The Weekly Whisk 3/7/18

Musings from a foodie…

Having spent some time living in London, I became an aficionado of Fish & Chips!  There is nothing quite like haddock cooked to perfection.  So, I was delighted to have the opportunity to visit one of the better seafood restaurants on the coastal Massachusetts area as part of a recent birthday surprise.  Turner’s Seafood [* * * * ] is nestled among the many early New England buildings in downtown Salem, Massachusetts – yes!!  Where the witches lived.  In fact, the nickname for the city is “Witch City” and there’s even a costume shop devoted entirely to witch’s costumes.  But, I digress – as usual. 

I must say that the Fish & Chips were cooked to perfection.  In fact, they were some of the best Fish & Chips I’ve had – cooked in the traditional English way – on the East Coast.  Definitely worthy of a stop if you’re an aficionado!  But, as part of the luncheon surprise, we also indulged in a number of other items on the menu – after all, it was my birthday 😊.  First, there was the obligatory Lobster Mac and Cheese, a New England requirement!  It was great.  Then, there were the Nantucket Scallops with breadcrumbs.  They were incredible.  These scallops were not the big boys you find in most of the stores.  Rather, they were the small little thimble size scallops that were absolutely sweet and succulent.  The season ends in March and has to do with the warmth of the ocean.  Evidently, the colder the water – the more sweet and succulent the scallop. What a treat. This was all accompanied by wonderful cole slaw of cabbage, scallions, carrots, and chives.  What a taste treat.  But the piece de resistance was the continuous overhead 60’s music extending from Simon and Garfunkel to the Mommas and Poppas to Joni Mitchell – just to name a few.  And, they didn’t know it was my birthday until I sat down.  Check ‘em out:  Turner’s Seafood at Lyceum Hall – 43 Church Street – Salem, MA  01970 – (978) 745-7665 –       

But, the day was not over!!  One of my favorite restaurants in Kittery, where we call home (other than Marriott, of course), lost its chef about 16 months ago.  I did not know where he had moved until about six months ago when I discovered he has moved to Exeter, New Hampshire just a short 30-minute ride away.  Chef Lee Frank started a new place – Otis Restaurant [* * * * * ] – that has been getting rave reviews and was selected as Best New Restaurant” in New Hampshire for 2017.  It was a culinary delight and a fantastic way to end a wonderful day.  Since the Fish & Chips had been such a feast, we decided to do a “share” meal.  We started with a salad of fresh beets and whipped feta accompanied with dehydrated yoghurt (that is yoghurt that is dried as a thin veneer and served as almost transparent pieces of the sheet) along with small pieces of dried bread cut into animal shapes (I got the elephant).  This was followed by a wonderful fresh pasta with Oyster and Blue Mushrooms along with chicken and parsley in a mushroom reduction sauce.  Incredible.  Finally, we ended the main course with Duck Breast accompanied with Braised Cabbage, Sweet Potato and a silky Onion Puree – all drizzled with a honey coriander sauce and dehydrated cabbage dust on the side.  Not only was the food fantastic but the presentation was outstanding as well!!  Finally, we came to dessert which was a traditional English Sticky Toffee – and, it was traditional, it was English and, it was Great!!  Lee has done an outstanding job in creating his mark with Otis Restaurant.  It’s about one hour north of Boston in Exeter in the downtown area.  It’s worth the drive.  But, you need to call 30 days in advance to get your reservation.  Enjoy.  Otis Restaurant – 4 Front Street – Exeter, NH 03833 – (603) 580-1705 – - It’s already one of my favorites for 2018.  If you’re near Boston, it’s worth the effort…

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