Farmers Market and Local Chefs Make a Winning Combination

Posted: October 10th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Event, G Bar and Kitchen, Swampscott Farmer's market | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Beautiful and savory plates by Chef Brackmann of G Bar and Kitchen earned the Chef Throwdown trophy.

This Sunday will mark the end of the Swampscott Farmers’ Market first season. If you haven’t been this year, you should plan to check it out. In addition to beautiful produce from area farms, they host some terrific locally produced foods. We enjoyed Patty’s Guacamole out of Gloucester, tasty treats from Salem’s Sweet Adeline’s, and lush jams from Marblehead’s Fille de Ferme.

Chef Craig Hawley prepares a fresh lobster for the grill.

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of being one of the judges at a Chef Throwdown at the market, but due to technical difficulties haven’t been able to post photos until now. It was an awesome event, with all three chefs stepping up to the plate in spectacular fashion, and the crowd hanging on every move.

Chef Brackmann whipping up butternut zucchini pancakes.

Chef Gregg Brackmann of G Bar and Kitchen may have walked away with the saucepan trophy, but I think the judges were the true winners for the chance to taste some unique and wonderful dishes.

Chef Guarino plates his ceviche.

Brackmann’s plating was gorgeous, and his accompaniments, like acorn squash and corn hash, red and purple pepper puree, and butternut zucchini pancakes were fresh and funky, highlighting seasonal produce. Chef Joe Guarino of Red Rock Bistro wowed the judges with a salmon ceviche that was a taste revelation.

Tangy and tender salmon ceviche by Red Rock Bistro’s Chef Guarino.

We loved Chef Craig Hawley’s Bar-B-Que Bistro (seriously, the coolest BBQ truck I’ve ever seen) which he graciously lent to the proceedings, but we loved his smoked purple pepper stuffed with rich seafood etouffé even more.

Craig hawley’s divine smoked purple peppers stuffed with seafood etouffe.

The Swampscott Farmers Market is a great addition to the local food scene, and we congratulate them on a successful first year and thank them for hosting such a well-organized and entertaining throwdown.

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Taking Advantage of October’s Harvest

Posted: October 3rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Event | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Along with cooler weather and strangely dressed children, there are a slew of food and drink events coming up in October, including two restaurant weeks and fests of every description.

October is always the biggest month of the year for activities in Salem, and this year is no exception. For a full schedule of Halloween related events, check out their Haunted Happenings site.

This Saturday, October 6th, Salem will see two tasty events to benefit great causes. At the 2nd Annual Salem Chowderfest you can sample some of the city’s best clam chowder while listening to live bands from 11:00 to 2:00.  The $5 tasting fee benefits the Avon Foundation, which raises breast cancer awareness and education. At 5:00  head on over to the Boys & Girls Club for Witchtoberfest. There’s a Beer Run beforehand, or you can just spend the evening sampling beer and food and listening to live music. A portion of the proceeds go to the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem.

Also on the 6th the Essex Shipbuilding Museum hosts Ales over ALS from noon to 5:00. Not only will it be an afternoon full of great local brews and food, but the event also features an amateur homebrewing competition, to be judged by special guests. The coolest part is that the winning beer will then be be produced by Haverhill Brewery and proceeds from the sales of the one-time release will go towards helping to develop a cure for ALS.

Then it’s the start of the very first Beverly Restaurant Week, on Sunday October 7. Purchase a two-course, prix-fixe dinner for $15 or a three-course dinner for $25. Participating restaurants include American BBQ, BellaMia Trattoria, Bertucci’s, Chianti, Cielito Lindo, Cygnet, Beverly Depot, EJ Cabots, Hale Street Tavern, Happy Clam Seafood Cafe, Kame, Kitty O’Sheas, Mikado, Not Your Average Joe’s, Organic Garden Cafe, and Prides Bar & Grille.

Next up is a Harvest Dinner at Gloucester’s Alchemy on Thursday October 11 starting at 7:00. Co-owner Jeff Cala and head chef Scott Jensen will execute a five-course menu based on the new crop of goodies from the fall harvest, and general manager Matt Rose will test the limits of his drink repertoire to provide pairings with each course. Tickets are $100 per person and seats are limited. Call (978) 281-3997 to reserve.

