Here at Patch, we love local food news. Ohhh, do we ever.
Whether a new restaurant is coming to your community, an old favorite is closing down or a local chef is plating something special - our North Shore Patch sites have been there to cover it.
Below is a look at the restaurant and food stories recently covered by area Patch sites. If you see something that sparks your interest, just click on the headline to read the full story.
McMahon’s Homemade Dressing and Pub Cheese: Simply Delicious
Erica DiPietro of Swampscott sampled the creamy garlic parmesan dressing at the Farmers Market.
It came from a clear bottle labeled in black and white print — McMahon’s Dressing — framed by black and white sketches of a cheese round and a garlic rope.
Simple, spare and …
“It’s delicious,” she said. “I just tried it for the first time. The garlic dressing. I liked it.”
For 25 years the creations from Maura and Mark McMahon’s kitchen have drawn similar reviews.
Second Taste of Swampscott One to Remember
Maybe it was the bacon, lobster, lettuce, tomato and avocado on tortilla chips from Lynn's Blue Ox restaurant that best represented A Taste of Swampscott.
The BLLTA ingredients were both fancy and common, combined to create a new take on a comfort food.
The same could be said of the sampling event itself, where 27 area restaurants served a smorgasbord of specialities, many of them culinary standard bearers, others catering to more adventuresome tastes.
Comella’s Restaurant Coming to Atlantic Avenue
It looks like a Comella's Restaurant location will be opening on Atlantic Avenue in Marblehead.
At their meeting at Abbot Hall Tuesday night, members of Marblehead'sZoning Board of Appeals unanimously approved a request fromComella's Restaurants co-owner John Comella to open up a restaurant in the former Moran Studios space at the corner of Commercial Street and Atlantic Avenue.
Although Comella's request was to change the official use of the building from retail to restaurant, board members noted that they were actually switching it back - because the location was formerly the home of Shipyard Galley, which served breakfast and lunch.
It's been a little more than a month since Hungry Betty's Bar & Grillereopened at Village Plaza and new owner Jason Rakauskas is hoping that a revamped menu, a new chef and a focus on dish presentation will translate to an increase in business.
After the Board of Selectmen approved transferring all three of the restaurant's licenses into his name in July, Raskauskas spent weeks redecorating the interior of the restaurant and hired head chef Anthony Cornelisse in the hopes of "sexifying" the items on the menu.
The increased emphasis on dish presentation, Rakauskas said, is aimed at letting local residents know that they can get high-end food right here in Marblehead at a reasonable price.
Marblehead Selectmen Preparing to Vote on BYOB
Town Administrator Jeff Chelgren asked that the Board of Selectmen"do their homework" when it came to reviewing recently crafted BYOB regulations in the hopes of bringing the matter to a vote at their meeting Wednesday night.
Board members have been working with Town Counsel Lisa Mead to put together local regulations ever since Marblehead's new Mexican restaurant, Casa Corona, filed a request last month for permission to allow their patrons the option of bringing along their own alcohol beverages.
If the regulations are approved, Casa Corona owners Felix and Jose Bracamontes will be called in to discuss their application at te board's next meeting; and, if all goes according to plan, patrons could be enjoying their own beverages at the Smith Street restaurant by mid-November.
Beer and Wine Land at Flying Saucer
Something new has landed at the Flying Saucer Pizza Co.
In addition to gourmet pizza, the Washington Street business recently welcomed beer and wine to its lineup.
Beers selections include: McNeils Dead Eye Double IPA, Peak Organic IPA, Notch BSA Harvest and Clown Shoes Vampire Slayer on draft. Brooklyn lager, Butternut Snapper IPA and gluten-free options are available in a can.
Montepulciano house wine and Mas Le Chevalier Cabernet sauvignon are among the red wine selections and Petite Perriere Sauvignon Blanc, Prosecco are some of the whites.
City Liquor Board Denies New License for Martino'sPeabody liquor licensing authorities sent Frank Martino away empty-handed Monday night, questioning his sincerity to operate a package store in the city.
The main reason for the Licensing Board's reticence to grant Martino a license was because he just sold his full liquor license for a tidy profit less than a year after receiving it from the city (at a fraction of the cost), and was now asking for a new license to replace that one.
