SIMPLY STELLAR BRUNCH AT FEATHER AND WEDGE!

With rainy weather predicted for Saturday and Father’s Day celebrations Sunday, this weekend would be the perfect time to try the wonderfully delicious weekend brunch fare at Feather and Wedge. My girlfriend Claudia and I went last Saturday and it was delightful in every way. The decor is exquisite (I think I mentioned that in a previous post) and now with Chef Doug Papows at the helm, the food, and welcoming wait staff, make for a dining trifecta of fabulousness.

I regret to say that the photos that I took of our lovely brunch went the way of my faulty memory card. Memory cards occasionally wear out, and usually at the worst times. Dear reader, you don’t need photos of the food, just go, you’ll have a wonderful dining experience, we sure did!

The menus change everyday. Brunch is not posted on the Feather and Wedge website, but you can imagine how delicious are the brunch offerings by checking out tonight’s dinner menu.

Feather and Wedge Dinner Menu June 16, 2017

Pemaquid oysters | cucumber mignonette   2.75 ea.

Tomato fennel soup | gruyère crostini   10

Ahi tuna tartare | white miso citrus vinaigrette, chives   14

Smoked bluefish pâtĂ© | arugula, lemon, crostini   10

Halibut crudo | radish, bronze fennel, ginger scallion sauce   17

PâtĂ© de campagne | cornichons, whole grain mustard, crostini   10

Cheese plate | daily selection with accompaniments   14

Charcuterie plate | daily selection with accompaniments   15

*  *  *

Simple salad | field greens, turnip, tomato, red onion, house vinaigrette   8

First Light Farm greens | cucumber, hakurei turnips, radish, green goddess dressing   13

Beet salad | arugula, feta, orange vinaigrette  

                                                                           *  *  *

Clams and pork belly | tomato, beer braised chickpeas, lime, cilantro   26

Lobster and asparagus | prosciutto, poached egg, turnips, soy hollandaise, spicy bread crumbs   29

Sea Scallops | Japanese eggplant, mushroom trio, yuzu and Thai basil aioli, Oolong rice   29

Organic Faroe Islands salmon | scallion, quinoa, bok choy, togarashi aioli   26

Chicken under a brick | bulgur, mirepoix, lemon rosemary pan sauce     24

Bone-in pork chop | maple mustard brined, new potatoes, rainbow chard, marrow butter   25

Prime ribeye | salsa verde, new potatoes, rainbow chard   35

Housemade cavatelli puttanesca | crispy pancetta, pesto, sunflower seeds, mozzarella   23

add halibut |   32

Seared eggplant | quinoa, arugula, cucumber, peas, feta, pistachios   16

*  *  *

Sauteed spinach   6

Roasted beets   6

*  *  *

Plum blackberry crumble | buckwheat crust, vanilla ice cream   10

Fresh strawberry tart | sweet shortbread crust, sweet cultured cream,  apricot glaze   10

Vanilla bean panna cotta | mango coulis   10

Warm chocolate budino | sweet cultured cream, fresh blackberries   10

Affogato | vanilla ice cream, hot espresso, amaretto, toasted almonds   10

 

Feather and Wedge is located at 5 Main Street, Rockport. They are open Wednesday through Sunday for dinner and Saturday and Sunday for brunch. For reservations call 978-999-5917.

Feathers and wedges photo by Reiner Flassig

 All the beautiful images you see on the walls of Feather and Wedge are from the archives of the Cape Ann Museum and Sandy Bay Historical Society.

7th Wave Restaurant in Rockport is Open for the Season!

