Restaurant Review: Dockside Bar & Grill

Crabmeat stuffed squash blossoms at Dockside Bar and Grill.
Crabmeat stuffed squash blossoms at Dockside Bar and Grill. Photo credit: Stacy Dermont

I have a habit of taking the Dockside in Sag Harbor for granted. It’s always right there on Bay Street, overlooking the water, doing its farm-to-table thing. In fact, the Dockside uses a lot of produce from Sag Harbor’s own Dale & Bette’s Farm, one of my favorite organic farms. Oh well, I’ll drink to that, so I started things off with a “Beach Plum 75” of Greenhook Beach Plum Gin, fresh lemon and prosecco on the rocks. It was light and refreshing, with a pleasant, little bite in the finish.

My husband ordered a Serious Manhattan, which he found “dark, not too sweet, with umami character.” It was composed of Bulleit Rye Whiskey, Contratto Vermouth Rosso, Peychaud’s Bitters and a housemade dirty black cherry.

The “Flip Side” of the cocktail menu is a list of sophisticated non-alcohol drinks such as the Belvoir Elderflower Pressé, as well as Fizzy Lizzy sodas.

I was tempted by the special soup of free-range chicken with black eyed peas but instead got my meal rolling with Blistered Shishito Peppers with tamari. This is the perfect dish to share with the table. Who will “win the lottery” and get the rare super-hot pepper? Watch and see. All of ours were mild this night.

For my entrée I had the Stir Fried Summer Vegetable & Soy Beans over Soba Noodles with wasabi-tamari broth. So delish and guilt-free. This vegetarian delight is Wellness Challenge Approved, wonder-filled and filling with squash and carrot sticks, sweet corn kernels, mushrooms and purple cabbage. Oh, that broth!

The Dockside’s wine list is an impressive collection of “little gems” assembled by co-owner Elizabeth Barnes. But it doesn’t include many “locals”—Channing Daughters Rosato di Syrah and Wölffer Estate Vineyards rosé cider made the cut. Our server suggested pairing a cabernet sauvignon with Husband’s gorgeous Blackened Swordfish with Mango Papaya Salsa, grilled broccoli and roasted potatoes. It worked well. Husband commented, “This dish is all about sweet—the salsa—and salty—the fish.”

Of course we also ordered a plate of Dockside’s famous Crabmeat Stuffed Squash Blossom Tempura with Sambal Sauce. They stuff a lotta savory crab into those blossoms and the tiny baby squashes are attached! The tempura is so light; it’s an all-around tender seafood appetizer. A delicious case of arrested development.

I admired our friendly server, whom we came to refer to as “Cheers.” If anything he was a bit over-attentive. After my first piece of bread he whisked my Grassland butter wrapper away. I’m someone who sees my butter wrapper as half full, not half empty—especially when there’s more bread on the table!

Husband and I will have to go back some time to try the whole Striped Sea Bass. Friends say it’s fabu. And somehow we’re yet to try Dockside’s very simple lobster roll of lobster in butter on a split bun. We contented ourselves with sangria, followed by dessert. Dockside’s sangria features my favorite word for a fruit—pamplemousse. It has layers of flavor and a sweet finish—but I sense definite asskicking potential in this drink. Served on the rocks with a cucumber slice on the rim, it has it all going on.

I tried the Double Blueberry Tart. Its spices seemed to be in a locked battle to overpower the flavor of its fresh fruit. I didn’t finish it, fearing for those little berries. I “helped” Husband conquer a winning Seasonal Fruit Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream. Plums were “seasonal” this week, served piping hot under an oaty-nutty topping that was not overly sweet. With that cold ice cream on top it was rustic perfection!

Dockside Bar & Grill, 26 Bay Street, Sag Harbor, 631-725-7100,

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