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Jun 2, 2008 07:21 PM

Latitude 43...someone had to do it

So we went last week, post lunch and pre dinner..I liked the space as it is interesting and the patio deck will be great on a good day for a drink ( only) , Greeted promptly and seated by a window. Menu is overwhelming and I am always suspicious of Cheesecake Factory approaches to can u do so many things and do them all ( or most ) well. We decided since we were at the sea to stick with sushi. Server was prompt and friendly enough but not too friendly in a good sort of way. We ordered the spicy tuna roll and 5 variations of nigiri. We also ordered ( for 3 bucks more) hand shredded wasabi. Well the tuna roll was falling apart and not at all spicy or flavorful. The other nigiri was blah at best ( confession we were at O YA that week so we were in no position to have sushi on a comparison basis for another month at least) but it wasn't the glistening, bracey ,fresh fish I expected. Not bad ..just not good or memorable or "we'll be back" grade. And quite frankly the 3 buck wasabi looked and tasted old and my head would have been cleared more with a losenge. But if you must go 2 warnings: 1) the chopsticks are metal and very difficult to maneuver in fact one pair were bent 2) if you order Sake you MUST ask for a shot glass...the " cups" are square wooden boxes with a lip at least 3/8 inch thick . WAY too much work to figure out where box ends and lips begin. It wasn't cheap and we won't rush back . However the fried oyster salad seems to be very popular as it was served often and looked great each time it passed us...not a destination and I fear I would do Lobster Pool or Halibut Point for mid afternoon meals first.

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  1. i've always liked the masu for drinking sake and i find it easiest to drink from the corner as it avoids spillage.

    1. Thanks for taking one for the team. I'll stick with the Lobster Pool where, last week, I had a lobster casserole that was absolutely perfect.

      7 Replies
      1. re: resipsaloquitor

        Lat 43, like the rest of this teams' restaurants, can't decide what it wants to be and sadly, does none of it very well. It is disappointingly mediocre. The location far outshines the food. We also found the sushi to be OK. As far as going to the Lobster Pool for a good alternative, I don't get that at all. Roy Moore on Bearskin Neck, or Farnham's in Essex, would be my choice.

        1. re: greenstate

          Three things I used to love about McT's:

          1. The deck
          2. The encyclopedia menu
          3. The consistency. You were never going to get a great meal, but you would always get a good meal.

          Is there a restaurant like that on Cape Ann anymore?

          1. re: resipsaloquitor

            Lobsta Land is always good, always consistent and as close to the old McT's as I can think of. I miss that old place.

            1. re: greenstate

              I had the most phenomenal gingerbread waffle and maple-smoked bacon at Lobsta Land on Sunday. A little pricey but I'm willing to pay for delicious.

              1. re: greenstate

                Too strange. Two mentions of Lobstaland in as many weeks and I'd never heard of it before. What else are you guys holding out on? ;-)

            2. re: greenstate

              Always have the fried scallops at L Pool and never been disappointed Guess I also like the BYOB factor and the setting on a good afternoon I too like Lobsta Land and Farnhams but for a quick bite close to home L Pool is easier for us...will try Roy Moore Thanks for the rec

              1. re: greenstate

                couldn't agree more greenstate. I've ate a few and while they are very attractive restaurants, the food is schizophrenic. They should either stick to trying to be a tavern or go more upscale. Trying to do both results in being mediocre. You could get just a good a meal at a chain restaurant for less money.

                I personally would like to see them go more upscale with a couple of their restaurants as I think Cape Anne is in desperate need of better fine dining options. However, to do so, better ingredients are a must. Higher Quality meats instead of frozen commodity product (you can tell the difference) would be a good start. Even less expensive entree items could use an upgrade. I tried the 'All Natural Chicken' and it was garbage compared to what's on the market for not a lot of money. A chef friend of mine pays $2/lb for a top flight all natural chicken and says its SO worth the extra $1 per pound for the smiles it puts on his customers faces. If you're gonna try and pull of high end 'all natural' style good, you gotta step it up a bit higher

            3. My in-laws love this place (as they do Alchemy, with the same owners), so we accompanied them several weeks ago. On the whole, I'd agree with the mediocre assessment. I had the fish special and the salad, and it was just an overwhelming amount of garnishes/accompaniments/flavors/flourishes.

              All that said, it wasn't terrible, and the lively atmosphere was nice. I wouldn't choose to go just for the food, but for a social evening with non-foodies, it was enjoyable.

              6 Replies
              1. re: ClippyZ

                I have tried Alchemy three or four times and always been disappointed. I would love for the food to be as good as the decor but, alas, it was not. Soggy pizza? Yuck.

                1. re: ClippyZ

                  So you go to a restaurant and not eat the food because it's aweful but, gaze at the wallpaper and like to be noticed by others? Sounds like this place is doomed. Remember this is Gloucester a strong blue collar town, the locals will most likely never patronize this place. I'll never bee seen there, too many other great places in this neck of the woods.

                  1. re: treb

                    I dunno. Once Jazzy Joe's, Bill's and the Green Tavern left, Gloucester's collar was a lot less blue :-) Where can townies hang out anymore?

                    1. re: resipsaloquitor

                      House of Mitch, Pratty's and and for the food, we locals like Halibut Point.

                      1. re: greenstate

                        Though not a native :-), I used to go to Halibut Point every Friday night for years until they raised the prices and started letting kids run around. Maybe I should try it again, since everyone's prices are higher now. I lived for the Mud Pie.

                        1. re: resipsaloquitor

                          I like HP, most all places have had to go on prices as the cost of food has.

                2. Went to Lat 43 last week around 4:30 pm on a weekday. Warm grreetings by staff not quite ready for customers. The place looks great. Patio not available for drinks until their seasonal license kicks in.
                  Four of us seated promptly at a booth at a window. Menu goes on for days. And days. Then there's the additional sushi menu. Another day.
                  Got some drinks and waited until the server was given the daily specials at 5 pm.
                  They were: Oysters on the half shell, tenderloin salad, grilled swordfish pieces over salad, and another I can't remember. I got the oysters and guest got the tuna tartare appetizer (bluefin and albacore tartare in a chilled cocktail glass with cherry infused whipped cream and tobiko with sesame chips for crunch). IMO the tuna was the highlight of the meal. I ordered grilled haddock, with a corn salsa. Overcooked, and the salsa seemed old. Companions had a blackend swordfish which looked good and was declared OK, a chowder and salad (nice looking wedge) and my wife had the swordfish special over a Caesar. The swordfish (4 small chunks) was dry and served over an extremely small salad with wilted lettuce (and cost $14).
                  The service was OK and pleasant although we waited quite a while for a check to be presented and for the credit card to be serviced (the place was starting to fill a bit by then). Again, a beatiful spot, stunning decor, OK service and only so-so food. Glad I went, but won't be hurrying back any time soon.

                  1 Reply
                  1. The wife and I finally made it over to Lat 43, sat on the deck and had lunch one day last week. I'd give it a B-.

                    I had the fried haddock sandwich with fries and a cup of chowder; she had a salad with blackened chicken. The haddock was excellent, the soup was average.

                    The service was bad. They forgot to bring my chowder and finally brought it with my meal. It took a long time to get the all-important second glass of wine. Perhaps most important, you can't see the harbor from the deck because their landscaping is so tall -- what's the point of that!!

                    I can't think of a reason I'd go back.