First off, I haven’t gotten to a farmer’s market in about three weeks, which bites, but here I am, showing off my wares from THREE of them — one from my own town on Friday (not much selection, but the grape tomatoes and the special “value added” Tuscan olive oil came from there).
The rest of the stuff came from one town immediately east and one town immediately north of me, today, Saturday. We don’t sell wine at farmers’ markets hereabouts, but those bottles came from a really nice and friendly small wine shop near one of the markets.
Tomatoes: Those grape tomatoes, plus regular “field” tomatoes, plus heirloom fancies. Duck eggs. Okra! Tuscany-infused herbs into an olive oil bottle. Nice tart Gravenstein apples. Salad greens. White cuke. Whole chicken. Chicken giblets. White eggplant. Sugar snap peas. Chorizo pork sausage, and this one is now in the freezer for later. That center dish however, is a mushroom/spinach/smoked Gouda strata, and unfortunately not gluten-free. The wine, as noted, came from a local wine shop, and the background plant came from — well somewhere nearby a month or so ago. Frankly, I don’t remember.
Having eaten the strata, I am now about to embark on a few weeks of truly gluten-free eating. I don’t have serious problems with gluten, but I don’t think it is a healthy component of food, and I am glad to have the chance to eliminate it for a while.
But NOW, to get onto our Massachusetts Restaurant Review!!!
Fine dining, clam-shack style!
4.5 stars (out of Five) — but the seafood itself is awesome!
Okay, definitely NOT fine dining, as in candlelit, private, linen table cloths. And I did not have the handy dandy camera at the ready, alas.
It was very noisy on a Sunday afternoon a week ago; and that is the main reason the restaurant rates a 4.5 out of 5 star review. There is enough room at tables to dine without feeling cramped, but it is really nice to be able to converse without shouting. Or, just intermittently nodding…
There were four of us, and we four consulted on the review value before I posted this.
I ordered: steamed mussels in a wine, butter and herb sauce (appetizer); and a main of Florentine seafood, which may have been on the “specials” menu. This consisted of baked haddock, scallops, and shrimp, in a spinach-cheese sauce. Apparently gluten-free. Sides that came with the main were a baked potato (I am not fond of Russets, so I took this home for later, and eventually tossed that part out) and steamed asparagus (which all got et.) The mussels were extremely fresh, local and tasty. The sauce was awesome. The asparagus was good, but a little over-cooked, but hey if you are here, you are here for the SEAFOOD! Some of the mussels and some of the asparagus became the next day’s lunch at work.
Compatriots ordered: Scallop Greek Salad — excellent except that some lettuce other than bland iceberg lettuce would have been appreciated.
Fried Oysters: the batter was very light, and the oyster flavor predominated. Excellent. They were cooked but not over-cooked!
Haddock au gratin: Haddock baked with a cheese sauce, and again served with potato and asparagus — this diner was very satisfied.
Fried clams: Again, the batter was light. Unlike at most establishments, where the clams are little tiny tidbits without flavor, surrounded by deadly breading, these were large and just somewhat surrounded by breading, and you could taste fresh clam.
If you are gluten-free, you can find things on the menu to eat and enjoy. Obviously, fried and breaded menu items will be out for you.
On the specials menu were steamed clams — if I hadn’t gotten the mussel appetizer, I’d have sprung for those. There are also a couple of lobster dishes, untried by our party.
If you like seafood, and you are in the Gloucester, Massachusetts area, check this un-sung and little-advertised (except by word of mouth) dining place out. On weekends, at least in the summer, the place has a waiting line — I don’t think they take reservations — but I understand the ambiance is better on weekdays. As in, quieter, for conversations.
Price is reasonable, and the seafood is FRESH!! Service was informal, yet swift. The “facilities” (toilet) is unisex, one at a time, but clean. At least one of my weekend compatriots said I shouldn’t write this place up because she didn’t want this place KNOWN and more crowded than it is, but… hey. It’s not like I’m anywhere near the NY Times in viewers.
For further information, directions, and menu: