To Market, to Market…

Posted: June 5th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Marblehead Farmer's Market, Marketplace, Newburyport Farmer's Market, News, Salem Farmer's Market, Swampscott Farmer's market | Tags: , | 1 Comment »


For many foodies, the start of summer had nothing to do with the calendar or the weather—it’s all about the farmers markets. Personally, we are chomping at the bit. Apparently so are the folks in Newburyport, who had their farmers market opening day May 6th.  Marblehead jumps on the bandwagon this Saturday, June 9 (Veteran’s School, 217 Pleasant St., 9:00 to 12:00), followed by Salem on June 14, along with many others in late June and early July. Salem is held at Derby Square on Front St., Thursdays from 3:00 to 7:00, and Newburyport is at The Tannery Marketplace on Sundays from 9:00 to 1:00.

Many folks are excited that Swampscott is getting its own market this year, starting on June 10. It will be open Sundays through October from 10:00 to 1:00 at the high school. Clark Farm will anchor the market with a large variety of produce; John Crow Farms, Maitland Mountain Farms (known for their pickles and flowers), Fille de Ferme (homemade jams and jellies), Cherry Street Fish Market, and Big Sky Breads round out the initial group of vendors.

If you aren’t familiar with John Getting’s terrific resource North Shore Locavore, you should click on through and check it out. Not only does John keep a full list of farmers markets, he  continually updates with great information on farms stands, CSAs and local foods all over the North Shore.

Please let us know about your favorite market or vendor in the comments or by email. We’ll be visiting markets all over the North Shore this summer and posting about our finds.

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One Potato, Two Potato…

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: 3 Potato 4, Vegitarian/Vegan | Tags: , | 4 Comments »

A tiny shop that sells French fries that aren’t fried? We had to check it out right away, so last week, we sought out the weeks-old 3 Potato 4. It’s located inside Ben & Jerry’s on Washington St. in Salem, with a take-out window around the corner on Lynde St. Just look for the funky retro rocket logo.

It was one of those really-wish-I-had-thought-of-that moments as we were handed a paper cone of hot, crispy steak-style “fries” and offered our choice of sauces. The small is only $3, and it’s not tiny; sauces are $1 extra, but worth it. We loved the curried ketchup and the peanut satay. Other choices include pesto mayo, barbeque, and Thai chili. If you’re looking for grease you won’t find it here, but the fries are hearty and tasty.

3 Potato 4 is a new concept that owner Guenevere Blanchard hopes to franchise around the country. The idea is simple: organic potatoes are cooked crispy in about four minutes in a special convection oven—with no fat and a sprinkling of sea salt. It’s a healthy, satisfying snack that gets gussied up with a quick dip in one the highly-flavored sauces. Vegetarians will approve, and vegan sauce and topping choices are available.
3 Potato 4
60 Washington Street, Salem
(978) 744-7500
http://3p4shop.com

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Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of (Local) Rum

Posted: May 11th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Drinks, Event, Ipswich, Turkey Shore Distilleries | Tags: , , | No Comments »

As New Englanders, we love a good story. We also love local products—especially the kind you can make cocktails with. So it was with great pleasure that we attended a party to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Turkey Shore Distilleries and the launch of their Greenhead Spiced Rum last weekend.

The company was formed by Mat Perry and Evan Parker, who grew up as neighbors and friends on Turkey Shore Road in Ipswich. It turns out that barrels of molasses from the West Indies were unloaded at a wharf in Mat’s backyard along the Ipswich River on their way to John Heard’s local distillery from 1770 to 1836. In fact, rum making was a major New England industry in colonial times. Today, Perry and Parker use table-grade molasses to create artisanal rum using a 250-gallon copper pot still built in Kentucky.

We took a tour of the small operation, taking in the gorgeous still, the fermenting tanks, and the tiny bottling operation. Mat told us that the company’s barrels are unusual in that they are smaller than most and built for them from white oak. Most rum these days is aged in barrels already used to age scotch, but the colonials used new barrels, so Turkey Shore does as well.

Along with Old Ipswich White Cap Rum (which we tasted in a fantastic adult version of lemonade) and Old Ipswich Tavern Style Rum (bolder than White Cap and truest to the original New England rums), Turkey Shore is now offering Greenhead Spiced Rum. Delicious and unusual, it has notes of lemongrass, spearmint, and green tea.

We enjoyed meeting the Turkey Shore team, sipping their terrific rum, and learning about their operation. We’ll definitely be seeking out their product, which is available at Kappy’s in Danvers and Peabody, Main St Liquors in Beverly, Cape Ann Liquors in Gloucester, Marcorelles Liquors in Ipswich, Haley’s in Marblehead, Port Wine and Spirits in Newburyport, and Quality Liquors in Salem. It’s also at some of our favorite restaurants, including Hale Street in Beverly, The Farm in Essex, 15 Walnut in Hamilton, and Choate Bridge Pub in Ipswich. For a full list of stores and restaurants, please visit the their website.

