Gloucester Goes Gourmet at Duckworth’s Market

Posted: August 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Deli, Duckworth's Beach Gourmet, Gloucester, Marketplace | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Need a night off from cooking? A gourmet picnic to impress a date? How about a great sandwich to take to the beach? Duckworth’s Beach Gourmet could be the answer to all these desires if you’re in the Gloucester area.

There’s a lot packed into this store’s fairly small space, owned by the folks at Duckworth’s Bistro, including wine, prepared foods, gourmet cheese and charcuterie, and gift items. Indeed, we were impressed with the store’s selection of red wines, supplemented by a cold case with white wine, champagne, Ipswich Ale, several other high-end beers, Reed’s ginger ale, and Harney & Sons bottled juices and teas.

Put a bottle of wine with a loaf of Iggy’s bread, a jar of jam, a gourmet mustard (black current dijon sounds good), some wine vinegar, or a bottle of hazelnut or truffle oil, and you’re all set for a hostess gift. If your friend has a sweet tooth, try gourmet tea accompanied by lavender or provence-flower honey, a pretty canister of flavored sugar from local purveyor Didi Davis, a bag of Lark cookies, or a box of Marich candy.

For beachgoers, Duckworth’s has hot and cold sandwiches, containers of potato salad (no mayo) and cole slaw, Deep River Snacks chips, individual desserts, and hand-made sandwich cookies with Captain Dusty’s ice cream (also available by the half-gallon).

Those looking for help with dinner will find containers of roasted tomato soup and marinara and alfredo pasta sauce, fresh uncooked pasta, house-cured salmon, and prepared foods such as flank steak, haricots vert, chickpea burgers, roasted fingerlings, and pasta salad. Hand-made pies are available most days; go early for the best selection.

The deli case is filled with a charcuterie-lover’s dream: serrano ham, prosciutto, and speck from La Quercia alongside pancetta, sopressata, and salameto from Fra’Mani. The cheese selection is extensive, ranging from chevre from Topsfield’s Valley View Farm to New England-sourced Cabot clothbound cheddar, Champlain Valley Creamery triple creme and Seal Cove chevre. Imported selections include raclette, morbier, robiola, and Delice de Borgone.

We stopped in last weekend after brunch at Sugar Mags just to see what was on offer, but we plan to return for sandwiches and treats the next time we head for Good Harbor Beach—seagulls, stay away, please.

Duckwoth’s Beach Gourmet
24 Washington Street, Gloucester
(978) 282-1414
www.duckworthbeachgourmet.com

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Much More Than a Fish Market

Posted: April 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Ipswich, Ipswich Shellfish Fish Market, Marketplace, Seafood | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

It’s no secret that we love exploring gourmet food markets, and when they carry lots of local and store-made products, we really get excited. At Ipswich Shellfish Fish Market, it seems like every time you turn around, you discover something wonderful.

For starters, there’s the gorgeous display of fresh fish, clams, and Maine crab—lobsters swim in a custom-built pool nearby. Then there are prepared foods like stuffed peppers, grilled cajun scallops, lobster-stuffed clams, and salmon cakes, plus taramosalta and fresh Greek yogurt. If you’re in the store near lunchtime, you can feast on a variety of soups, sandwiches, a great-looking salad bar, and individually packaged desserts.

And that’s just the beginning. There are store-made sauces, seasonings, and vinegars (blood orange and black fig sound particularly good). There’s an Asian-food section that includes nori, bonito flakes, short-grain rice, and rice paper wrappers for summer rolls, saving area residents a trip to a specialty market. A rack of bread holds a number of selections from Annarosa’s in Newburyport and Alexandra’s in Gloucester.

The freezer contains a wealth of treasures like salt cod, octopus, fish stock, and lobster stock, along with a selection of prepared entrées. If you have a sweet tooth, we highly recommend a package of whoopie pies from Newburyport’s Chococoa ($5 for three and worth every penny).