That did not sit well with board members; in fact, it was yet another unique factor to the situation --.
Dinis Restaurant Lifelong Dream for OwnerFor as long as he can remember, Luciano Dinis has wanted to get into the restaurant business.
"I've always wanted to do a small restaurant," said Dinis, who's owned his own Peabody electric business for 16 years and several real estate properties. He said it was just a matter of the right opportunity coming along, and one finally did this past spring.
Dinis has actually spent most of his life as an electrician, right out of Peabody High's own vocational school, but in May, he bought the entire building at 135 Washington St., which had been home to the Willowtree Restaurant until it closed this past spring, and Dinis has opened up his own Portuguese eatery with his family.
Black Cow Eyes November Reopening
Black Cow Tap and Grill plans to reopen in November, according to owner Joe Leone.
The restaurant, on Bay Road in downtown Hamilton, has been closed for renovations since April. The work is designed to make the restaurant lighter and brighter.
Leone said on Tuesday that he plans to "hopefully" reopen in November.
No new seats will be added, but instead rearranged. The entrance was moved from the center to the side of the restaurant and there will be more seating near the window.
The last time the restaurant underwent changes was 2001, when it was given permission to expand from 82 seats to 101 seats.
Wenham Tea House Pours First Drink With New License
Eight months after Wenham Town Meeting unanimously backed a pouring liquor license for Wenham Tea House, the license was used for the first time earlier this month.
The license allows liquor to be poured from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m.-11 p.m., although the Tea House's hours don't include all those hours. It can also be used for private functions.
Dunkin’ Donuts Closes for Makeover
One of the nine Dunkin' Donuts coffee shops in Danvers has closed for renovations, but it will reopen.
The Dunkin' Donuts on Route 114, at 79 Andover St., has closed in recent days. The parking lot was blocked off and there have been contractors going in and out.
Manuel Galopim, the owner of the location, said through a spokesman that the restaurant is temporarily closed during a remodeling.
Will Orange Leaf Still Open in October?
The Orange Leaf frozen yogurt shop that was originally planned to open this month in Danvers Square has bumped back its opening date to December.
That's according to Meredith Lynn, spokeswoman for the frozen yogurt chain.
Orange Leaf's first location in the region opened in Salem in June. There is also a location in downtown Andover and Marblehead. The Danvers location is one of 11 new Orange Leaf locations that has opened or is planned to open in Massachusetts this year.
Winfrey’s Fudge and Chocolates Coming to Cabot Street
Winfrey's Fudge & Chocolates was approved for its new location on Cabot Street by a 5-0 vote at the Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting last night.
Winfrey's will replace the former Rice Rental Center.
"We've always felt that Beverly is a promising community," Mark Winfrey told Patch. "We did have a store in Beverly a few years ago and closed it for different reasons. We're excited to be opening another retail store downtown."
The business plans to do "a lot of work" on the building, and Winfrey said they're aiming for a late spring/early summer opening.
Beverly Kids Benefit from New Cherry Farm Ice Cream Flavor
For the month of October, North Beverly Elementary fifth graders will benefit from the sale of Shooting Star ice cream at Cherry Farm Creamery in Danvers.
The Shooting Star flavor, which consists of blue vanilla ice-cream with M&M's and cookie dough, was created by the students two weeks ago, owner Tom Jones said.
While Jones said Cherry Farm usually provides schools with ice-cream during socials, this is the first time a fundraiser will benefit the students.
The ice cream stand will be donating 50 percent of all sales (cones, pints, quarts, sundaes, etc) of this flavor to the school to help the fifth grade class.
Fischelli’s Open for Business
Continuing a near century-long business in Andover, Fisichelli's opened their doors to Andover customers on Oct. 6 and owner Nina Fisichelli Gaffny said the community has found out.
The original bakery located at 55 Union Street, Lawrence, first opened its doors in 1915 by Gaffny's grandfather, Orazio Fisichelli, an Italian immigrant. The ownership passed from father to son Frank until Gaffny took over 21 years ago, she explained.
The bakery is located at 46 Main Street at the former Chic Consignment Closet, which is now located next door.
