Overlooking New Bedford Harbor is Fathom’s Bar and Grille. The location has a heated enclosed patio in the winter and for the warmer months it becomes an open patio with fresh sea breezes. It is located at 255 Pope’s Island near the bridge offering a 60-foot floating dock for customers to dock small boats or dingies. Fleet Fisheries is the sister company to Fathom’s which enables the restaurant to offer fresh seafood daily.
I arrived with my husband Mark around 6 PM on a Friday night and the parking lot was full. I did manage to find a spot, but had to drive around looking for one. I was nervous because a full parking lot usually means lots of customers and a wait for a table, which doesn’t help when you’re ready to eat the first thing you see.
When we entered Fathoms I immediately noticed the “newness” of the inside, modern, up-to-date and a clean nautical atmosphere. I also quickly realized that we were at the end of the line, but a couple of the hostesses had the line moving pretty fast. Once we got to the front, I was told that there was a wait for a table on the deck, but that we could be seated right away inside. We chose the latter since I was starving. We were seated next to a window in the bar area that had a nice view of the water and some boats in a marina. Although the day was grey with clouds it is always nice to overlook the ocean.
Our friendly waitress, Erin Lincoln, came right over and took our drinks and appetizer order; I got the clam chowder and crab cakes. She informed me that their chowder had won an award so I definitely had to get a cup. While waiting, I notice the top of the bar, it looked like a frosted frozen piece of water with a splash of dark blue color, and it was eye catching. Erin was kind enough to tell me it was hand blown glass imported from Italy, and that when the lights go down, the bar top lights up giving a wave effect.
Our appetizers came, the clam chowder was award winning, it had a thick, creamy warm sauce with chunks of potatoes and clams and of course a side of oyster crackers. The crab cakes looked delicious, two cakes with spices and crab meat, it was more doughy than crab meat, and I thought it could have been tastier. For dinner I ordered the scrod and scallop casserole with cole slaw and rice, Mark ordered the grilled rib eye steak with fresh veggies and baked red bliss potatoes. We did have to wait about 20 minutes or more for our meals to come, but our waitress Erin made sure our drinks were full and informed us constantly on the status of our meals. I didn’t mind the wait, the Bruins were getting ready to play and there were plenty of televisions to watch. Sitting in the bar area was nice but it got loud at some points, not a practical place to have a quiet meal and conversation.
The scrod and scallop casserole was in a small dish with the rice and cole slaw being on the side. I was disappointed in the casserole, the scrod and scallops were sitting in oil which didn’t look so appetizing, I took a bite and it didn’t’ have much taste which I thought would be quite flavorful because of it saying “in a garlic compound”. The rice was bland and the cole slaw was okay. Mark’s meal was gone in a matter of seconds, he claimed it was the best rib eye he has had in awhile. I did get a small bite and he was right, the meat was juicy with a off the grill taste, the vegetables were warm and crunchy with seasonings and the baked red bliss potatoes were soft and buttery.
We were both stuffed and weren’t able to order dessert, instead Mark got his signature after dinner drink and we sat, chatted and watched a sailboat and fishing boat go through the bridge. It was a nice place to sit and chill after a long week at work which is the feeling I got from the other patrons. I did see other dishes go by and they looked appetizing, this is a place I need to come back and experience again. When I do return, my choice will be to sit out on the deck on a warm night, order another entrée and dessert with some friends. This was one of the participating restaurants at a Taste of Southcoast and they did win People’s Choice Award for Food, so I am not brushing off Fathoms yet. Until next time….