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Jul 24, 2007 04:35 PM

Ebb Tide in Port Chester

My husband and I were inspired to check out Ebb Tide in Port Chester, based on what I had read on Chowhound. We were disappointed. Yes, it looks like a clam shack in the best Cape Cod tradition, but the food was just not as good. We ordered the steamers and lobster roll, with sides of cole slaw and onion rings. The steamers were interesting - steamed with spices (garlic, peppers) - they were good, but more like mussels than steamers. Plus, they didn't taste as fresh as they should. The lobster roll was on a portugese roll, not a typical soft bun and the lobster salad was skimpy in terms of lobster meat. The onion rings were great, the cole slaw nothing to write about.

We enjoyed the visit, but as it's a few towns away from us, I doubt we will go back.


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  1. have you tried the Greenwich Lobster House? I haven't tried either but was trying to see which (if either) is worth a visit.

    2 Replies
    1. re: KarenNYC

      I've been to Greenwich Lobster house once. It is good, but nothing to write home about. The prices were pretty reasonable for a lobster dinner.

      1. re: chlee

        Ditto on Greenwich Lobster House - decent but nothing special.

    2. Ebb Tide is extremely inconsistent. It truly depends on who is in the kitchen when you're there and how busy they may be. It can also end up being quite expensive!

      9 Replies
      1. re: MRS

        I agree on the expense.

        We usually stick with fish and chips or my husband has gotten fried clams, and we've been pretty happy with the results.

        1. re: shellyesq

          Full disclosure: I grew up in New England and have never had what I would consider wonderful lobster in the NY metro area.

          That said, I think Ebb Tide is incredibly overhyped. I went because I wanted a wonderful lobster and it just didn't have much flavor.

          We've eaten twice at Greenwich Lobster House. First time, most things were good and our biggest complaint was that my husband's fish (don't remember what kind) was boring. Second time, most of what we were served was fairly bad. Not bad in a getting sick kind of way, but bad in an incredibly oversalted lobster bisque and heavy, tasteless calamari kind of way.

          I doubt we'll be going back.

          1. re: marcia2

            I agree that Ebb Tide is inconsistent. It's also frustrating to wait in line, order the daily special, and be told that they are out of it. I think one big problem at that place is the older gent behind the counter that takes the orders-- there could not be a slower order-taker. His mistakes are frequent. I don't mean this as a personal attack, but I think he is the main reason the lines can be so long.

            I had the lobster roll last week and while it was plentiful, it wasn't very flavorful. Also, for $14, can't they throw a pickle or SOMETHING on the plate with it? They used to be a lot more generous with the tomato salad.

            I don't want to give up on this place.

            1. re: Dim Sum Diva

              Maybe I'm going at odd times, but I've eaten there probably 3 or 4 times and never encountered any line beyond maybe 1 person. We were there at lunchtime on July 4th and the patio was close to full, but no one was inside and there was no line. There was a woman behind the counter.

              1. re: Dim Sum Diva

                $14 is cheap Diva. At Pearl Oyster Bar in NYC, it's always over $20 (MP).

                1. re: billyparsons

                  i know someone who was at mary's a few months ago, the lobster roll was 28 or 30.

                  but...i had warned her it would be steep, because of the maine lobster shortage. there was an article in a paper about how some of the restaurants just stopped serving whole lobsters; you could get lobster stew, lobster pot pie, etc. but not whole lobster (or lobster roll) because the prices they would have to charge, according to one owner, would incite the locals / long-time regulars.

              2. re: marcia2

                Went yesterday for the $32.00 lunch special-- 1.5 lb. lobster, tiny chowder, corn on cob, and tiny slaw, hardly a bargain...

                it's a shame that it's so pricey.

                1. re: sohoprom

                  We went on a Sunday evening a few weeks ago. Waited 45 minutes on line behind six people. I think they took each person's order, then cooked it, then served it, before they took the next order. Excruciating. We left, and there was still one person ahead of me. And they were out of almost everything but no one knew until they got to the front of the line.

                  1. re: Wizzapizza

                    I find the idea of combining a bait shop and restaurant extremely unappealing. For that reason alone I will not dine at Ebb Tide.

          2. Our friends have been telling us about Ebb Tide for a while now (and how great it is), so last night we went with them for our first time for dinner straight from a day at the pool. They said we had to get there early, so we arrived at 5:30 (which is fine because we have 2 kids and so do our friends). There was 1 person (maybe 2) ahead of us so the line was not an issue. Within about 15 minutes, however, there was a fairly long line.

            I was looking forward to trying the place, but I must admit that when we arrived and walked inside, I was reminded of biga290's comments about "combining a bait shop and restaurant" and I nearly lost my appetite. It was true, and unappealing.

            But I quickly scanned the menu and told my husband to order me the lobster roll and then my friend and I quickly took all the kids outside and let them look at the boats while we waited. My husband came out a few minutes later to tell me that they were out of hamburgers (my daughter's order), which was weird, but not a tragedy, got her chicken fingers instead. I was going to order my son the fish sticks, but honestly, didn't want to pay $14.95 for fish sticks for 3 year old when he is just as happy at home eating Trader Joe's fish sticks (at $3 for the box!). So he got chicken fingers too.

            My husband got the lobster bisque (he and my daughter really liked it, I thought it was watery and bland). He ordered fish & chips for dinner and he liked it a lot. I thought it was fine. The lobster roll was average. Not good, not bad, just kind of there. I would not order it again. My husband also ordered the seafood garlic bread. Very garlicky, which is good, but plain garlic bread would have been better, the seafood really added nothing to it.

            Our friends ordered a pitcher of sangria, which was tasty. But I have to say, that the best thing was actually the chicken fingers! Not sure what to say about that.

            Overall, I enjoyed eating outdoors in a very casual atmosphere and I really liked the *idea* of the place. I know my husband will want to go back, and while I feel it was average at best, it was a pleasant dinner with friends. I just wish the food was better.

            Last summer we spent a week in Cape Cod and I didn't realize just how good the food was (even the mediocre places) but after comparing it to last night, I now wish we were going back this summer for the food alone....

            1 Reply
            1. re: valerie

              I am certainly not saying it's our favorite place, but I will say that the "fish sticks" at Ebb Tide are not your run of the mill fishsticks. It is a huge order. They are very fresh and very tasty. All white fish inside, and if you package them properly, they happen to freeze really well so it's not a waste if your son doesn't finish. My 15 month old loves them!!!

            2. We went last night. Lousy, and tremendously overpriced. $5 for a beer? $18 for truly average steamers, probably like a dozen, though when asked they said it would be 20-25. LAME.

              $15 softshell crab sandwich had one small crab in it. The industrial $3.50 french fries were the best part of the whole thing.

              Oh, and it took about 15 minutes to handle about 3 orders in front of us, one person taking orders when there is a line, well.. stupid. Also, one bathroom.

              Please avoid this place, it is bad and insanely expensive.