Treasures for those eating gluten free are also abundant, including a hot prepared entrée each day, frozen entrées, and packaged goods like bread crumbs, crackers, rice pasta, and granola.

But perhaps the most surprising thing you’ll find in this fish market is grass-fed beef from Appleton Farms, a Trustees of Reservations property located a few miles from the store.

The beef is not only fresh and local, it’s considerably healthier than beef from cows fed a grain diet. Store manager Zina Smith says she tried the ground beef and a few steaks from last year’s supply (it’s available from late spring to early winter), and it was terrific. She added a warning not to overcook it, as it’s much leaner than supermarket beef.

Smith suggests calling the store in advance if you’re looking to purchase beef, as the farm’s CSA members get their shares first, with the remainder going to Ipswich Shellfish and Bruni’s Market.

Tucked away on a side street a few blocks from the main drag, this beautiful, well-stocked market is a hidden gem worth seeking out.

Ipswich Shellfish Fish Market
8 Hayward St, Ipswich
(978) 356-6941
www.ipswichfishmarket.com

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Bringing the Corner Deli Back to Danvers Square

Posted: November 20th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Danvers, Danvers Fresh Marketplace, Deli, Marketplace | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

When you hear the phrase “corner deli,” you might think nostalgically of the days before computers and cell phones. But the truth is, this type of establishment has more relevance than ever for today’s busy shoppers.

Late last year, John Gross opened Danvers Fresh Marketplace one block from the center of Danvers Square, bringing produce from his Chelsea-market business and adding a selection of bakery, deli, and gourmet products.

The produce is the star in this relatively small space—carefully laid out groupings of vegetables and seasonal fruits, nothing past its prime or bruised. A table near the door holds specialty items; on a recent visit, there were last-of-the-season berries, persimmons, figs, and concord grapes. Nearby was a large table of good-looking sugar pumpkins for $.75 each. (Weekly sale items are listed on the store’s Web site.)

Also by the door is a small deli counter with a huge selection of Boar’s Head meats plus cranberry walnut chicken salad, bean salad, ham salad, dips, and cut fruit. Sandwiches are made to order, and deli platters are available. In front of the case is a selection of half loaves from West Concord-based Nashoba Brook Bakery.

In the back corner is an immaculate salad bar featuring the usual suspects along with less common items like grilled chicken, ham, artichokes, feta cheese, banana peppers, and sunflower seeds. Nearby are kettles of soup from Chelsea-based Kettle Cuisine ($2.69 small, $6.99 large). Manager Andrea Harry suggests coming early if you want soup—lunchtimes are busy, and many selections sell out.

Whether you stop in for lunch or a produce run, you may want to seek out a few of the store’s other treats. In the dairy case are small containers of Rachel’s yogurt, which come in exotic flavors and are creamier than other low-fat yogurts. Near the soup kettles are bottles of Il Moretto olive oil from Sicily and small jars of Christopher Ranch garlic, ginger, shallots, and pesto. Last but not least, tea breads from The New Salem Tea Bread Company in Amherst are near the register. We tried the apple cinnamon—not inexpensive at $5, but hard to distinguish from homemade.

Although it would be great to see a few more local products in the store, we give John Gross and his team high marks for bringing back the corner deli—and making it better than ever.

Danvers Fresh Marketplace
17 Elm St, Danvers
(978) 774-2756
www.danversfreshmarketplace.com

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Henry’s of Beverly: A Food Lovers’ Paradise, Now With Wine

Posted: July 17th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Beverly, Henry's Fine Foods, Marketplace | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

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A few months after Kristen moved back to our home town, she called me. Instead of “hello,” she demanded, “Why didn’t you tell me about Henry’s?” She was right—I had neglected to tell her about one of the richest food resources on the North Shore. My bad.

