Sep 072016
 

salem-spirits-trolleyThe booming craft maker scene in Salem is getting its own tour! Salem Spirits Trolley launches a new excursion focusing on locally made cider, spirits, and beer beginning Friday, Sept. 9th.

“We are thrilled to offer this fantastic new tour to both locals and visitors,” says Salem Spirits Trolley founder and owner Karen Scalia.  “Salem’s renowned and award-winning food scene now has a great companion with its outstanding craft beer, cider and spirits scene.”

The tour will include stops at Far From the Tree Cider, Deacon Giles Distillery and Notch Brewing.

Hosted by emcee comedian Mark Scalia, the Salem Spirits Trolley offers an entertaining and unique look at Salem, from the waterfront to the historic McIntire District. The 3-hour tour includes a special spice tasting, which showcases what spices are used in the making and distillation or brewing process, followed by tastings at each tour location.

Transported by the Salem Trolley, guests have the opportunity to talk with the local crafters about their process and passion, and get a behind-the-scenes perspective on the distilling and brewing process, as well as its relevance to the story of Salem.

Like Scalia’s Salem Food Tours, the experience is not just about the local samples, but about the connections between the spirits, the spice trade, and Salem’s history.

Additional tour partners include Salem Spice and the Cheese Shop of Salem, sharing more of Salem’s rich retail and culinary scene with participants.

The concept came to Scalia, who founded Salem Food Tours in 2010, after two of the local makers, Far From the Tree Cider and Deacon Giles Distillery, impressed her with their extraordinary products and special locations.

“Like our terrific Salem chefs, I wanted to shine a light on what they were doing,” says Scalia, “Since the locations of the tasting room and distillery were not in close proximity, the concept of a trolley tour was born.  The addition of Notch Brewing to downtown Salem rounded out a fantastic experience.”

The Salem Spirits Trolley will offer regularly scheduled public tours beginning Friday, Sept. 9th, and private tours are available for groups. All ticket-holders must be 21+ and must sign a waiver before embarking on the tour. For more information, visit salemspiritstrolley.com.

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Jul 132016
 

Results are in, and the big winners are— all of you that frequent, support, and voted for Salem merchants in the 2016 BONS Survey. Northshore Magazine’s “Best Of North Shore” is a tradition that elicits a great deal of interaction before, during and after votes are submitted and tabulated.

OpusBy far the biggest winner of the year is Opus in Salem, pictured above holding 6 awards across 5 categories! Congratulations!

Here are the results indicating how Salem establishments rated.

Dine

Alfresco – Sea Level (Editor), Turner’s (Readers’), Finz (Readers’ Runner-up)

Bacon – Scratch Kitchen (Readers’) and Back Alley Bacon (Insider Tip)

Bakery/Bread – A&J King (Editor AND Readers’)

Breakfast – Ugly Mug (Readers’)

Clam Chowder – Turner’s (Readers’, Tie with Woodmans)

Farmers’ Market – Salem Farmers’ Market (Readers’)

Gluten Free– Life Alive (Readers’)

Indian – Passage to India (Readers’)

Italian – Bella Verona (Readers’), Firenze Trattoria (Neighborhood Notable Nosh)

Lobster Roll– The Lobster Shanty (Readers’), Longboards (Readers’ Runner-up)

Mussels – Sea Level (Readers’)

New Restaurant – Bambolina (Editor)

Pizza – Bambolina (Editor 3-way tie! With Papa Razzi and Short & Main), Flying Saucer (Readers’)

Seafood, Prepared – Turner’s (Editor AND Readers’)

Sushi – Koto (Readers’)

Vegetarian – Life Alive (Editor AND Readers’)

Waterview – Sea Level (Readers’)

Drink

After Work Drinks – Opus (Readers’)

Bar – Opus (Readers’)

Beer Menu – Sea Level (Editor), Gulu Gulu (Readers’)

Cocktail – Opus (Readers’)

Distillery – Rumson’s Rum (Readers’)

Hotel Bar – Tavern on the Green at the Hawthorne Hotel (Readers’)

Irish Pub – O’Neill’s (Editor)

Sports Bar – Sidelines (Editor), Tavern in the Square (Readers’)

Winery – Mill River Winery, Rowley-based vendor at Salem Farmers’ Market (Editor AND Readers’), Far from the Tree Hard Cider (Honorable Mention)

Indulge

Bake Shop, Pastry – Caramel Patisserie (Editor), A&J King (Readers’)

Candies – Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companie (Editor), Harbor Sweets (Readers’)

Chocolate – Harbor Sweets (Editor AND Readers’)

