WEYMOUTH - There's a bit of mystery surrounding the hottest new restaurant south of Boston. When you arrive at a strip mall just off Route 3 in Weymouth, and you see a windowless space marked by a sign that simply says Precinct 10, it is fair to be a bit unsure about what's inside. According to owner Erik Hynes, it's all part of the experience.
"There are no windows, there are no colors. There are basically two large wooden doors, with no windows, no way to see in, no way to see out. So when you open those doors, you're just so shocked with what you see inside."
The inside of Precinct 10 is a simply stunning space, with an atmosphere that's like a time machine, transporting you back about a century.
"We're trying to really capture the kind of early 1900s Prohibition era, the speakeasy feel," Erik explained. "The great thing about being a Prohibition speakeasy type of a place is that by nature, it's supposed to be a little bit secretive, a little bit under the radar. We're talking distressed wood, distressed brick, vintage fixtures, red velvets, black leather. And we try to capture the American spirit with the food as well, in terms of just great regional American cuisine."
The menu reads like the greatest hits of American eats. There's barbecue, burgers, mac and cheese, and a massive stuffed lobster. It's all served in a 250 seat dining room that is packed every night.
Precinct 10 offers so many deliciously shareable starters, deciding which one to order can be difficult, but the Tater Tot Poutine is always a good choice.
"Our pulled pork, a little bit of red wine demi-glace, a ten cheese sauce, putting it on top of tater tots," Erik described. "It looks messy. It is messy, but you get in there and that smoky flavor mixed with the sauce and the cheese, home run."
Another winner are the cheese smothered, beef, pork, and sausage meatballs. Other options include open-faced Pastrami Sliders topped with fried onions, Pulled Pork Sliders on mini brioche, and Sweet and Spicy Cauliflower.
"It's one of those things you're force fed as a child, and everybody just learns to hate it," Erik said. "So we wanted to almost turn it into something where it was like a guilty pleasure. Our cauliflower, it's a great appetizer. It's a little bit sweet, a little bit spicy, and it almost eats like candy."
Entrees at Precinct 10 are enormous, like a juicy burger topped with mustard ale cheddar, house made
pastrami, and red cabbage slaw, on toasted brioche; or the indulgently affordable Seafood Stuffed Lobster, bursting with shrimp, scallops, and angel hair, for less than $30.
"Who doesn't like pasta? Mix that with the lobster, and we're stuffing it with seafood. As we serve one out of the kitchen, all of a sudden the whole restaurant is ordering it."
Another head turner, and belly buster, is the Baked Mac and Cheese. It is great on its own, and even better loaded with pastrami or smoked brisket. But the best part has to be the cheese sauce, made with an absolutely outrageous number of cheeses.
"It's a ten cheese blend," Erik explained. "Why do a five cheese sauce or an eight cheese sauce, when you can do ten? And I'm sure somebody is going to come out with 11 at some point, but right now 10 is working out pretty well for us."
If you really want to share, the kitchen at Precinct 10 cooks up an incredible Paella, overflowing with shrimp, clams, scallops, chorizo, and spicy Spanish rice.
"It's interactive. It's fun. You can easily share it. If you like seafood, it's a seafood lover's dream. And it's a fantastic way to eat as a group," Erik said.
Another entree you could share, but might just keep for yourself, is the Smokehouse Platter. Smoked low and slow over Applewood, this is real-deal southern style barbecue.
"Our chef Jason is from Lafayette, Louisiana. He has a great knack for barbecue and for smoking meat," Erik said. "We're doing baby back ribs; we're doing brisket; we're doing pulled pork. Very unexpected in Weymouth to do things like that, and especially if you're not a barbecue restaurant."
Offering the unexpected, from the food to the mood, is exactly why you need to find your way to Precinct 10.
"I think sometimes a certain location calls for thinking a little bit outside the box. I think where we are in this strip mall location in Weymouth, right off the highway, it just called for something that was going to blow your mind," Erik said. "I love the idea of people not knowing what is behind the wooden doors."
You can find Precinct 10 at 110 Main Street in Weymouth, and online at precinct10restaurant.com.
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