Dal Maré, the new dining hot spot in Beverly Farms, is, in a word, divine. With a sophisticated yet comfortable setting, a well-curated cocktail and wine list, and a classic American menu that is perfectly balanced between pastas, seafood, and steaks, you’ll want to make this one of your go-tos. Owned by Steve Martin and his wife, 25-year restaurant veteran, Marla Ciampa-Martin, Dal Maré recently took over Cygnet Restaurant and executed a complete redesign and menu makeover, rendering a space that is quickly becoming a local favorite.
“We wanted to create a high-end eatery casual enough for people to swing in wearing jeans, but also romantic enough for an anniversary or date night,” says Marla.
Steve adds, “We wanted it to feel like our patrons are sitting in their own dining rooms enjoying a wonderful dinner.” One colleague describes the soothing space as the interior of a fine yacht.
The couple brought on Ian Gallant as executive chef. Gallant brings over 15 years of experience in the culinary industry to Dal Maré. “I loved experimenting in the kitchen growing up,” says Gallant. And with his passion for cooking at a young age, it was inevitable that Gallant would find a career in culinary arts.
Gallant began honing his craft in Portland, Maine, studying under chef Wilfred Beriau and eventually working under award-winning chef David Turin. During this time, he learned the importance of farm-to-table cuisine and creating dishes with the freshest locally sourced ingredients.
After moving to Gloucester, he worked at the Capital Grille. During this time, he discovered and developed a talent for dry- and wet-aged meats and butchering. He further developed his culinary chops at Ocean Prime in Boston’s Seaport District, focusing on top-of-the-line seafood from around the globe.
“We did not want to change the menu completely from Cygnet, because they had such loyal customers,” he says. “For instance, there are four ladies who had come to Cygnet every Friday and ordered four chicken dinners. We introduced a pan-roasted thyme Statler chicken with a lemon citrus butter—we want those ladies to keep coming back!”
While keeping some of the favorite dishes, such as the chicken and the crispy Atlantic salmon with lemon and leek steeped cream, Ian added more steak and seafood options along with several pasta dishes. “All the pasta is made in house fresh every day,” says Gallant. The sauces are all made from scratch as well. The pappardelle Bolognese is made with braised pork, veal, and beef tossed with San Marzano tomatoes and Parmigiano Reggiano. The rigatoni carbonara is a classic egg and a Parmesan emulsion with garlic, shallots, and peppered pancetta and a hint of nutmeg.
When asked what his favorite dish is, Gallant says his go-to is the lobster and cod—a lobster beurre blanc–topped cod loin with buttered sweet corn, leeks, and pancetta.
“The menu also has an extensive ‘Bar Bites’ menu for those who would like to just snack and relax with a cocktail or glass of wine,” says Steve. “The bar staff had a hand in creating the inventive cocktail list, ” says Marla. Sommelier Mike Fiorito created a wine list that offers something for every palate with more than 80 choices on the list.
The apps include a goat cheese and basil ravioli made with just a few simple ingredients, but the result is a delicate pouch of savory goodness. The lamb lollipops with mushroom, red pepper and fig balsamic are another favorite. There are also classic offerings such as shrimp cocktail, jumbo lump crab cakes, and oysters on the half shell.
The desserts are equally tempting. They serve a classic crème brûlée and a pepper orange pound cake with lots of butter and candied orange—it’s one of their most popular sweet treats.
They may keep the menu and ingredients simple; however, the results are refined—this new gem has captured the essence of fine dining in every way.
24 West St., Beverly Farms; 978-922-9221; dalmarerestaurant.com