Charm for Breakfast: A Diner Tour of the North Shore

Posted: April 12th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Agawam Diner, American, Breakfast, Diner, Little Depot Diner | Tags: , , , , , , | 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.

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February: The Sweetest Month?

Posted: February 1st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Christopher's Table, Event, Finz, Gloucester, Harbor Sweets, Ipswich, News, Red Lulu, Rockport, Salem, Wine Connextion | Tags: , , | 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!

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Wondering What’s New in 2013?

Posted: January 6th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: News | Tags: , | No Comments »

I’m sure you’ve noticed things have been a bit slow the past month here at the Dish. Fear not, now that the holidays are over you’ll be hearing from us more often. The good news is that we have been asked to write an occasional column for the Boston Globe North dining section and our first piece came out today, so you can get your Dish fix right here: Fresh North Shore restaurants to explore in 2013

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Serving Up a Fresh Dish

Posted: August 3rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: News | Tags: , , | No Comments »

You may have noticed we’ve been a bit quiet this summer. Crazy work and vacation scheduling has taken a toll, but now we are refreshed and invigorated and looking forward to putting that energy into the Dish.

To that end, we are looking for your feedback. Since our very first post back in 2008, we haven’t changed very much around here, and we’d like to know your thoughts; what you like about the site, what you don’t, what you want to see more or less of. We started NSD to bring you local restaurant and food news and we want to make sure you enjoy what we’re serving up.

Please give us a hand and take a moment and fill out the following survey:

Survey: Serving Up a Fresh Dish

We look forward to your input!
Thanks,

Kristen and Jill

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A Tasty Collaboration

Posted: April 20th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Cape Ann Brewing Company, Drinks, Event, Gloucester, Ryan & Wood Distilleries | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Two of our favorite purveyors of tasty tipple on the north shore have come together in a creative collaboration. This Friday, April 22nd, Cape Ann Brewing Company along with Ryan & Wood Distillery will be tapping their new project; Whiskey Barrel Aged Fisherman’s Rock-Porter. Oak barrels used by Ryan & Wood to age their rye whiskey for 2 years were re-used by Cape Ann Brewing to age our Fisherman’s Rock-Porter for another 2 months.

This event marks the first of many future collaborations between the two companies. Head down to The Pub at Cape Ann Brewing on Friday at 6:00 pm for a chance to taste the new brew and to chat up brewer extraordinaire Dylan Lindquist and the terrific Bob Ryan of Ryan & Wood. We’ve had the opportunity to talk with each of them at length and you’d be hard put to find a couple of guys more passionate about what they do.

And be sure to congratulate Bob on his first bottling of rye whiskey!

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Wenham’s Grassy Roots Feeds Body and Soul

Posted: March 19th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Breakfast, Cafe, Grassy Roots, Wenham | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Let’s face it, healthy food is not always delicious. But we’re happy to report that at a lovely new spot in Wenham, we found a lunch you can feel good about. We stopped into Grassy Roots last weekend and were delighted by the airy space and the fresh selections.

We started with one of their juice combinations, which are made on the spot from whole fruits and vegetables. The Get Up and Go is a tasty combination of pineapple, lime, and cucumber ($7) that was made on the less-sweet side at our request. (It would be fabulous with a touch of gin in it, but that’s another story.)

The store carries a great selection of smoothies, sandwiches, salads, and panini, along with fresh baked goods. We tried the Lovely Viola, which featured large chunks of moist poached salmon, arugula, onion, and dill tartar ($10). Definitely worth returning for. We felt the same way about the Barstool, a combination of roasted eggplant, hummus, roasted red peppers and watercress that tasted incredibly fresh and more decadent than most vegetarian sandwiches ($8).

Of course, since we wanted to report on all of the shop’s offerings, we had to try a few of the goodies on display. Honestly, the things we won’t do for you people. The triple chocolate brownie was dense and fudgy, though we’re not sure the small size was worth $1.50; the muffins were moist and flavorful; and the cheddar chive bacon scone was one of the best savory scones we’ve ever had—cheesy and smoky with a wonderful light texture.

If you’re traveling on Route 1A, definitely stop into this high quality breakfast and lunch spot, and if you try the mocha morning smoothie, let us know how it was because we already regret not trying it.

Grassy Roots
152 Main St, Wenham
(978) 468-5200
grassyroots.squarespace.com

Grassy Roots on Urbanspoon

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Gloucester’s Latitude 43 Unveils New Sibling: Minglewood Tavern

Posted: November 5th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: American, Drinks, Gloucester, News | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments »

We were a bit confused when we started hearing mention of Minglewood Tavern. We knew the bar at Latitude 43 in Gloucester was undergoing renovation, but this sounded like a whole new entity. We decided to investigate and gave Brian Eastman, the bar manager, a call.

