Posted: May 14th, 2013 | Author: JR | Filed under: Bakery, Buttermilk Baking Company, Newburyport | Tags: cakes, lemon curd cake, pies, Tarts | No Comments »
One of our readers wrote to us about Buttermilk Baking Company, saying we had to get ourselves to Newburyport to try their pastries (thanks, Laura!). We went a little crazy in the shop and ended up with two tarts, two hand pies, and a mini-cake. We are extremely picky about baked goods and find most look better than they taste. That’s definitely not the case here.
The lemon-curd cake was not only adorable, it was also moist and flavorful ($9.25). The buttercream icing was unbelievably light, tempting us to eat more cake than we really should have. We’re told that the raspberry preserves between each layer are made in the shop to be less sweet than commercial brands.
Both of the hand pies featured toothsome, flaky pastry ($4.65). Although the blueberry was delicious, the sour cherry filling was outstanding and a clear favorite with our tasters. The high-quality ingredients being used make these relatively simple pastries really shine.
Everyone in the group enjoyed the key lime tart, which had a creamy filling and a generous amount of buttery graham crust. But the chocolate caramel tart was the hit of the dessert round-up. Salty caramel and the best chocolate ganache we’ve ever tried are offset by a sugar-cookie crust for an incredible combination ($5.65 for individual sized tarts).
We’ll be back to try the muffins and cookies as soon as we work off some of the last indulgence. In the meantime, if you’re in the area, stop by Buttermilk and let us know what delectables you’ve discovered.
Buttermilk Baking Company
3 Liberty St, Newburyport
Posted: May 7th, 2013 | Author: KN | Filed under: 62 Restaurant & Winebar, Blue Ox, brunch, Event, Finz, Nathaniel's at the Hawthorne Hotel, Victoria Station | Tags: 10 Center, Brunch, Ceia, Dinner, Emerson Inn by the Sea, Lunch, Mother's Day, Mother's Day Brunch, North Shore | No Comments »
Forgot Mother’s Day is this Sunday and scrambling to make plans? We’ve got a quick round-up of brunch ideas as well as some less traditional options.
If delighting in a little taste of everything is mom’s style, there are several buffet options. Salem’s Victoria Station is featuring breakfast favorites as well as a carving station and plenty of seafood. And cocktails, of course. Perhaps a “Mom’osa” is in order? ($30 per person, $15 for kids,children under five eat free.)
Is mom a fan of oysters? Next door at Finz, the offerings include a raw bar along with a full buffet and the tasty-sounding waffles with blueberry whipped cream or banana encrusted salmon over coconut jasmine rice. ($39.99 per person, $15.99 for children 12 and under.)
A few blocks away, the Hawthorne Hotel will make mom feel like royalty. Their spread is available all day, with a change in focus at 3:00 from breakfast items to dinner. The veggie options look plentiful, including non-traditional salads like red-white-and-green salad with tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, edamame, and fresh basil and a sweet-and-spicy cucumber salad with tomatoes, bell peppers, and red onion. The make-your-own strawberry shortcake will appeal to the kids in the group. ($42.95 adults; $2 per year of age for children.)
Newburyport’s 10 Center wants to ensure mom enjoys herself, too. In addition to an extensive buffet with dishes like stuffed french toast and lobster mac and cheese, they are offering a complimentary mimosa to each mother. ($40 per person, 10:00 to 3:00.)
A reliable favorite of many moms is the Emerson Inn by the Sea in Rockport for their always-beautiful grand buffet. Live piano music and ocean views accompany offerings like a smoked salmon, trout and mackerel display; chilled salad of shrimp, clams, mussels and calamari; and roasted garlic and gorgonzola encrusted black angus sirloin. ($49 per adult; $24.50 for children ages 3-10; 10:00 to 2:30.)
For those who would rather forgo brunch and treat mom to a luscious lunch or dinner, several terrific restaurants have special menu items on offer.
62 Restaurant and Wine Bar in Salem has a special menu just for mom from 11:00 to 9:00. In addition to regular menu items, Chef Tony Bettencourt will tempt you with crostini topped with whipped ricotta, roasted black mission figs, and aged balsamic vinegar and grilled lamb chops with zucchini, black olives, roasted tomato, crumbled feta, Sardinian couscous, and basil.