If you’d like to see the distillery for yourself, you don’t have to wait until their next anniversary to check out Turkey Shore. Tours are available between 12pm and 5pm Monday through Friday and also by appointment. You can see more photos from the anniversary event on our Facebook page.

Turkey Shore Distilleries
23 Hayward Street #8, Ipswich
(978) 356-0048
www.turkeyshoredistilleries.com

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Restaurants Bloom on the North Shore

Posted: April 14th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

It was a mild winter, but it still feels wonderful to welcome spring. There’s lots happening on the North Shore food-wise, with new restaurants starting up and farm stands re-opening in many towns.

But first, we need to congratulate the winners of the Warwick Film and Food Festival. Swampscott’s City Grill won the judges award for taste with their smoked beef short rib rillette with candied green tomato and soft polenta. Pickwick Baking Company was the big winner of the night, winning for best presentation and best film pairing (a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party a la “Alice in Wonderland”). Pickwick’s Alison Ryan put her tantalizingly delicious macarons into a woodland fairy-tale setting that delighted the judges and the crowd. City and Pickwick tied for the Best of the Festival Award. Last but not least, Kappy’s Liquors won the people’s choice award for keeping Coppola wines flowing to match their “Godfather” theme. You can see photos of all of the awesome restaurants entries here.

We start the restaurant news with the folks at Serenitee Restaurant group (Cala’s, Alchemy, 15 Walnut), who just opened Maggie’s Farm on Rt. 114 in Middleton. A pub-style restaurant, Maggie’s features starters like smoked goat cheese jalapeno poppers, roasted pork tacos, and crispy corn and crab cake. Entrees include seafood jambalaya, stuffed eggplant, and pan-roasted statler breast; there are also pizzas and sandwiches to choose from.

Next, the Wenham Tea House has re-opened under the management of Henry’s of Beverly, with Peter Capalbo (owner/operator of Beverly’s Tryst) as the executive chef. In addition to breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and weekend brunch, the take-out options feature selections from Henry’s and loose-leaf tea from Hamilton’s Jolie Tea Company. They’re building a 70-person patio and will be holding wine dinners starting in the summer.

Several new restaurants are coming to Salem, including Life Alive organic café in the former Coven location on Essex St., Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt on Lafayette St., Something’s Brewing on Wharf St. (a new tea shop), and Three Potato Four on Washington St. (baked potato snacks with a variety of toppings).

Endicott College’s School of Hospitality Management has announced their restaurant’s spring schedule. Dinners at La Chanterelle Restaurant begin at 6:30 and feature seasonal selections prepared and served by students. Call for more information and reservations: (978) 232-3040. You can also sign up for their mailing list.

Three new food shops are opening in Marblehead. In Old Town, the Candy Pop Sweet Shoppe will feature penny candy, bulk candy, organic candy, vegan candy, sugar free candy, popcorn, and dessert pops, while Captn’s Bakery will offer artisan bread, bagels, cakes, cookies, cupcakes, and brownies. In downtown, Absolutely Fabulous will serve up specialty cakes on Atlantic Ave.

For those who can’t wait to buy local produce, Russell Orchards in Ipswich will open on April 28, Cider Hill in Amesbury will open on May 4, and Green Meadows Farm in Hamilton is open already with pansies, home-made treats, and lambs and piglets for the kids to see. And Swampscott is getting its own farmer’s market, located at the high school (200 Essex St) and open from 10am to 1pm on Sundays from mid-June to October.

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Please Join Us Saturday Night at the Warwick Film & Food Festival

Posted: March 20th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Event, Marblehead | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

Just a quick reminder that the Warwick Film & Food Festival is this Saturday night at 7:00 at the Tower School in Marblehead. There are still tickets available at the UPS store at Village Plaza and Crosby’s Market (both in Marblehead). Tickets are $50 at the door or $45 in advance ($80 for two in advance) and can be purchased online at http://www.warwicktheatre.org/film-food-fest.html and http://warwickf3.eventbrite.com.

We’ve got a great lineup of food and beverage purveyors offering tastings: 62 Restaurant & Winebar, Alfalfa Farm Winery, Blue Ox, Caffe Italia, Cape Ann Brewing Co, City Grill, Every Little Breeze, Finz, Hungry Betty’s, Kappy’s Liquors, Ken’s Kickin’ Chicken, The Landing, Le Bistro, The Lobster Shanty, Pickwick Baking Co, Rockhopper Café, Ryan & Wood Distilleries, Sea Street Soups, Starbucks, Starlight Creative, Three Cod Tavern, Turkey Shore Distilleries, and Victoria Station.

Live entertainment includes Marblehead’s The Jewel Tones, Luminescence, Hayley Reardon, and The Marbleheadstones, along with Boston band The Chicken Slacks, with its famous horn section.

