Mahoney’s restaurant, front, for Dining Out, 6/21/13 Credit: Laurie Higgins June 18, 2013 Laurie Higgins

By LAURIE HIGGINS
CONTRIBUTING WRITER

June 20, 2013
My daughter Melissa and I planned a girl’s night out dinner last weekend and decided to go to Mahoney’s Atlantic Bar & Grill in Orleans. We discovered it is a pretty lively place on Friday nights this time of year. We arrived a little after 6:30 and had to wait about 45 minutes for a table. The hostess forewarned us about the wait (she guessed 20 minutes), but since Mahoney’s has a nice window seat in the bar where we could relax and watch the crowd, we didn’t really mind. We had no other plans for the evening anyway.

Once we were seated at a table for two in the equally hopping dining room, our server appeared quickly with some warm crusty bread and whipped butter. Mahoney’s has a fun martini menu, so I sampled a Mooncusser martini ($10), made with Hendricks gin, fresh lemon juice, a splash of St. Germaine elderflower liqueur and a floater of champagne. It was a lovely start to an equally lovely meal.

Mahoney’s Atlantic Bar & Grill
Mahoney’s
Atlantic Bar & Grill
28 Main St., Orleans
508-255-5505,
mahoneysatlantic.com

If you go: Dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. weekdays and until 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday

The menu has a nice selection of salads and all of them are huge. We decided to share the pear and gorgonzola salad ($12). The mixed baby greens were tossed with the perfect amount of delicious housemade zinfandel vinaigrette. It was topped with gorgonzola cheese, Anjou pear slices and toasted walnuts. I’d go back just for that salad.

Melissa was undecided on what to order for an entrée, but chose the sole almondine ($24) after our server told her it is one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes. She wasn’t disappointed. The three generous pieces of sole had a light crust and were pan-fried to a crispy perfection and topped with slivered almonds and diced chives. The dish was finished with a light and flavorful wine sauce.

I ordered the cilantro chimichurri grilled swordfish ($25) off the specials menu. It was a thick cut of swordfish that had beautiful sear marks on the outside and was incredibly moist and juicy on the inside. The herb flavors melded beautifully with

the meaty fish, but the pineapple-mustard glaze was so subtle it wasn’t really discernible against the other bolder flavors of the fish.

Both dishes came with a side of crispy

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sautéed pea pods topped with grated carrots and a choice of starch. Melissa enjoyed the flavorful rustic style mashed potatoes and I thought the lemon risotto was a perfect accompaniment to any seafood dish on the menu, including the swordfish. It was creamy and had just the right bite.

The portions were ample enough that we didn’t need dessert. Even a shared one threatened to push us over the top of fullness, but the dessert menu had so many tempting choices that we decided to indulge.

The gingerbread cake ($9) was a miniature Bundt cake that came with both whipped cream and ice cream and a combination of strawberries and blueberries with a drizzle of chocolate sauce. The cake was dark, rich and moist and would have been perfect if it hadn’t been over microwaved to the point of causing an uncomfortable mouth burn.

I always order coffee with dessert, but I’m so fussy about coffee that I only write about it when it’s really good. I drink it black and like it dark and strong. Mahoney’s is worth writing about.

The décor in the dining room is warm and inviting. The tinned ceiling and wood wainscoting create a comfortable environment that captures the history of the building, which was formerly a mercantile shop. Both

the dining room and bar are loud and energetic spaces. It wouldn’t be a good choice for a romantic dinner, but it’s a perfect place to meet a group of friends for a fun night out on the town.