An Affordable Indulgence: Brunch at Nathaniel’s

Posted: January 10th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Breakfast, brunch, Nathaniel's at the Hawthorne Hotel, Salem | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Looking to extend the holidays a bit further, we set out for the Hawthorne Hotel last Sunday. Nathaniel’s, the hotel’s main restaurant, features a Sunday Jazz Brunch and recently changed from a buffet to a prix fixe menu, giving us the perfect excuse for a last indulgent meal of the season.

And that it was, from the service to the setting to the food. For $16.95, we were each able to choose from a large selection of salads, entrees, and sweets. For salads, we sampled the arugula with smoked salmon with ricotta salata (delicious), the spinach with bacon and hard-boiled egg (equally good), and the caesar (good but slightly overdressed).

The entrees run the gamut from sweet to eggy to more-lunch-than-brunch. We were very happy with the flavorful harvest pasta (also available as a vegan dish), the meatloaf with mashed potatoes, and the harvest frittata, which was cooked perfectly and topped with an abundance of asparagus, spinach, onions, and Vermont goat cheese.

The runaway hit was the brioche french toast, which was just crusty enough and topped with a strawberry-rhubarb compote so delicious we didn’t even pick up the maple syrup pitcher. And yes, there might have been some whipped cream involved.

To guild the lily, we sampled the buche de noel, a raspberry/cassis mousse, and an almond pear torte. All were great quality, with the torte being the favorite of the bunch. Note that coffee ($2.25) is not included in the prix fixe.

The dining room is very well appointed, with enough sound absorption to keep the noise level of even a full room in check. We commend the service, which met our every need but never rushed our leisurely meal. The jazz duo was also enjoyable, with classics given a welcome twist.

If you plan to go, reservations are highly recommended, but feel free to bring children, who can choose from their own three-course menu for $9.95. For even more selection, kids or adults can choose from a substantial à la carte menu. Also à la carte are cocktails  ($7.75) like Bloody Marys and Greyhounds made from Gloucester’s Ryan & Wood vodka, gin, and rum or the interesting-sounding lemonsecco, featuring prosecco mixed with limoncello liqueur.

Nathaniel’s Restaurant at the Hawthorne Hotel
18 Washington Square, Salem
(978) 825-4311
www.hawthornehotel.com/dining/index.htm

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Brunch Bunch

Posted: March 23rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Beverly, Breakfast, brunch, Lynn, Manchester, Newburyport, Rockport, Salem | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Marge: “What’s brunch?”
Jacques: “You’ll love it. It’s not quite breakfast, it’s not quite lunch, but it comes with a slice of cantaloupe at the end.”

It’s that time of year again, when the spring bulbs start blooming and the people start brunching. Sure, eating breakfast out is always popular, but when the weather improves, a leisurely brunch and a long seaside walk to work off that eggs benedict is an excellent way to spend your Sunday. Spring also brings the two biggest brunch days of the year: Easter and Mother’s Day.

So while we adore local diners and feature breakfast joints all year long, we’ve got a list of places worth considering if you’re looking for something a little more upscale.

Nathaniel’s at Hawthorne Hotel in Salem is well known for its gorgeous Sunday Jazz Brunch, which has been consistently voted Best of the North Shore by North Shore Magazine. They offer seatings at 11:15 am, 11:30 am 1:30 pm, and 1:45 pm, and while reservations are not required, they are strongly recommended.

The Hawthorne will be offering an Easter Brunch Buffet from 10:30 to 7:00 for $40 per adult and $15 per child. Menus for the Jazz Brunch and the Easter Buffet are available in .pdf form on the Web site. A similar brunch will be offered on Mother’s Day, but the menu is not yet available.

Newburyport’s Ten Center offers their Bloody Good Brunch on Sundays from 11:00 to 3:00 with some interesting twists on the traditional and a Make Your Own Bloody Mary Bar. They are hosting a special buffet for Easter in the private dining room featuring a separate children’s buffet and a dessert buffet. Seatings will be at 12:00, 2:00, and 4:00; reservations are required. The buffet is $55 per adult and $15 per child.

A couple of places that don’t usually do breakfast are serving up specials for Easter brunch as well. The Blue Ox in Lynn is offering a mouth-watering three-course menu for $29 per person that includes things like baked Duxbury oysters with mascarpone cheese, diced apples, scallions, apple brandy and grilled local applewood-smoked ham with roasted fingerling potatoes, grilled asparagus, sherry wine and shallot sauce. They will be open from 11:00 to 4:00 on Easter.

Finz in Salem also has an Easter special, a buffet that will include a raw bar and items like swordfish oscar and banana-encrusted salmon. The buffet is $35 per person and $16 for kids under 12.

If you’re looking for a pretty Sunday drive, head to Emerson Inn by the Sea in Rockport for their extensive Easter Grand Buffet from 11:30 to 3:30. The lobster deviled eggs and mascarpone stuffed french toast with wild-berry compote are calling our names. The buffet runs $45 per person, $22.50 for children ages 3 to 10. There is limited seating available, so they’re encouraging people to call early for reservations. The Emerson Inn will be serving a similar brunch on Mother’s Day but haven’t yet announced the menu.

And although we haven’t seen any published holiday specials, the following restaurants serve up Sunday brunch on a regular basis:

Cala’s in Manchester hosts a brunch from 11:30 to 2:00 that includes breakfast standards, bistro fare, and a build-your-own pizza menu. Reservations are available but not required, and the menu is available here.

