Sponsor Content

Carver Road Hospitality’s New Restaurant and Speakeasy at Encore Boston Harbor Offers an Oceanic Escape

When Bostonians decide to venture to Everett for an evening at Encore Boston Harbor, we’re usually looking for a change of pace and scenery—an escape. Encore is an alternate reality where a night of fun and flavor can last into the morning, and we immerse ourselves in a world of chance and games.

And now, thanks to Carver Road Hospitality’s newest venture, Seamark Seafood & Cocktails, and its cleverly hidden speakeasy Old Wives’ Tale, escape-seekers can enjoy a transportive journey with incredible dining.

With the flawless flavors of Seamark’s expertly crafted menu by James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schlow and a trailblazing, around-the-world cocktail program at Old Wives’ Tale curated by world-renowned mixologist Francesco Lafranconi, guests are in for an epic journey—one they’ll want to, and can, embark on again and again.

The Seamark Flavor

Throughout his 30 years in the hospitality industry, Carver Road CEO (and Boston native) Sean Christie has spent time following the meaning of American cuisine as it evolves, and he says Seamark encapsulates it. “With America being such a melting pot, what it means to have American food has changed significantly,” he says. “This is seafood, but everything is done with a twist and with culinary intent.”

Seamark is an American seafood restaurant by design, but it achieves crowd-pleasing variety and global influence without having what he calls “an identity crisis.” Although you’ll see items both from the land and sea and you’ll taste ingredients from both near and far, Seamark still manages to offer a cohesive-yet-distinct dining experience.

To start, you’ll likely feel compelled by the seafood focus, opting for the clam chowder or tuna tartare, for example. Either way, the experience is elevated: It’s not clam chowder, it’s “Double Clam Chowder”—one with more clams, and one Schlow reportedly toiled over for weeks to reach its impeccable flavor and texture (authentic, familiar, but somehow better).

And the tuna tartare has recognizable Japanese influence with its tangy yuzu dressing, and a hint of luxury thanks to a generous topping of caviar.

Where Christie identifies the true achievement of elevated American cuisine, however, is in the variety of entree choices. You’ll see classic upscale seafood mains like seared scallops, fish and chips, and salmon, but you’ll also be tempted by choices you might associate with Italian or tavern fare.

“Interestingly, my favorite thing thus far has actually been the hamburger, The Shlowburger,” Christie says. “It’s got cheddar, crispy onions, horseradish, black pepper.” He’s admittedly “not a big burger guy,” but he says Chef Shlow knows how to wow guests with a burger anywhere (The Schlowburger is how).

He also points out the lobster fra diavolo as one of his favorites. “Michael’s background is a lot of Italian cooking,” he says. “The combination of adding the seafood to the pasta was one of the big hits for me as well.”

When it comes to brunch, Seamark is serving all that, and a “Bag-a-Donuts”—if your journey takes you to Encore on a Sunday afternoon, Christie recommends stopping in. “Bag-a-Donuts” is just like it sounds, but better: “Imagine munchkins on steroids with powdered sugar, caramel dipping sauce, and a fantastic presentation,” Christie says. “Michael really nailed that one.”

And to accompany your meal, Seamark’s cocktail program and wine list offer an impressive array of complementary flavors to please your palate. So, whether you’re looking for red wine and a center-cut filet mignon or a decadent piece of fish and a signature martini, it’s your journey to take.

World Behind a Wall

Situated in a secret room in the back half of the restaurant is Old Wives’ Tale, a true speakeasy where Christie says, “time stands still.” It’s first-come-first-served, and seats under 30 guests for 90 minutes each. And while you’ll likely have to wait for your turn to enter, it’s worth it.

An evening at Old Wives’ Tale is a ticket to, well, wherever you want to go: the cocktail program is named and inspired by ports of call from across the world. Eau de Rochelle from France, Pisco Paraíso from Peru, The Squall of Nassau from The Bahamas, and eve more faraway destinations to choose from.

Your chosen cocktail’s ingredients, from the spirit to the garnish, were curated by Francesco Lafranconi with the goal of transporting you to the place the cocktail represents. The libations alone will do the trick, but the ambience helps the speakeasy achieve that goal—dark wood surroundings and nautical accents are subtly reminiscent of an ancient caravel without being overly costumed.

Christie says Old Wives’ Tale fits in seamlessly with the Seamark experience—go before your reservation for pre-dinner drinks or stay after your meal to close out the night on a more whimsical, mysterious note. “Old Wives’ Tale in combination with [Seamark’s] big bar is a really beautiful environment post-10:30 p.m.,” he says. “Those two things play really nicely together.”

Whether your night begins at Seamark or Old Wives’ Tale, you’ll embark on a journey of flawless flavor, exceptional service, and immersion into a sensual culinary world you won’t be able to stay away from—it’s a good thing, then, that you’re just a bite-sized voyage away.