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“Compared to others, the Dolphin falls short”
Review of Dolphin Seafood - CLOSED

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Dolphin Seafood
Price range: US$10 - US$30
Cuisines: American, Seafood
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Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed August 17, 2014

My wife and I were visiting the Boston/Cambridge area and waited until we arrived to make Thursday evening dinner reservations. This was a mistake as the only times we could get at the top restaurants was after 9:30 PM. Our hotel concierge suggested we try the Dolphin, a local eatery. After checking the Tripavisor rating, I reluctantly agreed.

When we arrived at 7 PM, the restaurant was only about 1/3 filled. That should have been my first clue although the smallish dining room was not bad looking. With clean white linens, large windows overlooking the street, and a friendly greeting from the bartender, I thought there was still some hope. I did notice the pricing was very moderate for the area.

A basket of warm rolls was delivered to the table and proved to be the highlight of our meal. My wife ordered a glass of sangria (a "house favorite") and despite promising a red wine with fruit flavors was totally devoid of any fruit nuance tasting more like wine infused with a cleaning solvent. She described it as an "assault on her senses".

A bowl of New England clam chowder was filled with potatoes but a little light on clams (and any seasoning). A lone bit of celery or a little bacon would have really elevated the experience. I tried the lobster roll which in fairness, was overflowing with lobster meat (and bits of shell). Like the chowder, it could have benefited from some seasoning (even a little salt and pepper). My wife had the seafood paella which was unlike anything she's ever had experienced, but not in a particularly good way.

For a reasonably priced quick bite when other more appealing choices are unavailable, the Dolphin may be an option. It won't be my first and probably shouldn't be yours either.

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Thank David10_1960
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (65)
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1 - 5 of 65 reviews

Reviewed August 12, 2014

The Dolphin Seafood restaurant is conveniently located just a few minutes away from Harvard. Though the very busy campus isn’t far away, we had no trouble finding it and there was lots of street parking in the vicinity of the restaurant in the evening and it was fairly quiet on the sidewalks.

The restaurant is clean but has a dated vibe to it with the carpeting, furniture and décor. Kind of reminded me of the 80’s family-restaurants though it does have an open bar at the front. Lots of tables available at 6 p.m. on a Monday night and it remained mostly empty by the time we left around an hour later.

The service was perfectly fine with a very pleasant, friendly, and attentive waitress. She cheerfully told us the specials of the day and was quick with the water and constantly checked on us.

The menu is fairly standard seafood fare which isn’t a bad thing. There weren’t too many adventurous dishes on it, but we did stray away from the typical broiled or fried seafood dishes and maybe this was the problem. I had a seafood casserole. Unlike the other main entrèes it didn’t come with a choice of side dish because I was told it was so big on its own. I would have to say it’s more like a standard size dish and so I was disappointed that I didn’t have any vegetables, or rice, or potato to go with it (unless I ordered them separately). It was kind of goopy because of the cheese on top, and oil pooled unappealingly at the bottom of the dish. It had fish and scallops which were just okay (not much scallops) but, though there were ample shrimp, they were a bit undercooked looking a pale white and felt chewy rather than tender. Didn’t taste that good.

Our other dish, a seafood stir-fry was also too oily and salty. The fish was dry and everything else looked charred or over-cooked, particularly the vegetables. We didn’t finish it.
We were also disappointed with the steamed clams. Once again, they were chewy and had a bland, gamey taste to them. We felt a little ill after eating them.

The clam chowder was alright. It didn’t stand out in any way from all the other chowders I’ve had, very standard, but reliable is better than inedible. The fresh rolls were very good.

So perhaps it would have been better for us to stick with the basic seafood fare when ordering. People seem to like their lobster rolls. Prices are good for a family restaurant, nothing overly pricey. Unfortunately, I doubt we’ll return to Dolphin. It’s not that interesting a restaurant to go out of our way to visit and this experience wasn’t very good.

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Thank TreeNSquirrel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 28, 2014

Restaurant is a fraud. They spread coupons for twin lobsters quoting the dish is $25. However when we came to a restaurant it appeared that there is a split fee $15!!! For nothing!!! You do not get anything extra for that.. Surely they did not mention it in the coupon.

Thank Manyya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 1, 2014

Wonderful, menu with many unique items. Compared to other Boston restaurant prices, this place is a bargain. Great attentive service from the owners. I would like to have gone back and graze the menu. You do need a taxi to and from...not a walkable neighborhood. Worth the trip.

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1  Thank RexallWillie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed June 10, 2014 via mobile

Visited this restaurant on a recent trip to Boston! The food was good! But the service was horrible. We were a table of 4 people! The waitress was soooo rude! She brought out our bread (3 pieces).... We asked for more bread and the waitress said she would get in when she had a time...... 15 minutes later..... We asked again! She bit our heads off! Saying she can't carry everything! When she cleared plates or brought our food, we should say thank you! She never once said your welcome! She simply said "uh huh"! One person went to order a second drink and she acted as if that wasn't allowed! I have never had such horrible service as this! I recommend visiting one of the many other seafood restaurants in Cambridge as the horrible service isn't worth the quality of the food!

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2  Thank WorldTraveler2054
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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