When you think of Water Street, you probably think of Wings Over Worcester or one of the many bars that line the street. You don’t necessarily think of fine dining. In the aspect, Lock 50 stands out right away. Located next to the beautiful new apartments on Water Street is a small window front filled with rustic brick work and personal touches that are inviting to their customers. However, it is a very small space and the acoustics in the restaurant make it so that even if everyone is whispering, it makes it difficult to hear the person speaking next to you. The colors were bright and the light fixtures were unique in their design.

The menu was broken down into two sections; small plates and shareable plates. From this, I gathered that Lock 50 was borrowing the tapas idea from their close neighbor (Bocado). By doing this, you encourage diners to order multiple items and share them with each other. While this concept is great, it makes it difficult to gauge the amount of food that you are ordering. This was particularly true for the shareable dinner plates. I had witnessed some dishes being delivered to tables next to us thinking that the portions were too small. However, I tried to be optimistic and proceeded to step out of the norm for myself and order the whole roasted local fish with grilled lemon, fresh greens and herbs ($24). When the waitress delivered my dish to the table, it certainly was a scene to be seen. The fish was in fact whole, cooked to a crispy, golden brown. The smell which emanated from the plate was the of deliciousness. As I began to dismantle my fish, I found that it was easier said than done. You need to be very careful when tackling this portion because of the small bones. The flesh of the fish was light, and flaky. The manner in which is was cooked was definitely a perfect way to preserve the inherant flavors of the fish while not overlooking it. The grilled lemon was a great accompaniment, as lemon is with almost any and every fish. The bed of fresh greens and herbs was more just chopped romaine hearts that wilted from the heat of the fish, making them soggy and rather unappetizing. While the dinner was delicious, it certainly was a chore.

The waitress that helped our tables throughout the night was extremely pleasant. She was always around when you needed something. Given the size of our group, there is always going to be special requests or the occasion hiccup, but she was able to adapt and serve us to the best of her ability. She made sure that everyone had a refill of their favorite beverage, or checked in to see if we needed anything else with our meals. Given the fact that it seemed as though the kitchen was slightly overwhelmed, they helped bridge the gap between courses very well.

While the food was different and delicious, I had a strange feeling that I was missing something throughout the night. I felt as though the evening of dining was disjointed and not as put together as I might have thought a restaurant of this quality and acclaim would be. Given the size of the group, I can understand that there might be some shortcomings, but I felt as though the menu could use some tweaking and maybe offer more individual dishes, rather than the tapas idea. The appetizers and dinners were full of flavor and flare and I would love to see what else the chef can bring in the future. I definitely recommend that you go to Lock 50 and choose for yourself. To each their own.

Christmas shopping for fine art collectibles and inspiration at Vaillancourt Folk Art in Sutton, MA