There is an incredible new Dock and Dine venue on Buzzards Bay and it’s located in New Bedford.

They hoped to open before Memorial Day, but due to the Summer Crunch of 2021, they didn’t officially open until late June.

When completed, it will have both an outdoor patio with assorted beverage booths, a live music stage, food trucks, and games as well as an upscale dining room.

If you want adult beverages, you’ll have to check in at the ID booth near the parking lot, show your license, and get a bracelet…

It’s located on the site of the old Davy Jones Locker and I was told the also plan to have twenty slips for Dock and Dine soon.

A Spectacular Venue

The site is nothing short of spectacular with views of Buzzards Bay to the right…

And New Bedford harbor to the left…

As of this week, the restaurant is fully operational…

And Neal McCarthy’s band was performing on the outdoor stage staring at 5:00…

Dining at Cisco + Kitchen

To begin with, there are no reservations for dinner – you stand in line and wait for a table to open up. I’m hoping they get pagers or a more civilized method for seating guests.

We had our grandkids with us, so we weren’t quite your typical diners. Knowing we’d have limited patience for waiting in line, we went on a foggy Wednesday at 5:00. Our party of six was seated immediately, but by 5:30, there was only one empty table left and people were lining up outside…

The Food

Cisco + Kitchen is a collaboration between the Cisco Brewery and local restauranteur Steve Silverstein (founder of Not Your Average Joe’s and owner of The Black Whale). I’m a big fan of Steve’s restaurants so my expectations were high.

The menu is large and contains pretty much anything someone out for a fun, tasty, and special meal might want…

We started with Boom Boom Shrimp as a shared appetizer…

Cisco + Kitchen Boom Boom Shrimp

These were excellent – hot and crispy. I think they’re worth consideration as an entree with a side of fries.

Mrs. Horne ordered three Jumbo Shrimp…

Cisco + Kitchen Jumbo Shrimp ($3.50 each)

Brian ordered the Brisket Wedge…

The menu gives BBQ fans a lot of options. You can order one, two, or three meats with sides. The meats offered are Burnt Ends, Brisket, Pulled Pork, or Pulled Chicken.

And I ordered two Burnt Ends and fries…

These were excellent with a great combination of crispy fat and spicy sauce. They call the fries BBQ Fries because they’re dusted with a mild St. Louis rub. I liked them, but would prefer the option of plain fries or dirty fries.

The Sushi Order Goes Off The Rails

Mrs. Horne, Natalie, and our grandkids all ordered Sushi and that’s when dinner went downhill.

This is a big restaurant and we understand that the first few months after opening food flowing out of the kitchen is sketchy – there are just too many moving parts that need to come together to get the orders in and get the food out hot and on time.

Fortunately, we had excellent service from Madison…

But she doesn’t make the sushi and apparently there was a major backup at the Sushi Bar.

How bad was it?

Our leftovers were bagged up and sitting on the floor for twenty minutes when the sushi arrived…

It took nearly 50 minutes for the sushi to arrive and it came out 40 minutes after the rest of our food. Madison did a great job calming everyone down, apologizing, and keeping us informed of the progress, but clearly this was an epic dinner failure.

The Manager Pours Gas on the Fire

At 6:15, the sushi finally arrived. The kids were at wits end and the ladies were getting Hangry!

A few seconds later a guy in a baseball cap shows up with what at first felt like an apology. A few sentences into his spiel, it was clear that he was very defensive and attempting to justify the forty minute delay “because they serve the best sushi around.”

Mrs. Horne pointed out that Turk’s, The Black Whale, and Fisherman’s View all serve great sushi and manage to get to the table at the same time as the rest of the order.

The manager then dug his heels in and stated “their Sushi was better and thus took longer to prepare.”

The sushi was good, but not better than the sushi served at these other great sushi bars.

So a night when nearly everything went perfect was marred by a backup in the kitchen. I think if the manager had just let Madison do her job, we would have left pretty happy (she did adjust the bill).

But instead we left angry about the rude manager and his open contempt for us the customer.

This is the challenge when you try to open an upscale restaurant during the Labor Crunch of 2021. You have to settle for marginal workers like that manager. I’m sure he’ll be gone soon and replaced by someone who understands the restaurant business.

That said, we will go back, but before we order sushi, we’ll find Madison and ask her what the lead time is…