Cookies – A&J King (Readers’)

Live

Personal Chef – Fine Food & Cooking by Ricardo Sanchez (Editor)

Personal Training – CrossFit Iron Spider (Readers’)

Tailoring – Alterations by Rosa (Readers’)

Play

Family Hangout, Indoor – Peabody Essex Museum (Editor AND Readers’)

Festival, Fall – Haunted Happenings (Readers’)

Festival, Spring – Salem Film Fest (Readers’)

Festival, Winter – Salem’s So Sweet (Editor AND Readers’)

Golf Course, Private – Kernwood Country Club (Honorable Mention)

Museum – Peabody Essex Museum (Editor AND Readers’)

Park – Salem Willows Park (Readers’)

Tourist Attraction – Peabody Essex Museum (Readers’)

Renew

Barbershop – Paxton (Editor)

Hotel – Hawthorne Hotel (Readers’)

Yoga – Yoga Sakti (Editor 3-way tie AND Readers’)

Shop

Beauty Products – Rouge Cosmetics (Readers’)

Bike Shop – Salem Cycle (Readers’)

Books – Wicked Good Books (Readers’)

Cheese Shop – The Cheese Shop of Salem (Editor AND Readers’)

Clothing, Women’s Upscale Boutique – J. Mode (Readers’)

Consignment – Modern Millie (Readers’)

Gifts – Peabody Essex Museum Shop (Editor), Roost (Readers’)

Makeup Selection – Rouge Cosmetics (Readers’)

Yoga Apparel – Yoga Sakti (Editor AND Readers’)

Mingle

Dancing – Rockafellas (Readers’)

Girls’ Night Out – Opus (Editor)

Late Night Nosh – Howling Wolf (Readers’)

Singles’ Night – Opus (Editor AND Readers’)

You can check out the full list at Northshore Magazine.

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Jun 052016
 

Get ready to fill the cupboards, shelves and refrigerator with the best of the best of fresh, nutritious and diverse foods that local farmers can produce as the Salem Ma Farmers’ Market returns this Thursday, June 9th.

SFM  June 2016A who’s who of local farms will help kick off the 8th season in Derby Square, along with music and pop up booths from community organizations. (Vendors with a red asterisk* will be here every other week)

FARMS

Clark Farm In the Hobart/Clark family since 1728, Clark Farm is one of America’s Founding Farms. Out of Danvers. website | facebook

Gibney Gardens One of our many awesome farms. Out of Danvers.

Grant Family Farm Produces vegetables, cut flowers, and eggs. Out of Essex. website | facebook

Heavens Harvest Farm A 17 year and counting Organic Farm, certified by Baystate Organic Certifiers. Out of New Braintree. website | facebook

Long Hill Orchard Growing since 1896. Out of West Newbury. websitefacebook

Maitland Mountain Farm An Urban Small-Plot Farm (with pickles). Out of Salem. website | facebook

Wally’s Vegetables One of our many awesome farms. Out of Haverill.

SEAFOOD

A&J Lobsters Lobster. Out of Danvers.

Rowand’s Fisheries Serving the Northshore with fresh seafood since 1959. Out of Beverly. website | facebook

BREAD

When Pigs Fly Many kinds of bread. Out of York, ME.

PASTA

Valicenti Pasta Farm Fresh pasta, seasonal ravioli & farmstead sauces made with ingredients grown on the Farm and sourced in New England. Out of Hollis, NH. website | facebook

CHOWDERS

Fishwives (Mandy’s Wicked Chowdah) All Natural – Gluten Free Chowders & Bisques. Out of Marblehead. website | facebook

SAVORIES & SWEETS

Auntie Elsie Oatmeal Crisps* A modern take on the classic oatmeal cookies, a handcrafted premium crisp. Out of Belchertown. website | facebook

Grammy’s Bakery Baked goods (cheesecake, cupcakes, and a variety of cookies.) Out of Salem.

