With Short & Main, named for its location at the intersection of those Gloucester streets, we have yet another wonderful reason to dine locally. Better yet, the new eatery is a concept from the already successful duo of Gloucester’s Amanda and Nico Monday. Their newest venture is like their Annisquam venue, The Market; it’s casual, inviting, and all about the experience of deriving high-quality dishes from a simple menu that is focused on pizza and raw bar selections.
Once the home of Valentino’s Old Fashioned Pizza, Nico, Amanda, and partners Howie Correa and Matthew Cawley refurbished the interior, adding an Oakland, CA-built concrete bar with embedded oyster shells and keeping the old porch area intact. It feels fresh, lively, and just a little bit like California in here.
The Raw Bar, stocked with excellent Massachusetts, Maine, and Nova Scotia oysters (depending on availability), serves up ice-lined platters of nimbly shucked bivalves with distinctive and harmonious mignonette and horseradish sauces.
La Quercia Prosciutto pizza
Never ones to do things the same when different is more delicious, the team’s Scallop Crudo sets an intoxicating new standard for freshness. The dish gets started with scallops, which are shucked, sliced, and bathed in fresh ginger vinaigrette, then sprinkled with chives and freshly ground black pepper. The luxuriously delicious Lobster Cocktail is piled with tender and tasty lobster chunks, slices of citrus and avocado, and chive garnishes. Every ingredient, including the sublime dressing, is perfect.
The owners are serious about creating the perfect pizza crust, so they went to the source and had an authentic, wood-fired Mugnaini oven shipped in from Tuscany. It’s there for all in the dining room to see, turning out thin, crisp pies with toppings like Parmesan cheese with Aprilla Farm arugula and Iowan La Quercia prosciutto, and the sausage pizza with rapini and Vermont-made Maplebrook Farm mozzarella curd.
Two homemade ice creams—lemon verbena with candied citrus peel and pistachio with dried cherries—prove again that simplicity and quality are everything to these restaurateurs.
Chefs/Owners: Nico and Amanda Monday. Raw Bar Oysters: Island Creek, Duxbury ($2.90), Wellfleet, Cape Cod ($2.50), Salutation, New Brunswick ($2.50). Appetizers: Scallop Crudo ($7), Lobster Cocktail ($16). Pizzas: La Quercia Prosciutto ($18), House-made Sausage ($18). Dessert: Lemon Verbena Ice Cream ($6), Pistachio Ice Cream ($6). Location: 36 Main St., Gloucester, 978-281-0044, shortandmain.com.