Restaurants Bloom on the North Shore

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Beat the Blues With Beer and Chocolate

Posted: January 25th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Getting out and about is the best way we know to fight the mid-winter blues, and some great events are coming up that are worth leaving the house for. First up is a craft beer celebration at Salem’s Vic’s Boathouse at Victoria Station. It’s on Thursday, January 25 from 6:30 to 8:30. For $20, you can sip craft creations from some of the best Massachusetts breweries, sample food from a buffet of classic New England fare, and listen to music put on by Open Mic host Nick Consone. The featured brews include Cambridge Brewing Co. Audacity, Wandering Star Berkshire Hills 01201 Saison, Cisco Brewery Blonde Lady, Fishermans Ale, Cody Brewing Honey Ginger Ale, Mayflower IPA, Notch Cerne Pivo, Pretty Things Baby Tree, and Berkshire Brewing Steel Rail Extra Pail Ale.

Next up is ice cream for breakfast from 8:00am to 12:00pm on Saturday February 4, at Cherry Farm Creamery in Danvers. Half of the proceeds will go to support the HAWC organization. Cherry Farm will open early for the occasion and serve a special “breakfast menu” that includes waffle sundaes, Pop-Tart sundaes, Coffee & Donuts ice cream (coffee ice cream with chocolate-glazed donuts mixed in), Maple Bacon ice cream (maple-flavored ice cream with bits of bacon) and Banana Grape-Nut ice cream. There will be assorted cereals for toppings, as well as banana crunch bars and warm maple syrup and blueberry toppings. Details are on Cherry Farm’s Facebook page under events or call the store at (978) 774-0519.

Last, but not least, is Salem’s 10th Annual Chocolate & Wine Tasting on Friday, February 10 from 6:30 to 8:30 at Hamilton Hall. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased in advance from the Salem Chamber of Commerce. This event sold out last year, so don’t wait to buy tickets if you’d like to go.

Participating restaurants include 62 Restaurant and Wine Bar, Adriatic Restaurant & Bar, Ben & Jerry’s, Busa Wine and Spirits, Green Land Café, Gulu-Gulu Café, Sweet Adeline’s, Victoria Station, and Ye Olde Pepper Co. The event kicks of the Salem So Sweet Festival, which includes ice sculptures on February 11 and 12 and special Valentine’s Day shopping deals February 10 to 14.

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Dish Tidbits: Two Restaurant Weeks, Three Halloween Parties, and a Slew of Tastings

Posted: October 22nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

There are so many food-related events going on in the next few weeks it’s enough to make our heads spin (sorry, couldn’t resist).

For starters, Sunday marks the start of Cape Ann Restaurant Week, and it only runs until Thursday, so start planning your night out now. Three-course dinners for $25.11 are available at numerous restaurants—the list is here.

There are several events of note next weekend, starting with Shubie’s Fall Food and Wine Festival on Saturday. This free event runs from 1:00 to 5:00 and includes tastings of more than 50 wines and 15 cheeses, plus discounts on featured products. Jasper Hill Farms will be on hand with their cheese, along with many other cheese makers and vintners. A list of the wines being offered is here.

Also on Saturday, this time from 12:00 to 5:00, is a tasting of American blended wines known as meritage. It’s at Wine ConneXtion in North Andover, and more information is available here.

There are too many Halloween events for us to list them all, but we’ll mention a few that crossed our desks this week. The Bridget Bishop Costume Ball is taking place at Salem’s new 43 Church from 8:00 to midnight. There will be music by DJ Emilita, tasty treats, ghoulish cocktails, and prizes for most creative and outrageous costumes ($75 per person). Hawthorne Hotel’s annual costume ball is also Saturday night. Tickets are $90 per person, and information is here. Up in Gloucester at Lat43, a $5 cover will get you into the second annual Nightmare Circus with music by DJ Vito and prizes for best, sexiest, and scariest costume.

If you’re sufficiently recovered from Saturday night to venture out on Sunday, the fourth annual North Shore Bazaar is being held from 1:00 to 4:00 at the Community Covenant Church in Peabody. More than 25 vendors will be offering organic, fair trade, or locally sourced gifts and services, including Touchstone Honey, Mercury Brewing, Galbraith Gourmet Catering, Fellows Farm, and Vegan Girl Next Door. More information is here.

