DARTMOUTH — Atmosphere doesn’t cook a steak to perfection. It doesn’t add sweetness to an ice cream or seasoning to a burger.

It’s difficult to grasp the influence atmosphere has on an experience. I have friends who will return to a restaurant just for the atmosphere it exudes.

I know others who will attend the same place, completely oblivious to the surroundings. They only care about the plate in front of them.

Farm & Coast Market has something to offer for each of those personalities and everything in between.

As its name suggests, Farm & Coast Market is a market with books, cooking tools and wine, as well as a deli and prepared food. And there is a section devoted to its restaurant.

Located in Dartmouth’s Padanaram Village, the restaurant and market describes itself as “Padanaram’s front porch, homey kitchen and family room all rolled into one.”

 

 

 

Fortunately, the sun filled the sky the Sunday afternoon Allyssa and I frequented the market. We sat outside with our Boston Terrier, Mack, enjoyed the sun and the atmosphere that Padanaram offers.

A consistent breeze reminded us it was only spring, but our view of Apponagansett Bay made up for any chill in the air.

Our waitress came outside shortly after we sat down. She asked if we wanted water to which we decided one would be fine. In a great moment, she said, “Oh yes, for you too, but I was actually thinking about the dog!”

The laugh sparked a very enjoyable experience for the next hour or so.

The menus arrived with our drinks, which came in mason jars, adding a very nice touch.

The one-page menu offered an array of sandwich-y options, including burgers and hotdogs (Not that either is a sandwich, but we won’t get into that now).

The reverse side of the menu includes a create your own sandwich or salad option.

Portuguese clams, salads, and homemade lamb sausage were also options. A “Pick 3” option allows for a choice of any three prepared items in the market. Price varies for this item.

Inside the market, the rustic feel provides the sense of a small-town store that provides local options and cures its meat in-house, which Farm and Market does.

For that reason, the house Italian sub ($12) shot to the top of my list. It included Italian meats cured in hose, provolone, Mayor Vinegar and oil.

I deferred to Allyssa, though, who had a very similar idea and ordered the grilled panini version ($11), which included pepper relish, mixed greens, olives, red onions and beet mustard on a grilled focaccia.

I debated between the filet of fish sandwich with panko crusted pollock ($12) or the fried chicken ($12) served with cornbread, pickles and hot honey.

The fried chicken won out as its one of Farm & Coast’s best selling items. We also included an order of onion rings ($6) to split since a side didn’t accompany our courses and it was the closest option to French fries on the menu.

The food arrived in a timely manner. My mouth waters looking back at the pictures.

Three large pieces of chicken filled my plate, with a small cluster of pickles and two generous slices of cornbread.

I love fried chicken, but don’t enjoy dissecting it off the bone, usually opting for boneless. This experience has me questioning my past.

The meat was juicy, tender and easy strip from the bone. I can see why it’s so popular.

The sauce felt like a New England play on Nashville hot chicken. It provided just enough spice while the honey cooled it with some sweet. The marriage worked really well. So much so that Allyssa, after trying, asked for a dumbstick. Not a fan of spice or breaded chicken, she changed her mind after eating this plate.

She claimed this would be her dish next time we came. She referred to is as the best fried chicken she’s ever had.

I’m not ready to declare that, but it’s definitely a plate I would order again. The cornbread rounded out the plate well. My enjoyment of the cornbread rivaled that of the chicken. I felt it was that good. Perhaps it was because it mixed well with the spicy honey, which really took the cornbread to anothe level.

Allyssa’s panini arrived with a perfect golden brown crisp. To me, the mustard highlighted the dish. It really mixed well with the meats. Each bite delivered a consistent yet layered-with-flavor taste and one that made you want to take another.

It’s certainly a meal that I would consider ordering next time and really made me wonder about the Italian sub.

Our next visit probably wouldn’t include onion rings. The batter didn’t offer much taste, which surprised us since everything else we order not only offered flavor but multiple levels. A sauce came with the onion rings but didn’t really transform the side.

We dived into the bakery afterwards. I went with two cookies: chocolate chunk and M&Ms. The variation of chocolate chip was delicious. It was soft, chewy and the chunks of chocolate added a nice crunch. A cost of $2.50 was a bit high even for how good it tasted.

Allyssa choose an espresso chocolate cake, which she said was very, very rich. While a little too rich for her, overall she liked it as would any chocolate lover.

Our total before tip was $45.71.

 

 

 

Check out previous Dine Out reviews below