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

Posted: May 7th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 62 Restaurant & Winebar, Blue Ox, brunch, Event, Finz, Nathaniel's at the Hawthorne Hotel, Victoria Station | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Forgot Mother’s Day is this Sunday and scrambling to make plans? We’ve got a quick round-up of brunch ideas as well as some less traditional options.

If delighting in a little taste of everything is mom’s style, there are several buffet options. Salem’s Victoria Station is featuring breakfast favorites as well as a carving station and plenty of seafood. And cocktails, of course. Perhaps a “Mom’osa” is in order? ($30 per person, $15 for kids,children under five eat free.)

Is mom a fan of oysters? Next door at Finz, the offerings include a raw bar along with a full buffet and the tasty-sounding waffles with blueberry whipped cream or banana encrusted salmon over coconut jasmine rice. ($39.99 per person, $15.99 for children 12 and under.)

A few blocks away, the Hawthorne Hotel will make mom feel like royalty. Their spread is available all day, with a change in focus at 3:00 from breakfast items to dinner. The veggie options look plentiful, including non-traditional salads like red-white-and-green salad with tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, edamame, and fresh basil and a sweet-and-spicy cucumber salad with tomatoes, bell peppers, and red onion. The make-your-own strawberry shortcake will appeal to the kids in the group. ($42.95 adults; $2 per year of age for children.)

Newburyport’s 10 Center wants to ensure mom enjoys herself, too. In addition to an extensive buffet with dishes like stuffed french toast and lobster mac and cheese, they are offering a complimentary mimosa to each mother. ($40 per person, 10:00 to 3:00.)

A reliable favorite of many moms is the Emerson Inn by the Sea in Rockport for their always-beautiful grand buffet. Live piano music and ocean views accompany offerings like a smoked salmon, trout and mackerel display; chilled salad of shrimp, clams, mussels and calamari; and roasted garlic and gorgonzola encrusted black angus sirloin. ($49 per adult; $24.50 for children ages 3-10; 10:00 to 2:30.)

For those who would rather forgo brunch and treat mom to a luscious lunch or dinner, several terrific restaurants have special menu items on offer.

62 Restaurant and Wine Bar in Salem has a special menu just for mom from 11:00 to 9:00. In addition to regular menu items, Chef Tony Bettencourt will tempt you with crostini topped with whipped ricotta, roasted black mission figs, and aged balsamic vinegar and grilled lamb chops with zucchini, black olives, roasted tomato, crumbled feta, Sardinian couscous, and basil.

Lynn’s Blue Ox has put together a three-course meal for mom that has us salivating.
The pan-roasted cod with spring pea risotto, oven dried tomatoes, fava beans, pea tendril salad, and truffle vinaigrette and the strawberry rhubarb tart with strawberry and mint champagne sauce and whipped cream are calling our names. The special meal is $44 per person, available from 12:00 to 6:00.

Ceia in Newburyport will feature special selections such as a luxe steak and lobster benedict; spaghetti with black garlic, mint, and serrano chili; and shrimp with linguica, fingerling potatoes, kale, and a farm egg.

Last but not least, if the celebrated lady in your life loves eating out, our friends at Dinner Dealer have the perfect gift: a deck of restaurant-discount cards costs $25 and provides more than $300 in savings to North Shore restaurants ($1 from each sale is donated to a local food pantry). And if you contact them in the next few days, Dinner Dealer will throw in a free mini pampering kit with treats like chocolates and skincare products from local, women-owned companies.

Looks like there are plenty of options for treating your mom, grandmom, stepmom, godmom or anybody else to a great meal this weekend. Remember to call ahead for availability and that tax, tip and drinks aren’t generally included in the price, and enjoy!

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62 Turns 5

Posted: January 28th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 62 Restaurant & Winebar, Italian, Mediterranean, Salem | Tags: , , | No Comments »

There are a lot of reasons we were excited to be invited to the first of three dinners to celebrate 62 Restaurant & Wine Bar’s fifth anniversary. First, it promised to be a fun night of reminiscing on five years of success and how it came to be. Second, we have never forgotten how Chef Tony Bettencourt bravely led the way to a local food renaissance when he opened a fine-dining restaurant at a time when the North Shore was known only for pubs and clam shacks.

