With nautical inspired design, there are lighthouses of every size and shape decorating the walls and the shelves. That paired with the delicious smell of garlic and simmering fish, one can imagine the ocean vistas even in Hudson County.
This charming restaurant has light pine tables that are decorated simply with red lanterns and oversized salt & pepper shakers. Although the space is small, the high ceilings and the creamy hues on the walls and by the windows give the feeling of space.
It is kept scrupulously clean by owner Carol Kerney and her family, who opened the place this past January. The service is the friendly "how ya doing, honey" variety. Every emphasis is given to welcoming guests, from the big smiles given when entering, to the warm loaf of Italian bread served to whet your appetite.
There are lots of tempting treats to start with like the delicious crab cake. The large cake is literally stuffed with tender, flaky crab meat and lightly sautéed to a crisp on the outside. It is served with slices of lemon and spicy remoulade sauce for dipping. The cake is fantastic with or without the sauce and needs no other added seasoning.
Another not to be missed dish is their signature beer battered fish, which is a family recipe. The tender cod breaks apart with a fork and the crunchy outside brings a nice texture to each bite. It is served with malt vinegar and two homemade sauces (tartar and cocktail).
Other appetizers include: shrimp cocktail, fried clam strips, crab spring rolls, chicken wings, coconut shrimp, calamari, popcorn shrimp, garden salad, and clam chowder soup.
The appetizers are reasonably priced from $3.50 to $10.
Next we sampled the chicken Francese, the shrimp trio, and the shrimp & scallop scampi. The chicken had a delightful flavoring of lemon and butter and the serving was two large pieces of meat.
For those who can't decide - opt for the shrimp trio. One variety is the scrumptious stuffed shrimp, which is filled with their delicious crabmeat. The coconut shrimp has a delicious sauce that has a hint of coconut and the scampi style is infused with garlic. This dish is a nice way to experience three very different tastes.
Although we were stuffed, we still had to taste the shrimp & scallop scampi. My companion and I were thrilled with the scallops (which we normally don't care for). They were large and absolutely melt in your mouth. The garlic seasoning was light and not overpowering.
All of the entrees come with a choice of a side including French fries, rice pilaf, and vegetables. We tried both the fries and the rice and were not disappointed. The fries are infused with their seasoning and super crunchy on the outside. The rice was lightly flavored with butter and herbs.
Cheese lovers will want to try the macaroni and cheese, which is also available as a side. Other options include: stuffed shrimp, flounder, almond crusted sole, tilapia, pasta dishes and more. The entrees are priced from $8.95 to $14.95.
They offer a variety of pudding and fresh cakes that are made daily for dessert. By way of drinks they offer soda, tea, coffee, iced tea and bottled water.
In addition to dining in, they are happy to deliver and offer catering. The Seafood Cottage is open for lunch and dinner. They are open Tuesday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 1 to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 9 p.m.
MasterCard and Visa are accepted and walk-ins are welcome.
The Seafood Cottage is located at 216 Broadway Ave. in Bayonne. For more information, please call (201) 437-1190.