On Friday October 12 from 6:30 to 9:00, join fellow foodies for Tales and Ales at Newbury’s Swett-Ilsley House, which served the town as Swett’s Tavern in the late 17th century. The huge fireplace and massive beams make a great backdrop for enjoying traditional local brews from Ipswich Ale Brewery and a hearty tavern dinner while listening to true tales of sword fights, scandalous romances, and bloody brawls from Newbury’s storied past. Tickets are $35 for Historic New England Members and $55 for non-members. Call (978) 462-2634 for information or purchase tickets here.

There’s a Bootleg Bash Prohibition Party on Saturday October 13 from 7:00 to 10:00 at the Lynn Museum to celebrate its 115th anniversary. Enjoy an evening of Roaring ’20s entertainment with live music by the Salem Jazz Fest, cash bar and signature cocktail, raffle roulette and live auction, costume contest, photo booth, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and birthday cake, festival food to purchase, and speakeasy surprises.

The Rockport HarvestFest is also on the 13th, from 10:00 to 6:00. Along with live music and kids activities, there’s an 11:00 cooking demonstration and a 3:00 seafood throwdown hosted by the lovely Heather Atwood. You can sample fare from local restaurants and shops, including seafood, sweets, pastries, soups, and beer.

Alfalfa Farm Winery in Topsfield will be hosting their Harvest Fest on both Saturday the 13th and Sunday the 14, which includes tours of the winery and vineyards, wine tastings and live music.

A Taste of Swampscott on Sunday October 14 from 1:00 to 3:30 is shaping up to be quite an event at Swampscott High School. Tickets are only $15 in advance ($20 at the door) and restaurants include The Blue Ox, Caffé Paolina, Cupcakes by NeeNee, Five Guys, Marblehead’s new Joey D’s, Red Rock Bistro, Sweet Life Confections, Terry’s Ice Cream, and many more.

The ever-popular Essex Clam Fest takes place on Saturday October 20 from 11:00 to 4:00 this year at Shepard Memorial Park. The free event includes entertainment, Ipswich Ale samples, an arts and crafts area, and kid’s games. For $5, you can eat more chowder than you ever wanted and vote for your favorite.

Also on the 20th is Salem Harvest Fest, from 4:30 to 8:00 at the Knights of Columbus. It features a grand tasting of wine, mead, and craft beer, including Magic Hat, Cape Ann Brewing, Cody Brewing, Harpoon, Mayflower, Narrangansett, Notch Session Beer, White Birch, Clown Shoes, Element Brewing, Ipswich/Mercury, Berkshire Brewing, Isaaks of Salem, and Sap House Meadery. Mitch Alden from Now Is Now will provide live entertainment. Tickets are $25 in advance at Pamplemousse or online, and $30 the day of the event.

Cape Ann Restaurant Week starts on October 21, with three-course meals for either $33.12 or $25.12. Participating restaurants include Lobsta Land, The Grand Café at Emerson Inn, Alchemy, Latitude 43, Cala’s, The Landing at 7 Central, and Mile Marker One.

Also that Sunday, Castle Hill on the Crane Estate is throwing a Chef’s Octoberfest. the $75 ticket promises to bring you Chef Robert Grant from The Blue Room in Cambridge creating a lush, multi-course meal using fresh local produce, accompanied by plenty of ale and music. The feast is slated to be served alfresco, though will move to the barn in the event of rain.

Finally, on the Saturday the 27th, The Wine ConneXtion in North Andover will be hosting its Third Annual Fall Grand Tasting, where they will be pouring over 50 wines, which attendees can taste free of charge from 12:00 to 5:00 along with food bites from Chama Grill.

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Local Chefs to Compete at Swampscott Farmers Market

Posted: September 12th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Event | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

If you’re a fan of reality shows like “Chopped” on Food Network, we suggest you get yourselves to the Swampscott Farmers Market this Sunday for their Chef Throwdown, which promises to be quite entertaining.

The competition will feature three local chefs: Joe Guarino of Red Rock Bistro, G Bar & Kitchen’s Gregg Brackman, and Craig Hawley of the Bar-B-Que Bistro and Fish and Fowl Supper Club.

Each contestant will be given $35 and 15 minutes to peruse the market for ingredients; they must purchase items from at least four vendors. John Crow Farms will provide a still-to-be-confirmed protein.

The chefs will have one hour to prepare their meal in a very limited space. Extras provided by the market are limited to salt, pepper, olive oil, butter, water, and plates. Contestants are allowed to bring one ingredient from their own kitchens, but that item may not constitute more than 25% of the dish.

