Back exploring food and more in Boston and Cape Cod

If you’ve followed this blog for a few years you would’ve seen a post or two from my visits to Cape Cod. Well I’m back for another visit by way of Boston for the week to escape the Arizona heat. After my first 3 days I have enough to tell you about from my morning in Boston to the days on The Cape.

Breakfast in Boston

I flew into Boston early Saturday morning and was greeted by my friend who re-located from Phoenix to the Boston area 20 years ago. It was pretty early so we decided to head into the city to wake up and made our way to the newly built Seaport District along Boston Harbor. On the south-side of downtown Boston the Seaport District is full of high rise office and apartment buildings, restaurants and attractions. The big attraction for us was the Harbor Walk that led us towards Boston’s North End for breakfast.

Italian market in Boston’s North End

The North End is Boston’s “Little Italy” neighborhood full of narrow streets lined with Italian markets and restaurants. We made our to Theo’s Cozy Corner for breakfast on Salem St. The small cash only breakfast joint serves up traditional breakfast fare at good prices. Eggs, pancakes, etc and good portions Theo’s was full of neighborhood regulars and a few of us outsiders looking to start our day. My friend and I both went with corned beef hash with 3 eggs, home fries and toast. A good choice leaving us both satisfied.

No trip to the North End is complete without a stop at Mike’s Pastry for cannoli for a my mid-morning snack. We also stopped into a traditional Italian market for sliced prosciutto and other meats and fresh bread.

After a walk back along the harbor to the car we headed to the south bay so I could continue down to the Cape.

Saturday and Sunday on the Cape

For years my family has been spending a few weeks every August in Harwichport which is on the south side on Nantucket Bay on a part of the cape that is considered Mid-Cape. A cute town we venture to restaurants to get our fill of fresh seafood. Whether it’s $1 oysters for happy hour at The Port or trying to find the “Best” lobster roll we have our favorites and are always on the lookout for new restaurants to try.

By the time I arrived in mid-afternoon Saturday I was ready to get my fresh seafood feast going. My nephew, brother-in-law and I went across the street to The Port for the $1 oysters from Chatham and Wellfleet. The week before I hear they polished off 90 oysters during one sitting but that wasn’t going to happen on this day as the restaurant was shorthanded with shuckers and we weren’t the only ones there for happy hour. 48 oysters were good enough to satisfy us on this day.

Oysters at The Port in Harwichport

Most days on the cape are lazy with a later start than had I been home in Arizona. Sunday morning started out foggy(the weather, not me) but by late morning the sun was out we’re off to Bank St. beach for a little sand and sun. After a few hours on the beach it was back to relax and decide where to do dinner. We decided it was time to get lobster rolls so we made our way to the Sesuit Harbor Cafe in Dennis. Sesuit on the north side of the cape about a 15 minute drive from Harwichport. Like other “seafood shacks” on the Cape and in New England, Sesuit Harbor Cafe offers fried, broiled or raw seafood. Place your order, find a table outside and wait for the servers bring your food. It’s fast casual before fast casual became a restaurant trend.

Lobster rolls for most of us were served with fries and cole slaw, my nephew went with half a broiled lobster. All were happy as we sat among the sea gulls, marina plotting our next move. We saved room for desert and made our way for homemade ice cream at Schoolhouse Ice Cream in Harwichport.

Sunday or Monday its all the same

When you’re on vacation all the days run together and you realize the work week has begun when the weekenders head back. Not us as Monday has us sleeping in, getting coffee and starting the day. After coffee and my morning walk I made my way to Brew’s Coffee Bar & Beer Garden for breakfast. Disappointing as they stopped serving many of the breakfast sandwiches I remember from 2017.  Only 4 choices to choose from that we’re pre-made and warmed up. My egg and bacon burrito was good but not really worth the $9 I paid for it.

Lunch had me craving fried oysters so I drove down the road to the Original Seafood Restaurant in Dennisport. The place has been around since the 1950s and had the old school drive-in feel. Seafood, burgers, hot dogs and more, my fried oyster craving was fulfilled.

