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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Salem Restaurant Week and a Month-Long Giveaway

Posted: November 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Event, News, Salem | Tags: , | No Comments »

We’re thrilled to see that Salem Restaurant Week, which starts this Sunday, November 7 and runs through Thursday the 11th, is bigger than ever this year. The list of participating restaurants is here at the Chamber of Commerce site, and it includes many of our favorites (like 62 Restaurant and Wine Bar, Bella Verona, and The Lobster Shanty) and two that are at the top of our list to try (Green Land Café and Café Polonia).

In addition to the three-course prix-fixe dinner $25 (not including drinks, taxes, or gratuities) restaurants offered in past years, some participants are offering a two-course menu for $15. Now that’s a deal.

To add to the fun, Destination Salem is giving away almost $1,000 in restaurant gift certificates to Salem restaurants. Every day this month, Kate Fox will post a picture of one of the participating restaurants on its Facebook page. The first 50 people to tag themselves in the picture will be entered into a random drawing for a gift certificate for that restaurant.

For more information, click over to Destination Salem or go to their Facebook page.

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Gearing Up For North Shore Beer Week

Posted: September 15th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Drinks, Event, Green Land Cafe, Henry's Fine Foods, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Brothers Sean and Ryan Jansen and friend Ian Cowpar are men on a mission. Their lofty goal? To spread the good word to the citizens of the North Shore about the many joys of craft beer.

2 Beer Guys, which started out as the  personal project of Sean and Ian to educate themselves about the nuances of various beers, has blossomed into much more. They now host beer tastings, teach Beer 101 classes, maintain a website on which they have published hundreds of brew reviews, and publish a blog with up-to-date information on local and national beer events. These guys know their stuff and truly enjoy getting involved with the community.

Which brings us to North Shore Beer Week. If you’re thinking you’ve never heard of this event, you’re right—this year marks the first of what the Beer Guys hope will evolve into a great annual event.

After being involved in the organization of Portsmouth Craft Beer Weekend this winter, Sean and Ryan told us they got excited about creating a larger celebration to encompass their home turf. In partnership with Seaboard, a local beer distributor, they began to knock on doors to spread the word and gain support of local venues. Bookended by existing events, and during traditional Oktoberfest time, the last week in September seemed a perfect fit.

The celebration kicks off on September 25 with the 5th Annual Riverfront Brewfest, hosted by the Haverhill Brewery. They’ll run two sessions featuring sampling from roughly 20 breweries as well as live bands and their popular cask cellar.

The following week includes beer tastings hosted at many local restaurants and liquor stores, two craft beer education classes by the Beer Guys, the Oktoberfest celebration at Henry’s Market in Beverly with the judging of the Homebrew Competition, and a couple of beer dinners including the Green Land Café’s Harvest Beer Dinner. The final event of the week will be the Great Brewers 2010 Grand Prix of Gloucester, which features a beer garden from 11:00 to 5:00 on October 2 and 3, with many participating breweries.

The full schedule of events can be found on the website. The calendar function is a little awkward, so be sure to click on each day to see all the events.

The Dish is an avid supporter of small local brewers, and restaurants that support the craft beer movement. We are constantly delighted by the variety and quality of beers available. The North Shore is definitely a haven for beer lovers, so if you’re one of them, get out there and show Beer Week your support.

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Dish Tidbits: Strawberry Festivals, Cooking Classes, New Restaurants, and More

Posted: June 15th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Event, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

There’s quite a lot going on the next couple of weeks, including strawberry festivals and farmers market openings, plus some new restaurants on the horizon. Without further ado:

Both days this weekend at Russell Orchards in Ipswich there will be strawberry picking, hayrides, strawberry shortcake, facepainting, music, balloons at their annual strawberry festival.

At Connors Farm in Danvers, the festival is on Saturday only and features live music, food from Champions Barbeque, strawberries dipped in chocolate, Homemade strawberry shortcake, costume characters, strawberry picking, pony rides
face painting, and hay rides.

The following weekend, the Swampscott Strawberry Festival is being held on Sunday the 27th from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Town Hall lawn.

If you’re looking for a farmers market to visit or more information about your local market, there is information at the Federation of Mass Farmers Markets and a list of Northeast farmer’s markets here. You can find our list of North Shore farmer’s markets is here, with links on several that we’ve reviewed.

Mary Reilly of The Savory Kitchen has a great idea for those pea tendrils in your CSA box. She’s cooking her way through her CSA share each week and sharing her recipes and non-recipe recipes. Mary also teaches cooking classes at the gorgeous Jewett Farms Studio, and there are slots left in the July 23 class on Indian cooking at home (6:00 pm to 9:00 pm), the July 31 canning class (1:00 pm to 4:00 pm), and the August 13 cooking from the farmers’ market class (6:00 pm to 9:00 pm). For descriptions, go here; classes are $90.

