Restaurant review: Pete’s Seafood Restaurant in Greenfield

Oct 13 2016

The original fish market storefront serves as the space in which patrons order their meals; a small bar occupies a back corner.

When Peter and Sandy Ruggeri opened Pete’s Fish Market back in 1985, they probably had little idea that what they’d conceived of as a retail venture would eventually morph into one of Greenfield’s most popular casual dining spots.

Added onto over the years, Pete’s School Street location sprawls across two adjacent buildings. The original fish market storefront serves as the space in which patrons order their meals; a small bar occupies a back corner.

A much larger, two-level dining area is located next door. Seating is utilitarian (a picnic table or two figures into the mix), and the walls are decorated with an assortment of nautically themed art.

A sunny, sheltered courtyard is available for those Indian Summer afternoons when al fresco dining is still an appealing alternative.

Not surprisingly the menu at Pete’s is focused on seafood; the kitchen’s repertoire is resolutely “clam-shack classic.”

Fried favorites such as haddock, clam strips, scallops, oysters, and shrimp can be enjoyed as “rolls,” “boats” (with fries), or as “dinners” (fries and slaw). Prices range from $4.99 for a Clam Roll to $17.50 for a Scallop Dinner; some items, like lobster, are priced on a “market” basis.

The restaurant offers a Lobster Roll ($17.99) as well as a Grilled Swordfish Sandwich ($12.99), and their Salmon Burger ($7.49) comes in teriyaki or tomato-basil variations.

Those not in the mood to enjoy fish are accommodated with grilled chicken sandwiches like a Buffalo style with Fries ($8.49). Pete’s also prepared a selection of “Wild” burgers that also go for $8.49.

We began our Pete’s Dinner with a cup of Clam Chowder ($2.99). A credible enough effort, we decided, with a creamy texture and subtle onion presence. Plenty of diced potatoes and minced clams gave the soup body, but we would have enjoyed a bit more briny brightness in the flavor department.

A Crab Cake ($2.50) was equally satisfying. Golden crusted and generously sized, the cake had a reasonable proportion of crabmeat to breadcrumb binder. Its spice profile landed somewhere near the mild end of that particular spectrum.

A Fried Haddock Boat ($8.49) is the fish-and-chips option at Pete’s. The single filet portion was large enough to satisfy, and its golden brown, tender-crisp crust made a pleasant contrast to the moist haddock within.

French fries at Pete’s are of the old-fashioned, no-coating variety and thus deliver unsullied fried-potato satisfaction.

As the demand for clams has put pressure on a limited supply, whole-belly clams have become quite the delicacy, so most places now only offer them as a “market priced” option. That’s the case at Pete’s; our Whole-belly Clam Dinner was pegged at $20.99 the evening we stopped by.

The clams were worth the tariff, we decided. The portion was more than adequate, and the whole bivalves were breaded just enough to give them a bit of contrasting crunch. Like all the fried items at Pete’s, they’d been prepared using fresh fryer shortening, an operating practice that ensure the food doesn’t pick up “off” flavors from overused oil.

Dinners at Pete’s include, along with fries, a side of fresh coleslaw.

Our third entree, a Scallop Roll ($6.25), featured a half dozen deep-fried scallops spilling out of a butter-grilled hot dog; fries were included in the price. “Simple but satisfying” best summed up our assessment.

Pete’s is licensed for the sale of beer and wine and maintains a selection of mass-market and craft brews. The house also stocks individual-serving bottles of generic varietals along with a selection of soft drinks and bottled juices.

Dessert options at the restaurant are limited to packaged Cookies ($1.50) and Brownies ($2.50).

In addition to deep-fried seafood, Pete’s prepares a number of pasta-based alternatives. The selection varies from day to day but is likely to include choices such as Lobster Mac & Cheese ($12.99)

The restaurant maintains a weekly calendar of specials, which includes a Tuesday all-you-care-to-eat Clam Strips and Fries ($8.49), a $7.99 Shrimp Dinner on Wednesdays, and a Friday Haddock Boat ($7.25).

Name: Pete’s Seafood Restaurant
Address: 54 School Street, Greenfield
Telephone: (413) 772-2153
Website: petesseafood.com
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Credit cards: MasterCard, Visa
Handicapped access: Accessible; rest rooms up one flight
Reservations: Not taken

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