Saturday, December 28, 2013

Through the Grapevine

We know that one of the reasons people come to Salem is because there are so many wonderful aspects to our small city.  One of the advantages we have here in #SalemMA is the fact that we have so many excellent restaurants, most of which are within an easy walk of the Hawthorne Hotel. While our two restaurants at the Hawthorne Hotel are rated in the top three of all restaurans in Salem, we know that many of our guests stay with us for multiple nights and want to be able to try more differing experiences by dining out some of the nights they are with us.

One such restaurant is the Grapevine, which is located only one block from the Hawthorne.  The Grapevine changed hands earlier this year, and the entire restaurant was renovated, and a new menu was created for it.  The focus is on Mediterranean cooking, with an amazing wine list, arguably one of the best wine lists in Salem.  In fact, the wine service was one of the most enjoyable aspects of our recent visit.

Here are some photos I snapped with my iPhone.

 A simple tablesetting and clean design puts the focus on the food and wine.
 The window coverings are cleverly made of grapevines woven into "shades".
 One of our favorite wines was the Cellar Can Blau which is a lovely, berry-ful rich red wine.  Delicious!  One of the things we enjoyed the most about their wine by the glass service is that they offered us tastes of each wine before we committed to the glass -- and that was very helpful.  They also offered a large selection of wines by the glass, with 30 different choices.

Our appetizers of Steak Tartare $14 (above) and the Lamb Duo $14 (below) were both very tasty.
The lamb duo consisted of a lolliop chop on eggplant-almond caponata, and a lamb kasseri turnover in filo, served with Greek yogurt.
 Probably the most successful dish that we tried was this entree of Pan Seared Scallops, Truffled Lentils, Roasted Corn and Pancetta Relish, and Sauce Americaine, for $28.  The scallops were perfectly cooked, and all the flavors worked extraordinarily well together.

The other entree we tried was the Sopa de Pescado, which consisted of local cod, clams and shrimp, served in a tomato-saffron broth, served with grilled rustic bread.
 The bread pudding came highly recommended, and one bite was all I needed to see why.

Bread Pudding

Golden Raisins, Bourbon-Butterscotch


$8Poached Local Apples

Spiced Port, Pumpkin Spice Cake, Pavan Creme Anglaise
The local apples poached and served with pumpkin-spice cake was seasonally very appropriate.

In addition to dinner each night, Grapevine also serves a nice menu Sunday brunch, so if you cannot get in to Nathaniel's because we are completely booked (which happens often) you should give the Grapevine a try.

Here is a link to their website so you can check out both menus for yourself:

If you want to make reservations at Grapevine, give them a call at 978-745-9335, and be sure to tell them that the Hawthorne Hotel sent you.

I hope you enjoy your experience there as much as we did.


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