The Virgilios began making St. Joseph rolls in the early 1950s, for the Feast of Saint Joseph, and today, they make them year round. Back then, there were so many families that celebrated Saint Joseph traditions that even as young kids, Joe and all his cousins had to hurry to the bakery after school to help their grandfather fill the St. Joseph roll orders. Now the bread is made with state of the art equipment but in his grandfather’s day it was all made by hand. Joe smiled thinking about how his grandfather would love today’s mixing and baking machines. I went home with a camera-full of stories and bag full of Joe’s bread, both generous, and much-appreciated gifts.
My husband Tom and I had the most unexpectedly wonderful and fantastic dining experience last Saturday night. We have our very favorite Cape Ann restaurants (that we adore), but were wanting to try something new. The menu posted online at Allie’s Beach Street Cafe, located in Manchester, looked very French and very inviting, so we gave it a try. It’s not everyday you discover a restaurant that hits all the right notes and we were beyond delighted. So much so, we are returning tomorrow!
Readers may recognize Allie. She has owned and operated Pleasant Street Tea company for over a decade. Husband Glenn has been a sommelier and server at the Four Seasons for more than nineteen years. Both are wonderfully welcoming towards guests, and the waitstaff are just as friendly.
Manchester’s former Beach Street Cafe has been transformed, with chic, Provencal-inspired decor. Sunlight pours through big picture windows warming the white-washed walls and wide-planked wooden floors. The dining room feels relaxed, fun, and elegant, all at the same time. Primarily a classic French bistro, the menu also features dishes from around the world where French cooking has been highly influential, including Louisiana Creole, French Caribbean, Southeast Asia, and North Africa.
The most amazing thing is, Allie’s is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as Saturday and Sunday brunch, all day! And, too, you can stop in casually for specialty drinks, coffee, pastries, or order from their online menu.
We happened in on a ‘Three Course Tasting,’ night, which takes place every Friday and Saturday evening. You can either order from the menu or partake in the tasting. Tom had the Weiner Schnitzel from the menu and Loved it. I tried the ‘Tasting’ offering and it was simply fabulous.
The first course was a sublime mixture of duxelles and goat cheese served in a puff pastry shell. In between courses, Glenn brought out a zippy sizzling hot pan of Shishito peppers. What a treat! Next course served was the fresh and warm baby spinach salad, dressed with a super tasty bacon balsamic vinaigrette. The final course was a perfectly cooked and tender medium rare steak, served with yummy truffle fries and a lovely arugula salad. We were waaaaay toooo filled to try dessert, but I did catch a photo of a gorgeous blackberry ombre layer cake, topped with blueberry compote, and it looked WOW!
I wasn’t expecting to take any photos and plan to return during the day with my real camera, but here are some cell phone snaps to give you an idea.
Allie’s Beach Street Cafe is located at 35 Beach Street in Manchester-by-the-Sea
For reservations, call 978-704-9571
Allie’s Beach Street Cafe Hours
Monday 6:30am to 3pm
Tuesday 6:30am to 3pm
Wednesday 6:30 to 9pm
Thursday 6:30 to 9pm
Friday 6:30 to 9pm
Saturday 8am to 9pm
Sunday 8am to 3pm
The menu changes seasonally and the following are the current postings.
