The menu at the new Superfine Food in Newburyport is packed with super indulgences—fans of the original Manchester location or the Marblehead spot that opened a few months ago know that the crunchy fried chicken is worth every calorie, as are the ribs and burgers. But we are here to tell you to try the veggies! You will not be disappointed.
Matt Gaudet, who owns the restaurant group along with Chris Robins and Paul Emmett, is in the kitchen, bringing a slightly expanded menu that can showcase his classical training and award-winning food. Gaudet was named Best New Chef by Food and Wine magazine in 2013 while helming his former fine dining restaurant West Bridge—and the award hangs proudly outside the kitchen. Tired of the grind of formal dining, Gaudet uses those same techniques on fun bites and comfort classics. So, the light fresh cauliflower dish gets an unexpected sweet salty bite from cured grapes. That said, nothing about the experience is precious.
“Bring your kids,” Gaudet says, noting that the Superfine concept is a chef-driven family casual restaurant—a place where you can get terrific food, sourced locally, perhaps a craft cocktail, and kick back while the kids crowd around the two-player Nintendo in the back. Long booths in the back were designed to accommodate a big family—or a crowd of friends—while the friendly service is efficient for those in a rush, but totally invites one more round if you want to linger.
The size of the Newburyport space, housed in the former Fowles newsstand, allows for a menu expansion—more snacks and sharables. Pizzas will soon be on the menu as at the other locations, and breakfast will be on offer as well.
Locals needn’t have been concerned about the iconic Fowles sign hanging outside—not only has the team set it to illuminate nightly, but they also preserved Victorian era wallpaper uncovered during the renovation, giving the front of the space a deconstructed feel.
Patio seating, like the café chairs and tables found in France, was arriving at press time, and will be set up in the French fashion, with the chairs facing the street rather than each other. “The only reason you’re sitting outside is to see and be seen,” Gaudet says with a laugh. “Why stare at each other?”
17 State St., Newburyport, 978-462-1815, superfinefood.com