The third reason, of course, was the food. And it did not disappoint. The theme for the dinner was inspiration—dishes that reflect the journey that Bettencourt took from restaurant work and culinary school to ultimately becoming a chef/owner (with a six-year detour into truck driving, of all things).

The first course was a delightful, varied antipasti with house-cured salumi, roasted beets topped with sea salt, pickled mushrooms, and sweet and sour cippoline onions. While we sampled, Chef Bettencourt told us about the early days of his journey, ending with an unexpected shift to Italian food (he had trained almost exclusively in French cuisine). From a photo he saw of an antipasti table in a trattoria, he began his journey into a cuisine he adores and works every day to master.

Next was the pasta course, harking back to a meal Bettencourt and his wife ate on a culinary tour of Tuscany. Both the tortelli di patate and mushroom tagliatelle were spot on in terms of flavor and texture. We then received an extraordinary seafood dish that Bettencourt described as his twist on fennel citrus salad and reflective of the way he likes to cook now. Shaved fennel was topped with green olive tapenade, crispy prosciutto (house made), a perfectly seared sea scallop, and a spicy pickled grapefruit segment. Not only was the grapefruit a completely new sensation (spicy? grapefruit?), but the various elements came together to create a perfectly balanced dish.

The meat course consisted of house made garlic sausage, hanger steak thinly sliced and topped with salsa verde, and pork ribs over roasted fennel and potatoes. All three elements were extraordinary—so full of flavor and melt-in-your mouth tender, especially the rib. Bettencourt again explained that his style is to bring out the flavors of food rather than overwhelm them with sauces or extraneous components.

We ended the meal with tiramisu, once again with a twist. Rather than a layered dessert served as a rectangular slab, this was house-made ladyfingers completely saturated with espresso and rum topped with a delectable mascarpone cream sauce. Yes, we’ve all had our fill the ubiquitous tiramisu and, no, none of it tasted like this.

The best news about this dinner is that it’s the first of three in a celebratory series. The second dinner takes place on Wednesday, February 20 and will feature dishes from 62 Restaurant & Wine Bar’s very first menu. The final meal is Fan Favorites, on March 20. Diners are voting now for their favorite dish from the past five years on Facebook, and the winning dishes will appear on that evening’s menu. The dinner is $62 per person, not including tax or tip. Learn more about the dinners and information on reservations on their website.

Chef Bettencourt’s five-year anniversary made us realize that we launched North Shore Dish just over four years ago. Boy, has the North Shore restaurant scene blossomed since then! Happily some things haven’t changed: one of our earliest posts described a fantastic dinner we had at 62.

62 Restaurant & Wine Bar
62 Wharf St, Salem
(978) 744-0062

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Without Restraint: North Shore Wine Week

Posted: August 4th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: 62 Restaurant & Winebar, Drinks, Event, Grand Trunk Imports, Turbine Wine Bar, Wine Connextion | Tags: , | 1 Comment »

“Pour out the wine without restraint or stay
pour not by cups, but by the bellyful
pour out to all that wull.”

So said Edumund Spenser in Epithalamion, and that’s precisely what’s happening during the fourth week of August on the North Shore.

The first annual North Shore Wine Week is taking place from August 21 to 27, and we’re excited to be part of the event. The kickoff party is being held on August 20 from 12:00 to 5:00 at Wine ConnecXtion in North Andover. It’s a free event, but you need to email vip@northshorewineweek.com to request an electronic ticket. There will be wine tastings all afternoon, paired with food from Brasserie 28, Oregano, 62 Restaurant and Wine Bar, Tuscan Kitchen, and Burtons Grill.

During the week, there are wine tastings and wine specials at restaurants and wine vendors all over the North Shore. For example, on Sunday from 5:00 to 9:00, you can sample a flight of four summer whites and sultry reds for $12 at 62 Restaurant and Wine Bar in Salem. On Wednesday from 6:00 to 9:00, Urban Wine Project is hosting wine and jazz night at Turbine Wine Bar in Lynn featuring the project’s 2009 Central Square Chardonnay and 2009 Oxford Street Pinot Noir. Everyone who purchases a glass of either wine will receive a complimentary appetizer with their first glass. Friday afternoon at Grand Trunk in Newburyport, there will be a free tasting of Spanish wines and 15% off all bottles during the tasting.

