Let Us Eat Cake

Posted: May 14th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Bakery, Buttermilk Baking Company, Newburyport | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

One of our readers wrote to us about Buttermilk Baking Company, saying we had to get ourselves to Newburyport to try their pastries (thanks, Laura!). We went a little crazy in the shop and ended up with two tarts, two hand pies, and a mini-cake. We are extremely picky about baked goods and find most look better than they taste. That’s definitely not the case here.

The lemon-curd cake was not only adorable, it was also moist and flavorful ($9.25). The buttercream icing was unbelievably light, tempting us to eat more cake than we really should have. We’re told that the raspberry preserves between each layer are made in the shop to be less sweet than commercial brands.

Both of the hand pies featured toothsome, flaky pastry ($4.65). Although the blueberry was delicious, the sour cherry filling was outstanding and a clear favorite with our tasters. The high-quality ingredients being used make these relatively simple pastries really shine.

Everyone in the group enjoyed the key lime tart, which had a creamy filling and a generous amount of buttery graham crust. But the chocolate caramel tart was the hit of the dessert round-up. Salty caramel and the best chocolate ganache we’ve ever tried are offset by a sugar-cookie crust for an incredible combination ($5.65 for individual sized tarts).

We’ll be back to try the muffins and cookies as soon as we work off some of the last indulgence. In the meantime, if you’re in the area, stop by Buttermilk and let us know what delectables you’ve discovered.

Buttermilk Baking Company
3 Liberty St, Newburyport
(978) 499-8278
www.buttermilkbaking.com

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Digging Out From Nemo: What’s Open Today

Posted: February 9th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 5 Corners Kitchen, Amesbury, Beverly, Event, Grand Trunk Imports, Hungry Betty's, Lynn, Marblehead, Newburyport, Rolly's Tavern on the Square, Salem, Swampscott | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

We hope everyone is safe and warm and starting to dig out from this crazy mess the blizzard has dumped across the North Shore. Some folks are without power, and as of this writing the driving ban is still in effect in Massachusetts, so a hot meal or a cold cocktail may be hard to come by unless you can walk, snowshoe or ski to a local establishment. Most markets and restaurants are closed today, we’d like to help out by listing which places are currently open or will be serving dinner tonight.

We’ll keep this as a running list, so please feel free to contact (email@northshoredish.com, @northshoredish on twitter) us with updates!

Updated Saturday February 9, 2013 at 7:44PM

Amesbury

• Barking Dog Bar & Grill is open
• Phat Cats Bistro will be open for dinner

Beverly

• Chianti will be open, live entertainment still pending
• E.J. Cabots is open
• CitySide Diner is open their regular hours.
• Cielito Lindo will be open for dinner

Essex

• The Farm Bar and Grill is open tonight

Gloucester

• Cape Ann Brewing Pub will be open at 6:30pm…bar only. Kitchen is closed
• Seaport Grille is open

Ipswich

• Christopher’s Table is open and has live jazz

Lynn

• Tatiana’s is open
• The Blue Ox opens at 5PM
• Rolly’s Tavern plans to open at 4pm

Marblehead

• Hayley’s Wine and Market Café is open
• The Landing is open
• 5 Corners Kitchen will be open at 5pm for dinner
• Maddies is open.
• 3 Cod Tavern will be open for lunch and dinner
• Hungry Betty’s will be open at 4PM

Newburyport

• Mission Oak Grill is open for dinner
• Brine will be serving dinner after 3PM
• Ceia Kitchen + Bar will be open at 3PM
• Enzo will be open for dinner at 5PM
• Andiamo will have the bar open at 5 and dining at 6PM
• The Grog opens at 5PM and Mardi Gras is ON
• Grand Trunk Market potentially opening at 1PM today