If you’ve got a youngster that likes to cook, you may want to take a look at Shubie’s Tweens and Teens summer classes. They’re for ages 11 to 15 with Chef Laura Tyrrell. Pies and tarts is July 6, fresh pasta is July 13, cakes and frostings is July 20, and garlic bread, monkey bread, and bagels is July 27. All classes are $50 and run from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm. If you sign up for all four classes, you get $30 off. Call (781) 631-0149 for more information.

The PEM is hosting a beer and chocolate tasting in conjunction with its Mayan exhibit on July 8 from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm. Maya inspired cuisine will be served, and attendees will sample seven unique beers and Taza’s stone ground organic chocolate. More information is here, and the cost is $75 for members and $85 for nonmembers.

Euphoria Lifestyle has opened in the 100 building in Cummings Center, Beverly, serving smoothies and wraps and promising Pinkberry-style fro-yo in about two weeks. We’ll check it out and let you know how it is (tough job, but someone’s got to do it). For future reference, it’s right near Danvers Bank and does not have an outside sign.

In Peabody, we’ve spotted a few restaurant happenings. On June 1, Top Steakhouse opened in the former O’Fado space at 72 Walnut St. Since this Brazillian style steakhouse will be competition for the popular Fire Bull, we’re wondering if the area can support two churrascarias just a few blocks from each other.

We also saw a banner up for Maki Sushi Bar, going in next to Peabody Estate Buyers on Main St. They are in the midst of fitting up the interior, no word on when they will open. Also on Main (toward the Salem line), we saw a banner for Peabody Bread and Baking Co. where Rosie’s Bakery was. We’ll stop in the next chance we get.

And last but not least, a recent Guy Fieri trip (he’s a Food Network celebrity chef) included visits to our own Lobster Shanty in Salem, Rino’s Place in East Boston, Greek Corner Restaurant in Cambridge, plus a few Maine locations. Pictures are here. Can’t wait to see the Shanty episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, air date and time still to be determined.

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Dish Tidbits: Spring 2010 Restaurant Openings

Posted: May 14th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Beverly, Essex, Marblehead, News, Salem, Swampscott | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Whether it’s a sign of economic upswing or simply the continued evolution of the North Shore’s vibrant restaurant scene, it’s difficult to keep track of all the exciting openings going on in the area this spring.

A few weeks ago, Bolivian coffee importer Cafe Valverde Coffee Roasters replaced Fuel coffee shop at 196 Essex Street in Salem. This was apparently the starting flag, signaling a host of new openings.

This week saw the openings of Greenland Café and Coven Dessert Bar and Artisanal Market in Salem and the much-anticipated 5 Corners Kitchen in Marblehead.

Marblehead will see another new storefront soon, when Hooked Seafood & Grill opens in the old Super Sub space on Pleasant St. in June. Sticky Rice, the on-again off-again Thai restaurant on Hawkes St., has been sold to a new owner and is slated to re-open under the name Sticky Rice Bistro.

Salem has become a hotbed of restaurant activity recently and is looking forward to several openings in addition to the two this week. Since publishing its menu online, there has been a ton of buzz about Howling Wolf Taqueria, which will open at 76 Lafayette St. in early summer. The plentiful burritos and veggie options look to be winners.

Also on Lafayette Street a new restaurant serving pub fare, The Lafayette Grill, is scheduled to open in the old Casa Blanca space, which neighbors are hoping will be a step toward cleaning up the troubled area.

In the former Edgewater Café space on Washington St., the Adriatic Restaurant and Bar, which will feature a mix of Italian and European food, is finishing up renovations and hiring waitstaff and will open doors shortly. (added 5/17/10:  a great video of Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll interviewing the owners of both Coven and Adriatic can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INGDTKQo4Ww )

Another seafood venue has taken over the empty Derby Fish & Lobster space at 215 Derby St. and will be opening under the name Seaport Grill. No word yet on how soon.

And if that’s not enough new food for Salem, the recently renovated jail space is reportedly in talks with a restaurant, but nothing official has been announced yet.

Vinnin Square is seeing its share of the action as well. On the Salem border, Rizzo’s Roast Beef and Pizza of Peabody will be opening a second location in the plaza next to Staples. And on the Swampscott side, it looks like City Bar and Grill, which acquired a liquor license during the winter, has finally started to fit up the former Friendly’s/Finagle spot. Any independent venture would be welcome in the square, which feels overrun with chain restaurants and fast food outlets.

Over in Beverly, North Shore Restaurant group has taken on the new eatery being developed at the revived North Shore Music Theater. Named BackStage Bistro, it promises “top notch American cuisine” with theatre props from favorite past performances as decor and a show-tune sound track.

We hear that Mark McDonough and Co. will also be making some big changes to Alchemy in Gloucester, giving it a more comfy, lounge-y feel and emphasizing small plates and platters to share.

Also in Gloucester, Giuseppe’s, a new restaurant and piano bar will be moving into the former Elliot’s space in the Blackburn building. Their website promises the place will be “very musical, very Italian and

On Cape Ann, rumor has it that the Market Restaurant in Annisquam will be re-opening May 29 under the management of two former Chez Panisse chefs, which certainly sounds worth investigating.

There have also been murmurs about a tapas and healthy-fare venue opening in Essex. In a town synonymous with fried seafood, we’re sure this will be a welcome addition.

Looks like we’re going to have an exciting summer trying out all the new tastes, and perhaps some we don’t know about yet. Give us a shout at email@northshoredish.com, or leave a comment if you know of any more our readers would be interested in.

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A New Look for Spring

Posted: May 5th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: News | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

If you’ve been to North Shore Dish in the past few days, you may have noticed a few changes here and there. First, we’ve added a handy navigational area toward the top of the sidebar to help you get around the site. There you’ll find some terrific new resources for you to investigate:

Upcoming Events: An ongoing calendar of events. We’re still tweaking this a bit, but you get the idea. Please feel free to let us know of any events we might be missing that would interest our readers.

Resources and Reads: An evolving list of local links, blogs, and websites that we love and find useful and hope that you will, too.

Restaurant and Market Article Index: All of our location-specific posts listed in alphabetical order by name.

Below this, you can’t help but notice that we’re now displaying a handful of advertisements from local sponsors. North Shore Dish has been a labor of love for the past year and a half, and all expenses to keep it running have been out of pocket. We are thrilled to have the support of some great folks who value the North Shore food scene and our efforts to bring you the latest news and reviews. Please take a moment to check them out.

Last, you’ll see a few changes in the Follow area. Larger, clearer buttons, the RSS/e-mail subscribe works better, and yes, we now have a Facebook fan page for those of you who like to get your updates there. Go ahead and “like” our page and tell your Facebook friends about us…

We are always working to make North Shore Dish the best we can for our readers and hope you enjoy these small improvements.

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North Shore Noshing with Alex and Luke

Posted: April 30th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: American, Engine House Pizza, In a Pig's Eye, Marblehead, News, Salem, The Driftwood | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

Who the heck are Alex and Luke? That’s what I wanted to know. Better known in their native Canada, these adventurous pals from Toronto have embarked on a whirlwind road trip/social media experiment.

Recently featured in the Toronto news, Alex Sabine and Luke Vigeant set a goal to visit every state and province in North America, guided by suggestions given to them on Twitter, Facebook, e-mail, etc. Where to drive next? They put it up for a vote and let the public decide. Where to eat, where to sleep? You tell them.

Having made their way through the Maritimes into New England, they hit Boston and continued on to Salem earlier this week. Apparently, when it comes to road trip destinations, witch history is a big draw. “When we said we were coming to Massachusetts, Salem was the place people wanted us to visit, even more than Boston. People from all over, some who had never even been to the state, suggested Salem.”

That’s what is fascinating about the social media driven model; the quirky randomness of the experience. You’re not going to a restaurant touted by Fodor’s or lauded on Trip Advisor; you’re having a burger at a place some tweeter’s cousin thought was awesome.

“Most of the suggestions that come our way are food related. Everyone wants us to try their favorite restaurants, but there are so many suggestions, and you can’t use every one. We’ve both already gained weight,” Alex grinned. They claim that so far, they haven’t been given a bum steer yet—they’ve enjoyed every place suggested.

While in Salem, they stayed in one of the purportedly haunted rooms in the Hawthorne Hotel. Exhausted from traveling, then ended up having pizza delivered from Engine House , which they gave two thumbs up. Their Salem stay also included a visit to A&J King, where they enjoyed the laid-back atmosphere along with the delicious macaroons and cookies. Taking a suggestion from a follower, they had a meal at In A Pig’s Eye, about which they later tweeted “It’s a cool place—neat building, food is pretty good— great nachos!”

I caught up with them for breakfast at the Driftwood in Marblehead. “This is the kind of place we love,” said Alex, “and Marblehead is beautiful. That’s what is so great about this—we never would have known to come here.” While Alex enjoyed her poached eggs and “brown toast” (Canadian for wheat), Luke dove into a plate of chocolate chip pancakes, which he declared among the best he’s eaten.