Lynn’s Blue Ox has put together a three-course meal for mom that has us salivating.
The pan-roasted cod with spring pea risotto, oven dried tomatoes, fava beans, pea tendril salad, and truffle vinaigrette and the strawberry rhubarb tart with strawberry and mint champagne sauce and whipped cream are calling our names. The special meal is $44 per person, available from 12:00 to 6:00.
Ceia in Newburyport will feature special selections such as a luxe steak and lobster benedict; spaghetti with black garlic, mint, and serrano chili; and shrimp with linguica, fingerling potatoes, kale, and a farm egg.
Last but not least, if the celebrated lady in your life loves eating out, our friends at Dinner Dealer have the perfect gift: a deck of restaurant-discount cards costs $25 and provides more than $300 in savings to North Shore restaurants ($1 from each sale is donated to a local food pantry). And if you contact them in the next few days, Dinner Dealer will throw in a free mini pampering kit with treats like chocolates and skincare products from local, women-owned companies.
Looks like there are plenty of options for treating your mom, grandmom, stepmom, godmom or anybody else to a great meal this weekend. Remember to call ahead for availability and that tax, tip and drinks aren’t generally included in the price, and enjoy!
Posted: April 28th, 2013 | Author: JR | Filed under: Flying Saucer Pizza Co., Gulu-Gulu Cafe, Pizza | Tags: Face of Boe, Morpheus, Picard, Pizza, Quark | 1 Comment »
Okay, here’s the thing. We’re going to tell you about a wonderful pizza place, but you have to promise not to go too often, or we’ll never be able to get a table. Do we have a deal?
We love pizza, and we’re perfectly happy with a pie that features good dough, tasty sauce, and melty cheese. But Salem’s Flying Saucer Pizza Company reminded us that this humble dish rises to an entirely new level with the right technique and ingredients.
Everything at Flying Saucer is high-quality, fresh, and delicious. There are a large number of creative combinations to choose from, or you can create your own from a long list of ingredients. These New York-style pies with delicious cheese and generous toppings really knocked our socks off.
We were lucky to snag a seat the night we visited, and the restaurant was so busy that we were told right off the bat it would be 40 minutes to get our pizza to the table. Ensuring honest expectations is commendable and we didn’t mind the wait, though we might suggest a few appetizer options aside from the breadsticks to tide over hungry patrons.
We sipped wine and draft beer while munching the very tasty bread sticks. Then we tried the Morpheus (BBQ sauce, cheese, asparagus, roasted red peppers, black olives, green olives, scallions, BBQ chicken), Picard (cheese, potatoes, Canadian bacon, rosemary, chopped garlic, parmesan, olive oil), Quark (red sauce, cheese, hamburger, bacon, red onion, scallions), and Face of Boe (pesto, artichoke hearts, portobello mushrooms, fresh mozzarella, feta cheese, spinach). The latter is from the vegetarian section; there are two vegan pies as well. Prices for each pie ranged from $12 to $14 and easily fed three. The toppings were all fresh and plentiful, especially pleasing on pies like the Picard. We’d be hard pressed to name a favorite, but the no-sauce pizzas were a definite highlight for several in the group.
Given the ownership (the same folks who own the next-door Gulu Gulu Café), it was no surprise to see a huge selection of craft beers and meads. We were pleased to also see a nice wine selection, some good-looking salads, and some dessert offerings we’re looking forward to trying. Nutella, banana, and crushed coconut, anyone? Not to mention the highly amusing sci-fi décor, including the Dr. Who portrait wall and Star Trek’s Captain Picard in full Borg regalia.
We understand you’ll want to check the place out, and soon, but just be sure to leave a table open for us, okay?
Flying Saucer Pizza Company
118 Washington St, Salem
Posted: April 12th, 2013 | Author: admin | Filed under: Agawam Diner, American, Breakfast, Diner, Little Depot Diner | Tags: Breakfast, Diners, North Shore, Pat's Diner, The Capitol Diner, The Four Sisters Owl Diner, The Salem Diner | No Comments »
In our latest piece for the Boston Globe North section, we had a fun time focusing on classic diners north of Boston. The article came out yesterday, and you can read it here: Here’s The Dish on Diners
During our diner-ing, we ended up with many more photos than will ever be published, and we wanted to share some of them with you. We haven’t made it to every diner in every town (yet), but here is a pictorial tour of a handful of fun places to try for your next road trip or weekend breakfast.
