Tides Restaurant & Pub – 2B Wilson Road – Nahant, MA. 01908 – (781) 593-7500
Open for lunch and dinner at 11:30am. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas
We just returned from a fantastic trip to the Greater Boston area and decided to visit Marblehead, MA. and just chill driving along the shore, stopping wherever the spirit moved us to stop. It was one of those days which draws you to the area – sun, warm, some wind – but not a lot.
We passed Marblehead and were driving along sometimes seeing the water and sometimes passing houses thinking we were moving away from the coast. We saw a couple walking their two dogs as we neared a dead end and stopped to ask for their recommendation of a place to eat. Their suggestion was “Tides” – a restaurant we passed just minutes before. They were sort of hesitant to suggest Tides because they knew the previous owners and didn’t know what was happening at Tides in todays’ world. They cautioned us that it might not still be a great place to eat, but from past experience, before ownership changed, they said it was really fantastic.
Amazingly, it was an encounter with New Englanders who fit the stereotype. The “new owners” bought the place some 20 years ago. CHANGE is hard in this part of the world, but after having dinner at Tides we understand why. When you find a really fantastic place you don’t want it to change – just stay the same because how do you improve on perfection?
We sat on the sun porch and had a glorious meal. The menu said “don’t feed the birds”, but as soon as we sat down a sea gull joined us and so we had five for lunch instead of four and that great seagull helped to make our meal. He entertained us in ways he had apparently learned paid his benefactors back for their generosity. The restaurant was surrounded by rock outcroppings, sand and the ocean splashing against the rocks. With that accompaniment to oysters, shrimp, clams, lobster, haddock we were in heaven. We felt as though the fish had just been caught by the owners next door bringing it immediately into the restaurant to fulfill your order. That was our narrative – which is not true – but the location and the porch brought us to that imaginary happening.
Next time we will bring bathing suits because we were sitting right next to a public beach. On a holiday weekend the beach was sparsely populated so we know it is a great place to sun, swim, and paddle around whenever we go, with some certainty that we won’t be tripping over half-nude bodies lying side by side. It looked as though that very beautiful beach was peopled by the neighbors – people who lived close by.
The food was substantial, well cooked and seasoned just perfectly – well except for one of us who brings her Louisiana hot sauce in her pocket book for times like this. Each plate was enough for two so we brought our left-overs home and warmed them up for dinner the next evening. What a memory that brought back. We wondered if we could move next door and eat at Tides on a regular basis.
The wait staff was exceptional and they appeared whenever we looked around, sometimes anticipating what we were about to ask. Dessert was hot fudge sundaes. As we ate our dessert the smacking sounds should have embarrassed us, but it just made the desserts taste better.
All in all we recommend Tides whenever you are in the North Shore area. It is worth the stop or even if you have to drive a few miles out of your way – it is worth the drive.
There was a Keno Contest going on when we arrived and we were told they offer full service lottery in addition. As we waited for a table mesmerized by the view, the hostess told us about their Drink Menu – cocktails, 30 ice cold draft beers, a wide variety of bottled beers and a large wine list. People in the bar were watching a game and we were told they have over 20 HD TVs! That was all very nice, but we weren’t interested – the beach, sitting on that incredible sun porch, talking (and feeding) the sea gull which adopted us with really great food was what captivated us.
We will return!
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