Peabody

• Maki Sushi is open
• Bill & Bobs Roast Beef will be open at 6PM

Salem

• Salem Beer Works is open
• Sushi Garden is open and DELIVERING
• The Grapevine opens at 6PM
• 43 Church is open and WILL have live music
• Victoria Staion and the Boathouse are open, with fires roaring
• Pamplemousse is open
• 43 Church will be open at 5Pm
• Bill & Bobs Roast Beef will be open at 6PM
• The Tavern at the Hawthorne Hotel is open, with roaring fire.
• O’Neill’s will be open at 4 and their Black Heat Ball will go on as planned.
• Witches Brew café open at noon
• Gulu Gulu will open at 4PM
• In a Pig’s Eye will not be open for lunch, but will open later for dinner.
• Village Tavern open their regular hours, 11 – 1AM
• Howling Wolf will be open at 5PM

Swampscott

• Red Rock Bistro opens today at 4PM

6:56 PM Additional: Swampscott Patch just reported that the following take out places are open and delivering

China Green
781-203 Burrill St Swampscott, MA 01907
(781) 592-5357

Captain Pizza
3 Railroad Ave Swampscott, MA 01907
(781) 593-1568

Cindy’s Pizza
653 Humphrey St Swampscott, MA 01907
(781) 599-0358

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Enzo Chef Draws Culinary Inspiration from the Great Molasses Flood

Posted: January 14th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Enzo, Event, Newburyport | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

The Great Molasses Flood of 1919 fascinates many of us that grew up in the Boston area. And why not—the idea of an eight- to 15-foot wave of molten sugar syrup that and ravaged a couple of city blocks is pretty amazing. (There was a great pictorial in last week’s Globe.)

Chef Mary Reilly, owner of Enzo Restaurant & Bar in Newburyport is no exception, and she has taken her interest to a new level. Each year on the anniversary of the flood, she creates dishes with molasses to commemorate the event. When she opened the Enzo almost two years ago, she continued the tradition and offers diners a special menu for the occasion.

We caught up with Chef Reilly this weekend and asked her what spurred this connection for her. She told us that she likes unusual anniversaries and this one is especially interesting due to the molasses and because of the Italian immigrants in the North End who were affected.

“Even though the molasses in question was destined for industrial alcohol distillation, not consumption, molasses is an ingredient that doesn’t get a lot of respect these days,” she said. “I like to show its versatility, and this event gives me something to tie it to.”

So what will she be serving on Tuesday, the 94th anniversary of the disaster?

First, a Spiced Molasses Toddy will be on offer featuring Gloucester’s Folly Cove Rum, spices, molasses, and butter. (Hot Buttered Rum Day is January 17: start your celebration a few days early!)

On the savory side, Reilly will be serving a non-traditional bruschetta with house made Anadama bread (the traditional Cape Ann bread made with molasses), house butchered and smoked ham, taleggio, and molasses mustard.

And for a sweet end to their meal, diners can indulge in molasses cookie ice-cream sandwiches.

Whether you’re a Molasses Flood enthusiast or just interested in sampling unique menu items, head over to Enzo on Tuesday for a taste of history.

Enzo
50 Water Street, Newburyport
(978) 462-1801
www.enzo-restaurant.com

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Weekend Picks Sept 30-Oct 2: Beer, Chili, and Chowder. And More Beer.

Posted: September 30th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Event, Ipswich, Lynn, Newburyport, Salem | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

We haven’t been keeping up with events the past month or so, but we’re back in action and so are the events this weekend. Fall starts off with a bang (and lots of beer) this weekend.

Start things off right with the Lynn Museum’s Oktoberfest Celebration tonight from 7:00 to 10:00. They’ll have brews from local faves Cape Ann Brewing and Ipswich Ale and others, along with treats from Karl’s Sausage Kitchen and live music. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door.

Speaking of beer, we are smack dab in the middle of North Shore Beer Week. You may recall last year we interviewed the 2 Beer Guys about the development of NSBW. They are back again this year with even more events. Check out the schedule here for craft beer tasting all over the North Shore.

In Salem, Beer Week means the second annual Witchtoberfest , which this year includes a run to benefit the Boys and Girls Club as well as a beer garden featuring local brews and live music.

