[Portsmouth, NH] Martingale Wharf

For once, we picked somewhere for dinner based on location and ambiance, rather than likely food quality. It’s a bar & restaurant, right on the waterfront – big, buzzy and very casual.

And the food was quite decent. We just had main courses. For one of us, “clams alla vongole”. Yes, I know that’s clams in both English and Italian but, hey, I didn’t write the menu. What came was angel hair pasta in a clingy lemony sauce, topped with a scattering of fried clam strips. Not exactly your classic Italian preparation but pleasant enough.

For the other, a small fillet steak came cooked accurately as requested, with skin-on fries. A side order of mixed salad was pretty much as you’d expect, although the dressing had an incongruous sweetness.

From a previous trip to the city, I know there’s better food to be had, but I doubt there’s a better location – particularly if it was a warm summer evening when eating on their deck would be excellent.


This is one of the few places you’ve written up that I’ve actually been to. We definitely chose it for location as well, but during the fall and sitting out on the deck in the evening, tucked under blankets and heat lamps was just as pleasant. And the food? I don’t recall, but I think it was adequate.

As for your linguine and clams dish (one of my favorites), I would’ve been disappointed to see fried clam strips instead of clams in the shell. That’s an unusual preparation, especially 'round these parts.

MW is definately a location spot on a warm summer night! Their bar area is stunning and the views of the river can’t be beat. I would have sent back the clam strips, because for me it’s not what I’d want to eat, at all.
We like Poco’s food better, albeit less atmosphere and the River House has excellent chowder.
Thanks for the review.