Kokeshi seems to be nearing completion as the finishing touches are applied. The inside sports some killer murals, hanging vines, and a classic Kung-Fu arcade game. Just this week, Steez Design, of Beverly, painted a sign near the front entrance which will be on Lafayette Street just past Cheese Shop of Salem. We got a look at a sample menu this week and, although we can’t say too much about it, no one will be disappointed.
Black Arrow, Brenden Crocker’s new Manchester-by-the-sea project, is only a couple weeks away from opening. During a recent tour of the kitchen, Crocker enthusiastically described his vision for the new spot on Union Street, which will highlight the type elevated comfort food that has made a name for Crocker on the North Shore.
Sadly, Jack-Tar of Marblehead has announced that they will be closing their doors at the end of February. The couple that owns the restaurant, Scott Brankman and Emily Farnsworth-Brankman, decided to move back to the Saratoga Springs (NY) area to open a different restaurant. Jack-Tar has been a favorite neighborhood spot since it opened nine years ago. Marbleheaders won’t hang their heads for long though! The restaurant that will take its place has generated acclaim its own acclaim in a different town. We hate to leave you all to speculate
The Naumkeag Ordinary is playing host to an excellent chef, Chris Janian, on February 23rd. We think it’s been over a year since we’ve seen a prix fixe menu this enticing in Salem. We’re not allowed to say where Chef Chris normally works (cough), but he’s known for his consistently excellent execution and innovative menu. We’re very excited for this event. Smoked prawns, housemade fusilli, marrow marinara, rib-eye, foie gras…. and really nice wines with each course. See Naumkeag’s Facebook page for tickets and details.
We caught up with Chef Daniel Dugan at Finz Seafood on Pickering Wharf this week as he was rallying his team to prepare a dinner for their Cigar & Whiskey dinner. Guests seemed blown away by the food and delighted with the selection of whiskeys and cigars which they were able to enjoy on the Finz heated patio.
The good folks over at Maitland Mountain Farm have been hard at work developing new products to complement their popular pickles. Owner Andy Varela tells us that new items include a special Kimchi that will be used in the Kokeshi kitchen and pickled eggs that Notch Brewing carries on its snack menu.
The Deacon Giles Speakeasy is open for business! Rotating local bartenders prepare a variety of delicious cocktails in a very cool setting. All cocktails use the distillery’s own products which now include a dark rum (also, rumors of a new vodka release in 2017 abound). Owners Jesse Brenneman and Ian Hunter have added a new Dutch bar game called “Sjoelen” (think air hockey mixed with shuffleboard) and they are hosting a cool event honoring the movie The Big Lebowski on March 9th. Lebowski-themed food will be served by The Naumkeag Ordinary and, of course, White Russians will be served. Prizes will be awarded for the best costume. See Deacon Giles Facebook page for tickets.
Steve Feldmann and the gang are working hard on the new BBQ spot on Lafayette Street. When we found them, they were installing a new bar top made from an old bowling alley lane from Western Massachusetts. We learned that there will be ample outdoor seating in front of, and next to, the restaurant. We hadn’t really noticed the outdoor space before but it didn’t escape Feldmann’s keen eye. He plans to landscape it and add picnic tables and lighting to make a comfortable space to enjoy the BBQ stylings of Chef Todd Bekesha. Smoking’ Bettys