We have seen the future of the American restaurant and—surprise!—it’s at Salisbury Beach.
Seaglass Restaurant and Lounge, which opened in July, is so ambitious, original, and unexpected that it dismisses the notion that it’s merely part of a Salisbury Beach revival. Instead of looking back and remodeling the nostalgia of the town’s faded past, Seaglass looks to the future and redefines for itself what a restaurant is, what it does, and how it serves its community and people.
The dining room with fireplace is large and open, offering cinematic panoramas of the beach and ocean just outside the window. The interior is modern and warmly inviting and is filled with earth-friendly materials, efficient environmental systems, and state-of-the-art lighting. New high-tech kitchen equipment uses less energy, wastes little water, and makes recycling easier. In other words, it’s a true green restaurant that has a positive environmental impact and sets a lofty example for other eateries to follow.
Even the menu by executive chef Scott Brandolini (with support from sous chef and brother Billy Brandolini), demonstrates thoughtful responsibility. Ingredients are—to the greatest extent possible—organic, locally produced, sustainable, and fresh. Dishes emphasize house-made preparations, healthy cooking (no deep frying here), seasoning that lets ingredients shine, and breathtakingly huge portions. Don’t forget to add “customer value” to the list of Seaglass virtues.
For example, our Smoked Salmon appetizer arrived with four substantial slices of tender, sweet, smoke-kissed fish from Ducktrap River of Maine, enough for a generous entree portion. This was excellent eaten atop wheat toast points with crème fraîche, crunchy capers, and chopped egg and onion.
Our Seaglass Signature Salad of Bibb lettuce, toasted walnuts, dried figs, Great Hill blue cheese, and red wine vinaigrette was capably prepared from quality ingredients, but it did lack that one note of distinction that might have made it more memorable.
The outstanding Captain’s Platter brimmed over with oven-roasted scallops, a giant stuffed clam, sauteed Arctic char, and a meal-sized bowl of creamy chowder chockablock with tasty fish and potatoes. A glass of peachy, crisp Echelon California Pinot Grigio was a fitting accompaniment.
The Rack of Lamb is just that—an entire rack of mild, tender lamb comprised of eight chops encrusted in Dijon mustard and herbs and served with pencil-thin grilled asparagus. For this, the Carpe Diem California Pinot Noir played a distinguished supporting role.
For dessert, we chose the Sixty-Second Chocolate Cake (that’s how long it takes to bake) served in a Jackson Pollock-inspired presentation of meringue, pastry cream, chocolate sauce, caramel, whipped cream, and raspberries. It’s pleasant and fun to eat, but a bit fancier on the plate than on the palate. Then came the High-Baked Apple Pie with a homemade crust served with a fabulous, show-stealing vanilla gelato.
The Seaglass experience reminds us that more and more, restaurants have the means and opportunity to do the right thing, which is to conserve resources, respect ingredients, and turn out dish upon dish of people-pleasing food.
Chef: Scott Brandolini.
Starters: Smoked Salmon ($12), Seaglass Signature Salad ($8).
Entrees: Captain’s Platter (Market Price), Roast Rack of Lamb ($31).
Dessert: Sixty-Second Chocolate Cake, High-Baked Apple Pie with Vanilla Gelato
Location: 4 Oceanfront North, Salisbury, 978-462-5800, seaglassoceanside.com.