Marlborough – Stephen Anthony's Restaurant is a regional landmark for breakfast with its fabled homemade maple sausage, but it's also a winner for dinner.
Anthony and Sara Scerra, who have been operating this restaurant on Route 20 at the Sudbury-Marlborough town line since 1984, pride themselves on fresh seasonal ingredients and food made from scratch.
Recently, my husband and I stopped in for dinner, and he was delighted to find venison on the day's specialties menu, a choice available during the deer-hunting season.
Scerra's other specials that evening were particularly tempting. I had a hard time choosing between the baked haddock Florentine and grilled rainbow trout, knowing that the restaurant brings in its seafood fresh from the fish pier daily.
I finally decided on the haddock ($17.95) and it was a great choice. The large filet was baked in a very mild butter and cream sauce, not heavy enough to overpower the delicate haddock, just enhancing the fish's flavor and keeping it moist. After baking, the haddock was topped with a generous portion of baby spinach leaves and a sprinkle of fresh diced tomato and cooked just a bit longer to wilt the spinach. The combination was delicious.
My husband raved about the venison tips ($16.95) he ordered. The large chunks of venison were simply grilled over an open fire so the edges were slightly charred but the center was pink and the venison very tender. With this simple preparation, no marinades or sauces, "the venison actually tastes like venison," he said.
Both dinners were served with rice pilaf and the day's vegetables – that day a sautÃ© of zucchini, summer squash, peppers and onions.
And I can't forget the basket of bread, still warm from the oven, that we devoured while we were deciding what to order.
In addition to the page-long list of daily specials, Stephen Anthony's dinner menu off ers enough other choices to please anyone in your dining party.
Soups and appetizers include homemade clam chowder and a day's special soup, and such favorites as calamari, chicken tenders, chicken wings and potato skins, or a sampler plate of Anthony's homemade sausages and dipping sauces to share.
Entrees are generally priced between $11.95 and $17.95 at dinner with smaller portions at a few dollars less at lunch.
There are about 15 seafood entree choices, including New England scallop pie and Maine crab cakes. Stephen Anthony's uses an open flame to charbroil an assortment of steaks, chicken and pork chops, as well as more seafood options like salmon and shrimp skewers. If you're in the mood for pasta, pick from a half-dozen selections, including sausage Alexandra made with homemade sweet Italian sausage.
House specialties that are always available lean to the comfort food side, with grilled meatloaf, roast turkey, baked ham and macaroni and cheese.
Stephen Anthony's is a very family-friendly dining spot, and children 10 and under can order from a $5.95 kid's menu with such favorites as hamburgers, macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese sandwich and linguini with tomato sauce, plus a kid's dessert. After dinner, in nice weather, the kids can go feed the ducks at Hager Pond just outside.
Scerra's desserts match the comfort-food level of his specials, goodies like homemade apple pie, apple crisp, chocolate layer cake and strawberry shortcake, but we just didn't have room for dessert that night.
Stephen Anthony's is located at 999 Boston Post Rd. (Rt. 20) and is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday for breakfast only. For more information, call 508-460-9618 or visit www.stephenanthonys.com.
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