Honey Pot Maple Farm* A Massachusetts producer of Honey and Maple Syrup and Maple products. Out of Wilmington. website | facebook

Jodi Bee Bakes A vegetarian bakery & café that specializes in all-natural pastries and savory items, including several vegan and gluten-free selections. Out of Salem. website | facebook

La Creperie  Sweet and Savory Crêpes made to order. Out of Beverly. facebook

Powerhouse Juice An all natural juice bar offering cold pressed juice, smoothies. Out of Lowell. website | facebook

PREPARED FOODS

All Fruit Inc* Dried fruit and nut mixes. Out of Salem. website | facebook

Cauldron Fermented Foods Fermented foods: Black and White Sauerkraut, Firecracker Carrots, Dilly Green Beans. Out of Boston. websitefacebook

Milk and Honey Cheeses and meats. Out of Salem. website | facebook

TEAS, HERBS, SPICES

Salem Spice Spices and spice blends. Out of Salem. website | facebook

WINES & HARD CIDERS

1634 Meadery*  Honey-wines made from local ingredients and specialty meads from varietal honeys. Out of Ipswich. website | facebook

Far From The Tree Cider Making small batch craft hard cider. Out of Salem. website | facebook

Mill River Winery Wine. Out of Rowley. website | facebook

JEWELRY

Heritage Handmade Handcrafted Items made by artists with disabilities, Primarily Jewelry. Out of Peabody. website | facebook

BED, BATH & HOME PRODUCTS

Bare Cheek Beauty* Handcrafted natural skincare products. Out of Gloucester. website | facebook

Just Herbals* Herbal Teas (Locally grown), Fine Cider, Elderberry Syrup, Herbal Body Care Products, Medicinal Herb Starts. Out of Ipswich. websitefacebook

Salem Soapworks Handmade goat’s milk soaps, bath and body products. Out of Salem. website | facebook

SNAP/EBT CARD

And being on a tight budget is no excuse to not eat healthy if you want to. The Salem Farmers’ Market also accepts the SNAP/EBT card.

Just head over to the designated Farmers’ Market table (located off Front St, on the Lobster Shanty side). Ask for the Market Manager. Select how much you wish to spend using your SNAP/EBT card and he will give you tokens valued at $1, $2, or $5. Then shop using the tokens as cash. Certain restrictions apply. Information provided at the table.

The 2016 Edition of the Salem Ma Farmers’ Market is made possible by Salem Main Streets, City of Salem, Salem Chamber of Commerce, Salem Five, and Endless Energy.

Be there this Thursday from 3-7pm. Over 2000 people shopped last season at our Farmers’ Market. Join the crowd!

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Apr 032016
 

Wine  SpiritsInteract with wine & spirits in a different way this week, April 3rd – 8th, courtesy of the Hawthorne Hotel. More than classes, these are full course “meals” in the art of sipping, listening, learning and being entertained by connoisseurs to become one yourself.

Speaking of entertainment, there will be tasty music to drink in afterwards from 6:30 to 8:30pm at Nat’s  which serves a modern European flair cuisine in a historic setting.

Wines can be intimidating, but you’ll cover the basics in a fun class that gets you to sip, slurp, swoosh and spit (if you wish). How do you best order wine in a restaurant? What does that gibberish on the label mean? Learn how to pair wine with food and walk away with renewed confidence in your wine skills!

Then listen to Molly Pinto-Madigan. Hailed for her angelic voice and haunting compositions, Molly won first place in WUMB’s Boston Folk Festival Songwriting Contest and was named “Artist of the Year” at Salem State University, her alma mater. She has submerged herself in the dark, luscious world of ballads, with the whisperings of the American and European traditional music.

Awaken the pirate in yourself! Salem’s very best Rum distilleries have it all; no rum-running here, but just a good old clash of two top local spirits. Let’s see who can impress you the most with their cocktail skills and vote on your favorite rum-style while learning about how distilleries work.

Afterwards, as the perfect Monday accompaniment, Kristen and Seth – a current Salem State University student and alumni – form a dynamic jazz duo that plays the upright bass and guitar, performing jazz standards and other music in a jazz style. .

From soccer to fashion to fast cars; Italians do it with passion. Come and educate yourself about Italian wines imported directly from the owner’s vineyard. And with that let’s get jazzy as The Cheese Shop of Salem owner Peter Endicott will pair up some smelly cheeses that will astound you in texture and flavors. Go on…you can do it!

Then stay for a live performance by Nick Consone, a singer/songwriter in the Boston area since 2004. His style ranges from blues to rock, from the 70’s all the way to top 40 of today. Nick is an active member in several different bands, all of which range in style.

If you already visited the Asia in Amsterdam exhibit at the PEM, you know that luxury is of all times, and nothing encompasses that more than sparkling wines. Cava, Prosecco and Champagne houses offer the more refined bubbles to enhance your palate. And what better combination than to share this with the top quality of Belgian chocolates?

Afterwards listen to Salem State University alumni Betty Bounce’s Gypsy Jazz Trio, performing music in the style of legendary Belgian-born jazz guitarist and composer Django Reinhardt.

The liquid gold of the south has gained much popularity in recent years. Whether you are a neat or on the rocks guy or gal, come taste the various styles of bourbon. And while you are at it, pair them up with some odd bacon bites to round up the night.

