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Newburyport this weekend.

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Yes, I've done the board search. And yes, I've been to 10 Center St. and Glenn's.

But I'm taking the GF (sorry, "Fiancee") for a weekend in Newburyport on Friday, and was just wondering if there was something new and exciting going on in that oddly restaurant-deprived town.

And please, please don't recommend the Black Cow.

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  1. There's an art walk on Sat. afternoon/evening that's fun. I think that Aquatini place is kind of cute.

    1. My girlfriend and I spent the day there last Saturday. We walked around everywhere and unfortunately no one location really made us really say "Wow, we need to try this place!" It seemed a shame as the whole downtown atmosphere is really nice overall. We decided instead to just be bad and settled for ice cream, candy at Winfrey's, and then cappuccino & ricotta pie at a quiet little cafe on a side street.

      1. I went to Michaels Harborside this past Monday after spending the day at Hampton Beach.
        There is plenty of outside seating and it was pretty good. I had cajun swordfish that was delicious and my husband had the steamed haddock which he loved. We had the kids with us (2) and each had 2 drinks along with a great medi salad and cup of chowder and the bill was only $70 which I thought was very reasonable. It is right on Tournament Wharf.
        It may not be new and exciting but you can have a great meal there at least.

        1 Reply
        1. re: lulatula

          I do like their deck. And the food is acceptable, sometimes even good.

          But on weekend nights, it turns into less of a seafood place than a meat market.

          (Which used to be fine, but with the GF and everything...)

        2. Congratulations Bob -- That's great news! I won't recommend the Black Cow even though I actually like it. Have you been to the Grog? That seems like the type of place you guys would enjoy. I had some truly wonderful scallops there.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Pegmeister

            Thanks, Pegmeister!

            Been to The Grog may times. They actually do some really good food there. The mussels are excellent, as is the burger.

            BTW, is the the Black Cow in Newburyport any better than the one in Hamilton/Wenham? I was never very impressed by that one. Seemed like slightly upscale chain food to me.

            1. re: Bostonbob3

              I like the atmosphere at the Black Cow because even when you sit inside you get some nice views. Service was great and the seafood was good. We did a harbor cruise before dining and it was a great day. Again Congrats!!!!

              1. re: Bostonbob3

                The chili at the Grog is about the best I've had anywhere in New England...

                1. re: hiddenboston

                  My eye keeps coming back to your comments here. Really, I've been to the Grog, literally and over the course of years, probably 20 times and it just wouldn't occur to me to order chili here. I'm thinking ground chuck and gringo hot, meaning not hot at all. Please elaborate?

                  Harp

                  1. re: Harp00n

                    Ground chuck, beans, jack cheese, not extremely hot (so yes, you're not far off on your guess!). Really tasty, though....

                    1. re: hiddenboston

                      Thanks Marc, I guess I'll resist looking down my nose, lol, and have it a go when next there.

                      BTW and totally off-topic, what are YOU hearing about the old Finnerty's in Wayland? See pollystyrene & edgewater's comments here; http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/550601

                      Harp

                      1. re: Harp00n

                        Actually, not a thing! Damn, I've indeed been scooped...

            2. BB3, congrats on your engagement.

              Here's a recent thread - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/534781

              I haven't dined out in NBPT, but check out my post on Gram's ice cream - I am still thinking about how good that scoop of hazelnut was.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Bob Dobalina

                Oh, I didn't read the OP well enough. Congrats, Bob! So when should we all expect our invites to the wedding? Now that Pete's Pub is gone, have you decided on where the reception will be?

                1. re: hiddenboston

                  The working plan is to have both the wedding and reception in the Budweiser roof deck at Fenway.

                  From my research it seems that the chef who does the wedding parties there actually has a good pedigree, having worked at Biba and Icarus among other places.

                  1. re: Bostonbob3

                    I assume that "Shipping up to Boston" will be your wedding song...(?)

                    Have fun in Newburyport! If you have a chance, you might want to jump over to Merrimac to Skip's Snack Bar on Route 110. It's a classic roadside stand that you don't tend to find in the Boston area.

                    1. re: hiddenboston

                      That's the home of the curly-q fries, right?

                      Not a bad idea for reception apps.

                      1. re: Bostonbob3

                        That would be the place. I recall the fries being undercooked when I went, but I think it was just an off-day for them. Good burgers there!

              2. It's about time you made her an honest woman Bob!

                I have nothing to add about NBPT so carry on.

                1. Congratulations BB3
                  Have you considered Plum Island Grille. I like the feel of the place, and have had great luck with their seafood dishes and I love they way they do mussels.
                  http://www.plumislandgrille.com/

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Infomaniac

                    Unfortunately, nothing in NBPT really rocks my world. I have work up there often and do some fishing on the 'Mac and have tried them all with nothing too impressive so I always end up at the Grog which is fair to middlin but reliable enough and not too costly. There is a decent Thai place on Rt 1 just the other side of the bridge in Salisbury FWIW. I do like Glens when they have some entertainment and fresh seared tuna steaks. Otherwise I am avoiding Rockfish, Agave and the many pizza joints that have sprung up there recently. The only place I have not tried is the Indian joints - one is downtown and one is by the bridge which looks real dicey at first blush, Mr. India I think. Oh yea there is Joseph's Winter St. Grill (?) but I have not had $200 lately to burn on dinner.