One of our family’s very favorite restaurants (and not just because our son is a cook there) is the 7th Wave Restaurant, located at Tuna Wharf on Bearskin Neck in Rockport. The staff is delightfully friendly, the seafood is always fresh, delicious, and cooked to perfection, and we love eating al fresco amongst the treetops on the 2nd floor deck, with a spectacular view of Rockport Harbor below7th Wave Restaurant ©Kim Smith 2013

7th Wave Seafood Medley

The 7th Wave is not only owned by the Kahn Family, it is a family-operated business as well; in fact their name is derived from the seven family members who work and own the business–the parents and their five children. Now through Father’s Day, 7th Wave is open Friday and Sunday from 11:30 to 6pm and on Saturdays from 11:30am to 8pm. For more information visit their website at 7th Wave Restaurant.

Sunday Brunch at the Seaward Inn

What more could one ask for in a fine dining experience–inviting location and ambience, beautifully prepared food, and welcoming service. A recent trip to enjoy The Seaward Inn’s Sunday brunch provided all of the preceding, and then some.

The Seaward Inn is located on Marmion Way, which runs along Rockport’s picturesque shoreline. Sunday brunch is served from 10:30 to 1:30. The cost is 18.95 per person--really quite reasonable considering coffee,  juice, freshly baked breads and croissants, organic yogurt, and homemade granola are all included with the three course prixe fixe menu.

Savory Tart Tartin

Roasted Beet Salad

For starters my husband had the exquisite wild mushroom, caramelized onion, goat cheese, and watercress Savory Tart Tartin and I had the Roasted Beet Salad with spring greens, blue cheese, toasted walnuts, and balsamic vinaigrette. We were both hard-pressed to decide which was the more fabulous. Cheese blintzes, with citrus ricotta and seasonal fruit, as well as the classic Caesar salad are also offered for the first course.

Omelet to Order

Eggs Florentine

The entrees were equally as difficult to chose between. Roasted breast of chicken, pan-seared salmon, grilled flank steak, waffles, French toast, and quiche of the day were the entrees to which we had to say no. Tom had the Omelet to Order with a wonderful medley of fresh veggies and I had their gorgeous Eggs Benedict with exquisitely creamy, lemony Hollandaise and perfectly cooked spinach. I am looking forward to another visit soon to the Seaward Inn for brunch as every item on the menu sounded irresitible.

Guinness Chocolate Cake

Tom loved the homemade basil ice cream with fresh strawberries and I had the simply divine Guinness chocolate cake–the cake’s texture was amazingly light and perfectly sweetened. Key Lime pie is another favorite offered–I guess the next visit won’t come soon enough!

John Lamarinde and Nancy Cameron-Gilsey

The Seaward Inn opened for its 68th year in business in May of this year, and has been continually in operation under the same family for all these many years. Nancy Cameron Gilsey, the youngest daughter of the original proprietors Roger and Ann Cameron, has partnered with the renowned chefs of Beach Gourmet Catering for their brunch menu, special events, and continental breakfast; their weekly continental breakfast is also open to the public.

See Joe’s GMG video posted earlier this year for a first look with John Lamarinde at the new Savour Wine and Cheese and Beach Gourmet Catering, opening very soon, and located at 76 Prospect Street, across from St. Ann’s School.

Lobster Pool Restaurant Father’s Day Tradition

Roasting S’mores at the Lobster Pool Restaurant

When our children were much younger we began going to The Lobster Pool restaurant for Father’s Day. Then, as it is now, The Lobster Pool continues to be a fantastic restaurant for family-style dining. Even on the busiest of nights there is never a long wait for a table and for dinner. Kids have fun exploring  the rocks before dinner and then again after they have finished and while the parents are still eating. Where else on Cape Ann can you go and see the most amazing view of the setting sun while dining casually on fabulously fresh seafood, and then have warm (free!) s’mores for a special treat?

Now in college, we met our son Alex there this past Father’s Day, after his long shift working at the Seventh Wave Restaurant in Rockport. It was late and the kitchen had closed but Myalisa  managed to come up with my husband’s favorite fish cakes and a burger for Alex.

Lobster Pool Fishcakes

The raw bar still had plenty of oysters and clams. And Myalisa’s son David was making s’mores for guests, young and old!

