With views like this.
“The view is really something special here.”
And food like THIS.
“It’s just a fun menu that has no direction at all within it. And I think that’s what kind of keeps us exciting and fun.”
There’s no place quite like The Landing.
Located on historic Marblehead Harbor, The Landing Restaurant has been a local favorite since 1972. For the past two decades, Robert Simonelli has been the friendly face you’ll find making sure every customer is being taken care of.
“I think it was Danny Meyer that said people might not remember what they ate, but they’ll remember how you made them feel. And so we make you feel very comfortable here at The Landing, and we make you want to come back.”
And when it comes to the view, there’s not a bad seat in the house.
“The harbor itself is just it’s a special place. We have a town dock right in front of us. So we have lobstermen, fishermen. It’s just it’s something special really to see these guys working at it. And then we’re able to put it on a plate and provide it for everybody right here.”
And working with all of that fresh fish is Executive Chef Alex Pineda who took over the kitchen in 2021, ditching the old school seafood menu for a more contemporary global approach.
“We wanted to bring in a lot of influence from Latin America, from the Middle East, from Asia. Obviously we’re right by the water, a lot of lobster, a lot of seafood. But we do want to have some steaks and some meats. We wanted to keep it exciting and fun for everyone.”
Pineda is no stranger to the kitchen, following in the footsteps of his mother, acclaimed Boston chef, Lydia Shire.
“Definitely grew up in this industry with with my mother, Lydia Shire being who she is. It was such a incredible experience to be by her side all these years that I kind of just fell in love with it naturally, which is really great.”
Since you’re sitting right on the water, it would only make sense to kick off your meal with some fresh seafood. There’s the Asian inspired Tuna Tartare tossed in a sriracha aioli with pickled ginger and served with homemade chips. And addictive oysters, grilled with lime sriracha butter and fried garlic.
“We shuck them freshly we put them on our grill, and then we add the lime and Sriracha sauce. We put it over a bit of salt.You’re getting a little bit of the warmth. You’re getting the softness of the oyster, and then little crunchiness. And it just explodes in the mouth.”
That Asian flare is also present in The Landing’s Mussels- served in a curried ginger and lemongrass broth.
“The mussels are one of the dishes that people really crave here at the Landing, and we do them our special way in a curry broth. It’s a great flavor that you can smell them coming out of the kitchen with this curry flavor and ginger. It’s beautiful. But we also serve that with ciabatta bread. Fabulous stuff.”
The Landing offers an array of pasta dishes, from the unique Smoked Paprika Linguine spiked with chorizo, octopus and toasted hazelnuts. To the beautiful Fresh Corn Risotto.
“We make a beautiful little corn puree. And then a basic classic Italian risotto that we just add the the puree to some grilled corn kernels on top, and a little charred scallion oil on top that we really love. It’s very sweet and savory at the same time, it’s got a really good umami to it.”
And while this isn’t an Italian restaurant, Robert stands by The Landing’s bolognese.
“I’m Italian. Simonelli. This is the real bolognese, pork, veal beef, simmered for days. And we have such a great following on this dish being a seafood house. But people come in for that. If you think you know, Bolognese, you got to have to try ours. It’s delicious.”
The entrees at The Landing range from seafood standards like Crispy Haddock to sophisticated Salmon paired with coconut rice and papaya salad.
“It’s coconut rice, mango salsa, and a papaya salad with like a fish sauce vinaigrette with some coconut chips. The salmon, it’s grilled, it’s charred. It’s got a lot of beautiful flavor, but with a freshness of everything else. It comes together really beautifully.”
And if seafood isn’t your thing, The Landing has you covered with options like this perfectly cooked steak with chickpea polenta fries. And the ultra crispy pressed chicken.
“It is just so succulent. It’s served with smashed fava beans, or ricotta and roasted garlic and the little Meyer lemon on the end just for that little tang on top of that chicken.
You’re absolutely going to love this dish.”
And you’re absolutely going to adore Chef Alex’s signature Cheese Ice Cream. A sweet that might sound crazy but it’s oh so good.
“People kind of get thrown way off. They’re like, you know, cheese and ice cream. It doesn’t make sense until they have it. And I think that’s the whole thing behind it. It’s throwing you for a loop creating this experience that is like memorable and that you’re always gonna be thinking about and continuously wanting to come back for.”
And for these two industry veterans, the work may be tough. But the love they have for it keeps them coming back day after day.
“At the end of the day, if you do it for the love and you love what you do, the business will come in the end. It’s all about the love.