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Dining Out

Neighborhood ‘upscale casual’

Chef Erik Stenfors prepares rigatoni alla bolognese at the new  Crow’s Landing, which already has a loyal clientele.

Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Chef Erik Stenfors prepares rigatoni alla bolognese at the new Crow’s Landing, which already has a loyal clientele.

When Jack’s Café inhabited the little building tucked on Crow Point Lane between a Gulf station and Route 3A strip mall, the Thai food was great, but

The 9 oz all beef Crow burger

Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff

The 9 oz all beef Crow burger

you’d rarely see another diner there. In fact, at times it was hard to find anyone there at all, including the wait staff.

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Since Crow’s Landing opened in the renovated Hingham space three months ago, the food (not Thai) is just as good — chef Erik Stenfors owned and cooked at Saporito’s in Hull for eight years — and you’re likely to encounter everyone you’ve ever met in town. The place is hopping.

We got there early one Thursday night, and were seated right away in the cozy dining room. But by 6 p.m., there was a wait as families, twenty- and thirty-somethings, singletons, and groups streamed through the door and amiably sat or stood at the long bar until tables opened up.

The menu has an unintimidating array of appetizers, sandwiches, and entrees, as well as an interesting approach to kids’ meals: Children can order their choice of a protein, side, and vegetable for $8. There’s also a nice selection of beer, wine, and cocktails.

The owners, who live in the nearby Crow Point neighborhood with their young families, describe the food as “upscale casual.”

The roasted salmon served at Crow's Landing on Thursday December 19, 2013. (Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff) Topic: Reporter:

Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff

The roasted salmon

We started with guacamole ($11), which was smooth and mild and served with warm tortilla chips, lettuce, crumbled blue cheese, almonds, and salsa. The portion was just right for two people to share.

For the main course, I had the roasted salmon ($18), which was cooked beautifully — moist and firm with lots of lemon and garlic and an olive vinaigrette. The fish perched on a bed of sautéed shredded zucchini, a lovely complement of flavors and colors.

My husband had the “Crow’s burger” ($14) — essentially a bacon cheeseburger served on a big English muffin bun. The burger was juicy and piping hot and came with outstanding fries, which were baked but achieved a fried taste and were brushed with parmesan and bits of bacon and roasted garlic. (None of the food on the menu is deep-fried.)

For dessert, we shared the crème brûlée, ($7) a classic version of the creamy, crackly confection with raspberries tastefully arranged on top.

The rigatoni alla bolognse served at Crow's Landing

Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff

The rigatoni alla bolognse served at Crow's Landing

We got there at 6:30 on a Friday night for our second visit and sat at the bar with a cheerful bartender and a host of other folks, many of whom were watching sports on the discreetly placed televisions behind the bar.

We were supposed to be in Texas, fueling my husband with carbohydrates for the Dallas Marathon on that Sunday. But a freak Southern ice storm canceled both our flight and the marathon – for the first time in its 44-year history – so he consoled himself with a big plate of short rib nachos ($12) loaded with smoky, tender meat, jack cheese, jalapeños, guacamole, and pico de gallo salsa.

He followed that with a 12-ounce center-cut sirloin ($28), perfectly medium rare and accompanied by the fabulous fries and crisp green beans.

I had a cup of tomato soup with half a grilled cheese sandwich ($10). The soup was delicious, very creamy, and hot, with swirls of pesto on the surface; the grilled cheese was slightly greasy, but excellent for sopping up the last drops of soup.

We were sorely tempted by the flourless fudge torte and apple cake with maple butter glaze (not so much by the peanut butter pie) but will have to go back to try them. We suspect we’ll see many of our neighbors there, as well.

Crow’s Landing, which has a capacity of 55, accepts reservations for groups of six or more. The restaurant is open for dinner only during the week, and lunch and dinner on weekends. All food on the menu is available for takeout.

Johanna Seltz can be reached at seltzjohanna@gmail.com.

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