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Plum Island / Newburyport Food

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I am heading up to this area for a weekend soon and would really appreciate recommendations on the best places to eat for lunch and dinner.

Only staying three days two nights and have a long drive from New York, so don't want to drive too far once there.

So far, I hope to check out:

Bob's Lobster Shack
Glenn's Galley
Maybe Gram's for icecream.

Thanks so much for your advice.

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  1. Plum Island Grill is one of my favorites. Fresh seafood. Great cocktails. The sunsets are spectacular too. It's at the next intersection past Bob Lobster. You can't miss it.

    1. Plum Island Grille is right on the island as is Mad Martha's.

      In Newburyport there are plenty of places to check out. the drive from Plum Island to Newburyport is short and once your there you can park and walk around.

      Glenn's is nice....The Grog is casual and has a big menu. Merrimack River Grille is new and have heard some good reports although I have not been yet. I like Stella's for lunch.

      1. Bobs lobster is great! I was driving through Plum Island one day and stopped to have lunch. Fabulous and you sit in a meadow overlooking a marsh. Very very casual but excellent.

        2 Replies
        1. re: macadamianut

          Do you want nice or a dive? Last year I watched the fireworks(the big ones in August I think) from the parking lot of a dive on a side street near downtown. Hopefully someone knows the name. Big plate of really good clams and shrimp and i am still craving to go back for their french fries. They are kind of diamond or triangle shaped and delicious. Sorry cant think of the name.. By the way, the fireworks were RIGHT overhead that place and it wasnt a crowded zoo like the center of town but plenty of people in the lot enjoying it. It was really a fun experience.

          1. re: chompie

            Dive or nice doesn't matter as long as the food is good.

        2. The Grog is great for a burger and beer; Bob's Lobster is a must - very casual, but great, fresh seafood.

          Plum Island Grille is definitely higher prices (and I'd say that reservations would be required this weekend). Mad Martha's has drop-dead great breakfasts, and also serves dinner - a limited menu - but I don't think they take reservations.

          1 Reply
          1. re: LindaWhit

            Mad Martha's used to have very good breakfasts. The last two times I was there- within the last six months- it was nothing close to delicious. The fish cakes tasted less-than-fresh, and my pancakes were actually dry. They also charged for a teeny medicine cup of maple syrup. Any place that is stingy with maple syrup in N.E. and serves dry pancakes- off the breakfast list. Did ownership change or something?

          2. I stopped in for a scoop at Gram's a couple weeks ago. Had the best scoop of ice cream in a loooong time - cappuccino hazelnut was so studded with nuts that I got two whole hazelnuts at least with every bite. Subtle coffee flavor complemented the nuts, and did not overwhelm. It certainly seemed housemade. Enthusiastically recommend you try it.

            Did not stop in to the Plum Island Grill, but driving by, we were almost pulled in by the amazing smell of grilling and garlic. By my nose, it's a winner!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Bob Dobalina

              Okay, I'm there. (I'm sort of an ice cream freak.)

              And it's literally right around the corner from where we're staying.

              1. re: Bostonbob3

                Look forward to hearing what you think...

            2. OK so here are my reviews of the places we checked out--
              Bob's lobster roll was great. Simple but delicious.
              Plum Island Grille had a really nice crab cake appetizer--small but very good. Their chowder was not good--very watery. The boursin tarte was not great either. Seemed like a boursin smoothed over a frozen tart crust. The fish main was good but pretty steep at $26. The key lime pie was nice. The best thing about the place was how pretty it was--we got there right at sunset and if you can get a seat near the window the view overlooks the salt water marsh.
              Next day we went to the Grog for lunch. This was a surprise. The chowder was pretty good but I ordered the lobster club sandwich and it was excellent. Better than Bob's.
              For dinner we went to Glenn's and ordered the fish taco appetizer and the beet salad. Both apps were good not incredible but we were still too full from The Grog to order mains. I would go back there definitely. The white bean spread they served with the bread was very good too. I feel we just didn't order enough to really try it out. Gram's ice cream was very nice. My hisband had the mint chip and I had the peanut butter yogurt with choc chips. The yogurt was a little icy but his mint ice cream was so creamy and wonderful.
              Next day we went to the clam box in ipswich for lunch. OK, so this place is really famous, written up in the Times and there were tons of people there. My husband and I shared the fisherman's plate. It was pretty intense. We felt kind of sick afterwards. Did we order wrong? Or maybe we are just not used to eating SO MUCH fried food. It was good but not incredible.
              Our last stop was for white farms ice cream. This was really really good. I had the oreo yogurt and it was marvelous. Steve had a mint oreo frappe which he said was also great.
              Thanks for the recs, all. We will probably go back to most of these places again if we ever head back up there.

              2 Replies
              1. re: abud

                i have also gotten stomach-regrets after powering through an entire fisherman's platter at The Clam Box. but it's soooooo good while you're having at that huge pile of Fried Ocean Goodness.

                1. re: abud

                  I was away (eating my way through Gaspe and Quebec City) or I would have posted before your trip.

                  I've had consistently good meals at Aquatini on State St. in Nbpt. The Chef, Alec Maxon knows what he's up to, often forages for his own clams, wild mushrooms, etc. and runs a good kitchen. I avoid the 'martinis' that give the place its name. Just because a drink is poured into a martini glass, doesn't mean it's a martini. The place can get loud on a busy night, but it's where I go whenever I want something better than I can do in my own kitchen. Pricing is on the higher end for Nbpt, but New Yorkers would probably think it a bargain -- mains ~$22-28. They've recently shifted to a French country menu, duck confit salad, etc.

                  I've had good and not so good meals at Plum Island Grille and pretty good dinners at Bluwater Cafe. Last time I was at Glenn's was not so happy -- I ordered a pasta dish and asked for it to be al dente. I got the usual overcooked glop and after waiting for the server to come over for 5 minutes, finally brought my plate to the chefs at the open kitchen bar. They told me they can't do al dente pasta because they cook it in advance for their lobster mac and cheese. I ordered something else -- fish tacos I think, pretty good but by that time I was too annoyed to enjoy myself. That's what I like about Aquatini. They wouldn't put overcooked pasta on a plate just because it's convenient.

                2. This is not really lunch or dinner but I loved Annarosa's bakery in Newburyport for breakfast or to pack a mini picnic for the beach. They have an assortment of breads, croissants, brioche. I have a short review on my blog too.


                  3 Replies
                  1. re: mini_me

                    Oh Annarosa's! I had meant to post this last week, when I stopped in for the best chocolate croissant I have ever gotten from a bakery - an experience I never hoped to have again, equal to having one of Delphin Gome's croissants straight out of the oven. Warm, light, great yeast flavor, and definite layers so thin that I could read the print in my book through a flake of crust.

                    And the owner is doing more, and more interesting foccacias and breads. He is a treasure of a baker!

                    1. re: pastrytroll

                      Uh oh I now have to make an excuse to get out there and try the chocolate croissants! :)

                      1. re: pastrytroll

                        just returned from annarosa's with a baguette, a small ciabatta and a croissant...well...the croissant didn't actually make it home!

                        also hit joppa fine foods for some fantastic cheese, Leary's for some great micro brews and tendercrop farm for their fresh produce.

                        IMO... this is the best way to eat in newburyport!