Off The Hook
There’s a new spot for seafood south of Boston, and it’s not cliché to say this place is Off The Hook. Located right by the water in the Houghs Neck section of Quincy, Off The Hook Bar and Grill serves super fresh seafood and comfort food classics, with a family friendly vibe. The place has quickly become a neighborhood favorite, in part because owners John and Brooke Galligan are from the neighborhood themselves.
John Galligan – Owner, Off The Hook: “My wife and I both grew up here in the Houghs Neck area.”
Brooke Galligan – Owner, Off The Hook: “I grew up right here, literally a few streets over. Born and raised right here.”
John Galligan – Owner, Off The Hook: “Now we also live only a few blocks from the restaurant. So we’re raising our family here.”
Brooke Galligan – Owner, Off The Hook: “So it’s very important to me to be back here because it’s a gathering place for everybody to be. It’s fun. So when you come home this is home, you meet your friends, you meet your family and you’re home.”
The atmosphere here is homey too, with a dining room that’s awash in nautical décor, paying homage to the area’s connection to the sea.
John Galligan – Owner, Off The Hook: “Throughout the restaurant, we used a lot of old pictures and decor, a lot of it being original decor from the area, whether it was signage from an old boat wharf, pictures from all the old boating wharfs. We were able to bring in a local artist that came in and did a lot of graffiti work for us around the restaurant, to give it that kind of rustic nautical feel, with some modern finishes around it as well.”
And there are personal touches on the walls as well, like the big photo of Brooke’s grandfather the day he reeled in a big catch.
Brooke Galligan – Owner, Off The Hook: “That’s my grandfather. He’s holding a striped bass and I was with him that day. We were all in the boat, and he told me it was a rainbow trout. I remember he was running around and he was like, ‘get out of the way’. And when he pulled that thing on board, it was the biggest fish any of us had ever seen. I’ll never forget that day.”
The Off The Hook menu has plenty of seafood of course, with appetizers like Spicy Ahi Tuna drizzled with sriracha, and served over jasmine rice, and crispy golden fried Lobster Rangoon, with sweet chili sauce for dipping. But there’s also lots of non-seafood fare, like the deliciously inventive Bloomin’ Caprese Bruschetta.
John Galligan – Owner, Off The Hook: “We basically take a bread bowl, we cross cut it, so it’s almost like a pull apart style of bread. We top that with a pesto blend that we make, some mozzarella cheese, a balsamic fig, and also sliced baby tomatoes. We put that all on top and we serve that, I mean the smell of it alone it gets people looking at it. It gets people ordering it. It’s a great sharable app with a ton of flavor in.”
Another app that should be shared are the absolutely addictive Dock Fries, topped with four different cheeses, crispy bacon, and a fried egg.
Brooke Galligan – Owner, Off The Hook: “They come out in a big tray. Cheese, scallions, the chipotle sauce, a fried egg on top. They’re shareable. I don’t really like to share them, but they are meant to share, and they’re delicious.”
When it comes to entrees, New England seafood classics abound, and one thing they all have in common is that everything is ultra-fresh.
John Galligan – Owner, Off The Hook: “We take pride in definitely sourcing all of our food, but when it comes to our seafood that we’re bringing it in fresh, that we’re bringing it in locally, that we’re bringing it in a few times a week if we have to. That way they know they’re always getting the best quality.”
So the golden fried Fish and Chips practically jumps off the plate, and so does the Haddock Sandwich, stacked onto a brioche roll. But it’s the Crispy Fish Tacos that have gained a loyal following up and down the Eastern Seaboard.
Brooke Galligan – Owner, Off The Hook: “We have people requesting our fish tacos from Florida, all the way up to Massachusetts. People go away for the wintertime and they’re like, ‘Oh, I miss your fish tacos. I wish they were here.’ They come back for a week, they come and get their fish taco fix, and then go back to Florida.”
Another dish that’s worth racking up some frequent flyer miles is Off The Hook’s Baked Stuffed Seafood Trio, a comfort filled crock of haddock, scallops, and shrimp in a seafood stuffing, drizzled with lemon butter sauce, and baked until golden brown.
Brooke Galligan – Owner, Off The Hook: “Baked Stuffed Trio, oh my goodness. Baked Stuffed Trio. That is buttery, it’s crunchy stuffing on top, then it’s warm, you have shrimp, you have the scallops, you have the fish. If you’re not looking for a fried seafood platter, but you’re looking for all the ingredients in it, just not fried, Trio’s your option.”
If you want an option that’s not from the sea, there’s a Smokehouse Burger topped with barbecue sauce, bacon, and cheddar, Mac and Cheese Dinner with panko breadcrumbs and a three cheese blend, and Country Fried Chicken with all the fixins.
Brooke Galligan – Owner, Off The Hook: “Now there’s your comfort food. That is a giant juicy piece of chicken. With mashed potatoes, gravy, a vegetable, it’s so juicy, and it’s if you’re looking for comfort. That’s your meal.”
But if you’re looking for something that really makes an entrance, check out the Sizzling Skillet with flank steak, peppers, and onions.
John Galligan – Owner, Off The Hook: “That comes out literally sizzling. Bringing it to the table, it’s smoking on the way, customers can smell it along the way. It’s one that definitely turns heads. People want to know what that smell is, what the sound is of it sizzling and crisping.”
Brooke Galligan – Owner, Off The Hook: “It sounds good. It tastes good. It feels good. Everything about that is good.”
When it comes to dessert, the only dish you need to know is the Cinnamon Churros.
Brooke Galligan – Owner, Off The Hook: “The Churros. If there’s any left for the customers by the time I’m done, that’s what you want. They’re delicious. They’re warm. They’re crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. They’re tossed in cinnamon and sugar and they are just drizzled in caramel sauce. And they’re unbelievable. I could eat them all day and night.”
And customers feel like they could stay here all day and night, because Off The Hook is the kind of place where everyone just feels like they’re home.
John Galligan – Owner, Off The Hook: “We know we’re in a community here that’s full of families, us being one of them. So at no point do we want anyone to come in here and feel that they’re not welcomed. If you want to come in for date night, that’s fine. If you want to come in for family dinner, that’s fine. If your kids want to run around a little bit, we accept that. It’s definitely an environment where people will come and feel welcomed. They feel comfortable. They feel like they can make it kind of their little spot to go to.”