Judging will be based on taste, use of workspace, and creativity and presentation. We are very excited to have been asked to participate in the judging and yours truly will be joining Julie Pottier-Brown, Manager of Farm Direct Coop, and Swampscott’s Matt Strauss, former selectman and hospitality executive for over 20 years, to do the honors.

The market is open rain or shine Sundays from 10:00 to 1:00 at the Swampscott High School, 200 Essex Street. The Chef Throwdown will start at 10:30 when the bell rings for the chefs to begin shopping. Cooking will take place from 11:00 to 12:00, then the tasting and judging will begin.

If you’re in the area, stop by to say hello, cheer on your favorite kitchen wizard and pick up some fresh produce at the same time!

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From Luaus to Beerfests, September Is Rockin’

Posted: September 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Drinks, Event, Farm | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

There are some fantastic food events coming up in September and October, but we’re thinking drink, especially beer, takes center stage! We’ll stick to September for the moment and fill you in on October as it gets closer. In the meantime, check our calendar to see what’s coming up.

First up is a Tiki Festival on Saturday (9/8) from 1:00 to 5:00 at the China Blossom in North Andover. It’s a free event with music from 92.5 The River and complimentary samples of Big Wave Golden Ale from Kona Brewing Company. Luau-style food will be served, including a whole pig roast, beef teriyaki skewers, shrimp skewers, corn on the cob, and pork fried rice ($1 per serving). Tropical slush and exotic sorbet will also be available for purchase along with assorted juices, non-alcoholic pina coladas, and beer and wine served from an outdoor cash bar. Click the link above to RSVP and for more information.

Also on Saturday is the Clown Shoes Olympics and Brewfest from 4:00 to 8:00 at the Backstage Bistro in Beverly. Tickets are $35 online and $40 at the door, with proceeds to benefits Pints for Prostate. There will be beer sampling, jugglers, human statues, live music, and beer poetry readings, plus gifts for guests wearing togas.

Next weekend kicks off with a History & Hops Craft Beer Tasting at the Lynn Museum from 7:00 to 10:00 on Friday (9/14) featuring live music, craft beers, and food.

Farther north, the Wenham Tea House is hosting their first Mayflower Brewery Beer Dinner at 7:00. Chef Peter Capalbo will be creatively pairing dishes with five different offerings from Mayflower. this five-course dinner is $75 per person and reservations can be made by calling 978-468-1398.

On Saturday (9/15) from 12:00 to 6:00, you can attend the Ipswich Ale Harvest Fest at the Spencer Pierce-Little Farm in Newbury for beer, BBQ, and vintage baseball. The Orville Giddings band will play, and admission is free.

Then you can head over to Oktoberfest to Benefit the Salem Y from 5:00 to 9:00. Join Pamplemousse, Cafe Polonia, the YMCA, and Ilsa the Angry German Beer Wench for laughter, beer, traditional German and Polish food, beer, live music, beer, wenches, contests and more. Tickets are $20 and include kazoo, mug, German Alpine hat, and an imaginary passport to Munich (first 300 guests). Beer sampling is included; full pours are $2 to $3. Affordable menu prices from Cafe Polonia, Polonus Deli, and The Lobster Shanty.

Or head north to the Gloucester Block Party from 6:00 to 11:00 in downtown Gloucester, a free event. Main Street will be a promenade of entertainment, al fresco dining, dancing and children’s games.

On Sunday (9/16), switch over to cocktails and head to Newburyport for the Annual Newburyport Cocktail Competition from 4:00 to 8:00. For $20 ($30 at the door), you can participate in this upscale cocktail crawl with samples of signature cocktails and food pairings at multiple downtown restaurants. Participants include Ten Center, The Rockfish, Michael’s Harborside, Ceia, and more. Check at the deck at Michael’s Harborside at 4:00. At 7:00, the wrap-up party at Michael’s will feature live music and the last signature cocktail for your tasting.

Next up is Cider Hill Farm’s End of Summer Farm-to-Table Dinner on Tuesday (9/18) from 6:00 to 9:00. Sample spirits from Cody Brewing and Jewell Towne Vineyard along with appetizers, then enjoy a three-course meal from Amesbury’s Phat Cat’s Bistro. Tickets are $50 and must be purchased in advance.

