July 06. 2011 12:42PM

Our Gourmet: The call of the Wolfe will bring them back

New Hampshire Union Leader


Wolfetrap Grill & Raw Bar
19 Bay St., Wolfeboro

Cuisine: Casual seafood

Prices: Entrees $14-$30.

Serving: Summer hours 11 a.m.-10 p.m. seven days.

Our Gourmet: Someday, our ship will come in and we'll have a beautiful summer home on a quiet cove on Lake Winnipesaukee. When we do, Wolfetrap will be one of the lakeside dining destinations we'll be motoring to in the restored mahogany runabout that we'll be buying to go along with the lake house. Our Teenage Bottomless Pit wasn't with us for this visit, but he (and the family that he'll no doubt have in tow by then) will be welcome to join us when we cruise on over from the lakeside estate.

The Dining Companion: He's such a dreamer...

Atmosphere: 18/20

OG: Wolfetrap is tucked away in an unassuming, somewhat rambling building on the shore of Wolfeboro's quiet Back Bay, a few blocks from downtown. Boat slips for diners are steps away from the tables on the patio. We were seated in the screened-in porch beside the patio, so we had a great view of the boats and the water.

Appetizers: 15/20

OG: I started with an order of mussels, which came in a tasty garlic-tomato-butter broth. Like everything else we were served, the mussels were done just enough. All but a couple of shells were open, and the mussels were the tenderest I have ever encountered. They were a bit on the small side, but there were plenty of them, served with garlic toast for dipping in the aforementioned tasty broth. 8/10

TDC: Regular readers may know by now that if calamari is on the menu, I'll probably order it as an appetizer. It was ($9), and I did. As with the mussels, there was plenty to share (boy did TBP miss out!) and most of the pieces were very tender, but a few tough ones did find their way onto the plate. 7/10

Entrees: 18/20

OG: I've been experimenting at home with fish tacos lately, and when I saw that Wolfetrap makes their fish tacos ($14) with swordfish I was intrigued.

Our waitress, Jessica, recommended them, and told us the dish was more along the build-it-yourself line of fajitas than tacos. She was right on both counts, and I was glad I took her advice. The stars of the dish were five or six bigger-than-bite-size chunks of the most tender, flavorful and moist grilled swordfish I've ever tasted. They were served with small but fairly thick flour tortillas (grilled) and an ample assortment of fixings, including salsa, sour cream, pico di gallo and avocado chunks. It was light, tangy and just perfect for a summer evening. My only complaint was that there weren't enough tortillas to handle all the fish and fixings. 9/10

TDC: As I started looking over the menu, I thought we were in for just a pricey version of the typical fried seafood fare — but was I wrong! I ordered the Fisherman's Platter ($25) — fried scallops, haddock, and whole clams served with fries. I have NEVER had such tender and juicy fried seafood ANYWHERE!

And not just one, but all three seafood items were cooked to absolute perfection. The only thing stopping this from being a perfect 10 was that the fries were undercooked and limp. 9/10

Desserts: 19/20

OG: There were only two offerings on the daily dessert list (both made in-house, Jessica told us), so it made our choices fairly easy. I chose the Key Lime Pie ($6.50 ), a generous wedge of sweet/tart filling on a thin graham-cracker crust. Like the fish tacos it followed, the pie was a light and perfect choice and a great ending for a fine summer feast. 9/10

TDC: The other dessert offering was a Chocolate Fondant ($7.50) which some people know better as a Lava Cake. This was rich and decadent, the best I've had to date — and thankfully OG's pie was so light, he was able to enjoy several delicious forkfuls! 10/10

All the rest: 19/20

OG: The menu isn't extensive but there's variety and style that take Wolfetrap beyond the typical casual seafood joint. There's nothing particularly fancy about Wolfetrap, but just about everything they do they do well. The staff was friendly and helpful, the setting is great and the food was outstanding. We'll be going back ... and I have a hunch it will be before we're ready to buy that lake house.

Total: 89/100