A schedule of events is here, and more are being added daily. We’ll post again with further details about events as the date nears.

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Beat the Winter Blues With Local Food Events

Posted: January 7th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: 62 Restaurant & Winebar, Blue Ox, Event, Finz, Lynn, Marblehead, Salem, Swampscott | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

The holidays are over and that means it’s time for food events to kick into high gear here on the North Shore. Our heads are swimming just looking what’s going on in January and February. And that’s without considering Valentine’s Day specials, which we’ll cover separately.

On Tuesday January 18 at 7:00, Chef Matt O’Neil will be doing a cooking demo and three-course tasting at The Blue Ox in Lynn ($39). There will be a mache salad with braised beets, walnuts, parmesan, blood oranges, and blood orange vinaigrette followed by butter-poached lobster and porcini/saffron quinoa. For dessert, a honey cake with chocolate, raspberry puree, and whipped cream. We’re salivating already. Call (781) 780-5722 to reserve a space.

The next Tuesday, January 25, Finz in Salem is putting on a vodka dinner hosted by Pinnacle Vodka at 6:30 ($59). It begins with oysters accompanied by a mango vodka-blood orange puree cocktail. Next is an Asian scallop ceviche with a lychee martini, mojito grilled swordfish with a berry vodka mojito, and espresso rubbed tenderloin with a caliente café martini. Dessert is a Pinnacle and strawberry sorbet with strawberry Pop Rocks. Sounds like a taxi may be in order after this one.

Vodka is also the star of Red Rock’s Tuesday Tasting on the 25th at 7:00 ($25 including tax and gratuity). Russian Standard Original, Platinum and Imperial vodkas will be featured in six cocktails. Russian-influenced appetizers like smoked trout, oysters, salmon roe caviar, dark pastrami, gravlox, pickled beets, and herring will accompany the drinks. Break out your (faux) fur hat and head on over to Swampscott.

On Saturday January 29 at 6:30, Temple Emanu-El in Marblehead hosts its annual Taste of the North Shore ($60). The event includes an all-you-can-eat buffet with specialties from North Shore restaurants and caterers, a silent auction, and a live auction. For more information, call (781) 631-9300 or e-mail taste@emanu-el.org.

Mary Ann Esposito of Ciao Italia visits 62 Restaurant & Wine Bar in Salem on Sunday January 30 at 6:30. For $75, attendees will enjoy a cooking demonstration by Chef Antonio Bettencourt and Ms. Esposito, a multi-course dinner, and a signed copy of her latest book Ciao Italia: Five-Ingredient Favorites. Call (978) 744-0062 for a reservation. Sounds like a true Italian extravaganza.

Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival begins on Friday February 4th with a chocolate and wine tasting at Hamilton Hall from 6:30 to 8:30 ($25). Tickets are on sale at the Salem Chamber of Commerce office, 265 Essex Street Mon-Fri from 9:00 to 5:00 and will be on sale the night of the event based on availability (the event sold out last year). Sugar rush, here we come.

On Tuesday February 8 Red Rock’s Tuesday Tastings is USA Craft Beers ($25 including tax and gratuity. At 7:00, Local beer master Kyle Sartanowicz will offer expert commentary while attendees taste six outstanding made-in-the-USA beers with foods to match.

Last but not least, on Thursday February 10 at 6:00, Caffe Graziani in Salem is hosting an international wine  dinner featuring a five-course meal and an abundance of French, Italian, and Argentinean wines. The full menu is posted here. The cost is $75, and space is limited. Call (978) 741-4282 for information and reservations.

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Two New Series Put a Twist on Traditional Tasting

Posted: October 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: 62 Restaurant & Winebar, Drinks, Event, North Andover, Salem, Wine Connextion | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Whether you are looking for something new to sass up your glass or planning ahead for those holiday dinners, those of you into exploring wine will want to take note of these tastings.

Sam and Tina Messina, owners of North Andover’s Wine Connextion, value your feedback as a customer. So much so that their new Saturday Sampling Series lets you have a say in what wines will make it to the shelves. They’ll be pouring some of the newest wines, from a different region each week, and looking for your input as to which bottles they should keep in stock.

As an added bonus, they will be hosting demonstrations and food tastings with terrific local chefs at 2:00 each Saturday. Space is limited for the chef demos, so they ask that you RSVP to press@wineconnextion.com.