The beginning of November is also shaping up nicely in terms of events. Mark your calendars for a tasting of the industry’s highest rated wines (90 points and above) at Wine ConneXtion on November 12 from 12:00 to 5:00 and for Salem Restaurant Week, which runs from November 6 to 10 and November 13 to 15. The list of restaurants with click-throughs to their menus is here.

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Weekend Picks, April 15-17

Posted: April 15th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

This weekend is all about imbibing, with three tastings, a party, and a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar. First up is a tasting of high-end pinot noirs at Wine ConneXtion in North Andover from 12:00 to 5:00 on Saturday. There will be one-day pricing on the wines being poured, including names like Caymus, Platz & Hall, and Adelshiem.

If rum is more to your liking, head over to Busa Wine & Spirits in Salem for a free tasting of Admiral Nelson Rum. The tasting is 2:00 to 5:00 on Saturday; the rum is imported from the Caribbean and blends vanilla with savory spices for a great cocktail base.

Also on Saturday is the annual holiday tasting at Henry’s Wine Cellar in Beverly. Kurt Reming will be hosting the event from 2:00 to 5:00 with more than 20 wines from the Pasternak portfolio. There will be a mix of reds, whites, rosés, and sparkling wines, all selected to go with spring fare, especially Easter and Passover dinners.

On Sunday from 11:00 to 2:00, DJ Forrest Frazier will be at The Lobster Shanty playing a mix of rat pack, blues, and rockabilly. The Rhythm and Booze event also features do-it-yourself Bloody Marys—start with vodka and tomato juice and add all sorts of condiments to make your drink unique.

Last but not least, Ipswich Ale Brewery is throwing a party to support the relief effort in Japan on Sunday from 4:00 to 9:00 at the Ipswich Town Hall. Mercury soda will be served, music will be played, and all proceeds from the event (tickets are $10) go to Global Giving.

Here are more weekend picks from the usual suspects:

The lovely Jane Ward has the round-up for Amesbury and Newburyport here.

The 2 Palaverers have beer, tea, and more here.

And you can read about a plethora of Lynn happenings here.

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Tastings and Fests: Our Weekend Picks

Posted: October 14th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Danvers, Event, Marblehead, Rockport, Salem, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

There are some terrific tasting events coming up this weekend, and even a few tonight. Shubie’s Marketplace in Marblehead has a special Graham Port and cheese tasting from 4:00 to 7:00 this evening.

If you’d rather check out offerings from local restaurants for a good cause, head on over to the Danversport Yacht Club where the Danvers Educational Enrichment Partnership holds its 12th annual Wine & Food Tasting from 6:00 to 9:30.

For more offerings from local eateries, Marblehead Chamber of Commerce hosts its Octoberfest on Friday evening, with a food and spirit tasting at the Corinthian Yacht Club from 7:00 to 9:00.

Saturday is a day of dueling festivals. First, Rockport will hold its HarvestFest which features a full day of activities, staring around 11:00 am. There will be a Local Fare Fair with all sorts of local foods, a cooking demonstration, a harvest lunch from Market Restaurant, and a seafood throwdown. Cape Ann Brewing company will be on hand offering tastes of some of their unique brews from 12:00 to 5:00. Sarah Kelly gives more insights into the festival in this video.

If you’d rather spend the afternoon navigating craft brews and fine wines, Salem HarvestFest is the place for you. Sponsored by Magic Hat and held at the Knights of Columbus in Salem, you can taste samples from participants like Cody Brewing, Classic Wine Imports, M.S. Walker, Mayflower Brewing, Turtle Creek Winery, Select Beverages, Still River Winery, Bay State Wines, Charles River Winery, Cape Ann Brewing, Wachusett Brewing Company, Ipswich/Mercury Brewing, Harpoon, Berkshire Brewing, Oskar Blues, Naragansett and Arborway, and Clown Shoes. There will be two sessions, the first from 2:00 to 4:30 and the second from 5:30 to 8:00.

