Having grown up in Mattapoisett, I admit that I never think of it as a Dock and Dine venue, but it’s actually quite good, especially if you’re looking to get off the typical Buzzards Bay beaten path.
Visiting by boat is easy, just call the Mattapoisett Launch (508-758-4791 Ch. 68) and they’ll put you on a mooring and take you to their boatyard or either of the Town’s two piers for $5.00. There is also a float to the far left of the Town Pier that’s free, but that pretty much means it’s always full! Technically, it’s limited to 1 hour tie-ups, but the Harbormaster will let you stay longer for $20.
While one could walk to Turks from Mattapoisett Boat Yard, I’d recommend Uber or a Cab. I know that’s a little inconvenient for a Dock and Dine, but trust me, this place is worth the 1.2 mile trip.
Something for Everyone
When I was kid, Turk had a modest little seafood restaurant that still exists on the left side of the building. Fried Seafood joints are ubiquitous along Route 6 and the original Turks didn’t particularly stand out from the crowd.
Somewhere along the way, they opened what I consider the best fresh seafood market in the area.
How fresh is the fish?
Turk’s son Richie buys it right off the boat once or twice a day. When he’s not in his truck at the New Bedford fish docks, he’s in the back of the market cutting fish all day long.
If you don’t see the size you want, just ask and they’ll cut it for you. When they’re not busy, they’ll also clean and devein the fresh shrimp.
Since we live about 3 miles from Turk’s, we buy our whole lobster from them. They’ll steam them for you and have them ready for pick-up at the time you want. They pack them in those old fashioned thick paper bags and they’re so hot that I have to let them cool down a bit at home before serving!
About 10 years ago, they brought in a master Sushi Chef and today they are undoubtedly the most popular restaurant in the area.
My favorite spot is at the horseshoe bar at the front right side of the building. In fact, five years ago, they toyed with live music and I performed there several times with different local artists!
Although it may be tough to snag a seat at the bar, there are plenty of seats in the Sushi Restaurant or the old Seafood Restaurant. All seats in all dining rooms can order from any of the menus.
And for the true Sushi lover, there are a half a dozen seats in the back at the Sushi Bar. These seats are pretty tight, but every time I’ve sat there, I’ve been treated to a complementary “Sushi Salad” by the chef!
Needless to say, my favorite seat at Turks is at the apex of the horseshoe bar. And my favorite server is Tara the bartender!
One of the things that makes a great seaside eatery feel like “a happening place” is the attitude of the people who work their.
When Tara serves you, you lose site of the fact that you’re at a restaurant; it really feels like you’re somebody’s house for a party.
Now to the food!
The only seafood I ever order at Turks are the softshell steamers which are pretty much perfect. Being a high volume seafood market makes everything “straight off the boat” fresh. But freshness is only half of what makes steamers great.
A perfect steamer must also be cooked just the right amount of time. Cook them too long and they’re rubbery or the bellies blow up; too short and you can’t get the skin off. Being a high volume restaurant means Turks always gets the timing right.
I’m a big fan of Small Plate restaurants and although Turk’s doesn’t promote themselves as one, it’s really a great spot for Tapas style dining.
Mrs. Horne decided we’d go to Turks for Mother’s Day which is one of the reasons I love her so much!
We started with an incredible Tapas that I’ve never had anywhere else – Grilled Pork Belly on Homemade Sticky Buns ($7.99)
On the side was a bowl of Asian wonderfulness consisting of a combination of assorted greens and pickled red onions.
This mouthwatering little sandwich is all topped off with Hoisin Sauce.
Next up was the Edamame Potstickers ($6.99). Again, a great Tapas that you really don’t find elsewhere.
Perfectly cooked crispyness and a side of classic potsticker soy dipping sauce.
While I absolutely love Turk’s Tapas, their real claim to fame is their Sushi. We also order from the Special Rolls side of the menu.
These rolls are all works of art and quite large. Unless you just want to eat Sushi or are looking to fill your doggie bag with leftovers, one of these rolls is big enough to share.
We like to eat slowly and decide what to order next after we eat each course. As we were munching down our potstickers, Tara delivered an incredible looking roll to the couple sitting next to us.
Mrs. Horne and I looked at it, looked at each other, and simultaneously asked “what roll is that?”
Turned out is was The Rocket Roll ($14.99)…
The Rocket Roll is filled with Lobster, Mango, Cucumber, Scallions, and Tempura Crunch. It is topped off with EXTRA Spicy Sauce.
Finally, we needed our veggies, but we weren’t ready to leave Flavortown just yet, so we added the Vegetable Tempura ($5.99) as a side dish for our Rocket Roll.
We have also had the Shrimp Tempura, which is equally tasty and comes with quite a few shrimp.
This incredible Mother’s Day feast totaled $76.70 plus tip – such a bargain.
One last tip. As you might expect, a restaurant this good is quite popular. I seldom see people waiting for a table, but if you want the prime seats at the horseshoe bar, you need to get there before 4:00 PM. The only exception seems to be Sunday afternoon, when you can pretty much always find a seat before 5:30 PM.