Article by Stavros
Name: Petey’s Summertime Seafood
Location: Rye, New Hampshire
Ocean View: Estuary at mouth a seawater inlet
Type: Sit down dining, Bar, Outdoor Picnic Table, Takeout
Outside Seating: Seasonal
Vibe: Semiformal and Casual
Price: $11-$30, specialty up to $45
Voted Best Clam Chowder in 2014, 2015 and 2016 Petey’s Summertime Seafood is definitely worth a drive to the coast of New Hampshire. Among these awards given by the NH Magazine Reader’s Poll, they have won other recognitions for meals such as their fried clams, lobster rolls and their seafood overall.
Petey’s is known in New Hampshire as one of the local spots that catches their own lobster using their own boats. They even have lobster pots neatly stacked up behind one of their nicely decorated sheds that are visible from their gravel parking lot. The restaurant is located on Ocean Boulevard (scenic RT 1A) at the mouth the saltwater inlet at Concord Point in Rye, New Hampshire.
When you first cross over the bridge going north on 1A you spot all of the colorful decorations that cover the building. Buoys of all sizes and colors are hung like ornaments on a Christmas tree and make the building pop with color from a great distance away. Giant lobsters are also creatively placed on all sides of the restaurant marking that this is a seafood spot that you don’t want to miss.
There are four areas to the establishment. The main entrance leads you to the host stand where you will be asked if you would like a seat in their brightly lit and warmly decorated dining room on the right, or if you prefer the slightly noisier and more active bar on the left. There is also a takeout window on the side of the bar for anyone looking for a quick meal.
The second story of the restaurant seems to be a covered patio with picnic tables for the warmer months. When we visited we decided to sit at a high-top table in the bar area. The unique decorations flow uniformly through the whole place and the bar is accented with a row boat hung upside down from the ceiling right above the liquor shelves at the bar. There are a few TVs hanging on the wall showing local channels and red ambient lighting that sets your relaxed bar type atmosphere.
We started our meal with the highly anticipated and renowned home-made New England style clam chowder. It was perfectly rich and creamy with a hearty number of tender clams. Another positive was that the potatoes were cut into small pieces and were fewer than the clams. The chowder was a perfect way to warm up during our windy and overcast visit in December.
Next, we continued our lunch with the regular portion of the lobster roll and the fried jumbo shrimp basket. The shrimp were lightly battered, very flavorful and definitely jumbo. The platter came with about 8 shrimp, a handful of thick cut fries, a lemon wedge and a small ramakin of tartar sauce.
The regular sized lobster roll was served on a toasted Kaiser roll paired with another handful of crispy fries, nicely brined pickles and a lemon wedge. The lobster filling itself was big chunks of cut up claw meat tossed in mayo, topped with cracked pepper and served on top of finely cut bed of lettuce that rested on the nicely toasted roll. This was a cold lobster roll (aside from the toasted bun) which was very delectable and filling.
The whole meal was very pleasing and worth another trip back for the same food and more.
We were introduced to Petey’s during our visit to the Valley Artisans Handcrafted Gifts in Epsom New Hampshire when we struck up a conversation with a few locals. If you would like to read our experience at the gift store you can find the article on our partner page at the New England Travel Journal along with the rest of our adventures in central New Hampshire.
To find additional reviews for seafood click here for the New England Seafood Journal