“Kelley’s Row…isn’t that place a bar?” I would get asked when I mentioned the location of our next restaurant review. I hadn’t checked out the Dover nightlife in some time, so I honestly I had no idea if it was or wasn’t. But SKC had heard this was a good family place for lunch, so we decided to give it a whirl.
Sitting alongside the river in Dover, Kelley’s Row is located directly in front of the old mill building. The view from the restaurant is actually quite nice with the running water outside and all that old brick. The inside has lots of dark wood and Irish colors, but still seems bright and airy due to the tall ceilings and oversized windows. I don’t know if the kids are enjoying the atmosphere here yet, but the adults are pretty pleased.
We were greeted right away and directed to a table in the main dining room which has windows that overlook the river. When we sat down, the kids were presented with a paper coloring placemat and a small package of crayons each. The front of the placemat had all kinds of games and activities while the back was blank (I like this because it because it keeps the creativity flowing). There were a couple of tables occupied by those on their lunch hour, and another table with a small child was sitting next to us—clearly this place has already been scouted as a family-friendly locale.
On the Menu
The children’s menu offers all the usual suspects (chicken fingers, hamburger, pasta, fish sticks) and each meal comes with a side (pasta salad, mac-n-cheese, carrots/celery sticks) and a drink (the cute covered-top ones with those funky straws). The regular menu has lots of options like hearty salads, pizza, sandwiches and larger entrees. Order up! Our little diner selected the chicken fingers with mac-n-cheese and the adults ordered the Black & Blue Salad and the French Dip sandwich. The lunch prices, I thought, were a little bit higher than average. Main menu appetizers are around $8, salads are $9-$12, sandwiches $8-$10 and the kids’ menu was $5.50.
Our food arrived quickly (yay!) and everything looked really great. The portions were plentiful and the salad was super fresh. The chicken fingers were lightly fried (not that super heavy batter which immediately makes me feel guilty) and came with a huge side of mac-n-cheese. We’re happy.
What’s The Damage
Here comes the bill…for three people, the check was around $35 without tip. The food and service was good, and they did have crayons and coloring pages (the minimum in entertainment my kids require to stay somewhat sane), but the bill seemed a bit steep for a Tuesday lunch. I really did like the atmosphere though, and I was able to sneak a peek at the renovations happening downstairs in the Cellar Pub which offers an outdoor patio overlooks the river—I definitely can see myself eating lunch out here in the summertime, with or without kids.
The Bottom Line (based on a five-star rating):
Distraction Offering: ??? (crayons, yes, and lots of stuff on the walls for an emergency game of iSpy)
Atmosphere: ????(adults liked it, looking forward to some summertime outside dining!)
Food: ????½ (good portion sizes and fresh ingredients)
Affordability: ??½ (kids’ menu is a good deal, adult food slightly higher than average)
Service: ????½ (awesome service and they split up a shared salad on two plates for us)
421 Central Avenue, Dover NH
Have you been to Kelley’s Row? What did you think? Have another recommendation for us?