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New owner of Bridgeman’s doing something right

Sesame-encrusted tuna Photo by Justin Saglio for The Boston Globe

Sesame-encrusted tuna Photo by Justin Saglio for The Boston Globe


Things have changed at Bridgeman’s. In January, after 13 years, the Hull restaurant was sold to area resident Harold Paine, who had become attracted to the hospitality industry while doing large-scale construction for restaurants. Although Paine’s a newcomer, the kitchen remains in the hands of veteran chef John Lambiase, who’s been at the helm since Paul Wahlberg left in 2010. Lambiase, a graduate of Johnson and Wales, has worked in a number of Boston hotel kitchens, including The Langham and The Millennium Bostonian. And, newcomer or not, owner Paine is doing something right because — best news of all — the staff is friendly! The hostesses and servers are welcoming and upbeat, which was not always the case previously. So, for the first time, this high-rent, South Shore restaurant feels very hospitable — which makes everything taste better.


Don’t let the idea that Bridgeman’s is in faraway Hull deter you. It’s right at the start of the Nantasket strip — less than 3 miles from the Hingham rotary. No long rides up the little peninsula. The décor is the same as it’s been: a clean and simple box of earth tones, windows, and white table clothes. The second floor has better views over the ocean, although the acoustics are tough. No matter, there’s a big outdoor patio with a fireplace, and that’s the place to be for the next many months.


Paine and Lambiase are working on new menus, but for now they remain the same with antipasti, brodo & insalada, secondi, and contorni sections for dinner. Lunch is a variation on the dinner theme, and less costly items, like pizza and a burger, make it competitive with plenty of takeout places if you have the time to dine.

I like being able to get half orders of pasta, and Bridgeman’s has several. A tasty shrimp scampi with linguini ($12/$25); a pappardelle Bolognese ($9/$19) — especially good because the pasta is al dente; and an eggplant stack ($9/$19) — plated with contrasting red sauce and a bright green, basil oil.

The side spinach with raisins ($5) is a perfect plate of bright green, fresh baby leaves that’s made in a caring kitchen. Another side — slivered coils of crispy onions ($5) — steals the show. I’m not crazy about the PEI mussels fra diavolo ($14) that tasted like low tide earlier this month. And house salads are slightly sad mesclun dressed lightly in a nicely balanced vinaigrette.

Contrasting textures make the pan-roasted cod ($24) satisfying. Slivered almonds and chopped tomatoes are scattered on the beautiful, thick filet. It’s served on what looks like a baseball diamond of green, basil mashed potatoes.

The sesame-encrusted tuna special ($32) one evening is beautiful, rare tuna with a toasted sesame flavor served with distinctly delicious jasmine rice — often a throwaway dish that isn’t thrown away here. The tuna is topped with micro greens and sided with a spectacular watermelon salsa. So bright and fresh and exciting! Another night, the blackened yellow fin tuna special ($30) is less impressive: The whole dish — the fish, the beurre blanc sauce, and the lobster risotto — all have the same nondescript flavor.

Boneless braised short rib ($25) is a mild-tasting dish served over a mild-tasting puree of root vegetables (a great reminder to make this type of creamy yet lower-calorie sauce at home) and sided with mashed potatoes.

Wood-grilled sirloin steak ($28) is what it should be: big and meaty with a smoky edge and a nice au jus horseradish sauce.

A single dessert takes the cake: a cinnamon vanilla raisin bread pudding ($8.75) served over a warm caramel sauce and topped with a scoop of vanilla gelato. Absolutely worth the sugar intake!

Bridgeman’s Restaurant, 145 Nantasket Ave., Hull, 781-925-6336,