Tryst in Beverly offers breakfast from 10:00 to 1:00, and we’ve heard good things about it, though the menu isn’t available online. It is also first-come, first-served, as they don’t take reservations.

Salem’s Lyceum, which recently underwent a metamorphosis, is open for brunch 11:00 to 3:00, and the menu has some intriguing-sounding dishes at a range of prices. Edit: They have since published an Easter menu, which can be found here.

So whether you’re treating the family, your mom, or just yourself, there are so many tasty options on the North Shore, you’ll wish you had a month of Sundays to enjoy them.

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Celebrating Thanksgiving on the North Shore

Posted: November 18th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Event, Marketplace | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

It’s coming down to the wire for Thanksgiving, and sometimes the pressure of making everything come together for a holiday can be overwhelming. Hoping to ease your angst, we’ve put together a list of useful North Shore resources.

Tendercrop Farm in Newbury is offering fresh local hormone- and antibiotic-free turkeys, and their Web site even offers cooking advice. Vermont free-range turkeys are available through New Meadows Market in Topsfield, which also offers prepared birds, side dishes, and desserts. If you’re not familiar with it, Northeast Harvest is a terrific resource for locating local farms selling fresh vegetables and poultry. And if you’re looking for quick and easy recipes, check out this fantastic list from the New York Times.

For beautifully prepared gourmet sides and desserts, Ipswich Shellfish Fish Market in Ipswich, Henry’s Market in Beverly, and Foodie’s Feast in Marblehead all have special holiday menus. Ordering deadlines vary, so call as soon as possible if you are interested. Shubie’s Market Place also has a special catering menu, and if you’re worried about pleasing the different wine drinkers at your table, they have a great solution: a six-pack containing carefully selected wines of uniquely different styles. That way, you’ll be sure to have something for everyone, and it’s offered at 20% off the regular price.

If you’re not in the mood to cook, there are plenty of local options still available for tucking into holiday fare. Both the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem and 10 Center Street in Newburyport are serving buffet-style meals. The Hawthorne’s is offered from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm and runs $41 for adults and $17 for kids. 10 Center is offering seatings at 12:00, 2:00, and 4:00. Their feast is $55 for adults, $15 for kids, and children under six are free.

Both Mission Oak Grill and David’s Tavern in Newburyport have special offers. Along with their regular menu, Mission Oak will feature a four-course Thanksgiving meal at $21 per adult and $10 per child. David’s is serving a three course meal for $32 per adult and $12 for kids.

Victoria Station in Salem is running list of holiday specials as well as an all-you-can-eat Thanksgiving feast for $30 per adult and $12 per child (children under five eat free). For those in search of alternative ideas, Rawberts Organic Garden in Beverly offers a full holiday menu available for eating in or taking out.

If you’re looking for a more casual atmosphere where you can relax and sip a brew with your turkey and fixin’s, Sweeney’s Retreat in Marblehead will be open, offering their Irish Pub style Thanksgiving meal, and the Lobster Shanty in Salem promises a tasty looking family-style communal table meal at $25 for the all-you-can-eat extravaganza.

Finally, we’d like to give a big shout-out to Tavern on the Square in Salem, which is serving a free Thanksgiving dinner from 11:30 to 2:00. It is open to all but focuses on the elderly, the homeless, and families that are struggling in these difficult times. Talk about the holiday spirit!

We hope this list helps to alleviate some of your impending holiday stress and that your Thanksgiving is full of family, friends, and great food.

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A Taste of St. Patrick’s Day

Posted: March 16th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Casual/Pub Food, Event, Marblehead, Marketplace, Salem | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Looking for a place to hoist a pint or satisfy your craving for corned beef and cabbage this St. Patrick’s Day? The North Shore has no shortage of pubs, some of them doubtlessly serving green beer, so there will be plenty of places to get your Irish on this Tuesday, but we thought we’d give you the heads up on a few events that might tickle your taste buds.

From 3:00 p.m. till 6:00 p.m. Shubie’s Marketplace in Marblehead will feature a tasting of Guinness along with a couple of Irish cheddars from Cahill’s Dairy, including their fantastic porter-infused cheddar, and offering special discounts on everything being sampled. Chef Lynne’s kitchen will also be serving up Irish-inspired goodies.

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

If you’re looking for heartier fare, Tavern at the Hawthorne Hotel is offering several dinner specials; Guinness Beef Stew ($6), Corned Beef and Cabbage with Mustard Sauce and Red Bliss Potatoes ($13), Roasted Salmon with Dill Hollandaise, Roasted Potatoes, Green Beans ($15), Irish Cheddar Cheeseburger with Bacon ($10), and a Bailey’s Torte with Mint Ice Cream ($6)

Hawthorne Hotel
18 Washington Square West, Salem
978-774-4080
http://www.hawthornehotel.com/

Or if live Irish music is more your scene, both Sweeney’s Retreat in Marblehead and Rockafellas in Salem will be serving it up with savory corned beef and cabbage all day.

Sweeney’s will be dishing out the traditional eats from 11:30 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. and will feature live Irish music from 6:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Rockafellas will be serving from 1:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. with live Irish bands starting at 4:00 pm.

Sweeney’s Retreat
18 Atlantic Ave., Marblehead
781 631-6469
http://www.sweeneysretreat.com/index.php?id=27

Rockafellas
231 Salem St., Salem
978-745-2411
http://www.rockafellasofsalem.com/

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