Last but not least, don’t forget that Sunday marks the beginning of Cape Ann Restaurant Week. For six days, participating Cape Ann restaurants will offer a three-course dinner for $25.00 per person (not including beverage, tax, or gratuity). It’s a great opportunity to get out and try places that you’ve been meaning to or visit old favorites. Follow the link to their website for a list of participating eateries.

Up next, as usual, are additional weekend picks from some of our pals in the North Shore Bloggers Consortium.

Good Morning Gloucester brings you the best of Gloucester MA and surrounding communities. From the docks to the restaurants, the sporting fields to the art scene and anything in between, if it’s happening in Gloucester it’s generally covered on GMG.

Click here for Joey’s weekend picks

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Jane Ward writes fiction and is the author of Hunger (Forge, 2001) and The Mosaic Artist (to be released).  She is currently at work on her third novel, The Welcome Home.  She also writes about food – in a weekly blog called Food and Fiction, and as a contributing writer to the online regional food magazine, Local In Season – because she loves to cook and eat.  And so does everyone she knows.

Click Here for Author Jane Ward’s Weekend Picks

fifthjoyweb_500

5thjoy is a blog about the things that make life shimmer: Food, Fashion, Feathering the Nest and whatever glinting Flotsam floats our way.

Click Here For Abby Cahill O’Brien’s Fifth Joy Weekend Picks

The Two Palaverers are the husband and wife team of Rob and Laura Ciampa, two passionate New Englanders who have spent decades exploring the highways and byways of New England in search of regional character, culture and cuisine. Their goal is to recognize the people, places and things that exemplify the character of New England. Join them as they palaver about New England.

Click Here For The Weekend Picks From The Two Palaverers

At its core, LynnHappens.com is a place to find out what’s happening in Lynn. It features an events calendar, local weather, arts and events coverage, photo galleries, complete City Council videos, letters to the editor and more.

Click here are for LynnHappens.com editor Seth Albaum’s picks for the weekend

Food For Thought- Heather Atwood

As a painter and writer, Heather Atwood spent a lot of time waiting on tables in great restaurants. While struggling with color and line, she was also learning how to roast a great chicken, and what it means to balance textures in a dish. She’s been interested in good food ever since. Married, the mother of two daughters, Heather now lives in Rockport, Mass. and is the food columnist for the Gloucester Daily Times. She is featured regularly in Taste of the Times videos and her writing can also be seen in the Wednesday food section of the Times.

Click here for Heather Atwood’s Weekend Picks

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News and Notes

Posted: March 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Wow—there are so many things going on right now our heads are spinning. We also had some tasty meals and treats over the weekend, so, without further ado, here’s a roundup of everything we thought you should know.

On Tuesday March 23 at 7:00 p.m., The Blue Ox’s Matt O’Neil will be demonstrating how to filet a whole cod and braise ramps. The $35 fee includes a three-course meal (dessert is dulche de leche/chocolate chunk bread pudding). Call (781) 780-5722 to reserve a spot.

The Lyceum has announced a new drink menu, including a cool as a cucumber martini; a french cocktail with champagne, gin, lemon juice, and cointreau; and an orange bitter martini with Grey Goose orange, dry vermouth, cointreau, and orange bitters.

Salem Restaurant Week dates have been announced. The event will take place Sunday April 11 to Thursday April 15. We’ll have a list of restaurants for you as soon as they are announced.

Seeking comfort food Saturday night, we ended up at 15 Walnut and found just what we were looking for: a cup of the best French onion soup we’ve ever tasted (complete with cheese-covered croutons), a perfectly cooked burger on a brioche bun, and highly addictive hand-cut fries. The bartenders were having an infectiously good time, and the margaritas were just right.

Turbine Wine Bar has opened in Lynn with an interesting-looking menu. The Web site is short on information right now, but Corey from Downtown Lynn blogged about his visit here.

We have heard exciting news about the new restaurant going into the recently vacated Ladycakes space in Marblehead and will bring you more details soon.

We had a dish of pistachio gelato this weekend from Jaho in Salem. It was fantastic, as was the mocha coffee we washed it down with. The small gelato is $3.50, and it’s plenty to satisfy a sweet tooth. We sampled the chocolate gelato also, and it was fine but not worth the calories.

The Adriatic Restaurant and Bar is slated to open soon in what used to be the Edgewater Café in Salem (Washington St). It will offer a mix of Italian and European food.

