The Boston Globe recently wrote in a glowing review of Enzo Restaurant and Bar, “the economy can be rough on new restaurants, but we predict Enzo will flourish.” A relative newcomer to the North Shore Restaurant scene, locals believe this restaurant location is cursed. As a born and bred Bostonian and huge Red Sox fan, I am one to believe that curses can be broken, and Enzo is just the Restaurant to do it. There are many reasons I love this place, as it has become a “regular” spot for my husband and yes, my 9-year-old daughter. The tall windows, dimly lit tables and it’s brick loft feel are reminiscent of a bistro you may find in Park Slope, Brooklyn, or a seaside street in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. You will be treated as a regular but feel as if you are leaving Newburyport for a few hours.
Owners Dave and Mary Reilly have mastered the art of bringing food, friends and community together. Dave will most likely greet you with his smile upon arrival, an endearing touch in this day and age of faceless takeouts and chains.
Most recently they have highlighted a farmers market Sunday night menu that features some of the finest food, purchased that morning, by Mary at the adjacent Farmers Market. Local food purveyors showcase their ever-changing array of herbs, cheeses, fruits, bread, seafood and game under bustling tents. Mary looks attentively and brings the ingredients back to her kitchen and creates a unique three-course meal that sings.
On one such occasion our daughter ordered her favorite chicken under a brick, a pan-roasted half Freebird chicken with focaccia stuffing and butter-glazed rainbow carrots and baby turnips. She frequently asks at home, “Can you make that chicken they make at Enzo?” I simply retort, “No I can’t, but that’s a great idea, lets go!” My husband and I decided to split the market menu, as the soup was calling to me. The waitress brought out a generous sized bowl of “ spring onion & sorrel soup with a parmesan crisp and frizzled onions” and two spoons. Simply put, the flavors married together were divine. The creamy sweet onions stood out with a hint of the sharp, fresh taste of sorrel. The large, oval Parmesan Crisp was dipped into the bowl like a full sail. We broke and dipped this crisp until there were tiny little morsels mixing with the frizzled onions and the last bits of soup, which I quickly devoured. It was delicious! Another robust soup special recently served was a Roasted Tomato Soup and you can guarnantee those babies were local and delish.
The rest of the meal was just as enjoyable and interesting. The “braised beef ravioli with chard” was tender, flavorful and filling. Finally, we were a bit skeptical as to the “candied bacon ice cream sundae with salted caramel sauce”, but soon realized after the first bite it was a brilliant pairing of sweet and savory.
With a fantastic bar and beer, cocktails and wine carefully selected, Enzo is worth a visit if not a place to put on your “regulars” list.