If you’re looking for something hearty and warm as the weather starts to cool off, on Saturday you can choose between chili and chowder. If spice is your thing, head up to Newburyport where the Grog will be holding its fourth annual Chili Con Carnival, a chili cook-off to benefit three area food pantries. The entry fee is $10 to sample the chilis and delectable cider doughnuts from Cider Hill Farm. Ipswich Ales will be on hand selling beer.

If chowder is more your style, then Ipswich is your Saturday destination, where the Lion’s Club hosts its annual Chowderfest. For $10 you’ll get to try chowder by various local restaurants, including Windward Grille, which won the people’s choice award for chowder at last year’s Essex Clamfest. We are also pleased to see 5 Corners Kitchen will be on hand. North Shore denizens have been missing Chef Barry Edelman’s tasty fare as his Marblehead restaurant is undergoing repair from a fire earlier this year.

Both events run from noon to 3:00, so if you’re really hungry and want to take a scenic afternoon drive, you could have your fill of each. If the weather holds, a stop at Cider Hill for apples or DownRiver for ice cream would complete the day. Autumn on the North Shore just doesn’t get any better.

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Weekend Picks, May 20–22

Posted: May 20th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Event, Lynn, Marblehead, Newburyport | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

It’s a good thing the weather is finally clearing up (fingers crossed) because there are some great outdoor activities this weekend.

First, we’ll tell you how to start the weekend off right. Head over to Lynnway Liquors in Lynn this afternoon and say hello to the effervescent Emily O’Brien. She will be on hand from the Urban Wine Project, and will be pouring tastes of their brand new Oxford Street Pinot Noir and Central Square Chardonnay from 4:30 to 6:30.

On Saturday from 11:00 to 2:00, The Food Project is holding its second-annual Lynn Farm Fest. There will be a plant sale that includes seeds and garden supplies, a workshop on planning and planting a raised-bed garden (at 11:00 and again at 1:30), and you can sign up for CSA shares, which start on Monday. More CSA info is here.

From 1:00 to 5:00 on Saturday, you can get your sugar fix at the Newburyport Chocolate Tour. Pick up your ticket ($15) and goodie bag at the Unitarian Church (26 Pleasant St.), then walk the downtown route and partake in delectable chocolate treats from more than 20 participating vendors.

Shubie’s Food and Wine Festival will take place from 1:00 to 5:00 in Marblehead regardless of the weather, and it promises to be a doozy. There will be more than 40 wines for tasting, and purchasers will receive 20% off a case or 25% off two cases. There will be many food samples, including a Olympic extra virgin olive oil, Sailor’s Swagger pineapple hot sauce, and Chef Lynne’s papas fritas (hand-cut fries). The one we’ll be checking out is an exclusive debut of a new Jasper Hill cheese, Conundrum. It promises to be a cross between the Winnimere and the Moses Sleeper; spoonable, slightly sweet, slightly woodsy. We’ll try not to swoon.

And as usual, we’ve got links of interest from our pals in the North Shore Blogger’s Consortium:

Madman Seth has a weekend chock full of fun outlined in Lynn Happens.

Rob and Laura range farther afield for with some great ideas at The Two Palaverers.

And while our friend Jane Ward lists several events, but the most exciting by far is her own book author reading at Jabberwocky Bookshop, Newburyport. Stop in and see her tomorrow night!

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Enzo Makes Northern Italian Even Better With Local Ingredients

Posted: March 22nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: American, Enzo, Italian, Newburyport, Seafood | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Chef and owner Mary Reilly

New restaurants are always exciting, and our visit to Enzo Restaurant in Newburyport last week was especially so. We met the owners, Dave and Mary Reilly, shortly after we started North Shore Dish. At the time, Mary was a personal chef and taught specialty cooking classes. She and Dave had dreamed of owning a restaurant for years, and last week it came to fruition.

We were invited to the restaurant’s soft opening for friends and family. The restaurant opens to the public tonight. Obviously, we’re not presenting our normal review here as we did not dine anonymously. But the food at Enzo is spectacular, and although we’re not unbiased, we stand behind the recommendations here.

