, Gloucester, MA

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July 24, 2013

Food for Thought: Culinary matron of the Gloucester waterfront

This is a portrait of a perfect traditional Gloucester meal.

Setting: the moon rising over a granite-calm Gloucester Harbor, framed by the masts of the Thomas Lannon, hemmed by the gray sides of Intershell Seafood, Mortillaro’s Lobster, North Atlantic Fish, and Cape Pond Ice, hardworking remainders of the Gloucester fishing Industry, with seagulls tipping against the dusk.

Atmosphere: an eventide hush off the boat-less, lapping waters, the occasional clink of china from inside the restaurant, a few muted voices from other tables’ conversation.

Service: warm and attentive

Wine List: two glasses of summer-evening white wines, both flattering to seafood, a Viognier and a Gruner Veltliner

The Meal: hot, plump, sweet steamers and a warm dish of pink lobster chunks baked beneath a cover of fresh, buttery crumbs.

This was dinner at the Gloucester House a few evenings ago.

I drive by The Gloucester House 10 times a week; it’s such a part of Rogers Street‘s cobbled architecture I don’t even see it anymore. I’ve been dismissing this Gloucester matron as a tourist destination for too long, but after the above serendipitous dinner with out-of-town friends, I learned the tourists know something I don’t — until now.

Run for 35 years by Lenny Linquata and his family, The Gloucester House also operates a wholesale lobster business. Eight lobster boats head out everyday to pull traps, so what better place to enjoy a fresh lobster at a great price? Linquata’s fish come from Intershell, Ocean Crest, and Steve Connolly, Linquata’s brothers-in-seafood on the harbor.

To repeat a bit, my steamers were fat, so sweet they were almost confections, and sandless. Linquata prides his restaurant on having clean steamers, washed a minimum of 5-6 times. As mentioned, the lobster dish was piping hot, chunks of delicious rich lobster dressed in nothing but toasted buttery breadcrumbs and lemon.

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