A roundup of new restaurants around the North Shore.
Tucked away behind the quiet exterior of many North Shore towns are new restaurants and specialty shops popping up on every corner. These new places are becoming hot spots for brunch with the ladies, lunch with co-workers, or a night out on the town. by Jill Diver
Looking for a great place to listen to live music or have Sunday brunch? Owners Jeff Cala and Mark McDonough purchased the former Rock’s/Gaven’s/Daniel Fuller house on Route 114 and named it after Bob Dylan’s famous song “Maggie’s Farm.” Their concept of building a fun place for people in the Middleton/Boxford/Topsfield area to eat great food, drink craft beers on draft, listen to inspiring music, and make personal connections is helped by the small and intimate space with a bar in the center of the room. Maggie’s sushi bar offers vegetarian or gluten-free sushi. maggiesfarmmiddleton.com.
3 Potato 4
“I’m not French, and they’re not fried,” is the motto of owner Guenevere Blanchard. Her French fry stand opened in Salem and quickly became well known for using organic potatoes and baking them instead of frying. Her company is part of an ongoing trend in food known as “quick food”—food that is made quickly, but healthfully. And if you’re a lover of all things sauce, 3 Potato 4 knows its way around signature sauces, with mixes like curry ketchup, wasabi mayo, chipotle mayo, and garlic pepper sauce, to name a few. And the best part? All the products are fat-, gluten-, and cholesterol-free. 3p4shop.com.
Barrel House American Bar
Barrel House American Bar specializes in American comfort food; simple, traditional, and delicious—according to Sean Maher, one of three owners of Barrel House. On the menu, customers will find steak, oysters, even grits. Housed in a building that was constructed during the Depression Era, the restaurant has exposed-brick walls and uses reclaimed mill lumber. The cast pewter bar top is very much like those found in European bars. The focus is on cocktails and dining. There is an extensive wine list and, for beer lovers, the 19 draft lines offer plenty of choices. If beer isn’t for you, Barrel House staffers say they have the largest selection of whiskey on the North Shore. facebook.com/barrelhouse americanbar.
Stonewood Tavern in Peabody had a vision of offering diners an attractive environment that was warm and comfortable, and it has done so with rich woods and soothing colors. The menu offers Angus sirloin burgers; homemade soups and chowders; gourmet salads and sandwiches; local fresh seafood; hand-cut fresh pastas; and seasoned grilled meats, all prepared in an open exhibition kitchen. While the restaurant caters mainly to a more mature crowd, there is live entertainment Thursday through Saturday, with upbeat ’80s, ’90s, and Motown music. stonewoodtavernpeabody.com.
Located in Salem, Life Alive offers whole foods for people on the go. Recently opened, the restaurant is already busy, especially at lunch. It is through word of mouth that most patrons find this restaurant. The most popular dish that even meat lovers ask for is called “The Adventurer,” which is filled with sesame ginger nama sauce combined with a mix of corn, beets, broccoli, dark greens, shredded cheddar, tofu, and tamari almonds over quinoa and short-grain brown rice. Add fresh juice, a smoothie, or a selection of teas from all over the world. lifealive.com.
Fisichelli’s Pastry Shop
With 97 collective years of only baking at the original Fishichelli’s in Lawrence, the pastry shop is expanding to Main Street in Andover. Nina Fisichelli Gaffny is the third generation of the family to run the business; she took over 20 years ago and still bakes pastries with the 100-year-old handmade oven that her family has used since first opening in 1915. The shop ships its goodies anywhere in the U.S. and they carry 42 different kinds of pastries, including cannolis, lobster tails, rum cakes, and strawberry shortcake. A bigger seller is the custom cakes that come with whipped cream instead of frosting. Having earned scores of loyal clients at its original Lawrence location, Fisichelli’s brings its beloved baked goods to downtown Andover. fisichellispastryshop.com.
Scosso Ristoranti & Martini Bar
Looking for new dinner choices at the mall? This restaurant and martini bar opened its doors at the Northshore Mall in Peabody in October. The space is an upscale Italian restaurant serving prime steaks, veal chops, and pork chops. Visit for a romantic date with that special someone, or show the boss your excellent taste. The martini list is impressive; 75 unique mixes are made with fresh ingredients and fruit purees. Want to sit outside during nice days? Scosso also offers outdoor dining. scosso.com.
If you’re looking for a regular place to dine and eat Italian food, look no further than Yannalfo’s in Marblehead. “I’ve always enjoyed customer interaction, and I want to get to know the customers and ask about their lives,” says owner Brett Yannalfo. “I want it to be like Cheers.” With a menu offering casual fare, like chicken parmesan and chicken marsala, plus a kids’ menu, it’s priced to include the whole family. yannalfos.com.