When I think about the first time I ate at G Bar & Kitchen in Swampscott, shortly following its opening last spring, the “day boat” of lobster pieces tucked into a homemade pasta sandwich with a creamy pink sauce left me wanting more.
“G” stands for Gregg Brackman, the owner and chef, who for three months worked on a 165-foot yacht, cooking for a Canadian billionaire with a food budget of $30,000. Then he opened his own restaurant in a small space on Humphrey Street in Swampscott with a would-be view of Fisherman’s Beach, except that the residential dwellings in the neighborhood block it. Through the floor-to-ceiling picture window, however, people-watching is at its best.
After hearing me rave about the food for months, my dining companion was eager to try the day boat, and on this particular Saturday night, it was a served with a salmon-filled pastry puff that he devoured with pleasure, but not before enjoying the crespella, a crepe filled with lobster, crab, and shrimp and covered in a tomato cream sauce. I ordered the petit filet with foie gras pate frosting served in an artful presentation with a side of stacked potato wedges. I also insisted we order a side of creamy lobster mashed potatoes, which did not disappoint.
The oven-braised lamb shank served over parmesan-butter Israeli couscous looked tempting as did the winter vol au vent, a crispy puff pastry filled with winter veggies on a bed of creamy baby spinach. Perhaps another time.
Sounds of Michael Buble filled the restaurant while we enjoyed our meal and sipped glasses of Pinot Noir from Sonoma’s MacMurray winery and a Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa.
Dessert is something you don’t normally need, but rather want, because once you find out Brackman makes everything personally, you can’t resist. We shared the tiramisu which proved itself worthy in satisfying our collective sweet tooth.
Although a bit on the pricey side, G is a nice alternative in this seaside town for those who want to enjoy upscale dining in a cozy atmosphere. -Fred Slenzo
Appetizer: Crespella ($10)
Wine: 2003 Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon,
Napa ($12 glass, $42, bottle)
Entrees: Day boat (priced daily), petit filet with
foie gras ($29), lobster mashed potatoes ($9),
American lamb shank ($28)
Dessert: Tiramisu ($8)
G Bar and Kitchen
256 Humphrey St.
Chef: Gregg Brackman