The Capitol Diner in Lynn has been serving up specialties since the late 1920s, but we’re betting the Mickey-shaped pancakes are a newer addition.
New owners Ross and Alicia Scanlon have made the Little Depot Diner a hit by bringing in new energy and maintaining old favorites.
Lowell’s Four Sisters Owl Diner sports a newly renovated entrance and a cheery vintage interior. The Eggs Benedict is amazing.
The summer beach crowd is familiar with Pat’s Diner in Salisbury, but it was quiet on a winter afternoon. We enjoyed the unusual pork pie.
Pie is the thing at the Agawam Diner, and they always have an array of beautiful desserts on offer. Crowds convene at all hours for hearty meals and a cup o’ joe along with their favorite slice.
And lastly, a special photo of the Salem Diner, which was taken in 2008. This is our favorite shot as it shows the old neon as it was, before the diner suffered damage in a fire. The diner has been renovated, and George and Zoe Elefteriadis serve up great breakfasts, but we do miss the neon.
Posted: March 22nd, 2013 | Author: JR | Filed under: Beverly, Italian | Tags: Brian Knowles, Italy Eats, Shelly Green, Tuscany | 3 Comments »
A fabulous meal, fellow food-lovers, and a knowledgeable teacher—that’s what awaited us earlier this week at Shelly Green’s house in Beverly Farms. Oh, and did I mention a roof-top wood-fired oven?
We were invited to attend a pizza-making class at Italy Eats, and it was an incredible experience. There was a lavish spread of cheeses, crackers, salami, olives, fig jam, prosciutto, and more. We nibbled and took pictures while Shelly gave us a tour of her kitchen, which is laid out for teaching and includes both an incredible ocean view and the aforementioned pizza oven. (Full disclosure: our class was complimentary as part of Shelly’s effort to reach out to local bloggers.)
Shelly had already made and proofed the pizza dough. As we sampled the antipasto, Shelly’s husband, Ralph, a native Italian, cooked some fresh bread sticks in the oven to be filled with broccoli rabe and sautéed peppers. Between the wine, the spedini, and the food-related conversations, we were hard pressed to turn our attention to the pizza making.
Still, we managed to turn out some fantastic creations using the array of ingredients provided, including fresh mozzarella, smoked gouda, farmer’s cheese, parmesan, spicy sausage, fontina, leeks, broccoli rabe, and chili flakes. Fellow blogger Brian Knowles came up with my favorite combination: a white pizza with farmer’s cheese, broccoli rabe, and sausage. Definitely one to try at home, it was perfect with Shelly’s lightly-dressed salad of arugula, watercress, and gala apples.
Shelly can accommodate up to eight people for classes, and if you come as a group, she will customize the menu based on food preferences and what the participants want to learn. The class includes a sit-down dinner. If you’re lucky, you’ll be serenaded in Italian after dinner by one of Ralph and Shelly’s guitar-playing friends, as we were. Shelly’s knowledge of Italian food is formidable, and she both encourages you to ask questions and offers recipes.
Shelly also leads small-group trips to Tuscany. There are still a few spaces left on her May trip based in an 11th century castle, which includes five days of cooking, photography, or both, and a “Big Night” medieval banquet.
We’d like to thank Shelly and Ralph for a magical evening—we’re still dreaming of that crispy, chewy, smoky pizza and scheming to somehow build our own wood-fired oven so we can replicate it.
104 West Street Beverly Farms
Posted: March 13th, 2013 | Author: JR | Filed under: Amesbury | Tags: 19 Steps Bake Shop, Alex's Whey, Kitchen Local, Lisa Sutton, Local Foods Initiative, The Enterprise Center at Salem State | No Comments »
Owner Lisa Sutton explains the inspiration behind Kitchen Local.
We recently had the pleasure of touring an exciting new business in Amesbury: a shared-use commercial kitchen called Kitchen Local. Owner Lisa Sutton proudly gave tours of her just-completed space to attendees of the quarterly meeting of The Enterprise Center’s Local Foods Initiative. Sutton said that after seeing the burgeoning local food industry and realizing the shortage of commercial kitchen workspace, she decided to open her own.