Ithaki in Ipswich is closed for renovations and will reopen March 25.

Salem’s Spring Fling is slated for Saturday March 27 from 6:00 to 9:00. Sponsored by Pamplemousse, this event takes place at Old Town Hall and celebrates the end of winter with fine wine, craft beer, and food from local restauranteurs. Tickets are $25.

And last but certainly not least, Coven Artisinal Market Cafe and Dessert Bar will open in early April at 281 Essex Street in Salem. It will specialize in freshly made food, whimsical desserts, artisanal market items, and local farm fresh produce.

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Home-Town Favorites for Valentine’s Day

Posted: January 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Beverly, Danvers, Gloucester, Marblehead, Marketplace, Salem, Sweets and Treats, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

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Looking to score extra points on Valentine’s Day? Skip that box of prewrapped chocolates from the drugstore and head to one of these North Shore favorites. You’ll get better quality, more interesting choices, and personalized service—all while supporting your local chocolatier.

Harbor Sweets
If your sweetie likes all things nautical, you cannot go wrong with Sweet Sloops, an addicting confection of toffee, pecans, and white and dark chocolate. There are many other sea-themed chocolates available from the tiny Harbor Sweets factory in Salem, and they can be purchased in almost every North Shore town, including Shubie’s in Marblehead, Henry’s in Beverly, The Partridge Tree Gift Shop in Danvers, Connolly’s Pharmacy in Hamilton, Bruni’s in Ipswich, LuLa’s Pantry in Rockport, and Valentine’s in Newburyport.

85 Leavitt St, Salem
(978) 745-7648
www.harborsweets.com

Pride’s Crossing Confections
This converted train station on Route 127 is the place to go if you need gifts for a variety of tastes. The shop is jam-packed with everything from bags of chocolate covered potato chips and pretzels to cases of fudge, truffles, soft-centers, and white chocolate-covered confections. Don’t miss the famous turtles (seven varieties) and buttercrunches, all hand-made on premises.

590 Hale St, Prides Crossing
(978) 927-2185
www.pridescrossingconfections.com

Stowaway Sweets
It doesn’t get much more charming than this tucked-away shop in a former mansion, where the chocolates are extremely high quality and you can select each piece that goes in the box. Do not, under any circumstances, skip the meltaways.

154 Atlantic Ave, Marblehead
(781) 631-0303
www.stowawaysweets.com

The Cocoa Belt
This elegant shop is a new favorite, both for its selection of delicious truffles in sophisticated flavors like black forest, cappuccino, and champagne and its ability to improve on perennial favorites like peanut butter cups and scotch kisses.

58 Maple St, Danvers
(978) 774-4332
www.thecocoabelt.com

Turtle Alley
Known for its luscious turtles, this local maker also stocks an impressive supply of fruit slices, caramels, and fudge. We are especially fond of the kicked-up versions, including spicy peanut butter cups and almond chipotle turtles.

91a Washington St, Gloucester
(978) 281-4000
Museum Place Mall, Salem
(781) 740-0660
www.turtlealley.com

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Tastings: Upcoming Events

Posted: April 30th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Event, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

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Wine, cheese, chocolate, and pasta: those are the four food groups, right? Actually, they are the focus of a handful of upcoming food events on the North Shore that we’re excited about, so read on and mark your calendars for a tasty spring!

First off, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., on May 9th, Shubie’s in Marblehead is hosting what they are calling Corks and Forks; their first annual food and wine festival. The event will feature a variety of more than 50 wines, with samples being poured from France, Spain, Argentina, South Africa, Chile, Italy and California. Also on hand will be an array of cheeses and charcuterie from local and national artisans, as well as Tapas tastes from Chef Lynne Aronson. Admission is free, and on Saturday only many of the wines featured will be heavily discounted.

Shubie’s Market Place
16 Atlantic Ave., Marblehead
781-631-0149
www.shubies.com

If relaxing with cold wine and cool jazz is more up your alley, head on over to Salem Wine Imports at 32 Church St. in Salem. Also on the 9th, from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m., North Shore local Ed Barker will be there to present vintages from the New Zealand winery Barkers Marque, which he co-owns with his brother Simon.