Croque Madame*: Grilled ham and swiss topped with a fried egg and bechamel $7
Bacon, Egg and Cheese Sandwich*: on an english muffin or bulkie $5.5
Quiche Du Jour*: made fresh daily $8
Ful Mudammas*: chickpeas fritters, marrakesh harissa, eggs in a wrap $7.5
Breakfast Burrito*: eggs, black beans, salsa, and rice in a wheat wrap $6.5
Pancakes or Waffles: with nutella & whip cream or maple syrup $8
Smoked Salmon* on a bagel with herb cream cheese $10
Monte Cristo: Fried Belgian Waffle stuffed with ham, cheese, turkey and jalapeno jam $9
Stuffed French Toast* : Banana & Nutella or Sweet Cream & Berries $8
Eggs Benedict*: two poached eggs served on english muffin with fresh hollandaise and herb potato
choices: ham $12, florentine $12, avocado $13, smoked salmon $14,
Avocado Toast: Texas Toast w/ Avocado, pickled onions, pico de gallo, chimichurri $8
Omelettes or Scrambles* $12
Served w/ toast and herb roasted potatoes, or beans & greens
Jardin: “garden”: shallots, herbs, veggies and swiss cheese
Petit Cochon: “little pig” bacon, ham and sausage peppers onions and cheddar
Champignon: “mushroom” truffled mushrooms, herbs, and goat cheese
Fumee du Mer: “Sea Smoke” smoked salmon, capers, chives, and boursin cheese
Grecque: “Greek” spinach, peppers,onion, olives, feta and, oregano
Le Duc: “John Wayne” ham, peppers,onions, and of course American cheese
A La Carte
Cinnamon Roll $3.75
Scone w/ clotted cream $3.5
Plain Croissant $3
Chocolate Croissant $3.5
Two Eggs any style $5
Side bacon, ham, or sausage $3
½ Avocado $3
Oatmeal your way $7
Side Toast $2: Brioche, white, wheat, marble rye, english Muffin / Gluten free toast $3
Soups & Salads
French Onion Soup: Steaming hot sweet onions in a rich broth loaded with cheese $7
Poisson Rouge: (Redfish Soup) local haddock & vegetables in a lightly spiced tomato broth $8
Seasonal Greens: Fresh greens, roasted root veg, and pumpkin seeds Winter citrus vinaigrette $8
Arugula: Peppery rocket greens, shaved Parmesan, and lemon zest $9
Butter Lettuce Wedge: Great Hill Blue, Applewood Bacon, egg, sunflower seeds, Fig glaze $14
Ancient Grains: Quinoa, Heirloom rices and grains(gluten free) with greens and harissa dressing $9
Caesar: Kale tossed in Chef’s caesar dressing with garlic croutons $10
Add on to any Salad: Falafel $4, Chicken Salad $4, 2 Eggs* $4 Sirloin Tips $7 Beach Street Lobster Salad $15
Sandwiches & Wraps
Croque Madame*:Grilled Ham and Swiss Topped with a fried egg and Bechamel $9
Crispy Fish: Tempura battered fish with wasabi mayo and coleslaw $12
Veggie Quinoa Wrap: Hummus, veggies, and whole grains, in a wheat wrap $8
Vegetarian Sweet Potato BBQ : Vegetarian BBQ Sweet Potato on a Bulkie $7.5
Smoked Salmon Plate :Toasted Bagel w/ Avocado, Hard Boiled Egg, Onions, Cucumbers, Capers $13
Beach Street Smashburger*: 60z ground chuck on a bulkie with secret sauce#5 & pickled veg $8.5
Chicken Banh Mi: Cilantro Veggie slaw on a baguette with chicken $9.5 or Lobster $22
Ham & Swiss: Black Forest Ham piled high on rye w/ horseradish Dijon $7.5
Beach Street Club: Turkey, bacon, lettuce, and tomato on thick sliced Brioche $12
Falafel Shawarma: Falafel with Tzatziki, mix greens, and harissa in a grilled wrap $9.5
Burrito all the Way: Chicken with beans, rice, cheddar, pico de gallo. Do you like it hot or mild ? $9
Philly Cheese Steak*: Shaved Sirloin, Mushrooms, Onions, & yes, cheese wiz 🙂 $12.50
Turkey & Pesto: w/ prosciutto, arugula, pickled onions & provolone served on Italian Bread $9
Add on to any Sandwich: Mixed Veggies $4 , Falafel $4, Chicken $4, 2 Hard Boiled Eggs $4, Smoked Salmon $4
All sandwiches & wraps served with Chips or Cilantro Veg Slaw. Add fries $4 Soup du Jour $3 Salad $4 Cilantro Veg Slaw $3
SOUPS & SALADS
French Onion Soup: Steaming hot sweet onions in a rich broth loaded with cheese $7
Poisson Rouge: (Red Fish Soup) local haddock & vegetables in a lightly spiced tomato broth $8