The 1,200-foot work space is located in 14 Cedar Street Studios, a historic building a few blocks from downtown. Originally home to a carriage and automotive manufacturer, the building now hosts creative entrepreneurs such as artists, architects, designers, builders, and musicians.
Kitchen Local is available to chefs, small-scale food producers, farmers, and nutrition instructors for food production, catering, baking, cooking classes, menu planning, training, recipe testing, photography, and product development. You can rent the entire space for $40 per hour, which includes both the catering kitchen with a six-burner range as well as a baking kitchen with a 30-quart mixer, double electric convection oven, and proofing oven. You can rent one side or the other for $20 per hour.
The web site has a complete list of included equipment, plus information about becoming a client (including information on required food safety certification).
This is the first certified shared-use kitchen on the North Shore, and the meeting attendees were visibly excited about the possibilities. They also appreciated the protein cookies from Alex’s Whey and cinnamon-sugar popovers from 19 Steps Bake Shop, two of the businesses using the shared space.
The Enterprise Center is looking to support the local food community, specifically with regard to manufacturing, shared commercial kitchen space, distribution, and marketing. We’ll continue to keep you updated on the group’s progress.
14 Cedar Street Studio 106, Amesbury
Posted: March 6th, 2013 | Author: JR | Filed under: Event, News | Tags: Alchemy, Best Chef 2013, Beverly Bootstraps, Chianti Tuscan Restaurant, Christopher DeStefano, Christopher's Table, Danversport Yacht Club, Fibber McGees | No Comments »
Lobster tarts from Timothy S. Hopkins Catering, colorful bites from Tastebuds Gourmet Foods and an array of treats from The Topsfield Bakeshop.
It was a great night for a great cause—we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at Monday night’s Best Chef 2013 event to benefit Beverly Bootstraps.
We started by perusing the gorgeous silent auction items, then made our way around to each of the food offerings from various North Shore purveyors, caterers, and restaurants. One of favorite tables, Timothy S. Hopkins Catering, ended up winning the people’s choice award. We loved their tiny lobster pastries and delicious toffee-chocolate mousse cups.
The variety on offer was terrific, including smoked mahi ceviche shooters from Red Lulu, healthy grain dishes from Life Alive, and seared tuna on crispy tortillas from Not Your Average Joe’s. There was plenty of food, too, allowing us to go back for seconds and thirds of our favorites.
The teams hard at work. Clockwise from top left: Alchemy Cafe and Bistro, Fibber McGee’s, Christopher’s Table and Chianti Tuscan Restaurant & Jazz Lounge.
As the four chefs competing for Best Chef title prepared their entrées, the live auction got going, with much fanfare. The entire event was extremely well thought out and ran smoothly from start to finish. The Best Chef contestants were Christopher’s Table (Ipswich), Fibber McGees (Beverly), Alchemy Cafe and Bistro (Gloucester) and Chianti Tuscan Restaurant (Beverly).
Top: The judges taste and compare notes. Bottom: The winning dish from Christopher’s Table.
The contestants used ingredients from the Beverly Bootstraps pantry as 75% of their ingredients, with 25% coming from their own kitchens. They were judged on taste, appearance, and the originality of the use of pantry items by Eliana Hussain of the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, Sam Hunt of Wild Horse Café, and Paul Guanci of Super Sub Shop of Beverly.
The chef’s creations were wildly imaginative, including goldfish-encrusted spam cooked sous vide from Alchemy and a chicken pot pie with crust made from pumpkin bread mix and Bisquick. But the beautifully plated pho from Christopher’s Table was the judge’s winner. It featured ramen noodles in a broth flavored with peanuts, cilantro, and lime, plus a spring roll accompanied by a hoisin sauce made with grape jelly.
A good time was had by all. (L) Lindsey Sakonchick, Development/Marketing Coordinator for Beverly Bootstraps had everything under control. (Center) Matt Blanchard, new owner/manager of the Wild Horse Café and Mark McDonough, owner of Serenitee Restaurant Group are old friends. (R) Blanchard’s Wild Horse partner and 2012 Best Chef winner, chef Sam Hunt chats with Christopher DeStephano, this year’s winner, as he preps his meal.