As an added draw, they will have a representative from Verve Records on hand, who will be spinning Diana Krall’s new release, “Quiet Nights” and a hosting a drawing to give away copies of the CD.

Salem Wine Imports
32 Church St., Salem
978.741.9463
http://salemwineimports.com/

If you are like us, always looking for a good excuse to indulge in chocolate, have we got an event for you! On Saturday May 16th from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Newburyport will once again be hosting the Chocolate Tour of Newburyport.

This event is win-win; visitors stroll around checking out the shops in Newburyport while sampling a chocolate taste treat at each location, and all the proceeds go to benefit the Red Cross Foundation of the North Shore.

More than 20 stores will be participating, including Ballotin Chocolate Boutique and Café, Greta’s Great Grains, Life is Good, Ruby Slipper, Talbots and Valentines. A wide range of goodies will be served, including chocolates from Lake Champlain, New England Chocolate Company and Willy’s Candy Shop in Salisbury as well as treats like Barefoot Contessa brownies, chocolate martinis, and gourmet hot chocolate with a splash of your choice of liqueur.

Visitors can pre-purchase tickets ($15, cash or check only) at Valentine’s at 27 Water Street, The Ruby Slipper at 50 Water Street, Ballotin Chocolates at 16 Unicorn Street, or First National Bank of Ipswich at 155 State Street. On the day of the event, the tickets can be picked up at the Unitarian Church on Pleasant Street, where there will be a booth in the Market Square Plaza.

Shopping, chocolate, helping the Red Cross; what’s not to love?

The Chocolate Tour of Newburyport
http://northeastmassredcross.org/index.php?pr=2009_Chocolate_Tour

Everyone is abuzz over the new restaurant on the scene, The Blue Ox in Lynn. Not only are we excited to check it out, we’re also thrilled that they are hosting cool events. On June 8 at 7:00, Chef Matt O’Neil will be doing a demonstration on everyone’s favorite Italian treat: gnocchi. The demonstration, followed by a dinner-sized tasting of the pasta, is $29. Call the restaurant at (781) 780-5722 to reserve a spot. Who knows—we may see you there…

The Blue Ox Restaurant and Bar
191 Oxford St., Lynn
(781) 780-5722
www.theblueoxlynn.com

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Here’s To You, Mom

Posted: April 28th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Event, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments »

Looking to step out with your mom, the mother of your children, or even (gasp) your mother-in-law next weekend? Here’s a list of North Shore restaurants offering specials on May 10.

The Blue Ox in Lynn is planning a $19 three-course prix fixe menu, and Mom receives a beautiful flower.

Mission Oak Grill in Newburyport will be serving delicious sounding brunch items like cinnamon brioche french toast with applewood-smoked bacon and housemade apple butter ($13) until 2:30. There’s also a lunch menu featuring prime rib and sesame-crusted ahi tuna.

Finz in Salem is running a decadent brunch buffet (including a raw bar) from 11:00 to 2:30 for $35 per adult and $16 for the under-12 set.

Emerson Inn in Rockport is going all out with New York sirloin, salmon with crème fraîche sauce, and Belgian waffles, not to mention shrimp cocktail, eggs benedict with lobster hollandaise, and mini pastries.

The Peabody Essex Museum is serving brunch in the Garden Cafe from 11:00 to 3:00 for $35 (10% off for members).

At the Hawthorne Hotel, brunch runs from 11:00 to 7:00 for $40 for adults and $15 for under-12s. The menu includes a carving station with roast beef, ham, and pork loin, entrees like ham and cheddar strata with sauteed onions, and a huge selection of desserts such as carrot cake and key lime pie.

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Restaurant Discounts

Posted: February 16th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: | No Comments »

We recently discovered some great deals available with the Mass Value Pass, which is available for free at http://www.massvacation.com/valuepass/northboston.php

If you scroll down past the hotels, you’ll see discounts at several restaurants and food stores on the North Shore, including Harbor Sweets in Salem, The Grand Cafe in Rockport, The Landing at 7 Central in Manchester, Nathaniel’s Restaurant at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, and Woodman’s of Essex.

Just download the pass (it’s quick), print out the page, and you’re all set. You do have to give your e-mail address, and the discounts listed right now expire on March 31.

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