Beat the Blues With Beer and Chocolate

Posted: January 25th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Getting out and about is the best way we know to fight the mid-winter blues, and some great events are coming up that are worth leaving the house for. First up is a craft beer celebration at Salem’s Vic’s Boathouse at Victoria Station. It’s on Thursday, January 25 from 6:30 to 8:30. For $20, you can sip craft creations from some of the best Massachusetts breweries, sample food from a buffet of classic New England fare, and listen to music put on by Open Mic host Nick Consone. The featured brews include Cambridge Brewing Co. Audacity, Wandering Star Berkshire Hills 01201 Saison, Cisco Brewery Blonde Lady, Fishermans Ale, Cody Brewing Honey Ginger Ale, Mayflower IPA, Notch Cerne Pivo, Pretty Things Baby Tree, and Berkshire Brewing Steel Rail Extra Pail Ale.

Next up is ice cream for breakfast from 8:00am to 12:00pm on Saturday February 4, at Cherry Farm Creamery in Danvers. Half of the proceeds will go to support the HAWC organization. Cherry Farm will open early for the occasion and serve a special “breakfast menu” that includes waffle sundaes, Pop-Tart sundaes, Coffee & Donuts ice cream (coffee ice cream with chocolate-glazed donuts mixed in), Maple Bacon ice cream (maple-flavored ice cream with bits of bacon) and Banana Grape-Nut ice cream. There will be assorted cereals for toppings, as well as banana crunch bars and warm maple syrup and blueberry toppings. Details are on Cherry Farm’s Facebook page under events or call the store at (978) 774-0519.

Last, but not least, is Salem’s 10th Annual Chocolate & Wine Tasting on Friday, February 10 from 6:30 to 8:30 at Hamilton Hall. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased in advance from the Salem Chamber of Commerce. This event sold out last year, so don’t wait to buy tickets if you’d like to go.

Participating restaurants include 62 Restaurant and Wine Bar, Adriatic Restaurant & Bar, Ben & Jerry’s, Busa Wine and Spirits, Green Land Café, Gulu-Gulu Café, Sweet Adeline’s, Victoria Station, and Ye Olde Pepper Co. The event kicks of the Salem So Sweet Festival, which includes ice sculptures on February 11 and 12 and special Valentine’s Day shopping deals February 10 to 14.


Pleasing a Crowd at Gloucester’s Latitude 43

Posted: January 18th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Gloucester, Latitude 43, Seafood | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

We had a diverse group last weekend, with some craving sushi and others leaning toward fried food. Luckily, we thought of Gloucester’s Latitude 43, which perfectly filled the bill. Overall, we had a terrific meal with a welcoming atmosphere, attentive service, and the freshest of seafood.

There were a couple of missteps, including the mussels appetizer ($12), which we found quite bland. Go for the calamari instead; we had them Asian style and quickly finished the generous, crispy portion ($9). The bacon clam chowder was also outstanding: thick and smoky with a perfect amount of clams ($6). With our appetizers we sampled one of the bar’s specialties, an apple old fashioned that was tart and refreshing ($9).

The restaurant’s sushi menu features a huge selection of specialty rolls, and several of us chose these over an entrée. The dragon roll, with shrimp tempura, crab, avocado, and fresh water eel, was an unbeatable combination of textures ($15), and the titanic roll was also well received (spicy tuna, salmon, yellow tail, albacore tuna, escolar, and shishito peppers, $16). The Lat 43 roll was good but didn’t hit the heights of the others (tempura tuna, wasabi goat cheese, avocado, enoki mushrooms, tobiko, and mango wrapped with daikon radish, $18). We also sampled the maguru nigiri (tuna), which was meltingly tender and delicious ($7).

The fish and chips entrée was perfectly cooked and seasoned, with crisp, salty fries and a sweetened tartar sauce that was addictive ($18). The corn and lobster tortelloni was not as successful. The lobster was succulent and plentiful, but the pasta was slightly undercooked, and the filling had an unpleasant mealy texture ($21).

It’s hard to go wrong with a flourless chocolate cake, and this one did not disappoint, with vanilla ice cream, a caramel crunch, and plenty of oozy chocolate to go around ($6).

Whether you’re craving fried food, sushi, a warm bowl of chowder, or just need to please a crowd, Latitude 43 is a great choice.

Latitude 43
25 Rogers St, Gloucester
(978) 281-0223