On Saturday the 22nd from 12:00 to 8:00, it’s the 6th Annual Brewfest at Amesbury Sports Park. Entrance is $12, with more than 100 beers, OGO ball, summer tubing, and BBQ on offer.

The 22nd is also the start of the 3rd Annual North Shore Beer Week. While Sean and Ian (The infamous 2 Beer Guys) haven’t posted the full schedule yet, keep an eye out. They’ve done a terrific job the past two years scheduling tastings and events, and we’re sure this will be no exception.

Happy September!

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In Which We Dress All in White

Posted: August 17th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Event | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Would you like to have a gourmet picnic with 650 like-minded people in an undisclosed location? This was the offer extended to us a few months ago as the highly secretive Diner en Blanc prepared for its first Boston event. This was definitely worth leaving the north shore to experience.

Started in Paris in 1988, Diner en Blanc is a chic mass picnic in a public space. It’s by invitation only and involves some preparation on the part of the attendees, but the Boston event last night came together beautifully on the lawn in front of the Moakley Courthouse. After dressing all in white, putting together a gourmet picnic, and gathering a portable table and chairs, we met our leader at our designated location on Seaport Blvd. We were soon surrounded by elegantly dressed picnickers, and when our group was complete, we were instructed to walk toward the courthouse.

It was a large crowd, but the tables were set up quickly, and a bar and band awaited the group. Between the view of Boston Harbor and the skyline, the white-clothed tables and party-goers, and some strategic lighting, it was a magical sight. We thoroughly enjoyed talking and sharing bites with our tablemates, who included North Shore residents Deborah of Melu Tasty Treats, one of the amazing volunteers, and Cathyann of Cygnet Confections, who wowed everyone with her lucious cake.  We also enjoyed smoked salmon pate, a creamy quiche with an herbed crust, and a terrific peach blueberry tart with almond paste (recipe from Annie Copps via the lovely Heather Atwood).

If you’re intrigued by our report, keep your eye on the Diner en Blanc website, where information on future events will be posted. The idea is to grow the event each time it’s held, so there’s plenty of opportunity to snag an invite for next year, which organizers are already discussing given last night’s resounding success.

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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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Dinner in a Diner, Nothing Could be Finer

Posted: May 8th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Diner, Event | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

While we often write about fine dining and fabulous foodie finds here on the Dish, more pedestrian diners and roadside joints have always held a place in my heart. Whether it’s the excitement of a road trip, the glamour of chrome and neon, or the call of bacon and eggs served at a Formica counter with a swivel stool, classic diners have developed large following.

One of the most dedicated is the intrepid Larry Cultrera, whom I had the pleasure to meet several years ago. As a diner historian, Larry has been chronicling the history of diners and collecting memorabilia for more than 30 years, and he has just published a terrific book: Classic Diners of Massachusetts. (The History Press, 2011)

An engaging book chock full of history, anecdotes, and photos, one chapter is dedicated to the North Shore and Northern Suburbs. “This region of Massachusetts historically had a high concentration of diners primarily because of the mill/factory cities of Lynn, Peabody, Salem, Haverhill, Lawrence, and Lowell, as well as the port city of Gloucester,” he writes.

Each chapter has a full list of diners in the area and highlights a handful of them. The North Shore chapter lists 24 diners and has sections on some of our favorites, including the Capitol Diner in Lynn, the Salem Diner in Salem, and of course the Agawam in Rowley.

Like a father fond of his many children, Cultrera, whose favorite diner meals are eggs and sausage or grilled cheese, refused to single out a favorite when I asked. He did mention the Capitol is a must-see, though, as it’s one of the last operating Brill diners in the country. He also had great things to say about George and Zoe Elefteriadis, owners of the Salem Diner since 2008.

Whether you’re a die-hard diner fan or have recently developed an interest, I highly recommend Classic Diners of Massachusetts. The history of dining cars and those who operate them is accessible and fascinating, and the lists of diners by area will come in handy on those summer road trips.

If you’re interested in meeting Larry and hearing more first-hand, head to the Saugus Historical Society, 30 Main St., tomorrow night at 7:00 (May 9). He will be giving a talk and slide presentation on classic diners and will have copies of the book on hand to sell and sign. You can also keep up with everything diner-related on Larry’s website, Diner Hotline, and his Facebook Page.

