Getting Fresh at the Beach: New Owners Bring Enthusiasm to Lime Rickey’s

Posted: May 26th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Casual/Pub Food, Lime Rickey's, Marblehead, Seafood | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Despite the chilly weather, beach season officially starts this week. It came as a surprise to many at Marblehead’s Devereux Beach to see a banner adorning the seasonal food stand proclaiming new ownership.

The stand, which had been run most recently by Paul Petersiel of Swampscott’s Red Rock Bistro (which also houses another Lime Rickey’s location) was sold last month to Anthony Marino and Victoria Farnsworth, owners of Beverly’s popular Marino’s Café.

We were never particularly impressed with the old Lime Rickey’s, so were interested to hear of the change. We stopped by during their soft opening this afternoon to get the scoop on what beachgoers can expect this summer.

Much will stay the same, including the name, which Farnsworth told us they bought the rights to. (The one in Swampscott will change its name; we hear the restaurant is undergoing a change of ownership as well.)

The menu will stay true to classic New England beach shack cuisine, offering fried seafood, burgers and dogs, sandwiches, and Richardson’s ice cream. Keeping things hand made and local, says Farnsworth, will ensure fresh flavor and reasonable cost. The stand will steam lobsters fresh on-site, provided by lobsterman Jeff Bartlett out of Beverly, and the aim is to keep lobster and lobster roll prices as close to market value as possible. Other seafood will be provided by local company Patriot Seafood, who pick up at the dock in Marblehead.

One welcome change that we noticed was the size of the burger. Several ounces have been added, but cost hasn’t. The perky Farnsworth shakes her head. “Four ounces just wasn’t big enough.” Topped with healthy slices of tomato, lettuce, and onion and accompanied by a side of tasty homemade potato chips, it’s a definite improvement.

The portion size on the fish and chips wasn’t skimpy either. The light, crispy batter and hand-cut fries convinced us we’ll have to return to try the clams and shrimp.

We felt bad firing questions at this enthusiastic young couple while they were working out the kinks on their first day, but they took it in stride. Our visit has us looking forward to simpler fare prepared more thoughtfully, better value, and the possibility of fun things like live music and weeknight lobster dinners.

Lime Rickey’s
105 Ocean Ave, Marblehead
https://www.facebook.com/LimeRickeys

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Hits and Misses at Pride’s Osteria

Posted: May 24th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Beverly, Italian, Pride's Osteria | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments »

Last weekend we finally made our way to Beverly’s Pride’s Osteria, a place that has been generating some serious buzz.

Perhaps our expectations were high, but it ended up being an odd experience. The dining room was a bit stark and became very loud by evening’s end, making it difficult to converse. (Surprisingly, the bar area was much quieter.) The waitstaff, however, was perky and helpful.

Although the Montenegro Manhattan (made with Amaro Montenegro) was excellent, we were not impressed with skimpy wine pours, and we noted that many of the drinks were $1 more than the online menu prices.

We enjoyed the light, crispy focaccia, served with fruity olive oil for dipping, as well as the lightly smoked local bluefish with Maine fiddleheads and house-made cherry vinegar ($12). The dressing was tangy, and the fiddleheads were fresh and crunchy.

The Tagliere del contadino (farm board) featured artisan meats, cheeses, and bread and was tasty, but the half portion was tiny for $14. Also meager was the caprese con mozzerella di bufala. While the heirloom tomato slices and imported mozzarella were fresh and flavorful, the dish was not worth $14.

For entrees, we all opted for pasta, hand made by chef Paolo Laboa. The piedmontese style angnolotti filled with red wine, braised pork, beef, and sausage was the favorite; the little pillows served warm between the folds of a cloth napkin were tender and meaty ($22).

The other two dishes featured pasta with great texture, but the sauces underwhelmed us. The much-touted, award-winning pesto ($20) was silky but otherwise quite ordinary. The piccaggette pasta with lobster ($22) suffered in the translation. The Italian “alla Maggiorana,” I realized after Googling, is a marjoram preparation, but the menu described it as a “light, fresh organic tomato sauce.” The sparse, slightly bitter sauce that accompanied the dish didn’t meet that expectation.

Fortunately, we enjoyed a sweet ending to the meal. The house-made latte dolce were fabulous deep-fried, cream-filled dough bites that were amazing and addictive. The restaurant offers diners a shot of home-made liqueur at the end of the meal, and the limoncello was superb.

In all, we found the visit a disappointment. There were some memorable tastes, but some real duds as well, and all the portions were very small for the price.

Pride’s Osteria
240 Rantoul Street, Beverly
978.969.0083
www.pridesosteria.com

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Let Us Eat Cake

Posted: May 14th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Bakery, Buttermilk Baking Company, Newburyport | Tags: , , , | 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
(978) 499-8278
www.buttermilkbaking.com

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From Lunch to Brunch to Gourmet Dinners, We’ve Got Plenty of Ways to Celebrate Mom

Posted: May 7th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 62 Restaurant & Winebar, Blue Ox, brunch, Event, Finz, Nathaniel's at the Hawthorne Hotel, Victoria Station | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 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!

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