By Aubry Bracco, Beach News Staff Writer
Beach News, Thursday, July 13, 2006
[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News / Beach News.]
HAMPTON BEACH -- Want to refuel and relax after a day in the sun? Then pay a visit to the Purple Urchin Seaside Café and Patio Pub for great food, drink, entertainment and atmosphere.
The Purple Urchin Café, owned by Maura and Jake Fleming, has been located in the middle of all the action — just above the Hampton Beach Casino — for the past 12 years. Maura says the Patio Pub, which offers a more casual atmosphere, opened six years ago.
In that time, the restaurant has gained quite the reputation for its delicious appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, seafood, pizza, pasta, poultry and beef dishes. Maura recommends the Ginger Seared Scallops with orange Dijon Cream Sauce served over Lobster Risotto. Signature dishes include the Chicken and Black Pepper Fettuccini and the Grilled Filet Mignon.
And be sure to try the seafood, including steamers and lobster, always guaranteed fresh.
"We get different seafood on a nightly basis," Maura says.
A children's menu is available for the youngest customers and vegetarians will be delighted with the restaurant's salad offerings.
Though customers can expect consistency and quality at the Purple Urchin, keep an eye out for new and improved dishes. Maura says she and the Purple Urchin's chef of six years are always looking for ways to spice up tried and true dishes and keep on the cutting edge of food trends.
"We like a little variation. Preparation might change to give repeat customers something a little different," she says.
And make sure to save room for desert. Maura says her father is in charge of the delectable homemade sweets baked daily at the Purple Urchin.
"We're famous for our Key Lime Pie," says Maura.
What would a relaxing summertime meal be without a cocktail to complement one of the Purple Urchin's culinary delights? Maura says the bar menu is new and improved this year. With a wide selection of beers, martinis and red and white wines, all adult patrons are sure to find something to tantalize their taste buds.
The bar menu is not the only thing that has been updated this season. Maura Fleming says new fans and tables have been added to the patio area.
And if the food and drink don't keep customers occupied, patrons can opt to take advantage of Purple Urchin's live patio entertainment on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Fleming says entertainment often includes "single performers with guitars," "deejays that interact with the customers," "and lots of sing-alongs."
There is something for the kids too — while the parents relax, the kids can take advantage of the kiddie rides, mini golf and arcades that surround the restaurant.
Maura says her staff is a "great team" and they are excited for another great season at the Purple Urchin. As owner, Maura says the happiness of her customers is worth all the hard work.
"We see people that come back year after year," she says. "It says a lot for the restaurant when people come back."
So next time you're spending a day in the sun and surf, take a look up and you'll find Hampton Beach's hidden gem — the Purple Urchin Seaside Café and Patio, located at 167 Ocean Boulevard. Open seven days a week, the restaurant offers lunch and dinner from noon to 10 p.m. in the Patio Pub. The Café dining room serves dinner from 5-10 p.m. The restaurant will continue its regular hours through the Seafood Festival and stays open for shows at the Hampton Beach Casino. For reservations, to reserve space for large or private parties or information on outside catering call (603)-929-0800.