Nothing says Gloucester like fresh seafood.
“Yeah, because it’s old New England-style, right? You don’t go down to the Caribbean and not eat Caribbean food. You’re coming up to New England. You want chowder. You want lobster. You want to have all that good stuff. And that’s what we do. We have lots of things on our menus, but we have a focus on that fresh seafood. That’s what we do here.”
And at the Topside Grill that’s exactly what’s on the menu.
Located in historic Gloucester, just across the way from Habor Cove, Topside Grill is a come as you are spot serving fresh seafood, old school Italian…and all of that classic comfort food you know and love, according to owner Doug Silva.
“We got the seafood. We have the Italian food. We have the American food. But to put it simply, we have a lot of comfort food, too. You’re thinking your chicken pot pie and your lasagna all that good stuff, good hearty food.”
“It’s an old-school feel. We don’t try to overdue it with anything, different foods that you’ve never heard of, and you think you have to try it just because it’s cutting edge. We like to keep it to simple, fresh ingredients.”
And to match that casual comfort food- is a comfortable atmosphere with a killer view.
“You’ve got a nice beautiful view of the water. You’re gonna see sailboats coming by. You’re gonna see that nice working waterfront, fisherman coming and going. It’s absolutely beautiful.”
And just as big as the views are the portions.
“You’re not gonna leave hungry. That’s for sure. Usually you’re gonna leave with some leftovers. Although some people leave a little bit too full because they clean the plate absolutely. They can’t leave it on the plate.”
Since you’re seaside, seafood is a must at Topside…which always has customers commenting.
“I try to talk to every table as much as I can. And they say, “Wow, this seafood’s really fresh”. And I tell you, I point across out of the window, and I say, “See that? The ocean, if I’m not doing fresh seafood, I’m doing something wrong”
So there are big bowls of creamy dreamy lobster bisque, and that quintessential New England treat, clam chowder.
“You gotta have clam chowder. The clam chowder’s outstanding. It’s that thick, New England-style creamy, nice clams. You got your potatoes in there. It’s delicious.”
And speaking of clams, Topside has them stuffed and served as an appetizer.
“They’re made with chopped clams, our cheese crumb topping, clam stuffing. So you got some breading in there, some herbs and spices. They’re made up with an order of there, but people come in and get double orders, triple orders. They start adding on. “How many more clams can I get?” They really like them.”
There are Native Scallops wrapped in Bacon served with honey mustard, big bowls of paella, and a sandwich called Haddock New Brunswick. Made with fresh haddock that’s fried, then baked with loads of cheddar and topped with scallions and bacon, this sandwich is a customer favorite.
“They just get it, and they’re just like, “This is unbelievable. I don’t know how it all came together like this with the being fried and the being baked and the cheese and just putting it all together. I mean it’s a slice of heaven right there.”
But at Topside, some fresh Gloucester lobster is a must. There’s the overflowing lobster roll.
“If you’re coming to Gloucester, you gotta have a lobster roll. It’s fresh Gloucester lobster. Don’t leave home without it.”
And if you do happen to leave home hungry, the baked stuff lobster may be what you need.
“Our baked stuff lobster, it’s a whole lobster. We’re gonna crack that right open, fill it with our famous seafood stuffing made with crab meats, some pollock, bread, herbs, spices, fill it right up there, a little butter over the tops, some drawn butter. You’re getting that fresh lobster taste not overdoing it, just making good, good baked stuffed lobster.”
If seafood’s not your thing, Topside has you covered with everything from a tasty corned beef reuben to comforting housemade chicken pot pies- house made with a flaky puff pastry top, to some of the best short ribs around.
“Our short ribs are unbelievable. They melt in your mouth. You don’t even need a knife to cut them. You can use a fork. Beautiful sauce, nice beef stock. You’re talking mashed potatoes, your vegetables. If you’re a meat and potatoes kinda guy, you’re gonna love our short ribs. They’re absolutely delicious.”
And while there’s a whole section of the menu dedicated to Italian fare, you have to try Doug’s family’s recipe for lasagna.
“Everybody thinks, “Gloucester? Italian restaurants?” A lot of Italians don’t go out to eat around here because Grandma always makes it better. Mom makes it better. So when you have a lasagna or a or some Italian food that the locals come in and eat, and actually say, “Hey, this is Italian food. This is good”. You know you’re doing something right.”
And whether you go for Italian, Comfort or Seafood, it’s hard to top a meal at the Topside Grill.
50 Rogers Street