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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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A New Spin on Dinner and a Movie: The Warwick Film and Food Festival

Posted: February 9th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Event, Marblehead | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Posts have been a bit light on the Dish over the past month, and I must fess up. I’ve been moonlighting on NSD (which is, in fact, moonlighting on my day job) to help the folks at the Warwick Theatre Foundation put together a fundraising event.

The WTF, as they are affectionately known, is a non-profit group dedicated to preserving the history of Marblehead’s original Warwick Theatre and creating a new, community-based, state-of-the-art movie theater. What many don’t realize is that Marblehead’s local commerce has taken a huge hit lately, with the closing of at least five storefronts this month alone. The Warwick folks feel a new theatre can become a community-gathering place, enliven downtown foot traffic, and boost the economy of surrounding businesses.

The Dish is partnering with WTF and many area restaurants to create the Warwick Film and Food Festival. It’s a tasting event with a twist: local chefs are asked to create offerings where each dish, drink, or dessert has been inspired by a favorite film.

Local celebrities will judge the event on presentation, taste, and film pairing, and attendees will select their own people’s choice winner. The evening includes alcoholic beverage tastings and a full roster of live music.

So far, the entrants have really piqued our interest. Some chefs, like Tony Bettencourt of 62 Restaurant and Wine Bar have yet to reveal their movie inspiration and are keeping us guessing. Others have got everyone buzzing with their choices, like Matt O’Neil of the Blue Ox, who registered for Silence of the Lambs. Other movies chosen include The Perfect Storm, True Grit, The Rum Diaries, and Tortilla Soup. Intriguing, to say the least.

As the event nears, we’ll publish a full list of participating restaurants, but mark your calendars now—this is shaping up to be a fun food event unlike all others, especially if you’re a film fan! The evening starts at 7pm on March 24 and takes place at the Tower School in Marblehead. Tickets and more information are available on the Warwick ‘s website. We are still accepting entries and warmly invite all local  chefs and restaurant owners to register here.

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North Shore Holiday Happenings

Posted: December 8th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Blue Ox, Boston Local Market, Enzo, Event, Nathaniel's at the Hawthorne Hotel, Smolak Farms, Victoria Station | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

There are a slew of culinary-related holiday events in the next few weeks, so let’s dive right in.

First up is the Holiday Local Market from 11:00 to 5:00 on Saturday. It’s in Boston but includes North Shore vendors Lark Fine Foods, Chococoa, and Blue Egg Baking Company. Go here for more information and to RSVP.

On Tuesday the 13th at 5:00, Victoria’s Station is hosting the 18th annual Salem Children’s Charity event. All proceeds from the event (which includes food, celebrities, auctions, and surprise guests) go to the less fortunate school children of Salem. $15 cover charge per person.

Rockport’s Christmas Pageant is taking place on Saturday the 17th, and the Emerson Inn is offering a three-course prime rib dinner from 5:00 to close for $33. They are donating 10% of the sales from this event to the Rockport Christmas Tree Committee. The are also offering a five-course New Year’s Eve dinner for $75 per person with selections like rack of lamb and shrimp florentine.

Also on the 17th, you can make your own gingerbread house at Smolak Farms in North Andover. The event is from 10:00 to 12:00 and costs $40. Call (978) 682-6332 to reserve a spot.

The Hawthorne Hotel is holding a number of holiday events, including a Teddy Bear Tea on the 17th, Brunch with Santa on the 11th and the 18th, as well as Christmas Eve dinner and a Christmas Day buffet brunch. Some friends of ours celebrated Thanksgiving at the hotel and raved about it. Check their events page for details.

Finally, the folks at Enzo in Newburyport are offering a traditional feast of the seven fishes on Friday the 23rd and Saturday the 24th. The menu includes house-smoked bluefish pate, lasagna with anchovy (a traditional Piemontese Christmas Eve pasta), broiled clams and mussels, and much more for $50 per person. Enzo is also planning a New Year’s Eve dinner where diners can select from one of four offerings for each course. Personally, we’re interested in the duck conserva raviolo with egg yolk, duck sugo, and crisp leeks and the crema fritta with chocolate sauce and gianduja gelato. The cost is $65 per person, and wine pairings will be available.

One final note—we’d like to congratulate Lynn’s Blue Ox for being named one of the top 100 American fare restaurants in the US by OpenTable. Fantastic news!

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