Seasonal Greens: Fresh greens, seasonal veggies, pumpkin seeds, w/ citrus vinaigrette $9
Arugula: Peppery rocket greens, shaved Parmesan, and lemon zest $7
Butter Lettuce Wedge: Blue Cheese, Applewood Bacon, egg, sunflower seeds, Fig glaze $14
Ancient Grains: Quinoa, Heirloom rices and grains(gluten free) with greens and harissa dressing $10
Caesar:* Kale tossed in Chef’s caesar dressing with garlic croutons $10
Fried Camembert: Balsamic Glazed Strawberries, Prosciutto Crisps, & Crostini $12
Falafel Plate: Falafel, Tzatziki, Red Pepper Coulis $ 9
Crispy Brussel Sprouts: Hot Sauce and blue cheese dip $9
Lobster Cocktail : Sweet local Lobster, Cilantro-Lime Mayo, Avocado $16
Stuffed Avocado: feta, spinach and tomato stuffing baked with crispy herb crostini $12
Croque Madame*: Grilled Ham and Swiss Topped with a fried egg and Bechamel $11
Beach Street Smashburger*: 60z ground chuck on a bulkie with secret sauce#5 & pickled veg $12
Beach Street Club: Turkey, Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato on thick sliced Brioche $14
Lobster Shells & Cheese: Lobster, Spring Peas & Shells Baked to Gooey Perfection $ 18
Caribbean Bouillabaisse: Scallops, Local Catch& Clams, Creole Broth, Plantains, & Avocado Toast $26
Wiener Schnitzel:* Thin & Crisp veal paillard topped with a sunny side egg & skinny fries $19
Steak Frites: Marinated Black Angus skirt steak, truffle fries, arugula salad $ 26
Veggie Quinoa Bowl: Fresh Veg of the day with Kale and Quinoa, Warm Dressing $13
Roast Chicken Provencal: Organic fingerling potato, Market Veggies, Pan Sauce $16
Bretonne Haddock: Wine Poached Haddock w/ Mushrooms and veggies, Bretonne cream $16DESSERT
Cinnamon Blueberry Cobbler: Ginger Beer blueberry compote, cinnamon bun & ice cream $8
Brownie Banana Split: topped with the works $8
Baked Alaskan” Smores”: Flourless chocolate cake,toasted marshmallow, graham, ice cream $8
Caramel Apple Turnover: Served hot with Vanilla ice cream $8
Allie’s is located at 35 Beach Street in Manchester-by-the-Sea
For reservations, call 978-704-9571
5th Grade Jalapenos Fundraiser
Wednesday, February 6th at 4pm to 9pm
Take a break from cooking for the night!
Nicole Duckworth shares a moment from her wonderfully fun household–never a dull moment with four kids– two teenagers and two toddlers!
Her son Jude this morning, “Mom, I’m turning into a butterfly.”
Jude this summer when he and his brother George stopped by to visit and see the caterpillars and butterflies from our garden.
DON’T MISS THE LAST BOOK CLUB EVENT OF THE YEAR! The literary dinners sell out quickly. If you would like to attend, purchase your tickets here.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Moderator: Erin Almond has published fiction, essays, and reviews in The Boston Globe, Roar Magazine,Colorado Review, Normal School, Small Spiral Notebook, and on Nerve.com, Cognoscenti.com, and The Rumpus.net. She is a graduate of the UC-Irvine MFA program and a recipient of a St. Botolph Foundation Emerging Artists Grant. She is currently seeking a home for her novel Witches’ Dance, and at work on her next book. Erin lives outside Boston with her husband, Steve, and their three children. NOTE: This event will run from 6-8 p.m.
Maggie Dietz and Todd Hearon led a lively discussion on October’s sold out book club selection, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Many of our Piping Plover volunteers will recognize two of October’s attendees, Kerry and Patty. Every morning at sunrise, these two are at Good Harbor Beach cleaning up, what on some mornings amounts to, a mountain of litter.
Nicole and her sweet boys George and Jude stopped by to pick flowers to garnish a beautiful dessert that she had made to surprise two friends who were celebrating their anniversary. This is her croquembouche, a mini version of the larger that she had made for their wedding years ago. Yummmmmm!!!!!
