I went to college in New Hampshire and graduate school near Boston and can personally attest to the sublime pleasure that can be derived from a seafood feast sourced from New England’s spectacular and bountiful coastal waters. So when I hosted a Company dinner for 10 at my home in Atherton, California, I turned to Turner’s Seafood, purveyor of an abounding selection of the freshest and most authentic seafood dishes in all of New England.
Turner’s Seafood Grill, located in Melrose, Massachusetts (about 10 miles north of Boston), is owned and run by four brothers who are the descendants of Newfoundlander James Turner, who immigrated to into Boston Harbor in the early 1950s.
I was initially turned on to Turner’s when partaking in a memorable summer clambake that featured Maine lobster and clams shipped in by Turner’s. The feast was held at the northern California home of good friends, one of whom roomed at Harvard with Jim, one of the four Turner brothers. The clambake was so awesome that when we founded FoodyDirect, one of the very first partners we sought was Turner’s Seafood.
The FedEx overnight package containing our banquet fare was shipped by Turner’s on Tuesday and arrived Wednesday afternoon. All the items arrived fresh and beautifully packaged in sturdy well-marked plastic containers. The preparation instructions were clear. Our menu included a selection of hors d’oeuvres, lobster bisque, and, as the featured entrees, crab cakes and baked stuff shrimp.
Our three appetizers which we served in sequential 15-minute intervals, each required about 15 minutes of re-heating and all emerged from the oven sizzling and perfectly browned. The bacon wrapped scallops were flavorful and juicy and served with a very tasty honey-soy dipping sauce. The stuffed clams were simply incredible. Turner’s homemade recipe includes chopped local clams and scallops and an amazing dressing which combines bread crumbs, bacon, lobster cream, and fresh herbs. Everyone’s favorite hour d’oeuvre was the Oysters “Rockafella,” Turner’s regional rendition of the New Orleans classic, which was garnished with spinach, bacon, gruyere cheese and breadcrumbs and served in freshly shucked half shells.
Feeling well nourished, but craving more of the same, we took our seats in the dining room. What followed was our pleasure-filled indulgence in the richest, creamiest, meatiest, and most perfectly flavored lobster bisque any of us had ever tasted. Each quart of bisque arrives accompanied by ½ pound of succulent lobster meat and, trust me, each bowl could serve as a meal in itself.
By now, feeling somewhat full but not quite overstuffed, we moved gamely onward to our entrée and final course. Turner’s crab cakes are made with local Jonah crab claw meat mixed with breadcrumbs, peppers, and scallions, and flavored with tarragon. The included remoulade sauce is zesty. The baked stuffed shrimp combines large, juicy, and succulent shrimp with an outstanding homemade vegetable dressing and is served with a light and tasty basil cream sauce. Although by now we were in danger of developing food comas, the gluttony was well worth it!
I have lived in and traversed New England and the east coast of the USA for many years and have never found a dining experience that so perfectly embodies the iconic institution of the authentic New England seafood house. Turner’s family motto is spot on: “If the food was any fresher it would still be swimming.”
Co-Founder & CEO