Oyster roll at The Original Seafood Restaurant in Dennisport

After a lazy afternoon walking off my lunch and visiting with family it was time to think about dinner. My nephew and I were on our own and debated which pizza place to go to. The debate was George’s or Ember Pizza and Wings. Ember won out since we’ve never been so we decided to try their coal fired charred pizza. Getting their early before the dinner rush we ordered boneless Buffalo wings which were chicken tenders tossed in Buffalo sauce. Not my idea of wings and going forward I will always order bone-in wings.

Since my nephew doesn’t eat anything green most vegetables were out so we went with the Meat Lovers Pizza. Topped with bacon, sausage, pepperoni and meatballs the thin crust pizza was good and service was good too. Time for a walk and a relaxing Sunday night before we start another day on the Cape.

Check back for more eating adventures and exploring for the next few days. For more images of my trip follow me on Instagram @SandyWass

 

 

 

Maple & Ash to open August 20th at the Scottsdale Waterfront

One of the most anticipated restaurant openings of 2019, Maple & Ash has announced an opening date of Tuesday August 20th. The restaurant will open at the Scottsdale Waterfront and will be the first location after the original in Chicago. Two star Michelin chef Danny Grant and partners opened the first restaurant in 2015, before that worked in Scottsdale.

“This has been an incredible journey, and we can’t wait to open our doors to the Scottsdale community,” said Chef Danny Grant. “It has been a dream of ours to come home to where I began my culinary career and show off the Maple & Ash experience.”

What to expect at Maple & Ash

Maple & Ash uses wood fired cooking and although they don’t use the word “Steakhouse” in the name it’s considered a modern take on a classic steakhouse. Local chef Sean Currid joins chef Grant to execute the menu that includes the famed “Fire Roasted Seafood Tower” and “I Don’t Give a F*K” (IDGAF). The two chefs met when they worked together at Elements Restaurant at Sanctuary Resort & Spa on Camelback.

Guest will enjoy a world class selection of dry aged beef and fresh seafood. The IDGAF is Grant’s take on a chef’s menu and he thinks is the best choice from the menu. No mention of what’s included with the IDGAF so you’ll have to leave it up to chefs Currid and Grant. Currid boasts an impressive resume having worked around town at Michael’s at the Citadel, Zuzu at the Hotel Valley Ho and Mary Elaine’s at The Phoenician.

Sommelier Jason Caballero curates a wine list from around the world that won’t be your traditional steakhouse wine list. Caballero comes to Maple & Ash from Bourbon Steak at The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.

The centerpiece of the 10,000 plus square foot restaurant will be the 14 foot wood burning hearth. It will be surrounded by the dining room and lounge along with an outdoor patio and private dining rooms.

Maple & Ash will be open daily at 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. Sun. – Thurs. and until 11 p.m. on Fri. and Sat. The restaurant is at 7135 E. Camelback Rd #130 Scottsdale 85251. For more information visit their website.

What the cluck! Koi Poke now offers chicken for its bowls

Poke the trendy bowl with raw fish, rice and assorted healthy toppings is getting a makeover. At least at Koi Poke as they’re now offering chicken as a protein instead of fish at their 5 Phoenix area locations. Guests can add grilled white meat chicken in three portion sizes to their white or brown rice or spring mix base, Small (4 oz.) $9, Medium (6 oz.) $11 and Large (8 oz.) $13.

Fresh lobster, Yellowtail, shrimp, Hawaiian tuna and more fish toppings are always available.

After adding your protein you can top it with any or all of the toppings available. A few of the toppings include kale, Brussel sprouts, cucumber, jalapenos, cilantro and more. Looking to “sauce it up” you can add teriyaki or house made Sriracha aioli to your bowl and finally garnish it with crispy onions, garlic or other options.

Koi Poke has locations at……

DC Ranch 18221 N. Pima Rd., #100-105, Scottsdale 85255 480-209-1137

Arcadia 4280 E. Indian School Rd., #108, Phoenix 85018 602-368-2222

The SHOPS Gainey Village 8977 N. Scottsdale Rd., #500, Scottsdale 85253 480-306-8440

The Plant 4041 S. Gilbert Rd., #1, Chandler 85249 480-361-6533

Scottsdale Waterfront 7135 E. Camelback Rd., #175, Scottsdale 85251 480-454-4957

For more information check out their website.

