Tag Archives: French toast


The fabulous and fantastic brand new restaurant, Grove, opened this past week. The restaurant is part of the Briar Barn Inn, spa, and art gallery complex, which is located at 101 Main Street in Rowley. I was invited to attend a soft opening by my friend Sarah Boucher, Briar Barn Inn’s Director of Sales and Marketing, and had the joy of sharing breakfast with her charming husband Jeff and their adorable daughter Cordelia.

The country-style restaurant is simply beyond gorgeous, with soaring post and beam ceilings and natural light spilling in all around. The beautiful light fixtures create a warm, ambient glow and the furnishings are an inviting mix of modern comfort with Swedish farmhouse style and country French.

The restaurant is not only open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch, but the space is ideally perfect for small to mid-sized weddings, as well as a host of events including company meetings and parties. And the staff is wonderfully kid friendly, too 🙂

If you have ever attended a wedding or special event at Willowdale Estate, then you know of their renowned catering team and how exquisitely delicious is the fare. Chef Ben Lightbody, Willowdale’s Executive Chef, is also the Executive Chef at Grove, and he has created an outstanding menu.

I really don’t need to say more, but just in case you have never sampled Willowdale’s offerings, Grove’s French toast, with cinnamon crème anglaise, is the best French toast I have ever had, and I make really good French toast. The outer layer was a thin perfectly butter browned crust, while the bread was moist and tender inside. The cinnamon crème anglaise was pure perfection and the candied pecans made for a wonderfully crunchy counterpoint. I cannot wait to bring my family and try lunch and dinner!


Sunday: 9:00am – 9:00pm

Monday: Closed

Tuesday – Thursday: 7:30am – 9:00pm

Friday: 7:30am – 10:00pm

Saturday: 9:00am – 2:00pm

* Alcoholic beverage service begins at 11am

Call or Email for Reservations:

978-484-5166   |   Grove@BriarBarnInn.com

Panetonne French Toast for a New Year’s Day Brunch Treat

Did you know that panettone makes wonderful French toast?

Panetonne French Toast -- ©Kim Smith 2013 copyWe make French toast with panetonne during the holidays and it is always a much appreciated hit. Give it a try—your family will love you for it!

4-5 eggs whisked

1 ½ Cups whole milk

2 tsp. vanilla

pinch of salt

6-8 slices of panettone, cut into slices roughly ½ inch thick, and arranged to fit your baking dish,

Optional: add grated orange zest and cinnamon to the batter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter 9 x 12 inch baking dish. Dip panetonne in batter. Arrange slices in pan and pour any remaining batter over bread slices. Up to this point the French toast can be made ahead of time and set aside until ready to bake. Refrigerate if longer than half an hour. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown and puffy. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.

Panetonne French Toast ©Kim Smith 2013