Every participant has chosen a film to pair their food or beverage with, and we hear that some are even dressing the part, so we are looking forward to a creative  and fun evening. Who chose Silence of the Lambs? What will Hungry Betty’s serve to pair with Attack of the Killer Tomatoes? Will Doug from Ryan and Wood really dress up as  a pirate to serve his rum punch?  Please join us for this fantastic event to benefit the Warwick Theatre Foundation—great food and great fun for a great cause. See you there!

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Pellino’s: A Perfect Date-Night Spot

Posted: February 24th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Italian, Marblehead | No Comments »

We’re often asked for a recommendation for a romantic night out, so we are happy to add another favorite to our list. Pellino’s in downtown Marblehead has all the essentials: a quiet side street in a quaint area, a small dining room, perfect lighting, terrific food, and low-key service. As though that weren’t enough, we were pleasantly surprised by the prices.

On a recent Saturday night, we were seated in the window of this lovely spot, where we sipped the house Chianti while surveying the menu. Our appetizers were both memorable: lightly fried calamari with a flavorful marinara ($10) and a generous portion of caprese (fresh mozzarella topped with tomatoes) accented with balsamic syrup, a dollop of smoked eggplant, and a crisp crostini ($9.50).

The pacing of the meal was just right, and our waitress was both friendly and attentive. Our entrees were as successful as the appetizers. The mushroom ravioli were the perfect combination of feather-light pasta and earthy mushrooms, accented by a light mushroom/cream sauce that contained more mushrooms ($18). The chicken parmesan was super crispy outside and extremely tender inside. It was accompanied by a large serving of perfectly sauced angel hair pasta ($18).

We had opted out of pre-ordering the bread pudding or molten cake for dessert, so our choices were limited. But we were in no way disappointed by the vanilla gelato with biscotti. The lavish portion of ultra-smooth ice cream went down easily accompanied by the crunchy, highly-flavored cookies.

Pellino’s has gotten a good deal of positive press in the past, and we’re pleased to be able to say it lives up to its reputation, providing a fine dining experience at reasonable prices in a romantic setting.

Pellino’s
261 Washington St, Marblehead
(781) 631-3344
www.pellinos.com

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Not Your Typical Coffee and Donuts

Posted: February 7th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Cherry Farm Creamery, Danvers, Sweets and Treats | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

We’ve heard of breakfast for dinner, but ice cream for breakfast—in January, no less? Still, it was for a good cause, so off we went to Cherry Farm Creamery in Danvers this weekend. They were celebrating National Ice Cream for Breakfast Day (who knew?) by serving special flavors on Saturday morning and donating half of the proceeds to the HAWC organization.

The creamery went all out for the event, making fresh waffles for waffle sundaes and coming up with great flavors like banana grape-nut and maple bacon, so we were glad to see a line out the door when we arrived. Yes, it was chilly, but it was also fun and thought-provoking. The maple ice cream with real bacon crumbled in was especially interesting, with a strong maple flavor mixing with that wonderful salty element.

Our waffle sundaes were amazing—the waffle soaked up the melting ice cream and mixed with the delicious hot fudge. The coffee ice cream with chocolate-glazed donuts mixed in truly put it over the top, and one of our party opted for the bacon topping. We didn’t try it, but there was a sundae option featuring a warm blueberry or strawberry Pop Tart, and in addition to bacon, toppings included granola, warm maple syrup, and warm blueberry sauce. Maybe we should have ice cream for breakfast more often…

Cherry Farm Creamery
210 Conant Street, Danvers
(978) 774-0519
cherryfarmcreamery.com

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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.

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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
http://latfortythree.com

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Hidden Gem: White Dove Serves Up Affordable, Delicious Middle Eastern Fare

Posted: December 16th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Middle Eastern, Salem, White Dove | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

A convenience store in Salem that serves a range of fresh Middle Eastern food? It sounded strange, but so many people raved about it, we were more than intrigued. Located a half-block from the main Salem State campus, the White Dove appears to be an ordinary corner store, but the food we sampled was far from the typical deli fare.

We ordered the chicken kabob, falafel, shawarma, and kafta kabob sandwiches. Each came rolled in extremely fresh, soft pita and would easily feed two people. The falafel was tender and flavorful; the chicken was fine but not outstanding. The shawarma (thin slices of marinated beef cooked on a rotisserie) was marvelous, with a lemony tahini sauce. The kafta was equally good: small charred meatballs of beef and lamb highly flavored with herbs, spices, and onion.

We bookended our sandwiches with some baba ghanoush and a piece of baklava. Both were fresher than we’ve had elsewhere and made with care. The baba ghanoush was a creamy smoky revelation. We don’t have individual prices for the items (and they’re not on the website), but our entire meal cost $32 and constituted enough food for eight people—although you’d probably want to add one more piece of baklava to avoid any dessert disputes.

White Dove
59 Loring Ave, Salem
(978) 744-3143
www.salemmadining.com/restaurants/menus/whitedove.html

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