Oyster Shucking and a prix-fixe menu at Modern Oysterbar Chophouse

Chances are you probably don’t get many opportunities to shuck oysters living in the desert. Modern Oysterbar Chophouse will show you oyster shucking along with a 5-course oyster dinner.

The week of August 4th – 10th the popular Scottsdale restaurant is celebrating National Oyster Day (Aug. 5th) with a prie-fixe menu for 2. The $80 per couple dinner will include oysters on the 1/2 shell topped with caviar to Oysters Rockefeller.

Modern Oysterbar Chophouse is at 10050 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85253

Restaurant veterans open Modern Oysterbar Chophouse

Today owners Frank Schneider and Cat & Randy Frankel open their new Scottsdale restaurant Modern Oysterbar Chophouse. Combined they have almost a centuries worth of experience on the Phoenix culinary scene including Steak 44, Mary Elaine’s and Mastro’s Ocean Club.

The new 6,000 square foot locally owned restaurant takes over the space vacated by Sonata’s at Scottsdale Rd. and Gold Dust Ave. The modern look offers dark interiors, high top tables in the bar and plush seating for almost 300 people. A private dining room and outside patio can accommodate 30 people in each. The large oyster bar will be the center of attention and seats 12.

“This is not your average steakhouse,” said Cat. “Every detail is being considered to make this a true culinary experience.”

Modern Oysterbar Chophouse
All photos courtesy of Christopher Cashak

On the menu at Modern Oysterbar Chophouse

Executive Chef Mike Bouwens brings his steakhouse experience at Fleming’s and The Capital Grille to Modern Oysterbar Chophouse. That experience will come in handy with 7 cuts of prime meats on the menu. Plenty of seafood including hot and cold seafood towers from the oyster bar along with grilled fish and Modern’s take on Bouillabaisse are on the menu.

Pastry Chef Samantha Frankel background includes Kierland Common’s Zinc Bistro and will show off her dessert and cheese charcuterie skills.

Dylan Frankel will be handling the beverage program at Modern that will include 4 wines, 2 specialty cocktails and beer on tap. Dylan honed his bar skills at Cold Beers and Cheeseburgers and Zinc Bistro.

“We are showcasing the best in meats, raw seafood and in house desserts. The cocktail component is equally as impressive,” said Randy.

The bar opens daily at 4 p.m. and dinner service begins at 5.

Modern Oysterbar Chophouse is at 10050 N. Scottsdale Rd. #127 Scottsdale 85253. To see the full menu and make a reservation head to their website.

The Bourbon Cellar has a large bourbon selection and steakhouse dining

With a name like The Bourbon Cellar you know theirs a lot of the Kentucky whiskey on hand. Over 300 selections of bourbon, one of the largest collections in the Arizona dining scene, some may say the most at this new north Scottsdale steakhouse.

There’s more than bourbon from chef and owner Doug Smith. A farm-to-table high-end steakhouse with a menu that features seasonal ingredients that Smith sources himself.

Smith purchases season vegetables from local farmer’s markets and flies in fresh seafood from daily from around the country and Canada. He hand cuts his own beef, pork, elk, bison and venison purchased from his own butcher shop French’s Meats in Scottsdale.

Photos courtesy of The Bourbon Cellar and Bridges Media Group

“By eliminating the vendors, I can take quality control into my own hands to ensure every guests that dines with us is getting the absolute freshest meal around,” says Smith. “For me, cooking and serving food is not only a way to creatively express myself but also give diners a taste experience they’ve never had before with food that is familiar.”

On the menu at The Bourbon Cellar

The restaurant serves lunch and dinner with a large menu that includes hand ground 1/2 lb. burgers & sandwiches, salads, appetizers and signature dishes.

Appetizers include crab cakes, Wasabi Deviled Eggs and PEI mussels. All cuts of beef are USDA Prime including Bone-in Rib-eye, a 6, 10 or 14 oz. cuts of Filet Mignon and more.

Bacon wrapped Sea Scallops

Seafood options change daily such as Halibut, Salmon, Ahi Tuna, Swordfish and Sea Scallops.

