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It is difficult to argue the sublime pleasure of drinks and dinner al fresco, and the beachfront location of Dryft – which features a patio that will be a total party in the summer, with stunning views – is already calling your name. Dryft offers the views with its location opposite Revere Beach at 500 Ocean Ave. A quick five minute walk from the Wonderland stop on the Blue Line, it’s also an easy spot to visit from downtown or Eastie.
A long bar anchors the front of the space, which quickly filled up on a recent buzzy Saturday night. The bar opens to a large dining area filled with comfy booths and a giant stylized fish mural that spoke to some of the highlights on the menu. Executive chef Adriano Silva, who began his career working at Barbara Lynch’s B&G Oysters, Sportello, and The Butcher Shop, before moving on to Green Street and Charlestown’s Pier 6, has designed a tight, shareable seafood-forward menu that had more hits than misses.
The ciopinno ($27) went all in with what seemed like the entire contents of the Atlantic in the simmering tomato broth. The slightly tart broth brought out the flavors of the clams, mussels, and cod, which were all cooked to tender perfection. The dish was the highlight of the meal and I couldn’t stop sopping up the broth with the giant chunks of grilled bread, complete with charred grill marks, that the stew was served with.
Along with the ciopinno, the Mediterrean dishes were the real standouts of the meal. Somehow seafood always tastes better when you can see the ocean. Grilled octopus ($18), sitting on a bed of skordalia (a garlicky Greek potato spread) and a Mediterranean plate opened the meal. The octopus was perfectly grilled, the two tentacles firm and smoky, and the tang of the vinaigrette brought the dish together. The mezze plate ($12), which arrived as we were finishing the octopus, was impressively (if awkwardly) plated with toasted pita chips, tzatziki style dip, a bulger wheat salad, olives, and crispy chickpeas.
Next up, the beef tenderloin skewers ($14) – Dryft also offers lamb ($15) and shrimp skewers ($11) – with a kicky chimichurri. These are exactly what you want to be eating – about four ounces of tender beef – and would make a great main dish with an app or side to round it out.
Skip the overcooked gnocchi and the burger, both disappoint.
The restaurant had a festive vibe, with couples having a date night, a family celebrating a birthday, and groups of friends out for the evening. Service was swift and friendly, without being overly so. The trend of the servers introducing themselves seems to have finally been relegated primarily to chain restaurants, thankfully.
It’s not easy to find a restaurant with a view that has good food and fair prices – and Dryft is good enough that you might find yourself heading out to Revere for dinner on a warm spring or summer night.
Dryft; 500 Ocean Ave., Revere; open everyday from 11 a.m.–1 a.m.; dryftrevere.com
Tanya Edwards is a dining and lifestyle writer based in Boston. She can be reached at [email protected].