It was such a pleasure to see the North Shore turn out for this sold-out, fun-filled event!
Posted: February 18th, 2013 | Author: JR | Filed under: Event | Tags: Best Chef 2013, Beverly Bootstraps, Danversport Yacht Club | No Comments »
If you’re a fan of Food Network-style cooking competitions, consider checking out a live version on March 4 at the Danversport Yacht Club. Four chefs will compete for the Best Chef title—plus there will be sampling stations from more than 20 local restaurants, a cash bar, and silent and live auctions. Proceeds will benefit Beverly Bootstraps an organization devoted to providing critical resources to Beverly families and individuals so they can achieve self-sufficiency. The evening will benefit the organization’s food assistance, client support, adult education, and youth and family programs.
The event, which beings at 6:00 pm, features Karen Nascembeni, director of communications for North Shore Music Theatre, as the host. Judges include Paul Guanci, owner of Super Sub and City Council President; Sam Hunt, 2012 Best Chef winner and Wild Horse Café’s new chef; and Eliana Hussain, personal chef and instructor at The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts.
The competitors this year are Christopher DeStefano of Christopher’s Table, Stephen Crato of Fibber McGee’s, Scott Jenson of Alchemy Café and Bistro, and Chianti’s of Beverly. All four will duke it out in the kitchen using mainly food pantry ingredients (only 25% of the dish’s ingredients can come from the chefs’ kitchens).
Tickets are $50 and can be reserved at BeverlyBootstraps.org or by calling (978) 927-1561. Sponsorships are also available.
Posted: February 9th, 2013 | Author: KN | Filed under: 5 Corners Kitchen, Amesbury, Beverly, Event, Grand Trunk Imports, Hungry Betty's, Lynn, Marblehead, Newburyport, Rolly's Tavern on the Square, Salem, Swampscott | Tags: blizzard, Nemo, Restaurants open after Nemo, What's Open | No Comments »
We hope everyone is safe and warm and starting to dig out from this crazy mess the blizzard has dumped across the North Shore. Some folks are without power, and as of this writing the driving ban is still in effect in Massachusetts, so a hot meal or a cold cocktail may be hard to come by unless you can walk, snowshoe or ski to a local establishment. Most markets and restaurants are closed today, we’d like to help out by listing which places are currently open or will be serving dinner tonight.
We’ll keep this as a running list, so please feel free to contact (firstname.lastname@example.org, @northshoredish on twitter) us with updates!
Updated Saturday February 9, 2013 at 7:44PM
• Barking Dog Bar & Grill is open
• Phat Cats Bistro will be open for dinner
• Chianti will be open, live entertainment still pending
• E.J. Cabots is open
• CitySide Diner is open their regular hours.
• Cielito Lindo will be open for dinner
• The Farm Bar and Grill is open tonight
• Cape Ann Brewing Pub will be open at 6:30pm…bar only. Kitchen is closed
• Seaport Grille is open
• Christopher’s Table is open and has live jazz
• Tatiana’s is open
• The Blue Ox opens at 5PM
• Rolly’s Tavern plans to open at 4pm
• Hayley’s Wine and Market Café is open
• The Landing is open
• 5 Corners Kitchen will be open at 5pm for dinner
• Maddies is open.
• 3 Cod Tavern will be open for lunch and dinner
• Hungry Betty’s will be open at 4PM
• Mission Oak Grill is open for dinner
• Brine will be serving dinner after 3PM
• Ceia Kitchen + Bar will be open at 3PM
• Enzo will be open for dinner at 5PM
• Andiamo will have the bar open at 5 and dining at 6PM
• The Grog opens at 5PM and Mardi Gras is ON
• Grand Trunk Market potentially opening at 1PM today
• Maki Sushi is open
• Bill & Bobs Roast Beef will be open at 6PM
• Salem Beer Works is open
• Sushi Garden is open and DELIVERING
• The Grapevine opens at 6PM
• 43 Church is open and WILL have live music
• Victoria Staion and the Boathouse are open, with fires roaring
• Pamplemousse is open
• 43 Church will be open at 5Pm
• Bill & Bobs Roast Beef will be open at 6PM
• The Tavern at the Hawthorne Hotel is open, with roaring fire.
