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quick bite

Legal on the Mystic is not your grandparents’ Legal

Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

Where to Legal on the Mystic, Legal Sea Foods’ outpost at Somerville’s shiny new Assembly Row shopping complex.

What for Anything a hungry spender desires: pizza, pasta, tacos, quesadillas, salad, seafood (raw, grilled, fried), cocktails, and a river view.

The scene Who are these blithe spirits, nibbling sashimi and nursing cocktails at lunch while grooving to Sublime? This is not your grandparents’ Legal. Well, maybe it is: An adorable old couple in slippers sit erect at the bar and sip martinis in companionable silence. Polite teenagers help their cardigan-clad matriarch maneuver a walker weighted with T.J. Maxx bags. A mom and son sip white wine and discuss Somerville’s hip quotient. Three men in dark suits confer at the 90-seat bar, aviator shades perched like horns. Young friends compare purchases. Servers do laps around the large dining room — a study in industrial chic, with an open kitchen and steel piping — and work two to a table, keeping the patter going and the drinks flowing. Large garage doors open to a patio, where women with strollers chat in the hazy sun.

What you’re eating What aren’t you eating? The menu is long and portions are shareable. Standbys like lobster rolls and baked Boston scrod share menu space with a grilled salmon Reuben, chipotle lime shrimp tacos (pictured), and wild mushroom and lobster pizza, accessorized with an heirloom egg. (Try on clothes before dining here, not after.)


Care for a drink? There are 15 house cocktails, 40 wines by the glass, and 17 bottled beers. There are also regional drafts like Slumbrew Porter and Jack’s Abby Hoponius Union.

Overheard Raves. “This calamari is heavenly!” cries a middle-aged woman, scooping more onto her plate. “That’s what I love to hear!” an eager waiter beams. “Care for a drink?” he asks her friend. “More sangria, but I won’t share it with anyone,” she twinkles. “Wow, what is this place? Assembly Road?” a mother asks her 20-something son. “Mom, Somerville is the new Cambridge,” he replies. “I might dispute that, but I’m from Harvard Square.” the waiter zings on cue, sailing past with a trio of tacos. “Look,” sighs one Aviator Man to another. “It’s time to start scouting locations in Fall River.” “We need drinks!” barks Aviator Two. A bartender grabs a shaker and gets to work. “I’m in the mood for something different. Like quesadillas,” a woman whispers conspiratorially to a friend, sliding into a booth.


301 Great River Road, Somerville. 617-337-4088.

Kara Baskin can be reached at