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It’s another frigid night on the North Shore, and you’re in the depths of the winter doldrums. You’re contemplating grabbing your suitcase and wait listing yourself on the first flight south.
Not a bad idea, but we’ve got an easier solution for you: head for Passports where warm popovers, a convivial atmosphere, and a creative menu will cheer you up in no time.
We had a great meal last weekend at this popular Gloucester spot. There were tons of hot and cold tapas to choose from, followed by entrees that were far from run of the mill, and everything was extremely reasonable.
Older than Cape Cod, and very different
Gloucester is a very colorful and active seaport
By Walter Brooks with photos by Patricia Brooks
Man (or woman) does not live by scenic views alone – the palate must be pleased as well, and we discovered three local restaurants which were worth the drive alone.
The first night we found Passports which had a completely original menu.
The mussel stew on right was really amazing, and my wife said her Thai Carmeized Duck was the best she’d ever had of this fowl, and the house favorite, Sister’s Haddock, was memorable.
Click The Pic To Go To The GDT Website For The Videos
“Watering mouths waited on one of the most popular dishes of the night, Passports’ seared Escolar — also known as “white tuna” or butterfish — coated with a South African cinnamon chili dry rub and served with roasted Granny Smith apples, spinach and butternut squash and finished off with a drop of truffle honey.
“The blend of flavors is ridiculous,” said Jeremy Guyotte, a chef at Passports who came up with the recipe. “Spicy cayenne, sweet cinnamon and finish off with the truffle honey; it’s amazing. When we make it as a special at the restaurant, it always sells out.”
Passports’ owner Eric Lorden said the restaurant has been making it since around March this year, after they came up with it for a wine dinner. The blend of spices created an incredible mix of smells that was attracting customers from across the room.”
With the “Grown Ups” gang now filming in Essex, Adam Sandler and his castmates are showing up on the North Shore. Sandler dropped into Palazolas Sporting Goods in Gloucester the other day and bought tennis racquets for his children and sneakers for himself. Sandler’s costar Salma Hayek, meanwhile, took an exercise class at the YMCA in Gloucester and ate lunch at Passports, which she liked so well she recommended chef/owner Eric Lorden be hired as Chris Rock‘s private cook.
Chef Eric was recently featured in Northshore Magazine.
“Gas is the fastest, but it imparts the least flavor. You can’t beat a pot belly (charcoal- burning) Weber for 30 bucks,” says chef Eric Lorden. “I like to take firewood and add that to one side of the coals and grill on top of that. The firewood gives a smoky outdoor, back-to-the-caveman kind of flavor. My favorite cut of beef to grill is rib eye because I like fat; with fat comes flavor!” When it comes to seafood, he is more inclined to cook on gas. “That’s where you don’t want to impart a smoky flavor, say, onto the tuna or scallops.” An obviously avid griller, Lordon says, “Once I find something I really love to grill, I grill it all year round. I don’t care if there is a foot of snow on the ground; I go out with my boots on. Also, I hate to clean, and the great thing about a grill is that you can let it all burn off.” His favorite rub is called Montreal Spicy. “I use that and commercial barbeque sauces to enhance things.” 110 Main St., Gloucester, 978-281-3680