Dish Tid Bits: What’s New on the North Shore

Posted: August 22nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

The restaurant scene on the North Shore is always changing, and the past six months have seen quite a few openings and closings. We’ve put together a list of the goings on, and we’re excited to have so many new places to explore.

Last year, it seemed Salem had a new restaurant opening every week. This year Marblehead wins the prize for the amount of changes and new businesses. Five Corners Kitchen has finally reopened after the devastating fire last year, having enlarged into the former Terry’s Ice Cream space to include a bigger dining room and extensive bar. Clearly, residents were ecstatic to have it back—the place has been filled every time we’ve driven by. Terry’s, which has moved down the street to Atlantic Ave., has yet to re-open.

Around the corner, in the former Pellino’s location on Washington Street, Italian eatery Yannalfo’s Ristorante, owned by Andover resident Brett Yannalfo, is slated to open soon. Joey D’s Italian Grill, serving pasta and seafood, has taken over the Hooked space on Pleasant St, across from the new Warwick Place development. The owners of Warwick Place are working with a developer to put a new high-end restaurant in place, but negotiations seem to have stalled after their request for outdoor seating was shot down by the town.

Hungry Betty’s has been sold to Jason Rakauskas, who has vowed to keep the name and atmosphere, making a few changes to the menu. Kitsen Table in Village Plaza has morphed into Soall Bistro, a Vietnamese café about which we’ve heard some good things.

Brothers Felix and Jose Bracamontes, previously of Mexico Lindo in Melrose, have just opened the doors of a new Mexican restaurant, Casa Carona, in the former Sablone’s space on Smith street. While expected soon, they have no liquor license yet.

Marbleheaders have also been able to indulge their sweet cravings with the opening of two bakeries and a candy shop. Captn’s Bakery on Washington St. offers breads, cookies, pastries, and cannolis, while Just Fabulous Custom Cakes and Sugarscapes offers custom-made, special-occasion confections. The Candy Pop Sweet Shoppe is similar to an old-fashioned penny-candy vendor but also sells snack mixes, popcorn, and fancy baked goods.

In Lynn, we were sad to hear that Turbine Wine Bar has closed. We really liked their atmosphere but hear the landlord was difficult to work with. Le Petite Café, serving breakfast and lunch, has moved into the former Fernandos space on Munroe Street. A Greek-themed family restaurant, Olympic Gardens, has opened on Buffum St., and New Style Asian, featuring an extensive menu of both traditional Asian and vegan fare, has opened on Boston Street.

Our favorite new concept in Salem is Flying Saucer Pizza, created by the Gulu Gulu folks when they took over the space next door, vacated by Uppercrust Pizza. While we have yet to sample the pies (high on our to-do list) we admittedly geek out over the sci-fi theme and fun movie and TV references.

Green Land Café has been sold to new owner Nolo Opus and is closed for renovation. The new incarnation, to be named Opus, will likely open in November.

43 Church has a new chef, a slightly more wallet-friendly menu, and is open for lunch. Not to be confused with Tavern on the Square or The Tavern at the Hawthorne Hotel, Village Tavern is poised to open soon in that odd space in Museum Place Mall previously occupied by Lakay Island and others. Speaking of Museum Place, that’s where 3 Potato 4, the baked fries place we wrote about a while back, has moved.

And the game of North Shore musical chairs continues. Last year, Brodie’s Pub in Peabody was sold to Michael Votto, who now plans to open a second Brodie’s location in Salem, where the Seaport Café was. Joe Deisely, who originally owned Brodie’s, has taken over 282 Cabot St. in Beverly and opened EJ Cabot’s, which looks to be more pub-like than its predecessor, Tryst. Former Tryst owner and chef Peter Capalbo is now the chef at the re-tooled Wenham Tea House. Got it?

In Peabody, the new Red’s Kitchen and Tavern is in full swing in their Rt. 1 location and Stonewood Tavern has opened on Lynnfield St.

In Hamilton, the Black Cow is still closed for renovations, but it will hopefully reopen in September. 15 Walnut has a new chef and just released a new late-summer menu.

Ally’s Eatery, a new sandwich take-out shop in Rockport has earned rave reviews. According to our friend Heather Atwood, Ally’s “has elevated a panini and salad eaten on a bench to fine dining.”

Our must-try short list also includes Enx Dadulas’ Ohana on Main Street in Gloucester. The upscale New American cuisine spot has been attracting diners in droves since it opened this spring. Also making waves in Gloucester is the nightlife at newly opened Mile Marker 1, which offers a waterside deck, live entertainment, and, if you arrive by boat, free dockage with your restaurant receipt.

Brown Sugar by the Sea, a relative of Boston’s Brown Sugar has replaced Andaman Thai Restaurant in the Tannery in Newburyport and has already garnered some great reviews. Newburyport will also soon be home to two craft microbreweries. Newburyport Brewing Co., a “keg and can” brewery is working to have three ales on offer, and Riverwalk Brewing of Amesbury is preparing to move into new digs in Newburyport in September.

We’d be remiss in our duty if we didn’t mention the invasion of various frozen yogurt chains all over the north shore this summer. We don’t usually cover chains, but they have aroused so much interest we may have to get out there devote a piece to comparison tasting. The things we do for our readers.

More changes are afoot, of course, but hopefully this post will be helpful to those of you looking to widen your taste horizons this fall. If you’ve got any hot tips on new restos, let us know, and we’ll spread the word.

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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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