October 9. Wines of Spain with Chefs Christina Johnson and Paul Eastman of Phat Cats Bistro, Amesbury from 1:00 to 5:00.

October 16. Taste of Italy with Chef Samuel Hunt of 15 Walnut, Hamilton from 1:00 to 5:00.

October 23. Grand Tasting  to celebrate the Wine Connextion’s one year anniversary with Tom Grella, Food Network chef and director of restaurants for Salvatore’s from 1:00 to 6:00. Featuring more than 40 hand-selected wines by Wine Connextion with tasting stations throughout the store. A complimentary booklet will be provided to all attendees with explanations of each wine.

October 30. The Great 2007 Cabernets with Glory Restaurant, North Andover, from 1:00 to 5:00.

Chef Tony Bettencourt at 62 Restaurant and Wine Bar not only wants you to taste wines, he wants to educate you about them as well. His new Wednesday night series called Bread, Salt, Wine aims to bring some of Boston’s leading wine resources to you. Each week, a different group will speak about the wines served and answer questions.

The evenings will feature wine samples and complimentary hors d’œuvres; Chef Bettencourt will also offer his full spuntini menu (think tapas) free with the purchase of one of the wines during the tasting.

The series is offered every Wednesday night from 5:00 to 7:00 in 62 Restaurant & Wine Bar’s Lounge. It’s free with RSVP to press@62restaurant.com.

October schedule:

Red, White Boston: October 20

The Second Glass: October 27

Boston Wine School: November 3

Boston Uncorked: November 10

Local Wine Events: November 17

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62 Who? Salem Restaurant Celebrates Name Change

Posted: August 26th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: 62 Restaurant & Winebar, Italian, Mediterranean, Salem, Sixty2 on Wharf | Tags: , | 2 Comments »

We noticed this week that Sixty2 on Wharf has undergone a bit of a re-brand and become 62 Restaurant & Winebar. Our interest piqued, we decided to find out more.

When asked, Chef Antonio Bettencourt responded that the change is not due to an issue with the current brand, but rather a “touch up” of the logo and a recognition that most of the restaurant’s customers refer to it just as “62.”

“I wanted a new look, and I think [the new name and logo] speaks to the simplistic fresh approach we take to our food and the uniqueness of our wine list. That’s also why we added winebar to the name,” he said.

Bettencourt said that 62 has one of the most unique wine lists on the North Shore and possibly in all of Massachusetts. “Some bottles we have you simply can’t find at other places,” he said. “I’m also not sure people know that we serve by the quartino, and we want to put an emphasis on that as well.”

In discussions yesterday on Twitter and Facebook, the response to the change was positive. Diane Wolf, owner of Salem’s Lobster Shanty said, “I think it is a good idea…handmade pasta and wine; is there any better combination?” And reader Geoff Millar echoed the sentiment of others: “I don’t care what they call it as long as they don’t mess with the food.”

To celebrate the new 62, Chef Bettencourt has come up with a fresh three-month promotional dinner series with an international flair. The Passport Series features a $28 prix fixe dinner nightly Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from September through November. Each month will feature culinary inspiration from a different country, and each week concentrates on a different region in that country.

September: Spain
- Barcelona
- Madrid
- Basque region
- Sevilla

October: Italy
- Venice
- Lombardy
- Milan
- Tuscany
- Piedmont

November: France
- Bordeaux
- Alsace
- Ile-de-France (Paris)
- Burgundy

For added incentive, 62 will be issuing “passports” to diners that can be stamped when they complete a meal. Guests who dine once a week for a month, eating from every region, will earn a free prix fixe dinner the next time they come in.

Guests that dine once a month for all three months will be entered to win a free vacation to Europe compliments of 62 and Lynnfield’s Colony Travel. The trip will include a three-night stay and a cooking class at Relais Riserva di Fizzano, Castellina in Chianti. The Riserva di Fizzano is an ancient medieval “bourg” owned by Rocca delle Macie, situated on a hilltop in the Chianti hills, surrounded by vineyards and olive groves.

So if you haven’t dined at 62 lately, it sounds like there are plenty of reasons to return: new identity, new dinner series, and, heck, you may even win a free vacation.

62 Restaurant & Winebar
62 Wharf Street, Salem
(978) 744-0062
www.62Restaurant.com

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