Seasonal Specials at North Andover Restaurants
North Andover restaurants are savoring autumn by serving fall flavors in their drinks, appetizers, entrees, and desserts.
One local favorite, Jaime’s Restaurant on 25 High St., has created the ultimate fall concoction: the now famous Pumpkin Martini combines five elements to essentially epitomize autumn in a glass. They start with Van Gough Caramel Vodka, and next comes Smirnoff Vanilla flavored vodka.
The key is a pumpkin spiced liqueur, from which the drink gets its name. A squirt of whipped cream and a cinnamon sugar rim around the glass complete this seasonal sensation.
Jaime’s has a fall flavor to its foods too. The Pan Seared Scallops are served with a Butternut Squash Risotto and a Tarragon Cream Sauce. If you’re not into seafood, go for the Lobster and Mozzarella Arancinis. Arancinis are a dish said to have originated in Sicily. They’re fried rice balls coated with breadcrumbs and stuffed with varying ingredients.
Don’t wait until Thanksgiving to treat yourself to desert. Jaime’s Grand Marnier Cake includes the popular after-dinner spirit and it is topped with whipped cream and a light orange drizzle
Over at the Ninety Nine Restaurant on Chickering Road, the folks over there have updated their interior as well as their menu.
Just in time for fall, one of their new menu items has a perfect autumn vibe, the Maple Whiskey Sirloin. This sirloin steak is flame broiled, glazed with a savory maple whiskey sauce and crowned with crisp onion petals. This nine ounce slab of perfection costs $13.99. It’s served with your choice of two sides, with the choices being bistro salad, potatoes, or vegetables.
In the desert department, the Ninety Nine has you covered with a seasonal special that is a New England tradition. Their Cinnamon Apple Crisp includes warm spiced apples covered with a crispy, crunchy topping. It is served with a cold scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and goes for $4.99.
Down on Osgood Street is another North Andover favorite, Joe Fish.
Their Crème Brulee Martini includes all of the colors, flavors, and spices you would expect from an autumn inspired drink. It includes Absolut Vanilla vodka, Frengelico and Bailey’s. It’s drizzled with caramel sauce and sprinkled with cinnamon.
For dinner, go for one of their hot, comforting, baked dinners that will keep you warm as the temperatures drop.
The Deluxe Lobster Pie features fresh lobster tails and claws baked with butter and topped with seasoned cracker crumbs.
For the patrons who prefer the turf over the surf, go for Sally’s Chicken, chicken breasted coated with sour cream and crusted with parmesan cheese for $13.99.
New Menu Items Help Pack Jimmy’s Famous Pizza
Jimmy’s Famous Pizza has been a favorite in North Andover for decades.
Just head on over to their Facebook page and you’ll see that on Friday night, it was impossible to even get a seat.
Perhaps some new menu items have something to do with the surge of business.
“We started making our own authentic gyro,” owner Nick Papantonakis explained. “We started making our own instead of getting the processed, frozen stuff that everyone else has.”
This led to the introduction of the Olympic Pizza.
“Instead of red pizza sauce we use the white tzatziki sauce, which comes on the gyro sandwiches, and then we put tomatoes onions and the gyro on it,” Papantonakis described.
That’s not the only new pizza on the menu. There’s a new one that was named in honor of Papantonakis himself.
“We put our brains together and we came up with the Mac Daddy Pizza,” he said.
“We put on cheese and ground hamburger, cook it in the oven, and when it comes out we put our own special sauce on it and we garnish it with cold onions, pickles and lettuce so it’s actually like getting a Big Mac,” he explained.
Fall Family Feasts Served at Boston Market
We can all finally admit that autumn has arrived and has made its presence felt with decreasing temperatures, increasingly colorful trees, and the excitement of the football season.
North Andover residents are bustling about, whether they are watching the Scarlet Knights fall teams, back to school at Merrimack, or simply busy raking the leaves.
Luckily, we have a number of restaurants around town to offer us comforting flavors for our families.
One of the best options around town for a family meal on the go is Boston Market, on route 114.
“What’s for dinner?” you may be asking yourself or your family members. While you’re rushing around between school, work, and other activities, Boston Market has is preparing everything you need to have a home cooked meal without spending time cooking it.