Light and tender fritto misto

The idea behind Enzo is an interesting one: Northern Italian cuisine with an emphasis on seasonal, local ingredients and a nod to New England traditions. It’s a twist we hadn’t experienced before, and it makes for some great combinations.

We started with an order of house-made potato chips with caramelized onion dip ($5). The chips are large and crisp, perfect for dipping in the savory onion and white bean mixture. We had dip left over, and our waitress offered to bring some bread so we could continue happily dipping. We also sampled the fritto misto, in this case made with Rhode Island squid and tiny Maine shrimp, served with garlic mayo and fried lemon slices ($10). It was exceptionally light for a fried dish, and the squid was more tender than usual.

The Caldwell Smash

To round out our fried-food extravaganza, we nibbled on breaded olives stuffed with herbed cheese ($5) and declared them the perfect bar snack. We also tried two of the house cocktails, both made with spirits from Gloucester’s Ryan and Wood Distillery. The Caldwell Smash combines Folly Cove rum, allspice, dram, apricot brandy, lemon, honey syrup, and mint in a refreshing balance of sweet and tart ($10). The Cane Nebbioso features Beauport vodka, fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, and Ramazzotti liqueur ($9).

The emphasis that Mary puts on using top-quality ingredients and making as much as possible in-house came through even more clearly in our entrées. The bread for the pork sausage sandwich was a house-made stecca roll, and the sausage is from New Hampshire’s Kellie Brook Farm. It was accompanied by garlicky greens and house-made chips ($14).

Indian pudding with zabaglione ice cream, bacon brittle & bourbon syrup

Fresh bread showed up again in the chicken under a brick ($21), this time in the form of big cubes of foccacia in an unconventional stuffing. The chicken was moist inside with very crispy skin, and the half-bird serving allowed us to enjoy it for lunch the next day.

We tried two traditional Italian dishes, and both were outstanding. The risotto was cooked in red wine for an unbelievable flavor, and the poached egg on top added a further touch of richness ($16). The filled pasta called pansotti was so good we kept eating long after we should have stopped—the cheese filling was flavorful, the walnut pesto was creamy, and the pasta was almost paper thin ($18).

The New England side of the restaurant’s equation gets a bit more play after dinner. All desserts are made in-house, and they are worth the indulgence. Mary has taken the childhood favorite of many, Indian pudding, to a new level with zabaglione ice cream, bacon brittle, and bourbon syrup ($7).

Chocolate addicts can get their fix with the chocolate tart featuring thick caramel and dark chocolate ganache. But the surprise favorite was the lemon posset, an impossibly silky, very tart pudding served with softly whipped cream ($6) that we hope never goes off the menu.

Enzo Restaurant & Bar
50 Water Street, Tannery Marketplace, Newburyport
(978) 462-1801
www.enzo-restaurant.com

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Newburyport Announces the North Shore’s Newest Restaurant Week

Posted: March 7th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Amesbury, Event, Newburyport, Salisbury | Tags: , | No Comments »

The Greater Newburyport area has just announced their very first restaurant week. Starting on Sunday March 20 and running through the 24th, participating restaurants in Newburyport, Amesbury, and Salisbury will be offering fixed-price dinners for $20 or $30 per person.

Participating restaurants include Agave Mexican Bistro, Black Cow Tap & Grill, Capri Seaside Italian Grille &vBar, Ceia Kitchen+Bar, David’s Tavern on Brown Square, Glenn’s Restaurant & Cool Bar, The Grog Restaurant, Loretta, Michael’s Harborside, Mission Oak Grill, Not Your Average Joe’s, Oregano Pizzeria & Ristorante, Plum Island Grille, Ristorante Molise, Seaglass Restaurant at Pavilion, Starboard Galley Restaurant, Stoplight Café, and Ten Center Street

To top it off, local retailers are getting into the act. Bring your receipt of $50 or more from any participating restaurant and you will receive 15% off your entire purchase at all participating retailers.