For those who’ve been, you know about this market’s amazing array of products and fantastic service (did you know you can phone in your order and have it delivered by a retired policeman?). Now there’s even more to enjoy because last month, Henry’s owner, John Keohane, took over the adjacent space previously occupied by a bank and turned it into a lovely wine store. And if you’ve never been to Henry’s, you’re in for a real treat.

With its combination of groceries, produce, butcher shop, prepared food, and top-notch bakery, Henry’s is unique to the North Shore, offering great ingredients for when you’re in the mood to cook and hand-made prepared foods for when you’re not. Add a little New England-style hospitality (and young men to help you to the car with your groceries), and you begin to get the idea.

Henry’s is our go-to resource for hard-to-find items like pink peppercorns from Morton and Bassett spices, oatcakes from Effie’s, sauces and jams from Stonewall Kitchen (a huge selection), and gluten-free items including mixes from The Really Great Food Company. They even have lingonberries for your Swedish-themed dinner and LU’s Petit Ecoliers in white chocolate.

Then there are the made-to-order sandwiches, soups, quiches, lasagna, pot pies, and chicken salad. Sure, there’s also ham salad, egg salad, and seafood salad, but it’s the paté-like chicken salad people crave for their summer picnics. (900 pounds of chicken are cooked every day at the market to be made into chicken salad and chicken pot pies.)

Other stand-outs include dairy products like Better Than Bakery infused butters, uncured applewood smoked bacon, and Boars Head diced pancetta; store-made bottled sauces including buffalo wing, citrus grilling, and merlot wine steak sauce; a fresh fruit bar; and cheese that runs the gamut from camembert to chevre, halloumi, and cotswold.

The produce section not only carries seven types of apples and three types of pears in summer (along with rainier cherries and lush apricots), it has dried fruits like goji berries and cherries, fresh Indian simmer sauces, tubs of Henry’s fresh salad dressings, and house-made salads alongside microwavable hot entrees and sides. Right around the corner is our favorite guilty pleasure: individual pies from The Pie Guy. Yes, there are whole pies, too.

Those pies are only the beginning of when it comes to sweets at Henry’s, where the bakers come in at 1:00 every morning to make bread, rolls (dinner, hot dog, and hamburger), cakes, tarts, pies, old fashioned pastries like crullers and fruit squares, cookies, and brownies. Our personal favorite is the pastry case, where you can get individual servings of plain or turtle cheesecake, carrot cake, key lime tart, fruit tarts, and molten lava cake.

In the meat department, you can choose from three types of beef: traditional, Meyer angus, and Brant (aged for flavor and tenderness). Or go with a gourmet burger or slider, fresh-made kabobs or sausages, or one of the small roasts perfect for a special occasion. In a nearby case are Bell & Evans chicken, beef, and pork carefully trimmed and marinated using best-quality ingredients.

We love that Henry’s carries an abundance of local products, including Maria’s Gourmet Pasta (Malden) Sauces ’N Love pasta sauces (Lynn), Harbor Sweets (Salem), Ye Olde Pepper Company candies (Salem) Giovanna gelato (Boston), Shains of Maine ice cream, and Good Wives hors d’oeuvres (Wilmington).

We also love that the new wine store offers selections from very-affordable to let’s-splurge; a range of specialty beers from Belgium; and carries cheeses, dips, and frozen take-and-bake appetizers. To top it off, the store holds wine tastings Thursdays from 4:00 to 7:00 and Saturdays from 2:00 to 5:00. Sign up for the e-mail newsletter to learn what wines are being featured (sign-up is in the store).

Keohane started as kitchen manager 25 years ago and bought the business from its founder, Henry Swanson, five years ago. Today, he’s in the store virtually every day making sure the quality and service Henry’s is famous for never wavers. Of course, many of Henry’s 190 employees have worked in the store their entire adult lives. So don’t hesitate to ask questions of employees you see in the aisles or behind the counter—you’re sure to get a warm reception and good food advice.

Henry’s
588 Cabot St, Beverly
(978) 922-3885
www.henrysofbeverly.com

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