Newick’s is a local seafood institution. Everybody has been here, at least once. But summer is around the corner and there’s no better season to visit this family-owned restaurant for a good ol’ seafood extravaganza.
The outside of Newick’s looks just like a warehouse, but with windows. The inside looks just like a warehouse, but with windows and tables. The windows line the entire perimeter of this massive restaurant which affords a serene view of the Piscataqua and the many passing boaters heading up and down the river.
The inside of the restaurant is literally a sea of tables covered in red checkerboard plastic table cloths and plastic cutlery. There’s nothing that says pomp or circumstance about this place, and yet, you actually like that about it! Newick’s is about as casual an atmosphere as you can get. Kids, families, babies, older couples, younger diners—everyone is at home here. Oooh, we just received a plate full of rolls and butter, the kind you might find at a church potluck. Bonus, they are even warm!
On The Menu
If seafood is not your thing, I would highly advise you seek food supplements elsewhere. Don’t get me wrong, their chicken tenders are pretty darn good and the burger I saw on someone’s plate the other day didn’t look terrible, but you know what they say—don’t order a steak at a vegetarian restaurant.
You also have to go here possessing the right attitude, and that attitude is “fried”. Yes, they do have the have broiled and baked options (between $8.99-$16.99) but when it’s served on a paper plate, it doesn’t have that same je ne sais quoi. I know because I ordered it. Still good, but it’s just not the same. The “hand breaded dinners” (that’s their roundabout way of saying “fried”) are lightly battered and super delicious (between $8.99-$24.99) and are offered in various plate sizes from the smaller Tide Me Over to the larger Seafood Platters. You can also mix and match nearly every type of seafood if you have a craving for, say, a combo platter of haddock and clams (and who doesn’t really?).
Newick’s has several types of chowder including clam, fish and seafood and you have the option of selecting a creamy, soupier broth or the extra thick variety ($3.49 to $5.99). And, you can’t forget about the lobsters. You can order it steamed, breaded, broiled, newberg-ed or made into a salad.
The Kids’ Menu has only two seafood options (fried haddock nuggets or baby shrimp) for $4.99 but also offers hamburgers, chicken nuggets, hot dog, grilled cheese and pasta—some options being only $2.49! Drinks are not included, but they are served in a take-home plastic cup with a dome lid and special straw. Kids are also given their own mini-package of crayons and a coloring sheet to occupy them during the always-short wait for dinner.
What’s The Damage
We ordered two kids shrimp plates, a Tide Me Over grilled swordfish, a baked stuffed haddock and three beverages and our bill was only $42. As far as fresh seafood goes, I think the prices here are very reasonable. I also see coupons in the newspaper or other local publications for ½ Off dinner specials, which would make this trip even more economical.
When I was younger, the best part about going to Newick’s was visiting the gift shop to pick out some after-dinner treats. Their candy and tchotchke selection has greatly diminished over the years, but you can still pick up a bag of shoe string licorice and some lollipops while checking out the lobster tanks.
Newick’s is just simple fun. It’s good food at fair prices. And who can complain when you’re enjoying a plate of fried scallops while the entire restaurant glows orange with the sunset as a back drop. I love New England in the summertime.
The Bottom Line (based on a five-star rating):
Distraction Offering: ???½ (crayons, lobster tanks and candy are easy occupiers)
Atmosphere: ???½ (simple surroundings fade against the pretty view of the river)
Food: ???? (good portion sizes and super fresh, quality seafood)
Affordability: ???½ (reasonable prices for fresh off-the boat seafood; keep an eye out for coupons, too)
Service: ???? (never a long wait for food, this place runs like a well-oiled machine)
Dover Point Road, Dover NH (603) 742-3205
(Additional locations in Concord NH and South Portland ME)