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RED ROCK Bistro in Swampscott

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going to the Red Rock Bistro next week, what's the menu like? I know they close after lunch and open for dinner, what time? Can you sit outside with a cocktail while you wait for it to open?

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  1. You will find a lot of comments about Red Rock on the board. Primarly be ready for attitude. This little restaurant that used to be a clam shack has some serious attitude that the owners tend to dish out on a regular basis.

    That being said, excellent view (one of the few waterfront dining experiences). Food is generally good and sometimes stellar.

    There are two outdoor patios. One has water views, one does not.

    Enjoy. Putting aside the attitude, and not ordering the clam strips which are excellent but measly for the price, we have enjoyed our dining at Red Rock.

    1. I cannot recommend Red Rock Bistro to anyone but if you're in the area, I've found that the nearby Hawthorne by the Sea offers a better experience.

      1. Red Rock is not the place to go if you want to be assured of a good meal. You might luck out but the odds are against it. Instead, be prepared for lackluster food, loud environment, cramped quarters, major attitude, high prices for value received.

        1. Second redbird's post. And must disagree big time with recommendation for Hawthorne by the Sea. Food is even more overpriced, generally mediocre and management's attitude puts even red Rock's to shame. Waitstaff leaves a lot to be desired, too.

          For more consistent, though certainly not outstanding, food, better prices and nice spot - deck on the water - Captain's Grill in Pickering Wharf is a better bet. Service can be iffy, but attitude isn't a problem.

          3 Replies
          1. re: JRL

            Or try Finn's in Salem. Not great food, but outdoor patio on the Harbor. Don't go to the Hawthorne. You will be truly disappointed.

            1. re: JRL

              Agreed with JRL on Red Rock Bistro and Hawthorne by the Sea. All one needs to know about the latter is that it's owned by the same folks as Anthony's Pier 4 and is a lot like it -- and AP4 is almost universally reviled on this board, with good reason.

              1. re: JRL

                Red Rock is a great spot to watch the sunset and the tide come in and out. There's no attitude there unless you bring attitude with you. Brunch is a very good take on the bar side when the band is playing.

              2. I live in Swampscott, and we eat out a lot. We've given up dinners at Red Rock. Not a good value, and service is *always* dismal. Lunch, however, is consistently good. They've got a seared tuna sandwich with a side of asian slaw that I'm addicted to. The burgers are great--big burger, good rolls, classic condiments. Eat outside for people- and seaside-watching.

                I agree that the *cafe* at Hawthorne can be quite good. The service always requires a little "encouragement." Burgers, calamari, other pub food choices are a notch up from pub.

                Finz is always good food in an energetic atmosphere. I've been dying to try their Macaroni & Cheese with Lobster. Haven't felt slim enough yet to afford the indulgence. The comment about nearby Captain's is right on: the food is very good, but the service is hit-or-miss.

                Good luck!

                Lori