It turns out that Minglewood Tavern, which takes it’s name from the Grateful Dead song New Minglewood Blues, is still attached to Lat 43 but has been given a separate identity and a complete makeover. This isn’t surprising given the fact that both establishments are owned by Mark McDonough’s Serenitee Restaurant Group (previously North Shore Restaurant Group). McDonough is well known for his creativity and fearlessness in retooling eateries to better serve local neighborhoods.

Eastman told us the team essentially gutted the entire tavern and outfitted it with features that make it even more funky and comfortable. The centerpiece is a large bar custom built by Walker Creek Furniture of Essex and finished with salvaged 205-year-old barn boards. Another new feature is a beautiful stone hearth built with local granite that serves as inspiration for the new menu, which Eastman describes as creative pub fare. Flatbread pizzas and other oven-baked items like enchiladas and lasagna will be on offer. Other menu items, like the sushi that Lat 43 is known for, will still be available.

There is a full roster of weekly specials and events planned, and Eastman is especially excited about Thursdays, when various brewers will be on hand to meet and talk beer. And speaking of beer, Minglewood is serious about it; they’ll offer twenty brews on tap.

Minglewood opens tomorrow night, and they’ll have a grand opening celebration starting at 6:00 pm with tastes from the new menu and live music from the local band Phat Maxx. We heard a rumour that Good Morning Gloucester’s infamous Joey C will be on hand mixing up his signature drink, the Hop Skip and Go Naked, which is served in a mason jar. How can you pass that up?

Minglewood Tavern
www.minglewoodtavern.com
25 Rogers Street, Gloucester
(978) 281-0223

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Weekend Picks, November 4-7

Posted: November 4th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Event, News | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The weekend is almost upon us, and we’re back with some ideas to keep you busy.

First off, tonight the Trustees of the Reservations hold the first of their 3rd Annual Celebrity Chef Dinner Series at Castle Hill hosted by the Trustees of the Reservations. Tonight’s dinner features Chef Robert Grant of The Butcher Shop in Boston, and the Dec. 2 dinner will feature Chef Sam Hunt of 15 Walnut in Hamilton.

On Sunday, there are fun things happening all over the North Shore. In Peabody, you’ll find the North Shore Bazaar 2010. While it’s not limited to food and drink, there will be more than 25 vendors offering organic, fair trade, locally resourced, or locally produced gifts and services. Lunch will be available as well.

Rockport Music is hosting a wine tasting at 4:00 on Sunday, offering attendees the opportunity to sample nine of the best French, German, and Californian wines, accompanied by a culinary creation, and then evaluate and vote on the best overall pairing of wine and food. California’s Benchmark Wine Group will lead the tasting, and Chef Ron Weisheit and Pastry Chef Rhonda Weisheit of Newburyport’s Pralines & Pepper will provide the food and some insight into the pairings.

Also on Sunday evening, the 17th Annual Taste of Lynnfield will be held at the Peabody Marriott, hosted by Lynnfield Educational Trust (LET), a non-profit that provides financial support to enhance the educational experience for all children in the Lynnfield Public schools.

This year, attendees will have the opportunity to sample the culinary talents of some outstanding area restaurants, including The Blue Ox (Lynn), 15 Walnut (Hamilton), Masa (Woburn), Jalapeno’s Mexican Restaurant (Gloucester), Turbine Wine Bar (Lynn), The Red Rooster (Lynnfield), T&L Wine Cellar (Lynnfield and Peabody), Cafe Jag’s (Wakefield), FINZ (Salem), New England Beverage (North Reading), Focaccia (Wilmington), Guilio’s Bakery (Wakefield), Mount Vernon at the Ship (Lynnfield), and Carrabba’s Italian Grill (Peabody).

Last but far from least, don’t forget that Sunday marks the first night of Salem Restaurant Week. Salem has had an unprecedented number of restaurants open this year, and if you’ve been itching to get out and try some of the new kids on the block, this is your chance. The deals are good enough that after you try something new, you can go back to an old favorite as well.

And here, as always, are the weekend picks from our pals in the North Shore Bloggers Consortium.

Abby shares her picks, including an apples and wine fest in Ipswich, over at 5th Joy.

The wonderful Jane Ward tells us what’s up in Newburyport and Amesbury in Food and Fiction.

Choices from all over New England from The Two Palaverers.

Media giant Seth gives up the best of Lynn at Lynn Happens.

Joey’s got all that’s going on in Gloucester over at Good Morning Gloucester

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Our Weekend Picks

Posted: October 28th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Event, Shubie's Market Place | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

It looks like we’ll get the fall weather back this weekend, just in time for Halloween. The biggest Halloween party in the nation happens right here on the North Shore, and if you’re the partying kind and have never been to Salem for the big day, get thee hence; it really is a scene like no other. Just take heed when deciding how to get there.

