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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hungry Haven, Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Restaurant Review by Linda Felaco
UPDATE: December 31. I finally got to try the sea scallops, and I have a new favorite dish: Pan-seared sea scallops alla vodka. Don't try saying it, just point to it on the menu. Nine or 10 nice, meaty sea scallops on a bed of fettucine in a "pink" sauce of tomato and cream with caramelized onions. It was too much to finish, so I will enjoy the remainder tomorrow for lunch. Yum.

My husband and I had some errands in the vicinity of Route 1 and Route 2 one day shortly after we moved to Charlestown. We were getting hungry for lunch, and seeing as how we’d barely gotten our kitchenware unpacked, we looked for a place to eat and discovered the Hungry Haven.

Right away, the staff made us feel at home. While we were eating—my husband was very impressed with the Lobster Benedict—the chef showed us the prime rib they were going to be serving that evening and said we should come back for dinner. We took one look at it and said, “We’ll be back.” And we did go back, again and again and again.
Soon we were on a first-name basis with the entire staff. We quickly learned that you have to get there early for the king cut prime rib, a generous portion that you won’t be able to finish in one sitting but will be just as good the next day for lunch, I promise. (Though if you prefer to eat later in the evening, you can also call ahead and they’ll reserve one for you.)
Soon friends from out of town were asking us to take them to “that place you’re always posting about on your Facebook page” when they visited. To which we’d say, “Ok, but you’ve got to get here early or we’re leaving without you.” As a matter of fact, we have yet to try the sea scallops because anytime they’ve been on the menu, they were already sold out by the time we got there.
We always start our meal with lobster bisque, if they have it. The lobster bisque is the best I’ve had, bar none, thick and creamy and with nice chunks of lobster meat that you can bite into. The New England clam chowder is also very rich and creamy and loaded with clams.
We’re also fond of the fried calamari, but hot peppers don’t agree with us. No problem; at Hungry Haven, they’re always very cheerful and accommodating of special requests. Another favorite when it’s on the menu is the Mariner’s Lasagna, a white lasagna that is basically Seafood Newburg slathered between layers of lasagna noodles. Mmm, I’m getting hungry just writing about it. Top marks also go to the lobster casserole, which is the meat of an entire lobster with seasoned bread crumbs and shaved Parmigiana. Though it is heartbreaking having to choose between the prime rib or one of the seafood dishes. Did I mention how accommodating they are? Side order of prime rib with any other entree, no problem!
Hungry Haven is open every day for breakfast and lunch, and on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays for dinner as well. They offer early-bird dinner specials, and on Saturday nights there are dinner-for-two specials for $30.95, which includes a choice of appetizer and two entrees. Hungry Haven doesn’t have a liquor license, but you can bring your own, which we think creates a more convivial atmosphere that inspires folks to share a glass with fellow diners. See you at the Haven!