Those of you who live in Woodstock know the secret: this is one rocking place on Friday nights! We had a hint of what’s up in Woodstock when we visited the Century House in the winter of 2014. With the weather getting warmer, Woodstock has come out of hibernation and the downtown area is teeming with people out to have a good time.
The best place to start your date in Woodstock is the Reformation Brewery.
It’s about a mile away from the downtown area, but you are in luck–every thirty minutes or so, Woodstock runs a shuttle to the brewery. Park downtown and take the shuttle, and you can drink lots of beer and sober up during dinner.
We are on a triple date tonight, so the beer is flowing. Date Night regulars Claudia and Randy join us, along with special visitors Heidi and Al from St. Augustine. Reformation was started by a minister of all people. There are at least eight beers available for tasting. You can even take some home if you can’t drink enough there. We go home with a six-pack of Cadence to enjoy later. We have raved in this space about their Providence tripel, one of the best new beers we found in 2015. It’s nice to finally visit the brewery and try most of their offerings.
Meanwhile, we hop on the shuttle, and in no time we are ready for our dinner reservation at Reel.
We are early and they actually come and fetch us outside when our table is ready. That’s a nice touch. Inside, there are a lot of hard surfaces.
The dining room is very LOUD, up to 92 decibels on the Date Night sound machine. That’s louder than a train whistle at 500 feet. There are sound baffles, but they are overwhelmed by the noise. Forget about normal conversations. It’s our only complaint tonight.
Some of us get the same thing, so unfortunately we don’t have six photos of entrees to share with you. We do get a nice sampling, though. Let’s start with the flounder, pleasingly presented on its plate.
The fish sits atop garlic mashed potatoes. The entire dish is covered with a lemon butter. Here’s Al’s plate of shrimp and grits.
It’s hard to impress a guy from Florida with seafood, but Al likes his dish. He can’t get over how creamy his grits are. Randy has a big bowl of mussels.
Something tells me he uses that entire chunk of bread to sop up the soup from the bowl. If there’s trout on the menu, my date is going to order it.
The trout is pan-fried and served atop asparagus and creamy polenta. They know how to add cream to their stone-ground products here.
At only $20, my lobster boil seems like a steal.
Under the lobster tail is corn, potatoes, and andouille sausage. Yes, I should have moved the tail and the bread (covered with a red pepper rouille–think crabmeat stuffing) over for a better picture. This dish is excellent, and pretty healthy. It’s served simply in a broth and I feel no guilt after eating it.
Earlier in the day, the six of us had been on a hilly 42-mile bicycle ride. After all of this beer and food, I think we are too tired for dessert.
The bottom line on Reel Seafood: An excellent place to check out in Woodstock. There are a lot of good options in this historic area, and you can add Reel to the list. The service was good, and they had no problem handling our party of six. Yes, it’s loud here on a busy night, but if you are in the restaurant business, it’s better than the alternative.