The Lobster Pool is open seven days a week for lunch and for dinner. Although Rockport is no longer a “dry” town, The Lobster Pool remains BYOB. Call (978) 546-7808 for more information.

New Coffee Shop in Rockport

In a post last week I mentioned Rockport’s lack of year-round restaurant options, especially downtown, so it was exciting to walk along Main Street just a few days later to see that a new coffee shop has opened up  in the location of the old Rockport standby, The Coffee Shop. (I was always so impressed that the owners of The Coffee Shop had the gumption to give their business that name, as though it was the ultimate coffee shop – which actually was the case for many locals and visitors – that I always referred to it as The Coffee Shop).

The new coffee shop on Main Street is named Brother’s Brew Coffee Shop, and is owned by a member of the Brackett family, who have a seasonal restaurant next door.  The highlights about Brother’s Brew, besides the fact that it is extremely charming?

  • The very cool chrome-and-vinyl-stools and laminate counter are still there.
  • The menu includes many old favorites and has expanded.
  • The business is open on Sundays.

That last one is big news y’all.  Locals and visitors can wander in throughout the entire weekend, which is a big deal for anyone paying attention to the dining options downtown, and an expansion of the hours that the previous coffee shop kept.  And there is even the possibility of opening at night when an event is taking place at the Shalin Liu Performance Center a few doors down.  While this won’t solve the problem of lack of adequate places to dine in the evening (or in the daytime),  it will at least contribute to a culture of liveliness downtown, with a few places keeping the lights on, so to speak.Oh – and before you go there in person to buy some coffee and a treat for yourself, be sure to head over to the Brother’s Brew Coffee Shop facebook page and connect with them online.  The page posts daily specials and other coffee shop news, so you’ll be the first to know when the doughnuts are fresh and the soup’s on.

A Plea for Help

Warning: Rant Ahead…

Rockporters need help (Selectmen?  Economic Development Committee?  Joe Citizen? Are you listening?). Besides a few very hearty, hard-working souls, we can’t get any restaurant-owners to keep their establishments open year-round.   “But there are only 7,000 year-round residents!” I’m told.  Well, it seems to me that 7,000 is not an insignificant number – small towns all over America manage to support downtown restaurants based on a similar number.  My hometown in Ohio has 1,699 living souls occupying it – and ZERO tourists – yet it miraculously manages to support several eating establishments, from pizza places to family restaurants.  I know – it’s a chicken-and-egg thing.  Locals don’t come downtown to eat because there are so few places open and then restaurants don’t stay open because there is no one coming to eat.  And of course restaurant owners are used to gauging success by the numbers they do in the summer, so the off-season numbers must seem pretty paltry in comparison, even if the business is still profitable.

To add insult to injury, the Boston developer who owns the former Greenery Restaurant building, located in the heart of Dock Square and one of the only places where parties of four or more can be accommodated, has applied for a change-of-use approval for the location – he wants to turn it into yet another condo building!  Meanwhile, shop owners all along Main Street and even several on Bearskin Neck stay open year-round in spite of the fact that locals don’t show up in great numbers (because why bother to shop if there’s nowhere to grab lunch for you and your friends?), and their revenue is decidedly more dicey than the revenue of food establishments.  And then there is the Shalin Liu Performance Center, bravely forging ahead with programming throughout the entire Winter season.  Presumably someone is filling those seats and those same people consume food, just like the rest of us.  Where are they going to eat?  And finally, it has been crushing to see that The Coffee Shop (fresh doughnuts and Nisu bread!) was scooped up by a local restaurant-owner, only to be immediately shut down just in time for the holidays.  Merry Christmas, Rockport.

Restaurant owners: you’re killing us here!  And Rockporters: you need to support your local restaurants, especially the ones who stay open year-round: Bean & Leaf Cafe, The Red Skiff, and Hula Moon (let me know if I forgot someone) and thank them for their support.  It’s time that we Rockporters invest in our own downtown – or suffer the consequences.