A friend in New York just emailed me this link: 10 Best Fried Clams in New England, courtesy Yankee Magazine’s New England Today. A couple of local Cape Ann favorites made the list. The comment board is climbing fast. I have friends that swear by the Cupboard in Stage Fort Park and various restaurants in Gloucester, Rockport and Essex. Did yours make the 2018 list?
Saturday Saint patties day @FarmBarGrille in Essex started extra early this year (officially 9:30 AM to 11 AM) with a superb Irish Breakfast, LIVE Irish music from Mike O’Leary & friends, festive beverages, amazing coffee & famous Irish soda bread. They’re serving a great menu ALL day. Get over there while it lasts! (And mark your calendars next year!)
Farm Bar and Grille, 233 Western Avenue, Essex, (978)768-0000 Facebook – @FarmEssex
MENU and scenes from early this morning
Mike O’Leary played with David de La Barre (Irish whistle and voice) and Linda Swicker (voice). Fiona Warner lilting voice accompanied the trio, and with Maeve, too.
tail end of mountain dew
bonus (one of Michael O’Leary’s favorite St. Patrick’s Day tunes) do you know it?
Their restaurant En Fuego will feature some creative St Patrick’s Day specials, too.
If you haven’t been to Happy Belly don’t walk, RUN!
Took Tyler for the first time and he was over the moon about the Open Faced Corned Beef Benedict!
He was particularly excited about the fruit cup that comes with it AND the home fries!
Don’t forget to check out their extensive dessert section and use your Serenitee card for points while you’re there!
3 Duncan Street
Gloucester, MA 01930.
Wicked Bites TV visited Essex and Ipswich in a big way this month to review “Clam Alley”. Visitors often ask what is the best place for a lobster roll? and fried clams? “Clam Alley” extends throughout Cape Ann. In Gloucester there’s Charlie’s, Gloucester House, Lobsta Land (another gorgeous marsh vista), Captain Carlo’s, the Cupboard and Lobster Pool in Rockport to name a quick few…what else?
Wicked Bites is scheduled on Saturdays at 9:30am on NESN. From their sites:
“Hey, you better be ready for the next ALL NEW Wicked Bites TV. On today’s show we visit CLAM ALLEY for the very best fried clams in the world. And, we have some special guest: Kim Gilder Carrigan and VB from the WRKOmorning show.”
Article link: “Want to eat like Gail Simmons? Here are 10 of her Favorite Restaurants in the country (and Canada)!”
Lee’s – 2 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA 5AM – 1PM (978) 281-3873
At least one of us orders an apple cheddar omelette
The most anticipated restaurant opening this year has arrived! Italiano Restaurant and Bar downtown is a must try! My son, Tyler, and I went down on opening night and they killed it! Atmosphere is great, polished decor and a seasoned staff. They won me over and i’m sure they will win you over too.
GloucesterCast 204 With Jim and Pat Dalpiaz, Kim Smith and Joey Ciaramitaro Taped 10/16/16
Looking at potentially opening in three weeks in the Blackburn Tavern Building.
For as long as Passports Restaurant has been open, my husband and I have been regulars!
We have always had an outstanding meal and even better service. Last night after the podcast taping at Cape Ann TV we headed over there for some amazing dinner and great wine!
Joey’s new obsession ‘Seafood Paella’
Super K’s Cobb Salad
Ohhhh and what did I have? The amazing Steak and Potato salad but there’s no picture because I dug in and ate some before Joey could stop me to take a picture!
Go see Eric and his team! You won’t be disappointed!
108 Main St, Gloucester
$1 Oysters are what’s up on Cape Ann right now.
The following places advertise on a weekly basis and are subject to change by the week. If there are places that I have not listed please leave a comment and I will update.
All day Monday- Thursday
Tuesday- Dinner hours
Wednesday- Lunch and Dinner hours
Thursday and Friday Lunch hours only
Everyday except Wednesdays
During the hours of 5pm to 6pm and 9pm to 10pm
Wednesday- All day
Every Sunday all day