More information and restaurant menus can be found at www.newburyportchamber.org/restaurantweek.shtml

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Summer Bounty, Coming Up!

Posted: June 3rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Beverly, Gloucester, Ipswich, Lynn, Marblehead, Marblehead Farmer's Market, Marketplace, Newburyport, Newburyport Farmer's Market, Peabody, Revere, Rowley, Salem, Salem Farmer's Market | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

Sure, this gorgeous spring has been wonderful for walking and biking, enjoying the flowers, and getting a head start on our tans. But let’s face it: the best thing about the recent weather is the bounty we’ll soon find at the various North Shore farmers markets. To that end, we’ve got a list of the markets, their opening dates, their locations, and their hours, plus links to our FM posts from last year. Enjoy!

Revere Beach, Thursdays 12:00-6:00
Revere Beach by the William G. Reinstein Bandstand
Opening day: July 23

Lynn, Thursdays 11:00-3:00
Union St and Exchange St
Opening day: July 2

Marblehead, Saturdays 9:00-12:00
28 Vine St, behind Veteran’s Middle School
Opening day: June 12
Summer At Last: Marblehead Farmer’s Market

Salem, Thursdays 4:00-7:00
32 Derby Square
Opening day: June 17
Greens Galore at Salem Farmer’s Market

Beverly, Mondays 3:30-6:45
Veteran’s Park, Rantoul St and Railroad Ave
Opening day: June 28

Peabody, Tuesdays 1:00-6:00
Central St and Railroad Ave
Opening day: July 1

Gloucester / Cape Ann, Thursdays 3:00-6:30
Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center
Opening day: June 24

Rowley, Sundays 8:00-1:00
Rowley Town Common, Rte 1A
Opening day: July 11

Saugus / Cliftondale, Tuesdays 10:00 – 3:00
Cliftondale Square off Rte. 1 at Jackson Street
Opening day: July 6

Ipswich, Saturdays 9:00-1:00
Ebsco Parking Lot on Estie’s Street
Opening day: July 10

Topsfield, Saturdays 7:00-12:00
207 Boston St, Topsfield Fairgrounds
Opening day: July 10

Newburyport, Sundays 9:00-1:00
The Tannery Marketplace, 50 Water Street
Opening day: May 2
Eating Our Way Through the Newburyport Farmers Market

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Newburyport: Home of the Whoopie

Posted: May 25th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Cafe, Chococoa Baking Company, Newburyport, Sweets and Treats | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Alan Greenspan seems an unlikely person to provide impetus for a small bakery in Newburyport, but a couple of years ago, Alan Mons and Julie Ganong wanted to leave their jobs in financial services and took to heart Greenspan’s advice on improving an existing product.

Mons and Ganong thought long and hard and decided the whoopie pie could use an update. They had fond memories of baking these treats with their grandmothers (Ganong is originally from Maine) and wanted to give this New England favorite a makeover.

Today, the two are churning out between 2,000 and 3,000 mini-cakes a week from their Newburyport location. The cakes contain three types of chocolate, giving them a rich, unique flavor. In between is a layer of decadent buttercream in flavors like vanilla, espresso, and raspberry. The antithesis of junk food, these treats contain no preservatives, are made with natural and organic ingredients, and contain local products like free range eggs from Newbury.

We stopped into the Chococoa bakery over the weekend and found not only the delicious, sinfully decadent whoopie pies, but muffins, scones, cookies, brownies, savory croissants, and quiche, as well as Atomic Café coffee. Ganong told us everything other than the whoopies are supplied by local bakers who have been certified for safe food practices and work with Chococoa on a co-op basis.

At the bakery and in various locations in Boston, Southern New Hampshire, and the North Shore (including Cassis, Green Meadows Farm, and Cider Hill), the whoopies sell for $1.68 each or three for $4.98. In about a month, anyone in the US will be able to order from the company’s Web site (they ship frozen and arrive in two days).

Lately, the company has been seeing increased requests for a unique use for their whoopie pies: birthday and wedding cakes. Says Ganong of this and other twists her life path has taken recently: “It’s been a journey. It’s been fun.”

