Last night we tried a new local restaurant called The Black Whale in the port of New Bedford…

Yep, New Bedford is the #1 fishing port in America and the source of all those tasty huge scallops you find in great restaurants around the world.

Photo courtesy of The Black Whale

Although we’re heading over to Oak Bluffs for our final overnight cruise of the season today, we drove to the Black Whale. Actually, my friend Charlie Howard and his wife Jane drove us…

Charlie and Jane

If you follow my other blog (, you may recall that Charlie was part of the crew that caught the largest shark in Massachusetts history, but failed to win the Oak Bluffs Shark Tournament because they reached port 5 minutes late.

New Bedford by Boat

Although we’d never docked in New Bedford, we have toured it many times. It’s a great 15 minute excursion for anyone who’s into fishing or watching fishing reality TV shows like Deadliest Catch…

The Port of New Bedford

It’s really not like anywhere else on the South Coast – it’s a very serious seaport. But there are a number of restaurants, bars, and dives featuring live music all over the city.

If you do want to stay there in your boat, Pope Island Marina offers transient slips via Dockwa. Be advised that New Bedford is a large commercial city and while there are a few restaurants on Pope Island, The Black Whale and other downtown destinations will require Uber or a cab ride.

The Black Whale

The Black Whale sits on The water near the Ferry Station just off of Route 18.

It’s in the heart of the working seaport, but the restaurant has a warm and inviting feel…

There is a large outdoor dining area that was empty on this cold October night. Charlie told me it’s packed every night during the summer.

Right off the entrance is a giant Adirondack Chair and apparently it’s a very popular spot to sit and take a photo – so I did…

Mrs. Horne and Jane

The interior is bright and lively, but not too loud for conversation…

Even though we had reservations, we waited about 15 minutes to be seated. While we were waiting, my friend Roy Enoksen walked in.

Roy is the president of Eastern Fisheries, which operates the largest scallop fleet in the world.

Of course, knowing this I just had to ask Roy if he was having scallops for dinner and he said “Maybe, but the Roasted Cod is very good too…”

The Food

I’d call the menu at The Black Whale a Goldilocks Menu – not too big, not to small, just right!

They offer a dozen different appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and plenty of seafood and land entrees.

We started with two appetizers that turned out to be the stars of the night. The first was the Boom Boom Shrimp (crispy baby shrimp with sweet and hot siracha sauce $13)…

This is one of the best shrimp dishes I’ve ever had! As they said, the shrimp were crispy, but they were not fried in a batter. The sauce was spicy, but not overwhelming and as you can see, it was a magnificent presentation.

By the way, I wouldn’t call them baby shrimp. I’d guess they were U-21’s…

We also order the Chef Joe’s Lobster Flatbread (Lobster lime-chipotle crema, corn and arugula $18).

Although not as unique as the Boom Boom, it was a perfectly executed flatbread with plenty of savory cheese melted on a thin crispy crust.

Mrs. Horne ordered her usual Caesar Salad (pecorino romano and house croutons $12)…

Nice croutons and a little out-of-the-ordinary with pecorino romano cheese rather than Parmesan.

We also shared the Fried Scallop plate (New Bedford scallops lightly breaded and fried to a golden crisp $26) in honor of Roy and his fleet…

This was a large dinner and prepared as one might expect.

Charlie ordered the Old School Roasted Cod (roasted cod line caught, with a Ritz cracker crust, sautéed spinach, fingerling potatoes $22), Roy’s other suggestion…

This was definitely the sleeper on the menu. I finally figured out to properly roast cod at home, so I passed on this, but Charlie shared a few bites. Our local cod is so delicate and moist, it’s hard to describe. Somewhat like a flaky sea bass. And the large helping of fingerlings were perfectly pan fried to a golden brown.

Jane went for the New Bedford Bouillabaisse (shrimp, swordfish, littlenecks, mussels and linguica in a light tomato-fennel broth with saffron rouille $26)….

This was also a showcase of our local seafood, and the broth was really outstanding.

After a little arm twisting (not), Charlie ordered a Creme Brulee with four spoons…

It was very nice – served in a deeper dish and loaded with a fresh berry garnish.

I think it’s safe to say that The Back Whale is one of the best restaurants in the area!