Baby-friendly Boston: Turner Fisheries Restaurant & Bar

Now that we’re parents of a very active and vocal toddler, we find that we rarely go out to dinner anymore and we very rarely head into Boston. But a few weekends ago, we decided to venture out of the ‘burbs on a Saturday night for a family dinner in the Back Bay. After learning about their Kids Eat Free program, we ended up at Turner Fisheries Restaurant & Bar at the Westin Copley Place. Most locals would probably not consider Turners to be family-friendly, but we were pleasantly surprised by our experience there.

Immediately upon entering the restaurant, we were greeted by a friendly bartender and were seated promptly by the hostess. We were particularly impressed with the courtesy and attentiveness of the restaurant manager, who brought over to our table a box of colored pencils and a little fish-themed toy for baby C and even showed him how to wear it on his finger. Later, after noticing that C had tired of those toys, she returned with a shiny toy truck, much to his delight!

Our waiter was a mild-mannered gentleman who occasionally entertained C with his smiles and waves from afar. Without us asking, he knew to move tall glasses, hot dishes, and flatware away from the baby’s reach. Since we didn’t have to bother with rearranging things on the table as we got settled in, we were able to focus on keeping the baby happy and maybe even relax a little ourselves (a rarity when dining out with a wee one).

As mentioned previously, kids (up to 12 years of age) eat free between 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Monday – Saturday, with the purchase of an adult entrée. We ordered C the Baked Haddock with rice and green beans.  It was C’s first time having fish EVER and he’s become a rather finicky eater lately so we weren’t too optimistic that he’d actually eat it. But we ordered it anyway, and were frankly shocked when he DEVOURED it. Both Jack and I tried it and agreed that the haddock was subtly flavored, moist, and delicious. We also appreciated that without even requesting it, the baby’s food arrived very soon after we ordered (thank goodness because he was hungry and, like most toddlers, is still working on his patience!) and well before our own entrees arrived.

The adult food was also quite exceptional. In a nutshell: Fresh seafood, well-sized portions, and pleasing presentation.

One of the unexpected highlights of the evening was the delightful bread basket assortment which included a delicious walnut raisin bread. We tend to order calamari as an appetizer everywhere we go, and we were very pleased with their unique version of fried calamari. Quite different from the standard calamari served with marinara on the side, Turner’s Crispy Calamari, topped with peppadew peppers, capers, and roasted garlic aioli, was nicely flavored and not too oily or dry (as is often a problem with calamari).

Although our entrees were a bit saltier than we would have liked, both were excellent. I ordered the Seafood Risotta which included Maine lobster, bay scallops, Caribbean shrimp, littleneck clams, and mussels, and the hubby ordered the Orange Crusted Tuna with edamame succotash and ponzu glaze.

A few words about logistics. Street parking in the area can be hard to find. If you plan to visit, I’d recommend valet parking at the Westin Hotel. The restaurant will validate parking and it ends up only being $15. Also, just a heads up to those of you who bring your enormous strollers everywhere– we had to walk down two flights of stairs to get from the hotel lobby to the restaurant. Perhaps there is another entrance, but I thought that was worth mentioning to you mamas out there.

On our ride home, we realized that we both forgot to try their award-winning, gluten-free clam chowder! Guess this just means we’ll have to return to Turner Fisheries again soon!

 

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post; however, we did receive complimentary meals from Turner Fisheries/451 Marketing for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions in this post are my own and I only feature products and services on Talking Thirty about which I am genuinely enthused.


10 comments

  1. kathy says:

    i found going out to dinner with dd when she was younger (around 2) was a bit harder because it was harder to keep her entertained. now that she’s 4 and loves coloring/drawing/anything crafty, we’ll just bring her crayons and coloring book and she goes to town. it gets easier when they get older :)

    • TalkingThirty says:

      thanks so much for mentioning that, kathy. it helps to know that it will get easier. although i love my little toddler, part of me is also counting down the days until he will be happy to stay seated for an extended period of time with a coloring book! :)

  2. Haley says:

    Glad you had a great time, Judy! Next time you’re in, you can enter through a ground-level entrance on the corner of Stuart and Dartmouth Streets – easy for strollers!

  3. Audrey says:

    Looks delicious!

  4. What an awesome family night at the restaurant that isn’t considered family-friendly. I mean, what restaurant can really say that? Just ’cause you have a kids menu certainly doesn’t mean that! I love that you got FAST and COURTEOUS service! And omg got a fish AND truck. J would be in heavens!!!!! UGH can’t tell you how many times waitstaff put hot/sharp things in front our son. Um, hello, common sense? But I shouldn’t talk since I’ve been a waitress in my college years and might not have been attentive to that. And icing on top is that he ATE and “devoured” it! Our kids surprise us huh! I LOVE that it’s not “kids” food, meaning it’s fries and chicken fingers. I hate kids’ menus. I LOVE that the fish was mild because J hates seasoning. AND served with fresh vegs! WOW! A+++++. That calamari. When can I visit Boston and go to this restaurant with you!!!!!!!! And that tuna. You are killing me. Great review as you included “logistics” tips too! We hardly take our stroller anywhere anymore. I can’t wait til an awesome restaurant offers me a free meal to write a review ;) .

    • TalkingThirty says:

      thanks for checking out the review, lisa! i also dislike how so many restaurants only offer burgers, fries and chicken fingers on their kids menus. it stresses me out when there are such limited options because i try to keep C’s meals as balanced and healthy as possible each and every day. it’s funny because when we’re trying to figure out where to eat out, i actually find myself looking more at the kids options than the adult options these days.

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