North Shore Adventures: Bancroft & Co

I have always preferred the north shore to the south shore for my New England summers. I prefer the landscape, the smaller crowds and the less packed highways getting to and fro. I was recently invited as a guest to Bancroft & Co. Peabody. As always all opinions are my own and I have been a frequent diner at the Burlington location for many years now.

In the past, dining on the north shore for us city folk mean heading to a favourite seafood shack. That has changed over the years not only because local gems can be discovered thanks to Eater, Yelp, Facebook groups, and blogs, but also the quality of restaurants that used to be hard to find outside the city are growing rapidly.

Bancroft & Co. first opened in Burlington over at 3rd Ave, which has a nice collection of stores and restaurants. I have been several times to meet friends for lunch, celebrate birthdays, and to enjoy a cocktail hour to catch up with a fellow moms who I haven’t seen in a while. Recently, I was invited to check out Bancroft and Co.’s sibling up in Peabody and I have to say I think I have a major crush on the younger brother: Bancroft & Co., Peabody.

To be fair they are both sexy as heck and make you feel like you’ve known them forever. You are family when you walk in. It is the kind if feeling you can only truly get from family owned establishments. The vibe of a restaurant (or crush) can only take you so far though. What keeps you coming back for more is the substance. From house made sodas (ask for them less sweet 1st – they can always go sweeter) to a nice selection of well made cocktails your thirst will always be quenched.

Bancroft and Co. is set up in a way that it feels appropriate heading there for a family dinner out but it is also the place you want to book for a really special celebration just the two of you or with a group of your very best VIPs.

I have been for dinner, lunch and brunch between the two locations. Here are few of the dishes that I think are not to be missed.

The burger: moist and juicy without being greasy. I am not one who orders burgers that often, but this is one I’m going to order more than once. They know how to cook their meat so you get what you ask for. As for the fries, I don’t like truffle oil so I have to ask for them without it. For those who love that little extra je ne sais quoi these are the ideal fries, just a little extra umami.

Brunch: These are my three favourite brunch dishes and I will tell you why. Let’s start top right: quiche.

This is the most delicate quiche I have ever had. The eggy inside was as light as a fluffy cloud but still flavourful and the pastry was rich and flaky, but just thin enough to do its job of holding the filling without overshadowing it.

Next, bottom right is the panna cotta. This citrus panna cotta was again perfectly made. The clean white look and flavours of this lemony creamy dish had just the right amount of gelatin to keep it together but not so much as to feel like you have crossed over into the land of Jello. The fresh berries and crunch of the nuts complete it fully.

Finally, the smoked salmon plate. In our family, every perfect brunch includes smoked salmon. This was one of the best smoked salmons I have had. It was not overly oily or salty. The texture was ‘melt in your mouth’. I love that it was served with these paper thin bagel chips and cucumber curls. Enjoy the salmon on cucumber with the cream cheese for a gluten-free bite, but even if you want to keep your carbs low, these thin bagel crisps fit the bill. I would say just order one of these for the table while you figure out what to enjoy next. I like onions and my husband loves capers. They are all there to be added on to your smoked salmon experience.

The fried chicken sandwich is crisp and tender with all the classic flavours. What I have been craving the most though is this perfectly cooked steak with vegetables.

Bancroft & Co., Peabody is located right off the highway so it is easy to get to whether you are driving home from a weekend in Maine and need a place to stop for dinner or are headed to the North Shore for some fun with family or friends.

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