Northshore Magazine

Northshore September 2015

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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Page 26 of 272

24 | SEPTEMBER 2015 photograph by Elise Sinagra Branch to Bottle Getting to the root of the growing cider trend BY BRANDY RAND drink house mignonette sauce, with its southwestern flair from cilantro and mango). Even the baked oysters are shucked fresh—plump and juicy, they are gently topped with cheddar cheese, bacon, and a hit of jalapeño. The PEI mussels are noteworthy, too—sweet and rich with smoked tomatoes and basil, and you'll want to sop up every drop with the grilled bread. For a spin on the gourmet burger, try the Sea Level topped with fried clams. While Normant loves to play with the classics, she also knows when to go old school, as in the case of the baked seafood pie. The chef studied the classic New Eng- land dish and eventually adapted a recipe from Yankee magazine, packing lobster, shrimp, and scal- lops topped with a whisper of Ritz cracker crumbs into a dish so deli- cious you'll want to eat every last spoonful. For the waning days of sum- mer, try the Baja fish tacos, which perfectly balance soft and crispy textures—a light touch of breading, nicely dressed with sprigs of cilant- ro, queso fresco, flavorful tomatoes, and a hint of lime. The creative presentation of dishes is also appreciable—you are unlikely to see a round white plate anywhere, as meals arrive on wooden boards or in metal pans, galvanized steel trays, or paper bags. Desserts change daily (the menu is actually stamped on the table), but one staple is Normant's dough- boys, pillowy hand-molded fried ravioli rolled in cinnamon sugar and filled with the chef 's whim— anything from pumpkin or apple to decadent chocolate. Served with a crème anglaise dipping sauce, it's a delicious and fun way to end your meal. WHILE CRAFT BEER HAS BEEN ENJOYING ITS MOMENT IN THE SPOTLIGHT, cider has been quietly moving toward center stage and is poised to steal the show. In fact, cider is the fastest growing alcoholic beverage in the United States, with sales up over 63 percent in the past year. Boston Beer Compa- ny's Angry Orchard brand accounts for half of all cider sales, but the compe- tition is growing—right in their own backyard. Massachusetts is fertile ground for apple growing, with over 100 orchards, and a handful of local companies view the venture as ripe and ready, including, Downeast Cider in Charleston, Bantam Cider in Somerville, Harpoon Cider in Boston, and the North Shore's Far From the Tree Cider, made in Salem. So what exactly is cider? Some argue that it suffers a bit of an identity crisis— is it beer or wine? Packaged and sold in cans or bottles in the beer section of most stores, cider is technically made by fermenting apples. Cider can be sweet Craft cider is a popular alternative to beer and wine. D I N E

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