Growing up, I spent a lot of time on the North Shore. My aunt and uncle lived in Topsfield and our good family friends lived in Gloucester. We spent many a weekend exploring the cute shops, local restaurants and of course, the beach.
One of our favorite places for family dinner was always Michael's Harborside in Newburyport.
As its name would suggest, the restaurant sits right on the harbor. While it does have a two level indoor dining room, the place to be is the roof deck.
Here is the million dollar view from the roof:
This past weekend I was in Rye, NH at the beach with two friends and we decided to have dinner at Michael's on the way back home to Boston. The hostess told us it would be a 90 minute wait to sit on the deck off the dining room, but we were welcome to try for a table on the roof. Those tables are first come, first serve.
We walked up the stairs to the roof deck and surveyed the situation. Then, like vultures, we circled for a table. I saw a couple paying their bill and like lightning, swooped in to ask if they were leaving.
Bingo! A table in under 10 minutes.
With drinks in hand (Twisted Tea for me, white sangria for them), we took a seat at a high top table. We were pretty hungry so decided to share an appetizer. We agreed on the fried pickles.
The pickles were deliciously battered and fried and served with a zesty mayo. Though we each commented how we prefer pickle spears for this kind of dish, this rendition was still quite tasty.
For our entree round, one friend ordered the ahi tuna burger. Look at that piece of tuna!
After a few bites I asked how she was enjoying the tuna and she said, "The tuna is seared perfectly and it's totally rare on the inside. The burger is on an English muffin that must have gone on the grill. I love the wasabi mayo, which gives it a nice balance of sweet and spicy. This is definitely a generous portion. I only wish I had asked for chips instead of sweet potato fries!"
Next to her, a friend was enjoying the aforementioned chips alongside her crab cake sandwich, which was also served on an English muffin.
When asked about the crab cake she replied, "I don't often eat crab cakes, but this is so good. There is a ton of crab meat and the cake is moist. There is definitely a lot of butter on this English muffin. The best part is the chips on the side, which are sprinkled with black pepper."
Now, I knew when we decided to come to Michael's that I wouldn't wind up with a great meal. It's a seafood place and their veggie options have never been outstanding. I chose to have the veggie burger because I knew it was a safe bet and likely a store bought patty.
The burger was lackluster (as expected), as were the onion rings on the side. They were too heavily battered. I still think Wahlburgers in Hingham has the best onion rings.
The real reason to go to Michael's is for the spectacular view. Whether you stay for food or just have a few drinks, it's total heaven. On the first nice weekend of the summer there was absolutely no place I'd rather be.
Have you been to Michael's Harborside? What other spots do you love on the North Shore?