Chococoa Baking Company
38 Washington St, Newburyport
(978) 499-8889
www.chococoabaking.com

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Celebrating Mom on the North Shore

Posted: April 26th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Bakery, Beverly, brunch, Danvers, Event, Gloucester, Marblehead, Newburyport, Peabody, Rockport, Salem, Wenham | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Mother’s Day, May 9, is fast approaching, and if you still haven’t made any plans to honor mom, don’t panic, we’ve got a few ideas for you.

If you’ve got brunch in mind, it looks like Salem is the place. As usual, the Hawthorne Hotel will pull out all the stops to impress, with a huge buffet including both breakfast items and heartier fare, from 10:30 to 7:00 at $40 per adult and $15 per child.

The Salem Waterfront Hotel is offering two different options. From 8:00 to 9:00, it’s $26 per adult and $11 for children 12 and under. From 9:00 to 1:30, it’s $30 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under. If you want to make a weekend of it, stay at the hotel Saturday night and receive one free brunch for Mom per room (based on availability). Things that caught our eye on the menu were the mascarpone and lobster scrambled eggs in toasted brioche and the Viennese dessert station.

Another deal that might tickle mom’s fancy is being offered by the Peabody Essex Museum. Enjoy a sumptuous brunch prepared by Hawthorne Catering and served in the Garden Restaurant overlooking PEM’s Asian Garden. After your meal, visit the Museum Shop, where you can exchange your brunch voucher for a complimentary gift for Mom!

Pickering Wharf also offers plenty of options. Finz will be serving brunch buffet from 11:00 to 3:00; it will include a raw bar and several seafood choices for $35 per person, $16 for kids under 12.

Sixty2 on Wharf will also be dishing up brunch. They haven’t published a full menu, but Chef Tony Bettencourt promises pecan sticky buns, brioche french toast, and all sorts of other goodies. Reservations recommended.

If you’re looking for something more casual, Victoria Station will be offering a brunch buffet from 11:00 to 3:00 and a dinner buffet from 3:00 to 7:00, at $30 per person. There will be live entertainment with Joe Mcdonald from 1:00 to 5:00.

Of course, Salem’s not the only place you’ll find a meal to impress mom. Emerson Inn by the Sea in Rockport serves up a gorgeous buffet with treats like truffle honey glazed salmon over a bed of maple roasted squash and Kahlua Bavarian chocolate trifle, for $45 per person, $22.50 for children ages 3 to 10.

Ten Center in Newburyport will host a buffet in their private dining room, where mom will enjoy a complimentary mimosa. They will offer two seatings: 11:00 to 1:00 and  3:00 to 5:00 at $45 per person and $15 per child.

If your mom is a traditional sort, she might enjoy a beautiful afternoon tea. The Exchange at the Wenham Tea House will be presenting their annual Mother’s Day Brunch featuring a la carte specials, along with an afternoon tea. For more details and reservations, call them (978) 468-1398.

Lastly, there are those of us who find Mother’s Day bittersweet, because while we can celebrate with our children, our mothers are no longer with us. My own mother fell victim to breast cancer almost 20 years ago, and so the Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer yearly event really hits home.

During the week up to and including Mother’s Day, local restaurants and bakeries will be selling special treats and desserts, with 100% of proceeds from the sales of the specific dessert going to breast cancer research and care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Here on the North Shore, the chocolate buchon from A & J King Artisan Bakers, one of our all-time favorites, is on the list. Cakes for Occasions in Danvers will be offering a traditional whoopie pie with pink cream filling, and Cassis Bakery in Beverly will have Boston crème pies on offer. Participating restaurants include Duckworth’s Bistrot in Gloucester, Mission Oak Grill in Newburyport, Pellana Prime Steak House in Peabody, and Pellino’s Ristorante in Marblehead.

So whether it’s an indulgence for mom or in honor of her, there’s no better excuse to go in search of these sweet treats in the upcoming week.

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