ALLIE’S BEACH STREET CAFE – FABULOUS IN EVERY WAY!

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!

Allie and Glenn Varga

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.

Breakfast Menu

House Specialties

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

Smoothie $6

Lunch Menu

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

Dinner Menu

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

APPETIZERS

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

CAFE FAVORITES

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

ENTREES

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

DESSERTS

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

Clam Alley | NESN’s Wicked Bites TV visits J.T. Farnham’s, Woodman’s, Village Restaurant, Clam Box!

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?

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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.”

“Oh, the fried clam! Mike Wendt hits Essex, Massachusetts at J.T. Farnhamsfor fried clams, seafood and some incredible fish tacos.”

Wicked Bites reviewed the Village Restaurant (Sept 2016) and Causeway (Sept 2016)

 

 

 

Seasonal Openings 2014; Part I

I got all tingly just typing that. “Seasonal Openings“. OMG these polar vortexes can kiss my ass this winter is almost over. The forsythia will bloom and next week you can scrape some hard ground and plant some peas on Saint Patrick’s because, well just because. And it’s lucky.

Seasonal Openings! BearskinNeck.net posted on Facebook this morning this photo:bluelobster

Rubber Duck will be visiting Blue Lobster Grille for the first time on Sunday. Dock Square in Rockport. It used to be the Greenery which used to be the only place you could get WiFi in Rockport back in 2008. ( I drove over there and parked out front to read my email on my laptop in the morning.)

Rubber Duck QuickTips to Restaurants on the island: Send in your opening dates. Part II Seasonal Openings will be sent out within a couple of weeks announcing all of the April Fools Day openings. Another quicktip: Update your websites! I do not have a link here to the lovely Blue Lobster Grille website because it still says, “Closed For The Season, Thank you for a wonderful season.  See you in the spring!”. What?  They are not alone. I could list dozens of websites that still say that. Even if you aren’t open yet people are dying for a sign of spring. Post the date you are opening in BIG LETTERS IN THE MIDDLE OF YOUR FRONT PAGE! On your website, your facebook page, your forehead. It’s Marketing 101, gin up interest, post entries on your facebook page with a countdown or a sign. I need a sign.

Go check out the Lobsta Land Facebook Page. That’s what I’m talking about.

It is 2014. Even Grandma uses the google, the Facebook, to find a place to eat.

Places to eat on Cape Ann