Olivia's by the Sea a try! The restaurant has just recently been opened by local businessman and philanthropist John Flaherty. He's done an amazing job quickly transforming what had been a simple sub shop for many years into a tastefully decorated, comfortable family style restaurant. I'd been admiring the gorgeous black and white photos of scenes from around Gloucester, and during the conversation they had been taken by John's daughter. A good example of the personal touch that has gone into creating a good atmosphere.
We'd actually been due to meet up with John for Social Capital Inc. business (what I do when I'm not cooking or blogging about it!). When he mentioned he'd been busy with this new restaurant, we eagerly suggested we'd come up and meet there.
Olivia's offers the traditional fried seafood you expect to find by the beach. I wasn't in beach mode, though, and wanted something lighter. I was pleased to see plenty of options in that department, and ordered the swordfish kabobs. The fish was tasty, and served with a side of rice pilaf and grilled asparagus--a nice seasonal touch. My colleague Karen had the scallops, which she also enjoyed. In addition to the seafood option, there are a variety of pasta dishes and subs offered.
As we nibbled on a side of onion rings, we heard about the cook that arrives in the wee hours of the morning to prepare the batter and chop onions for them...and the results are evident in the good taste! Similar effort is put into making the tartar sauce from scratch.
The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For now, it is BYOB (a nice way to save on wine!), though there are plans for a liquor license. They plan to stay open year-round, unlike many spots on Cape Ann. Thus, it should be a good option for locals as well as those heading to the area for the beach or to explore.