                    1. re: ipsofatso

                      I like that Thai place on Rte. 1, Mapow I think it's called, next to the doughnut shop. Nice little sushi bar there too.

                      1. re: ipsofatso

                        Although it looks terrible, Mr. India is actually pretty good. Once you park in the scary lot, walk under the scary bridge and enter the scary building the inside is quite nice and the servers friendly.

                        1. re: tdaaa

                          I have eaten at Mr. India for years and find it to be wonderful. I look forward to the outdoor festivals in the square when they set up there. The samosas are great. Mango lassi is to die for!

                    2. Congrats! Supposed to be hot this weekend, so hopefully you'll have a nice sea breeze.

                      Nothing really new up there, but there's always Plum Island Grille for a bit more upscale (I think reservations are required), and Mad Martha's for funky atmosphere and great breakfasts (reservations are a must for dinner). Very limited menu for dinner, but always packed.

                      http://plumislandgrille.com/

                      http://www.madmarthasbeachcafe.com/

                      14 Replies
                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        You've got it covered here school teacher's daughter, as far as I'm concern. Although I would like to try Joseph's Winter St. again, as it's been awhile, when/if I'm ever flush with cash again.

                        Harp

                        1. re: Harp00n

                          I've only eaten there twice...and both were paid for by someone else. :-) I did enjoy the meals there, but you're right - definitely on the higher price side.

                        2. re: LindaWhit

                          Alas! No lunches at the P.I.G - what a bummer. We're headed up to NBPT this weekend to visit with friends. Am tired of 10 Center and the how now Black Cow. How is the Grog these days?? Haven't been there in a few years. it's always packed when we've walked by. We've been to Aquatini and Agave... ho hum food (but the drinks are good!)
                          Any other place in the general area that's interesting?

                          1. re: Lilibet

                            Bob Lobster out on Plum Island is great for lunch - one of the best lobster rolls I've had. And Michael's Harborside (out on the deck!) is decent - also a good lobster roll. Watch out for the ever-ravenous flying rats tho - they'll take something off your plate if you're not watching out.

                            For the Grog, I usually stick with the burgers there - always a good char-broil on them, and good fries. Their beer selection is very good - according to my beer-drinking friends.

                            For something different, you could always get a sandwich at Joppa Fine Foods in the Tannery Mall and take it and a drink out to the island.

                            http://www.joppafinefoods.com/

                            ETA: It seems Joppa's website is down - but I believe they're still there. Right on Water St. with parking in the lot for the Tannery.

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              'Twas at Bob Lobster yesterday. Roll was succulently sweet as always. Normally $11.99, special at $10.99, had two, and no, not ashamed of it at all!

                              Harp
                              :-0)

                              1. re: Harp00n

                                :-P A two-thumbs-up for Lilibet if ever I heard one!

                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  Joppa has sandwiches... I never realized that fact. I always stop there to get my olive oil bottle refilled....., (that didn't sound good did it?) and visit the shops. Dead Bird is my favorite.

                                  Mega thanks. I'll throw several of those suggestions out tomorrow. It will be interesting to see where we end up. Seeing wonderful friends and being near the ocean is a treat enough for me!

                                  1. re: Lilibet

                                    Sandwich counter in the very back of the store - at least the last time I visited there. Have a good time wherever you go - going to be a beeYOOtiful weekend. (About time! LOL)

                            2. re: Lilibet

                              A fairly new place in Newburyport is River Merrimack Bar & Grill.
                              I went last night was very impressed with the lobster and veal dish I had. My friends steak was excellent. I guess the head chef Michael Tache used to work for Joseph's Winter Street Cafe. Nice menu and might go back again this weekend with for another try.

                              1. re: Infomaniac

                                Is this where the (ridiculously expensive) Kiwi restaurant used to be located on Green St. in the former church? Oh wait - that's the Mission Oak Grill now, right?

                                Where is River Merrimack?

                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  It's at 50 Water Street....I think it used to be an Italian place called Rossi's.

                                  1. re: Infomaniac

                                    Ahhh yes, the infamous "never-busy-but-somehow-stayed-in-business" Rossi's. Got it. Right next to Joppa's.

                                  2. re: LindaWhit

                                    That is correct, the Mission Oak is in the former church previously occupied by Kiwi.

                                    Harp

                              2. re: LindaWhit

                                We had dinner at Mad Martha's Sat. night. It's BYOB. Apps of Cajun Shrimp on skewers and crab cake were so so. Small salads that came with the meal were just right. The BF said his rack of lamb with mashed potatoes was excellent. I had penne with scallops and mushrooms in a cream sauce. While the mushrooms were nice it was overall bland. It was a small cute place and service was great. The posted breakfast menu looked better than average. I'd go back and try that.