• O’Neill’s will be open at 4 and their Black Heat Ball will go on as planned.
• Witches Brew café open at noon
• Gulu Gulu will open at 4PM
• In a Pig’s Eye will not be open for lunch, but will open later for dinner.
• Village Tavern open their regular hours, 11 – 1AM
• Howling Wolf will be open at 5PM
• Red Rock Bistro opens today at 4PM
6:56 PM Additional: Swampscott Patch just reported that the following take out places are open and delivering
781-203 Burrill St Swampscott, MA 01907
3 Railroad Ave Swampscott, MA 01907
653 Humphrey St Swampscott, MA 01907
Posted: February 1st, 2013 | Author: admin | Filed under: Christopher's Table, Event, Finz, Gloucester, Harbor Sweets, Ipswich, News, Red Lulu, Rockport, Salem, Wine Connextion | Tags: 11th Annual Chocolate & Wine Tasting, Salem's So Sweet Chocolate and Ice Sculpture Festival, Valentine's Dinner | No Comments »
We hope you spent January getting all the holiday excess behind you because February promises to be a great month for indulgence, with or without a sweetheart. There’s one contest to win chocolate, two chocolate tours, and several Valentine’s Day dinner menus.
Wake up your creative side and enter Harbor Sweets’ Valentine’s Day Poem contest—the winner receives the gift-basket (pictured above) of chocolate worth $100 sent directly to their sweetheart. Just write a poem (1,000 words or less) about chocolate and submit it by February 11 to Poems@Harborsweets.com. Include your first and last name, phone number, and email. The winner will be notified by February 13 to allow enough time to ship the basket.
Chocolate lovers will want to be in Salem on February 8 for the 11th Annual Chocolate & Wine Tasting. Tickets are on sale now ($25 at the Salem Chamber of Commerce, this event sells out quickly, so don’t wait). From 6:30 to 8:30 at the Colonial Hall, there will be samplings galore from restaurants, stores, and sweet shops. For a taste of what to expect, check out our coverage of the 2011 event. The tasting is part of Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival, which runs from the 8th to the 14th and includes a myriad of offers and tastings.
On February 9, Gloucester hosts its first Downtown Chocolate Tour, marked by retailers with large red hearts on their doors. You can pick up a tour map at Toodeloos, Harbor Goods, or Premier Imprints after February 1. Then simply follow the map to pick up goodies at all the participating stores and bring your completed map to Island Art & Hobby to be entered in a raffle for a Cape Ann gift certificate.
Christopher’s Table in Ipswich is celebrating February 14 with a four-course romance-inspired dinner that includes a wine tasting. They’re following that up with a Crazy Sexy Chocolate party on February 23. This “evening of chocolate decadence with a cash bar” sounds intriguing.
The Valentine’s menu at Finz in Salem has unusual items such as strawberry burratta salad, cocoa-dusted scallops, and duck breast with a ginger/brandied pears/cherry/soy reduction.
Rockport’s Emerson Inn by the Sea always goes all out for Valentine’s Day. This year, the menu features fire-roasted shrimp and corn chowder, beef wellington, duck confit with blackberry reduction, and expresso crème brulée or spiced apple anadama bread pudding.
Red Lulu in Salem promises secret suprises on the 14th, along with a menu that includes spiced lobster bisque grilled endive and frisee salad with spiced candied walnuts and manchego cheese, statler chicken breast with don julio reposado
tequila sauce, and blackened ribeye with creamy polenta and tart cherry sauce
Also in Salem, the Hawthorne Hotel will be serving up Wellfleet oysters, seared tuna with spicy mediterranean-style relish, and Valrhona chocolate torte for two, among other things in a lavish Valentine’s spread.
Last, but certainly not least, Andover’s Wine ConneXtion and China Blossom are collaborating to find help you create a simple, romantic evening with their Take Out to Stay In deal. Place any takeout order from China Blossom before the 14th, and they will contact the Wine ConneXtion to put aside a perfectly paired wine for the order and have it ready for pick up. Or you can peruse the Wine ConneXtion aisles February 10 through February 14 for highlighted wines along with suggestions of the best China Blossom dish for pairing.
So go out and celebrate—we’ll eat healthy in March!