Whether you have little ones looking forward to trick or treating, or you’re stocking up on candy to hand out to the neighbors, here is a list of the official trick or treat hours in North Shore communities.

For those of you who prefer smaller crowds and fine wines, on Saturday October 30, Shubie’s is holding their Corks and Forks Annual Fall Wine & Food Festival. From noon to 4:00, they will be pouring with over 50 wines, featuring The BZ Collection, MS Walker, European Cellars, Old Bridge Cellars, Wildman Imports, Grange Fine Wines, and Classic Wine Imports.

There will also be tastes to try along with the wine. Among others, Chef Lynn Aronson will be debuting her new cheese fondue, Fantastic Fortunes will be on hand with samples of the giant fortune cookies, and Tea Forte will be demonstrating their innovative teas and delicious blends.

The event is free to the public and special discounts on wines will be available that day. We’ve really enjoyed these tastings in the past, and you can read about our experience here.

While not happening on the weekend, next Tuesday’s Take a Bite out of Trafficking is an important event everyone should be aware of. Restaurants, chefs, and businesses located north of Boston will join together in support of Anuradha Koirala, one of CNN’s Top Ten Heroes of 2010 nominees. Her Maiti Nepal is a non-profit organization that combats the sex trafficking of Nepali women and children.

Held at the Ipswich Country Club, the event will kick off at 5:45 with a special chef’s tasting featuring samplings from various restaurants, including 62 Restaurant & Wine Bar, Tryst, The Blue Ox, Pellana, 15 Walnut, Shea’s, Ipswich Country Club, Salem Waterfront Hotel, 9 Elm, American BBQ, Mr. India, Ithaki, Bradford Tavern, and The Green Land Cafe.

In addition to culinary samplings from some of the area’s most recognized chefs, the evening includes an exclusive movie screening and an auction featuring a variety of fabulous items. Tickets are $45 presale, $50 at the door. Cash bar. All proceeds of the event go directly to Maiti Nepal.

For more things to do this weekend, checkout these choice picks from our North Shore Bloggers Consortium pals:

Seth’s rundown of what’s up in Lynn this Halloween Weekend at Lynn Happens.

Joey C’s Halloween edition of his weekend picks at Good Morning Gloucester.

Jane’s got some spooky cool events listed in her  picks over at Food & Fiction.

Rob and Laura have scouted out hauntings all over New England at The Two Plaverers.

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Weekend Picks: the Short Version

Posted: October 21st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Event | Tags: , | 3 Comments »

Wow, what a whirlwind week. Things have been crazy busy, but we wanted to let you know about a few things going on this weekend.

First off, you still have today and tomorrow to take advantage of Cape Ann Restaurant Week and get a terrific three course meal for only $25 per person.

On Saturday, The Wine ConneXtion in North Andover will be hosting a grand tasting event to celebrate their first year in business. They will be pouring more than 50 hand-selected wines from all over the world  with some great one-day special pricing on selected wines. The Food Network’s Tommy Grella, now director of restaurants for Salvatore’s, will be serving up culinary treats for a fun-fillled afternoon of food and wine. The tastings run throughout the afternoon, but if you want a spot for the food demos, RSVP to press@wineconnextion.com.

Also on Saturday is an event we are looking forward to, the 28th Annual Essex Clam Festival, which runs from 11:00 to 4:00 at Memorial Park in Essex. (Rain date is Sunday.)

The highlight of the day will be the Clam Chowder Tasting, a competition that pits area restaurants against one another to determine who serves the best chowder on Cape Ann. Several local restaurants are expected to serve up their favorite chowder recipes starting at 12:00 and ending at 2:00.

The chowder will be judged by Legal Seafoods President & CEO Roger Berkowitz, Senator Bruce Tarr, Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante, Essex Town Selectman Jeff Jones, Chamber President Kathy Low, Amy Harnois of TD Bank, and local personality Ed Collard. The public will also have the opportunity to sample and vote on their favorite chowder. In addition to the chowder competition, there will be live entertainment, arts and craft tables, and children’s activities.

Lastly, we wanted to remind you that sign up for the Cape Ann Fresh Catch November season is underway. They’ve enhanced the weekly options, so you might be interested in taking a look.

Here are a few more weekend picks from a couple of our North Shore Bloggers Consortium pals:

The unstoppable Joey C has his picks here on Good Morning Gloucester.

The wonderful Jane Ward has some great ideas, including Flying Pumpkins over at Food and Fiction.

Choices from all over New England at The Two Palaverers.

Fabulous Abby shares her picks at 5th Joy.

Seth, our man in Lynn tells us what’s rockin’ there this weekend on Lynn Happens.

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