Hours: Dinner: Sunday, Tuesday-Saturday
Open late: Friday & Saturday till 11
Bar and restaurant in the Mayne Stage.
To be honest, I wasn't expecting much from Act One Cafe. First off, there's the corny name—the restaurant is located in the former Morse Theatre, renamed the Mayne. Add to that an at-first-glance-typical contemporary American menu—chop, wedge, and Caesar salads, locally farmed roast chicken, steak, and pork chops. But I was wowed by the fresh and flavorful food. Even that Caesar far exceeded the norm, served with a creamy honey-roasted garlic dressing and blessedly free of the dry Parmesan scrapings so many places seem to feel obliged to pile on. Another surprise winner was the seafood boo-yah, bouillabaisse with shrimp, octopus, and the best bay scallops I've had since a trip to the east coast several years ago. The menu's been tamed down even further since my initial visit, but remains a nice alternative for the neighborhood.
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