Seasonal desserts are made daily and side dishes are included with burgers and sandwiches. Sides are a la carte with signature dishes at dinner.

Bourbon selection

With the vast selection of bourbon guest can sip bourbon cocktails and 45 day aged bourbons. The 45 day aged bourbons offer deep character profiles from their barrel maturing. If you’re not sure which bourbons to choose from you can order a flight of bourbon. Bourbon also makes a great pairing for any of the dishes on the menu.

A full bar is available for non-bourbon drinkers.

3rd Wednesday buffet

Smith, a veteran offers a full buffet every 3rd Wednesday of the month from 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. All of the $15 from these dinners are donated American Legion posts in Phoenix, Cave Creek and Anthem.

The Bourbon Cellar is at 23623 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85255 and opens daily at 11:00 a.am.

For more information and to view the menu see website.

 

Ocean 44 to open near Scottsdale Fashion Square

The family behind Steak 44 and Dominick’s Steakhouse are putting the final touches on their newest restaurant, Ocean 44. The restaurant will open the first week of December. Guests familiar with the Mastro family restaurants will enjoy another first class dining experience. The restaurant is on Goldwater Boulevard just across from Scottsdale Fashion Square where Harkins Camelview Theater used to stand.“We are so excited to be opening Ocean 44 this fall and bringing our world-class seafood experience to the Valley,” said Jeff Mastro, founder and partner of Prime Steak Concepts. “Ocean 44 will keep the tradition of intimacy and the upscale vibe of our Steak 44, while giving our guests an exciting coastal feel.”

The Ocean 44 menu

Chef Siegfried Hohaus will oversee the kitchen and created a unique menu with Chief Executive Chef Mark Lupino. The menus seafood is of the highest grade and from sustainable sources coming from around the world. Since Chef Hohaus helped open Mastro’s Ocean Club they felt he would be a good fit at Ocean 44. The Mastro’s sold the Ocean Club in 2007.

All photos courtesy of Rose, Moser & Allyn PR and Ocean 44

An abundant a la carte menu will include great steaks along with non-traditional seafood dishes. Dishes include Heirloom Tomato Crab Stack, Smoked Salmon Hash Brown Pizza, Lobster Bake, wood roasted shellfish and Colossal Shrimp Cocktail.

“This is different than anything we have done in the past, the atmosphere is second to none, featuring a blend of dining settings ranging from dramatic to intimate. At the core of the Ocean 44 experience is our chef sourced, highest graded sustainable fresh seafood from around from the world, enhanced with unique and interesting appetizers and side dishes that go beyond the traditional seafood menu,” said Mastro.

The restaurant

The Testani Design Troupe designed the 12,000 square foot restaurant. Guests will be able to view the culinary team in action through the glass expo kitchen with nearby seating. The restaurant will offer several dining areas whether you prefer the main dining floor, two dining bars or private dining rooms.

The Mastro’s have a reputation for serving the highest quality food with luxury personal service in an upscale atmosphere.

Ocean 44 will serve only dinner and the menu and more information can be found here.

High quality and affordable steakhouse coming to Carefree

December is a busy month so you’ll want to keep a day open as Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse will be opening in Carefree. It will be the newest concept from the Keeler Hospitality Group who owns the Liberty Station Tavern and Smokehouse in DC Ranch and north Scottsdale. You won’t find the stuffy pretentious steakhouse vibe yet a more social house atmosphere.

“We are extremely elated about the introduction of this new concept and are looking forward to providing it to the diners of Carefree and to our city’s visitors from near and far,” says Paul Keeler, president and CEO of Keeler Hospitality Group. “Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse will satisfy the need for a high-value, top-of-the line steakhouse dining experience in Carefree while also staying true to the approachable and comfortable atmosphere the surrounding community.”

Steakhouse
Photos courtesy of Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse

A steakhouse menu in Carefree

Keeler Hospitality Group Executive Chef Anthony Apolinar will lead the culinary team. Apolinar knows his meat as he’s been working at both Liberty Station locations.

The menu at Keeler’s will feature specialty cuts of Certified Angus Beef, fresh seafood, chicken and classic American comfort food.

