Duckworth’s was hopping this morning as customers were picking up their beautiful Christmas cakes, all handmade by Nicole. This year, instead of little meringue mice scampering around the yule log, are chubby carmel nut turtles basking!
Can you imagine–sixty five years–truly an inspiration!
June 24th was my mother and father-in-laws 65th wedding anniversary. We’ve been celebrating all week and last night we had a beautiful dinner at Duckworth’s, our family’s go-to place for special occasions (and every other excuse to head to dinner there). Dinner was beautiful in every way, from the exquisite entrees, appetizers, and desserts to the outstanding service provided by Dan and Colleen. Thank you Duckworth Family for making our family’s celebration wonderfully memorable.
Here we are in Cincinnati on May 5th this past spring celebrating my father-in-laws NINETIETH birthday. He and his best friend Steve Marvin, also 90, have been friends since they were babies.
Note the cake decorated with a train scene. My father-in-law has been passionate about trains since he was a toddler, to the extent that he and his friend Bob Richardson founded theColorado Railroad Museum, which is located in Golden Colorado.
Wishing Everyone Peace and Joy in 2015!
Can you believe Tom still has that same leather jacket. It was lent to dozens of school and community plays–think West Side Story!
That’s Tom’s selfie–he’s the original selfie-maker–or at least I had never seen anyone do that before. It’s not that easy to make a selfie with a film camera. He did it so effortlessly, but then again, he can also draw upside down!
Wednesday morning East Gloucester was especially beautiful although, is anywhere not magically beautiful after a new fallen snow? While photographing around the neighborhood, I nearly ran into Frieda on her way into her shop, Again and Again (with lots of terrific gift items for last minute shoppers). After photographing down by the North Shore Art Association I stopped in to say hello to Frieda and Beth at Again and Again (see yesterday’s post).
Leaving the shop, and while admiring Duckworth’s wreath and lovely holiday decor, I met Ken Duckworth outside his bistro. We had a friendly chat and I was reminded of what a fabulous neighborhood is ours. At that moment I was thinking not of the beauty that surrounds, but of our wonderful neighbors.
Dinner at Duckworth’s Bistrot anytime of the year, but most especially during the holidays, is always a very special treat. Plan to go soon for your Duckworth’s fix because I believe they close for several weeks during. January.
Ken Duckworth graciously shares his recipe for the most divine lobster risotto!
Friday night we celebrated my husband Tom’s birthday at Ken and Nicole’s fabulous restaurant, Duckworth’s Bistrot. Located on East Main Street, which runs along Gloucester’s working inner harbor, it is a mere 100 steps from their front door to ours, although whenever entering Duckworth’s, I feel transported and am reminded of the lovely bistrots dotting Parisian neighborhoods and seaside ristorantes along the Amalfi coastline. Cosmopolitan, yet neighborly, with its intimate and inviting atmosphere, Duckworth’s is my and my family’s favorite restaurant for special occasions—birthdays, anniversaries, graduations—truly any celebration gives reason to call for a reservation!
Chef Ken Duckworth draws from myriad influences, American and international, and the ingredients are pure New England. Captain Joe & Sons supplies fresh lobsters daily, the shrimp is wild caught and from domestic waters, and produce, eggs, and cheese are provided by local farmers. Changes to the menu are made day to day, depending on the seasonal availability of ingredients, although there are several dishes that are nearly always on the menu including Ken’s beautiful fruits of the sea stew, the crispy polenta and portabella mushroom appetizer, and my all time favorite, the lobster and vegetable risotto, with sautéed greens. All the desserts are made by Nicole Duckworth and with notice, she is able to create made-to-order cakes for special occasions.
Andy, who also works in the kitchen, was our waiter Friday night, and over the years we’ve gotten to know Dan and Michelle. The staff is one of the reasons why a night out at Duckworth’s is always joyful experience. Thank you Duckworth’s for making my husband’s birthday so delightfully delicious and enjoyable!
Duckworth’s Bistrot Lobster Risotto
Lobster Sauce (yield 1 qt)
6-8 Med lobster bodies split in ½ lengthwise
1 large yellow onion, medium dice
2 carrots, med dice
4 ribs celery, med dice
4 fennel stalks, med dice
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
pinch of saffron
¼ cup tomato paste
zest of 1 lemon
½ cup brandy or cognac
1 qt milk
1 qt lt cream
4 oz butter
- Melt butter in heavy casserole, add lobster bodies and sauté for about 3 minutes on both sides. Remove bodies leaving remaining butter and liquids in pan.
- Add all vegetables and cook until slightly caramelized
- Add bay leaves, saffron, zest, and tomato paste and cook for a few minutes
- Add brandy/cognac
- Return bodies to pot and add milk and cream
- Bring to simmer and refrigerate overnight
- Next day return to heat, bring to simmer and reduce to sauce-like consistency
- Stain thru sieve pressing bodies and vegetables with a ladle
- Strain again thru chinois and season with salt and cayenne
Lobster risotto, serves 4
½ cup small diced onion
1 ½ cup Arborio rice
3 cups chicken stock or water
4 one pound lobsters, cooked and picked, meat cut into chunks
3 tbsp butter or oil
- Bring liquid to simmer in pan
- In another pan melt butter, sauté onion until soft. Add rice, stirring until rice is thoroughly coated and slightly toasted. Add 1 cup of liquid and cook until absorbed. Continue on low heat adding ½ cup of liquid at a time until rice is al dente.
- Fold in lobster meat, any blanched vegetables you like and about 2 cups of sauce. Stir until everything is incorporated.
- Check seasoning
- Remaining sauce can be frozen or kept in the refrigerator for about a week.
- Let me know if you try Ken’s recipe, either at home or at the restaurant. You will find yourself in epicurean heaven, I promise!