Tuscan Sea Grill & Bar
This is where coastal Italy meets coastal New England. We are at Tuscan Sea Grill in Newburyport, Massachusetts, which has to be one of the premier waterfront dining destinations in the entire region. We are about to dig into some of the absolute most mouthwatering lobster and pasta dishes you will find anywhere but before we do that, let me give you a little bit of a backstory behind the Tuscan Sea Grill.
When you hear the word Tuscan for a restaurant in New England, you may think of this guy Joe Faro, he is the founder and the Chief Food Taster from Tuscan Market and Tuscan Kitchen. This is their first and only seafood concept. Why? Well all you have to do is take a look around from any seat in the restaurant or out on the patio you are surrounded by the water and the boats and the fresh sea air so of course you have to serve fresh New England seafood with the Italian twist.
Where else would I start but with lobster and not just one lobster dish, they have four of the best lobster dishes I have ever tasted and I am not exaggerating. They are a lobster pizza, a lobster ravioli, a lobster roll and a lobster pie.
Let’s dig in the lobster pizza – homemade dough cooked in a blazing hot woodfired oven topped not just with little chunks of lobster I mean big old hunks of fresh shot New England lobster topped with some beautifully melted Vermont cheddar cheese and for that real taste of summer you have some sweet corn in there, some tomatoes, little bit of scallion. Every bite chock full of lobster and sweetness and freshness. It’s just incredible.
I mean there are lobster rolls and then there are lobster rolls, this baby is a beast. I’m actually having trouble holding it up. This thing is heavy. Just look at the size of the lobster meat piling up the top. I’m talking full claw, full knuckle meat, just a little bit of mayo, a little bit of celery, little bit of onion, that’s all you need. You have a giant lobster roll and you’re happy person.
So ravioli is delicious by itself and then you stuff it with that fresh shucked lobster meat, adding some butter and some corn and some pancetta, top a whole thing with some shrimp. This is a dish that gets better with every bite.
One more lobster dish and this one might have the biggest wow factor of all: the lobster paella. Paella is normally a Spanish dish but in this case they use risotto. It is saffron scented, and it is jam packed with everything you want from the sea: clams, mussels, monkfish, they also throw in some of their signature homemade chorizo and then chicken and then on top of big ol beautiful lobster tail. That’s a meal for more than one person unless you’re me, in which case, I ordered two for myself.
Now let’s go back in time to the start of the meal actually because I think appetizers are some of the best stuff on the menu. In fact, before you even get to the appetizers you start with some fresh baked Parker House rolls. These things are fluffy and buttery impossible to resist. Then you might want to get yourself some fresh shucked oysters from the raw bar. They always have a great selection. But I like starting my meal with the traditional Italian appetizer – meatballs with a beautiful fresh tomato sauce made with the Holy Trinity beef, pork and veal and of course a little parmesan.
My personal favorite way to start any Italian meal is with a salumi board. Get these beautifully sliced and seasoned meats like coppa and soppressata and prosciutto de Parma. And to round the whole thing out you have this local honey infused with truffles. I’m telling you, put this honey drizzle on anything it will raise it from here to here to ‘Oh my God’.
Now this is a restaurant that is so beautiful, you want to get dessert so you can linger a little bi. You can get this beautiful white chocolate macadamia nut cookie topped with housemade coconut gelato, but the one I definitely recommend is the olive oil cake. What is olive oil cake? Well imagine pound cake now imagine the best pound cake you’ve ever had. Now multiply that times 100 and throw on some housemaid pistachio gelato that’s the olive oil cake at Tuscan Sea Grill don’t miss it.
So honestly the food is the star attraction here but the location in the atmosphere might be the most spectacular part about Tuscan Sea Grill all the wood all the cool lighting the bar itself in the center of the restaurant, the semi open kitchen with the woodfired oven this patio with the fire pits and a nice cocktail telling you right now they just no other place like the Tuscan Sea Grill.