Forming Pub 6 at the Sixth Bristol Club in 2012, Chef Jesse DeSouza built a solid foundation by showcasing New England’s ocean bounty: Maine clams, New Bedford sea scallops and wild Atlantic haddock at family-friendly prices. A 5-star rating was earned when reviewed by the Standard-Times food critic, Jonathan Comey in 2013. Facebook polls of South Coast Today’s readers resulted in top 10 ranking for fish & chips, fried clams and clam chowder in 2013. Two awards were claimed at the 2013 New Bedford Chowder Festival – Judges’ Choice for both Signature Soup and Clam Chowder. In June 2014 Cove Surf & Turf was created and moved into its rightful little home by the sea, bringing with it a dedicated experienced staff, prize recipes and menu.
The quality of service and food at this “Great South End Gem” is further illustrated by Auditi Guha’s review in SouthCoast Today.
In January, 2015, the seafood restaurant launched a delivery service, making the neighborhood’s favorite fish and chips, fried clams, burgers and everything else accessible from the convenience of home and offices in New Bedford, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Acushnet and Westport.
Since then, first and second place prizes were awarded for the special Gluten-Free Seafood Chowder, Signature Stuffed Pepper Soup, authentic Kale Soup, and homemade Stuffed Quahogs dozens of times by judges and visitors of the annual New Bedford Seaport Chowder Festival and the Taste of Southcoast competitions.
Since opening Cove Surf & Turf in New Bedford’s South End in the spring of 2014, DeSouza has expanded his footprint by building on a diverse menu of high-quality food with an outreach that includes contributions to local charities and financial incentives to area entrepreneurs, while shipping his food to customers anywhere in the 50 states. Whether he is acting locally or nationally, DeSouza is a talented chef and a wise businessman.
“Eating healthier has become more popular, so we want to meet that need without cutting back on the size and taste of our dishes,” he says. “People are happy to discover that we offer a lot more than fried foods.“
A visit to the website coveNB.com offers a tantalizing array of selections from an expansive menu, featuring many seafood dishes that come directly from the ports of New Bedford, the largest fishing port in America. DeSouza puts a priority on offering large portions of food that are as healthy as they are delicious – an opportunity for guests to go beyond the traditional fried options they may be familiar with. With the arrival of Lent, orders for fish grow exponentially. During the warmer months he cooks hundreds of pounds of haddock and scallops each week.
Among Cove’s healthier food options are lean tenderloin steak tips, grilled salmon, blackened swordfish with mango salsa, steamed lobster, shrimp, cocktail, steamers, softshell Maine clams, salads with optional meat toppings, and wraps with meat and seafood options. They also offer fresh- squeezed fruit drinks such as lemonade and Lime Rickeys, and even 100% agave margaritas made from fresh-squeezed limes. There are multiple Gluten-free options including BBQ Ribs, baked haddock with lemon pepper, seasoned broiled scallops without breadcrumbs, salads, and a variety of steaks such as NY sirloin, steak tips, and grilled ribeye. Cove uses clear soybean frying oil made with 100% soybean oil with 0 grams of trans-fat, a great option for improving the nutritional profile of their food. And the benefits of eating seafood go beyond the taste.
Located at 1500 Cove Road just off of Route 18, Cove offers a variety of ways to enjoy their food. With indoor and heated outdoor dining, customers can reserve tables with a phone call or an online booking at CoveNB.com. There are delivery and take-out options as well as catering opportunities that include popular family and party trays, especially during holidays. Giving back to the community is a major priority for DeSouza. His charitable efforts include offering gift cards to local non-profits to use for fundraising, along with annually donating catered trays for fundraising events to organizations such as the Neediest Families Fund.
He recently donated 130 lobster rolls in addition to ample amounts of chowder and stuffed quahogs to the First Congregational Church in Fairhaven for a neighborhood-wide fundraising event. He has also done exclusive catering at significant discounts, including the New Bedford Fire Department’s Autism Awareness fundraiser to be held this April (tickets and more info at covesurfandturf.com/autism).
In addition to his charitable contributions, he offers local businesses the opportunity to become a part of his popular affiliate program. People can share a link from the Cove website that they can distribute in print or digital media, and when people order from the link, the business receives a percentage of the money made from that sale. DeSouza offers a $25 starting bonus for any nonprofits that sign up for the program.
“It’s important for me to be an active and visible member of the community,” he says. “I’d be happy to do more if I had more time.“
But DeSouza’s culinary reach covers the entire United States. For more than two years he has shipped food orders around the United States, a benefit for people who aren’t located near a seaport or want to enjoy food native to this area. In one to three days, anyone in the country can receive items from Cove’s menu by accessing their website.
“We’re seeing more and more business every year,” he says. “We’re constantly investing in the city of New Bedford by improving our dining atmosphere and our product and service offerings.“
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