Diners will enjoy sharable “For the Table” starters Lobster Mac & Cheese, Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, Crab Cakes, Mussels and more. Steakhouse staples French Onion Soup and bisque’s along with Caesar, Wedge, Cobb and Mixed Greens salads will be offered.

“Neighborhood Favorites” entrees include Double Bone-In Pork Chops, seared Lamb Loin Chops and Braised Short Ribs. Specialty sides will complement your main dish including Blue Cheese Cream Spinach, White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes, Risotto and loaded hash browns.

Classic cocktails, Arizona beers and a well-balanced selection of wine by the bottle and the glass will be available.

Social house atmosphere in Carefree

A high-end comfortable atmosphere will welcome guests with several seating area offering a neighborhood feel. An island bar will attract guests to the open kitchen and outdoor dining will be available on the patio or rooftop deck.

Guests can enjoy lunch or dinner at Keeler’s Mon. – Sat. from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Dinner from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Sun. – Thurs and til 10 p.m. Fri. & Sat. Happy Hour will be available daily from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. and brunch Sun. 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse will be at 7212 Ho Hum Rd. Carefree 85377.

 

Effective today Cullen Campbell’s Crudo is now Bar Pesce

Chef and owner Cullen Campbell has transformed his award-winning restaurant Crudo to Bar Pesce. The change takes place today with a new menu inspired by the modern Italian Crudo’s known for and Vietnamese, Japanese and South American cuisine.

Crab Mi Roll

Campbell has always wanted a fish focused restaurant (pesce is Italian for “fish”) and feels now is the time.

“After six incredible years, I’m excited to introduce all-new flavors and amazing new dishes here at Bar Pesce,” Cullen Campbell says. “While we’ll always be rooted in modern Italian, we’ll now be bringing the best coastal cuisine from around the world to the heart of Phoenix.”

On the menu at Bar Pesce

Some things haven’t changed including Campbell’s commitment to using farm fresh ingredients and culinary traditions with modern twists. Fresh handmade pastas will still be available and meats & seafood will continue to be grilled over local pecan wood.

Crab Mi Roll is a new appetizer, Swordfish Belly and Steak Fiorentina will be a few of the new additions.

Head Bartender Kyle Landry has created a new cocktail menu with 10 cocktails. Cocktails include Less Is More a.k.a. baby Irish Coffee and Adam’s Apple made with tequila, apple, lemon, jalapeño, apple bitters and sugar. Cocktails are available in both the restaurant and adjacent cocktail lounge.

A new global wine list is available to compliment the menu and will be stored in a new wine cellar.

Photos courtesy of MMPR Marketing

Anew look

An exciting new look includes partitions to break-up the dining room along with new contemporary lighting. Guests will also notice new table settings and gold-hued wall paper.

Bar Pesce is open Tues. – Sat. from 5-10 p.m. and is at 3603 E. Indian School Rd. Phoenix 85018.

 

Parma Italian Roots to debut in north Scottsdale this fall.

Our love affair with Italian food will never end and it’s a good thing that the valley is getting another Italian restaurant when it opens September 21st. Parma Italian Roots will open this fall in north Scottsdale under the direction of executive chef Chris Gentile.

Parma Italian Roots
Blueberry Bruschetta. All photos courtesy of Awe Collective.

Gentile from southern California has created a menu of West Coast influenced Italian cuisine which uses high-quality seafood, flavorful herbs and fresh vegetables. He then adds his coastal California influences to each dish.

“I can’t wait to call Scottsdale home,” Gentile says. “The city has already been amazingly welcoming, and I’ve loved getting to know the local food and beverage scene and everyone who makes it so special.”

Pappardelle Bolognaese

Want to work at Parma Italian Roots?

Those looking to work at Parma Italian Roots can attend a job fair to apply and interview for one of 40 positions available. Front of the house and back of the house positions are available. Potential employees can attend a job fair Tues. 8/21-Fri. 8/25 from 10.am. – 2p.m. at the restaurant at 20831 N. Scottsdale Rd. Suite 117 Scottsdale. For more information check out http://www.parmaitalianaz.com/

If you can’t make the job fair you can send a resume & cover letter to chris@parmaitalian.com

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