Thousand
Island dressing). The battered-
cod sandwich (left) is thick
and delicious. Try the chicken
cheese-steak, slathered in
provolone. Fresh, locally
caught fish entrées are served
broiled, grilled or blackened,
with choice of sauces.
HEADS UP If you call ahead, the
Ark offers “ You catch it! We cook
it!” Cole slaw and side included,
$14.95. The restaurant proudly
proclaims its lack of WiFi with the
slogan: “Talk to each other.”
— Lauren Payne
Pho Main Street
● BRIDGE WATER
623 East Main Street
OPEN Lunch and dinner, daily
S T YLE Modern minimalist
Vietnamese restaurant with
stacked slate stone walls, dark
wood accents, and seating
aplenty. One television hangs
above the entrance for you to
tune into or ignore.
THE SCOOP Pho Main Street
opened its doors in May 2015,
bringing authentic Vietnamese
food to the Finderne area of
town, which has more fast food
establishments than sit-do wn
THE MENU As the restaurant’s
name suggests, the main event is
pho, an aromatic and comforting
Vietnamese soup consisting of
broth, rice noodles, meat, herbs
and bean sprouts. You have your
pick of 23 variations, which come
in rich beef-based broths and
two different sizes: medium or
extra-large. Try the house pho,
P1 (left), with filet mignon,
steak and oxtail; the pho tai
nam, P3, with rare steak, well
done flank and brisket; and the
pho do bien, P19, with seafood.
Equally authentic are the bánh
mi sandwiches, stuffed with
grilled pork, beef or chicken, or
ham and pâté. Other highlights
include spring and summer rolls;
bánh xèo, a savory Vietnamese
pancake; com tam, or broken
rice, a traditional rice dish; egg
noodle soups; bubble teas; and
various fruit shakes.
HEADS UP There aren’t many
options for vegetarians beyond
summer rolls, rice vermicelli with
tofu or steamed rice with tofu.
Credit card minimum of $15. Portions are generous; come hungry.
;;;;;; (most entrées)
; Under ;;;
;; ;;; to ;;;
;;; Over ;;;
that won’t break
return customers include the exceptional
iron-skillet half chicken and the duck
taco slathered in a rich, velvety, mole-like
sauce, piled onto corn tortillas.
The decor deserves credit as well. With
its cathedral ceiling and large stone fireplace, it has the understated elegance of
an English club, yet the vibe is convivial,
even family friendly.
The handsomely appointed bar is often
crowded, but never gets really noisy.
Cocktails are expertly prepared, fortified
by juices and, in some cases, house-made
bitters. A gin-based Far East Negroni was
spiked with cardamom for an esoteric,
dry and smoky drink. The recently added
Chuck Berry mojito makes a proper
tribute to the late star, packing a pungent,
roll-over-Beethovenian ode to joy.
Few other dishes exhibited much
daring, perhaps a nod to the clientele.
“They’re less interested in being chal-
lenged,” Carlin says, “but they do enjoy a
twist on the basics.”
Some of those twists work. Pan-roasted
cod was crisp outside, moist inside. Plain
yogurt, made in house, lent much-needed
tang to a special—an otherwise-bland
orange hummus billed as spicy.
Less successful was cauliflower in the
Caesar salad. Yes, we’re all tired of kale,
but raw cauliflower is no remedy. Grilled
salmon paillard was dull, the vegetables
with it nearly burned. Wild-mushroom
flatbread had a soggy crust and little flavor
but plain ricotta.
The vegan panna cotta is the standout
dessert. It’s made with mango, coconut
milk and sugar, thickened with agar and
xanthan gum. Who knew you could whip
the brine from a can of chick peas into a
beautiful meringue? (French chef Joel
Roessel devised the technique in ;;;;.)
Carlin flavors it with sugar, raspberry
powder (for color) and a drop of almond
extract. Another must-try is the hot tea,
brewed not from bags, but from leaves
presented in French presses.
The tavern’s warm vibe does not end
with its customers. Carlin, whose children
work or have worked at the tavern, is
appreciated for his community-minded
events, notably an annual Bring Your Dog
to Dinner benefit for St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Centers, and Thanksgiving
dinner served by Carlin and his wife, Jennifer, and their five children to formerly
homeless veterans in the area.