                              3. Start heading toward Ipswich on 1a, When you get to Hamilton, look for a small strip mall on the other side of the railroad tracks. There is a place called The Indigo bar and grill. check out their menu. http://www.indigobargrill.com/dinnerM... You will not be disappointed.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: drewinmrblhd

                                  That's funny. Indigo is literally steps from where one of my best friends used to have a lamp store.

                                  1. re: Bostonbob3

                                    I highly recommend it. In my opinion, their menu has something for everyone.

                                    1. re: drewinmrblhd

                                      I would whole heartedly disagree. I think that's the primary problem with Indigo and any of the other restaurants in that group. They try to be all things to all people and aren't very good at any of these areas. What they should do is decide one place will be more tavern type fair, the next upscale dining and different genres.

                                      One could find a comparable dining experience at any of the restaurants at that group at a chain for far cheaper money. They obviously invested lots of money into the interiors of the restaurants as they look great, but the food is completely uninspired and it's VERY obvious that they are using mostly frozen commodity garbage for ingredients.

                                2. So, Bostonbob - how did it go this weekend?

                                  11 Replies
                                  1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                    It was a blast. GREAT weather equaled a walk to Bob Lobster for, well, lobster, Plum Island Grill for some excellent fish, and lots of beer and mussels at The Grog. (And just lots of beer at The Whale.)

                                    Passed on Michael's because it was a mob scene, but with weather like that on a weekend, that's to be expected.

                                    1. re: Bostonbob3

                                      That's terrific Bostonbob, and sure as hell beats spending the weekend making crop-circles in Iowa, eh?

                                      Harp

                                      1. re: Bostonbob3

                                        Hey BostonBob, wonder if we were dining together. (well, not 'together' but you know what i mean..) I also was at Bob Lobster for, well, lobster (had the lobster oll, it was good, even with the celery that i had to pick out), and then Plum Island Grill (apparently known to locals as PIG) for some great apps --they are known for their mussels and drunken clams, both of which we enjoyed.....we were there on Saturday.

                                        1. re: twentyoystahs

                                          I was at Bob Lobster Saturday late afternoon-ish, and Plum Island Grill that night.

                                          Maybe we had a Chowhound outing without even knowing it. :)

                                          1. re: Bostonbob3

                                            Me too!
                                            Actually Bob Lobster around 3:30ish, PIG at around 4:30, shortly after they opened. I was with 2 women and a baby! (could be the name of a movie!)

                                            1. re: twentyoystahs

                                              I can almost guarantee we were at Bob Lobster at the same time.

                                              I was the ugly-yet-brilliant guy with the beautiful (though obviously deranged) woman.

                                        2. re: Bostonbob3

                                          That's great and thanks for the pub on PIG - I will definitely check it out next time we're up there. Did you happen to grab a scoop at Gram's?

                                          1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                            Jeez, I forgot to mention that. Yes, I had the hazelnut, the fiancee had the turtle.

                                            Both were amazing, but the hazelnut even more so.

                                            Thanks for the recommendation.

                                            1. re: Bostonbob3

                                              Awesome - good to get another hound's stamp of approval.

                                          2. re: Bostonbob3

                                            I am SO jealous!!
                                            Our brakes went on 495 on our way up to NBPT Saturday (TG we had only gotten as far as Littleton).... called AAA, had to flatbed the car and drive back to the mechanic, get other car, etc. We did head up but it was so late.. and no room at the inn. Plum Island was too busy, Grog was crazy, Black Cow lunacy, the whole downtown area was awash with people. Ended up at Joe's, sniff :-( not what I wanted at all. The food was okay, if you could get past all the screaming kids and strollers.
                                            Only seeing good friends (& several martini's later) saved the day.

                                            1. re: Lilibet

                                              Martinis in hell would make it a good day. :)

                                              Yeah, it was utterly packed with people over the weekend. Babies at The Grog? Yes.

                                        3. i had the lobster roll at bob lobster. at 11.99 the price was right, appropriate size. but there were some big chunks of celery in there - i'm not a fan of celery, especially in my lobster roll. they also placed the lobster on a bed of yellow, sad looking, iceburg lettuce.

                                          1. My first suggestion is The Mission Oak Grille. If you tried it a year or so ago and were not happy with it, go again. It's improved. The steaks are good and my fish/shellfish eating friends are thrilled. Has a clubby steakhouse feel. Sit at the bar and have drink with Celine and Anthony (has a ponytail) and they will treat you well and make you a great drink. Not the "touristy" feel you get at other town locales. Mostly locals here at the Oak. The only other place I'd recommend for the food (atmosphere is eh) is the Jewel in the Crown tucked away in a back area off pleasant street. You have to be a fan of Indian Food. It is excellent and the service is great...just not the best atmosphere but better than most.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: HappyFood

                                              Umm, this thread is over a year old.