Jay and I tried to figure out why we don’t make it to Boathouse BBQ more often, and we came up with zero reasons. Every single time we’ve visited Boathouse, we’ve had nothing short of a great experience.
More house than boat, Marietta’s Boathouse BBQ thrives on the edge of the river in the Harmar section of town. From the moment you walk into this cozy red hideaway, it’s easy to feel right at home. Friendly and attentive hosts, patrons, servers and chefs all took turns greeting us and asking us about our meals and experience. It was easy to tell them we enjoyed our night, because we truly were having the best time!
Normally, we sit right inside the main dining area, nice and comfy, in one of their spacious booths. I’d always been hesitant to sit out in the “Breezeway”, because, “cold”. But I didn’t realize it’s actually a well-heated pass-thru- with the added benefit of tons of windows and a great view! In the warmer weather, you also have the option of sitting outside on their back patio, which was beautiful at sunset. We’ll save that for another day.
We saved Boathouse BBQ for our last stop of our MOV Restaurant Week family adventures because we knew we’d love the food. They know seafood as well as they know ribs and steak, and their desserts are ALWAYS top-notch. The only problem we had was staying on the Restaurant Week menu, because we made the mistake of looking at the regular menu, realizing how many things we had yet to try here.
But in true “RW” fashion, we did the classic “Split”, and ordered all the things on the Restaurant Week menu, to split evenly between Jay and me. Our kiddo, however, ordered a burger and applesauce.
We all got different flavors of house-brewed iced tea to kick off the night. A trio of Mango, Peach and regular Sweet Tea got the meal off to a good start. I always love adding a little fruity flavor to my drinks. I think I liked the mango tea the best, personally.
“Talk about starting off with a bang”, Jay said, as we tore into our appetizers. Even though we’d obviously never heard of a “hog wing”, and our hungry eyeballs thought we were getting really large “hot wings”, we pressed on and had our lives changed. The crispness of the skin on these hog wings (which were in fact, hog, as in pork…oops! Now we know!), and the crispness of the meat, down to the bone (without being in the least bit tough)…Jay actually asked for a moment of silence because he was so moved by the flavors and textures. It was a well-deserved moment. I thought I saw a tear. And then he shared a bite with me. That’s how much he loves me. Of course, he picked them as his “App Favorite”.
But I don’t want to give you the wrong idea. I think my house-smoked trout, stuffed portobello was the official appetizer winner, myself. I’m also in love with anything mushroom. This buttery, perfectly cooked one, you needed a steak knife to cut through the immensity of it all. As huge as it was, I would also have welcomed a second one, forgoing my entreé. Of course, my entreé hadn’t arrived, yet. But I loved this stuffed mushroom, something fierce. Jay really loved the mushroom too, even though he doesn’t love stuffed mushrooms as much as I do, and said it was a very close second to his beloved hog wings.
Before we knew it, our main dishes had arrived, and we enthusiastically prepared ourselves for culinary happiness. Normally I wouldn’t get my hopes up beforehand, but with Boathouse, we had no doubt we’d enjoy our food.
I’ll be honest: If heaven’s cloud could melt in my mouth in the shape of a fantastically-topped (with all of the smoky, fruity salsa-y things that I love) butter pat of a fish, it would be this. I’ve honestly never had a bite of fish melt in my mouth like this, before. It was so light but completely melty and so full of flavor.
Side note: Smoked mango and cilantro should always live together. Wow.
The NY Strip that Jay ordered was nothing short of a fantastic herbal explosion. The description said there was a Jack Daniel’s Whiskey Cream Sauce topping the steak, but when I tasted it, it just tasted like exactly what should be on top of steak. I guess if that happens to be Jack Daniels, then I may never want steak another way. We LOVEd this steak. All three of us tried it, and swooned. Jay loved the cut (each steak is hand-cut), and was impressed at how little fat his steak had. For such a thick cut, it was also perfectly cooked. Just, honestly, whatever they did to achieve the flavor…it was perfect. That is all.
Lest we not forget about the poblano pepper mashed potatoes. The idea sounded unusual to me, but I kept an open mind and tried them out. I never realized poblanos belong in mashed potatoes until tonight. The potatoes softened the bite of the pepper, and made perfect sense together. Another win in both of our books.
The veggie medley? So unusual and good. Never had I ever seen slices of corn on the cob in a veggie medley. Add in roasted asparagus, squash and (in my opinion, the highlight of the medley) perfectly roasted red peppers, and you have a memorable veggie side, rounded out by what I think(?) was a caramelized balsamic glaze. What?
When asking our 7 year old what she thought of her burger: “First of all, I ‘heart’ it. The portion was really good and juicy. It was a good kind of spicy and also chewy in a good way. I give it 1000 out of 10.” So there you have that. Can’t do better than 1000/10.
We were “working on full”, according to Jay, after our entreés, but knew it would be worth it to make room for dessert. Honestly, we could go here just for dessert, so we were once again excited.
Jay does not like pecans (for their texture), but I love them. So it was easy to divvy up the dessert options. Jay chose the candied bacon/salted caramel cheesecake (which wasn’t really a stretch for him, anyway), and I gladly chose the Pecan Pie Bread Pudding. So I tried his cheesecake with bacon and I told him if he could handle that texture, he could handle my divine bread pudding. “In what universe?”, he asked me, as he slowly took a bite to prove a point…and within one second, quickly added “Oh, that universe”. It was that good. It transcended aversion.
When I asked him about the cheesecake (which was quite good, but I couldn’t stop eating my bread pudding long enough to eat much of the cheesecake, Jay replied:
“Just…(kept eating, no words)…just a really, really well-made cheesecake. So thank you, Jennifer (dessert chef, extraordinaire), for making desserts that make us consistently speechless and happy-bellied. Also thank you to our server Andrew, who was insightful, patient with our questions, and helpful with our choices. He is a rock star. Let’s really just also thank everyone who is a part of this perfect restaurant because they totally nailed every aspect of our evening. Can’t wait to return again (and again and again).