The two are now off in Rhode Island, and who knows where after that. If you’d like to follow their progress and make suggestions, you’ll find them at alexandluke.com, where you’ll also find links to their Twitter and Facebook accounts. And the next time you’re thinking about where to eat, why not try asking the social media world for a suggestion?

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Field Trip to First Light Farm

Posted: April 28th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Farm, First Light Farm, Hamilton, News | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Want to learn more about sustainable farming? We’ve got just the thing: a conversation with Mike Raymond, owner of First Light Farm. The Hamilton farm is in its third season of community supported agriculture, having provided shares to 120 members last year and planning on at least that many this year.

As in the past, First Light CSA members pay $600 for a 20-week share that begins mid-June. Members can pick up their boxed share in Beverly or Danvers on Tuesdays, Topsfield on Thursdays, Ipswich on Saturdays, or (new this year) at the Salem farmer’s market on Thursdays. First Light will also be selling produce at the Georgetown farmer markets on Saturdays this year.

First Light operates a bit differently from other CSAs in the area (Green Meadows and Appleton Farms come to mind) in that there are no pick-your-own opportunities. That’s because Raymond doesn’t own the six acres of land he farms. Rather, he barters with Brick End Farm, a large composting operation. But don’t assume that means Raymond isn’t invested in the business—just the opposite.

Raymond graduated from University of Vermont nearly 20 years ago with a degree in environmental and resource economics and has been farming ever since. His passion for growing vegetables organically in the most sustainable way possible is infectious. On a tour of the hilly field where fast-growing crops like lettuce and herbs are planted, we immediately saw why Raymond is so excited. The field is divided into many small beds with strips of clover growing in between, a technique called permanent bed strip tillage in which the clover and the crops form a symbiotic relationship.

“We feed the soil, not the crop,” explained Raymond, a Beverly native. “And we don’t do anything in a field that doesn’t make sense.” Unlike most farms, the field is not plowed under each year. Rather, the clover strips provide the soil with the necessary fungus and bacteria, and when mowed during the growing season, they provide additional organic matter for the growing crops. In keeping with Raymond’s desire to use resources at hand, irrigation water is pumped from a small pond at the bottom of the field.

For shareholders, this unusual technique (along with strategic use of the farm’s greenhouse) means more variety in their shares each week, since each bed in the field is like its own little garden. It also means maximum production with minimum damage to the land—Raymond and his crew have gone so far as to modify old equipment to facilitate this updated version of back-to-basics farming.

Tomatoes, potatoes, onions, and other slower growing crops are planted in the farm’s upper field, which Raymond described as bio-intensive, meaning it’s designed to produce as much as possible in the space. An unusual moveable greenhouse is used section by section to maximize growth, and after each part of the field is harvested, a cover crop is planted to fertilize the soil.

Those interested in the CSA will be happy to find a picture of each week’s share from last year on the First Light site, along with delicious-sounding recipes for 40 vegetables and quirky descriptions of First Light team members. You can also e-mail Raymond directly for more information on the farm, his philosophies, and the CSA program.

First Light Farm
www.firstlightfarmcsa.com
firstlightfarmcsa@gmail.com

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A Great Big Thank You

Posted: November 6th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: News | Tags: , , | No Comments »

North Shore Dish has put together a Tasting Tour of the North Shore gift basket to be auctioned off as part of a fundraiser for Marblehead’s Charter School, at their yearly auction night tomorrow evening at the Tedesco Country Club.

We asked some of our favorite purveyors of food and drink on the North Shore if they could donate something to the basket, and we were overwhelmed by the terrific response! We are proud and grateful to know such generous people who care about and give back to their community.

We’d like to give a huge thank you to the individuals who made this beautiful basket come together so spectacularly: Tony and Valerie Bettencourt at Sixty2 on Wharf, Matt and Joanna O’Neil at The Blue Ox, Matt and Jean Sanidas at Nine Elm, Diane and Lee Wolfe at The Lobster Shanty, Steve Feldmann at Gulu Gulu Café, Michael Goodman at Manhattan Sandwich, the good folks at Coffey Ice Cream, Harbor Sweets, Stowaway Sweets, Ryan and Wood Distilleries, and Mercury Brewing Company. We’d also like to offer special thanks to Donna Olivero at Caffe Italia, who not only donated a gift certificate, but a pile of Italian goodies from her much-anticipated Italian Market opening soon at the restaurant.

With these beautiful, tasty treats and generous gift certificates, our basket is sure to earn a tidy sum for the Charter School!

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