Then join Andrew DiMarzo, a local solo-acoustic act with influences from Andy Mckee to Martin Sexton, from Bernhoft to Glen Hansard. His sound can be said to be a mix of percussive-acoustic, funk, soul and folk music.

Come and listen to the brew masters of Salem’s Notch Brewery and Far From The Tree Cider on starting and improve your own home brew and get an insight into their stories. Obviously a few samples will be on hand to put the theory into practice or philosophically the practice back into theory, if that is even possible.

And stay in Nat’s for an evening with The Nick G Project, featuring Salem State University faculty member Nick Giarratani. Playing vocals and guitars Nick is joined at various times by some of Salem’s best musicians including Zach Bridges on upright bass, Seitu on steel guitar, guitar and vocals and Paul Dumas on percussion and vocals.

Salem may be known for spooky things like unseen ghosts, but each night this week, you will experience contact with real spirits (& wines). Tickets are only $15 per person, please order online. Local musical entertainment curated by Creative Salem. The Hawthorne hotel is located at 18 Washington Square W, Salem, MA. Call 978-744-4080 or 800-SAY-STAY .

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Mar 242016
 

We’re bringing the monthly Business Spotlight back!  Every month, Salem Main Streets will highlight a business in downtown Salem that might be relatively unknown, off-the-beaten path, misunderstood, or just plain cool. This month, we took a trip with our partner Creative Salem to get a sneak peek at an older business with a new vision. Thank you to Creative Salem for the amazing photo-documentation – you can see their glossier version of this article here.

RESIZED Melt Ice Cream collaboration with Salem Main Streets and Creative Salem_0468

What: Melt Ice Cream
Where: 60 Washington Street, Salem, MA
Owner: Christiana Kroondyk

Many locals got understandably anxious this winter when they saw brown paper on the windows of The Salem Screamery, a favorite ice cream parlor, but when we got the scoop (sorry, couldn’t help ourselves), the news ended up to be better than we could have anticipated.  After a year of operating the Salem Screamery, the current owner is finally transitioning the business over to reflect her own brand and vision. The results are simply delicious.

Salem resident Christiana Kroondyk isn’t afraid to do things a little unconventionally, with flavors or with business. Kroondyk first started dreaming about her own ice cream line during a 2009 vacation, when she visited an ice cream parlor with deliciously unconventional flavors and thought, “I want to do that!” She started playing with her own combinations at home a few years later, and came up with the concept of Melt as an artisanal ice cream line. The original plan was to start as a vendor at farmers’ markets and slowly develop the product over time – but when the chance came to buy the Salem Screamery last year, it was too good to pass up.

This definitely turned Kroondyk’s timetable around a bit – instead of establishing the product until she was ready for a storefront, she suddenly had a storefront before she had established her own product!  She made the decision to keep operating as the Salem Screamery for the first year, continuing to source from Bliss Bros. Dairy while learning the ropes of running a storefront business and slowly introducing her own, unique homemade flavors.  If you noticed new options popping up last year like pumpkin, sweet potato fluff, or anise with candied fennel seeds (!), you have an idea of where this is going.

RESIZED Melt Ice Cream collaboration with Salem Main Streets and Creative Salem_0501 RESIZED Melt Ice Cream collaboration with Salem Main Streets and Creative Salem_0539RESIZED Melt Ice Cream collaboration with Salem Main Streets and Creative Salem_0597

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what makes Melt different? Kroondyk’s vision for Melt has always included a strong focus on community and locally-sourced ingredients. Current flavors feature a number of ingredients from local, regional businesses, including coffee beans from Atomic Coffee Roasters (Salem), sea-salt brownie bits from Jodi Bee Bakes (Salem), chocolate from Taza Chocolate (Somerville), tea from MEM Tea (Watertown), nuts from That Nutty Redhead (Rockport), and candies from Sweet Lydia’s (Lowell).  The interior is open and inviting, including work by local artist Scott Froeschl (keep your eyes peeled for a mural coming soon). Last but not least, all ice cream is now made on-site in Melt’s beautiful, brand-new ice cream mixer! Kroondyk has also started making additional ingredients in-house, including homemade waffle cones.

Melt Ice Cream opens its doors on Thursday, March 24th, and will be open SEVEN DAYS A WEEK: for now, 1pm – 8pm on Sunday – Thursday, 1pm – 9pm, and Friday – Saturday.  Stop in to treat yourself and support a great new local business!

RESIZED Melt Ice Cream collaboration with Salem Main Streets and Creative Salem_0458

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