Monday, May 23, 2011

Exploring the North of Boston Seafood Trail in Salem

There's a new trail to explore north of Boston, and you won't need for fat tires or hiking boots to get from point A to point B.  This fabulous trail is all about fresh seafood, so bring your appetite and a taste for culinary adventure!

The Escapes North Seafood Trail features the best in fresh fish in 54 restaurants in 18 communities north of Boston, including nine restaurants in Salem.  Travel writer Andree Lebel from La Presse in Montreal recently visited Salem to explore the Seafood Trail, and I got to tag along and sample sumptuous seafood at four of the featured restaurants, and I'm here today to tempt your palate!

Victoria Station
The first stop on our tour was Victoria Station on Pickering Wharf.  Known as more of a prime-rib-and-salad-bar joint, it's time to challenge your assumptions about Victoria Station!  Executive Chef John Andrews blew us away with his Sweet Chili Shrimp Martini with Asian Pears and Plums.  The chili was very subtle, adding a gentle kick to the sweetness of the fruit.  Also worth noting was Chef Andrews' interesting twist on a lobster roll slider - serving it on a soft pretzel.

Capt's
Just up the Wharf a bit is Capt.'s, where more lobster awaited.  Capt.'s served creamy, never-too-heavy Clam Chowder, followed by Fish & Chips, traditional lobster rolls, and their signature, and perfectly cooked, Grilled Lobster. In addition to fantastic fish, Capt.'s has one of the best views in Salem, overlooking Salem Harbor, the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, and the tall ship Friendship.  Sitting on Capt.'s deck overlooking the harbor with a lobster roll and cold beverage is one of the finest places to be on a warm summer day,
Finz

Any Seafood Trail stop in Salem should include Finz, with its hip blue fish out front, and its waterfront deck.  Owner George Carey joined us to talk about the seafood on the menu at Finz, especially the Oysters.  As we ate fantastic Wasabi Stoli Oysters, George explained that horseradish and cocktail sauce is traditionally served with oysters on the half-shell to mask the gamy taste that old oysters acquire.  As you can imagine, oysters at Finz are fresh and plump, so I ate mine with just a squeeze of lemon.
 
Lobster Shanty
On to The Lobster Shanty in Artist's Row.  Chef Diane Wolf makes a fantastic lobster roll, and Diners, Drive-ins and Dives made the Shanty's Lobster Martini famous, but this year there are two notable additions to the Shanty's menu: Pan-seared  Scallops and their new Seafood Stew.  The scallops were a lovely appetizer, with an Asian flair, and the Seafood Stew had a lovely tomato-bouillabaisse.

Other Salem restaurants on the Seafood Trail include The Lyceum (the chowder is fantastic!), Dube's, and the Black Lobster at Stromberg's Cove.  Navigating the trail will be particularly easy for iPhone users when an App for iPhone is released later this spring.  I'll let you know when that App comes out, and in the meantime, happy eating!


Here's a summary of what the four restaurants featured today served during our La Presse Seafood Trail excursion:

Capt.'s
  • Lobster Rolls 
  • Grilled Lobster 
  • Traditional Fish & Chips
  • Clam Chowder

Finz Seafood 
  • Wasabi-Stoli Oysters
  • Shucked Oysters with Saki, Ginger & Cucumber
  • Furikake Seared "Rare" Tuna with Green Soba Noods & Ginger SEsame Vinaigrette
  • Grilled Swordfish

Lobster Shanty
  • Pan-seared Scallops
  • Seafood Stew

Victoria Station
  • Fish Tacos
  • Sweet Chili Shrimp Martini with Asian Pears & Plums
  • Notch Ale Steamed Mussels with Bacon, Apples and Carmelized Shallots 
  • Lobster Salad Sliders 

For more information on the Escapes North Seafood Trail, and their other trails, which include architecture, art, literature, and festivals, visit EscapesNorth.com.

1 comment:

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