by, Muggsy Barnacle
Wimpy Kid indeed… Newburyport literary refugee Jeff Kinney’s next Wimpy book Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel is due to have a first printing of 6.5 million…an impressive number, yes…but let’s not forget the 85 million copies already sold of previous Wimpy books…Jeff is know around town as a nice fellow who couldn’t quite land a permanent gig locally so he had to move away…thank goodness he remembered to take his notebook full of doodles and writings with him…we last saw Mr. Kinney at the recent Newburyport Literary Fest where he drew an amazing 800+ kids and parents for a single reading!
…There is a superb alternative music magazine that is distributed around Our Fair City by the name of The Noise…for years they have been a staple of the Boston music scene, but now they have come to their senses ad relocated to Gloucester.
…A tip of the fedora to one Gary Monk, one of the largest personalities our seaside mecca has ever experienced…his laughter, resiliency, and intelligence makes him a special person…he has been missing in action these days, but we tracked him down and found that he is tending bar a few days a week at Neburyporter David Brown’s celebrated Shea’s Restaurant on Essex’s famed Causeway…the spectacular water view, first class menu, and Mr. Monk’s overwhelming presence make this a must stop along the waterways of Essex.
…We were mucho impressed to see our own Ten Center Street (a Pike Street neighbor) included in a recent Boston Sunday Globe Magazine’s list of nine private dining rooms…the list is star studded, heavenly in taste, and – yes - rich in price…there were only nine chosen…the list includes such fabled dining spots as Grill 23 & Bar (Boston), Blue Ginger (Wellesley), and Tosca (Hingham) plus some stunners you may not even heard about…wait until you read about Essex’s Apple Street Farm!…here’s the skinny from the Globe: “In coastal Newburyport’s charming fine-dining restaurant, New England fish and seafood are, of course, the focus, along with local farm-to-table cuisine. Sit in the cozy, private Garden Room with 25 to 70 guests for a contemporary American feast.”…the room fee is $200, plus $30 to $44 per person for food (not including beverages, tax, or gratuity).”…that fee, my friends is but pocket change with some of the other restaurant’s charges.
…Twenty years ago Donna Welch came up with the idea of Great Chef’s Night to benefit the Anna Jaques Hospital…talk about a grand idea…it is still wildly successful…it is said hospitals often have a guardian angel looking over them…we know AJH does and her name is Donna Welch.
…The Daily News recently ran a feature story of various restaurants that have introduced or continued outside good weather dining with umbrellas and tables…there’s people, color, and motion both downtown and along the waterfront…it makes all an exciting seaport.
U R What U Eat
We are introducing an occasional segment to this column…about your favorite Newburyport restaurants…unfortunately, course, the first one we received lists only a Rowley dining spot…Duh!… here’s a few of your faves this time around from Sarah Delaney, Newburyport’s Wired poster girl likes Glenn’s Galley and Cool Bar simply the best food. Menu has variety, creativity and humor. Also fabulous music on Sundays…Enzo Restaurant + bar : Best cocktails & wine list in town. Superb sublime! food, beautiful restaurant design. Jewel in the Crown: consistent, flavorful & the nicest wait staff in town. Bonus: open on Christmas!
Buttermilk Baking Co can make you want to put Jennie Craig on hold. There’s a new owner, new attitude. Mixing classic recipes with new irresistible takes on pies & tarts.
Phil Gardella, finance rock ‘n’ roll guy likes Ceia Kitchen + bar, Ten Center Street, Grog, Loretta, and Giuseppe’s Fresh Pasta & Fine Foods
Karen Cameron, The Belle of Plum Island likes Loretta, great taste of New Orleans choices, Michael’s Harborside, Angie’s, Purple Onion, and Beachcoma.
Al Badger, a budding writer in the Mickey Spillaine mode and a rock ‘n’ roll dad eats only eat at five local restaurants Taffy’s, Angie’s, Starboard Galley, Agave Mexican Bistro, and Black Cow Tap & Grill.
…Agave deserves a compliment for the new bar…not only is it well done aesthetically but now provides a much needed expansion for the wait to get in to eat. In fact on the weekend even it is not enough added space!
…Pat Billy Goat, Georgetown novelist enjoys The Grog… always, Not Your Average Joe’s…outside on summer day, great… Taffy’s for straight service and breakfast…quiet.
Muggsy Barnacle always likes Ceia. They recently changed over the entire menu with the exception of its burger…now, that’s confidence…would be comfortable in Boston or Manhattan…fine foods and wines served by a comfortable staff within a relaxing atmosphere…dishes are rewarding in a cutting edge style yet with classic tastes…an awesome experience. Also, The Grog. If you haven’t been to the Grog you haven’t been to Newburyport…menu is tried and true…its burgers and chowda have been drawing crowds for 41 years…almost equaling its simple yet rewarding repasts is its intoxicating camaraderie, European/Old Yankee environs, art salon texture. Loretta, Muggsy to this one pre-grudged… turned off by the original sidewalk blockade, but that seems to be under better control these days plus so many friends have been given to raves about its No’ Orleans style short menu, long on tasty taste… I am now a fan. Also there is Park Lunch, Real food…real people…’nuff said… Finally, Mad Martha’s…there is no happier place in town or the beach…full of song, mirth, and spectacular fare…there are some incredibly good reasons that there are waiting lines…we just do not have enough space to elaborate, so go see for yourself…bring appetite and a celebration of Life…
Agnes & John Donovan, Plum Island food adventeure explorers say that they went to Not Your Average Joes because of a birthday coupon, but will return because of the people watching, outdoor Newburyport location, and reasonable prices. John had a great tasting margarita pizza. They also recently ate at Mission Oak and were pleasantly surprised. They had not been there in quite a bit and enjoyed the steak tips, which were cooked as asked; a generous portion and great tasting. They added that Debbie A is the best waitress and will go back.