Perched at the tip of Bearskin Neck, a rocky protrusion of cliffs and seaweed, where seagulls soar through the skies with fabulous views in the distance, you’ll find My Place by the Sea, a charming romantic seafood restaurant. Set in the heart of Rockport Massachusetts on the North Shore, the female duo behind this delicious culinary find is chef Kathy Milbury and partner Barbara Stavropoulos.
Imagine a place where all the details are perfect, the sunsets are stunning and the ambiance is relaxing yet surreal. The lights are diffused making it a perfect choice for a romantic night out or a celebration. In our case, we celebrated Anthony’s birthday, starting on the open upper porch so we could watch the sun set and thereafter moved into what I would call the perfect seat on the downstairs patio. Here, you can still get the view without the wind and the area is sheltered in case it rains.
Ahhh yes, the craggy coastline while you watch the sun sink, something I have done many a’time in Rockport, Gloucester and the neighboring seaside towns when I lived in Boston.
Everywhere I’ve been throughout New England, if they have fresh oysters from the sea, I tend to order them and this trip was no different. We started with oysters and then moved to their Roasted Beet & Heirloom tomato salad, which is served with a Maytag Bleu Cheese, lemon olive oil and sea salt. Yum!! All of their salads are delicious and incredibly fresh as you can see below.
Main course dishes were exquisite. From the cedar plank roasted salmon filet with a ragout of shallot, nicoise olives, scallion and fresh veggies to the shucked lobster and pan roasted cod with braised leek sauce and Peekytoe crab salad, the seafood is fresh and out of this world, both from a taste and presentation perspective. They also had a roasted swordfish served with a tangy Bearnaise sauce with pecan butter and parslied potatoes.
And, like nearly every seafood restaurant in New England, you can also get steamed lobster, which was served with potatoes. Most New England restaurants offer potatoes of some sort or corn on the cob with their steamed lobster, depending on the place and grade of restaurant. If I’m at an ocean-side restaurant, I always order a seafood dish. Since we were sampling a few dishes that night however, we also tried the Rubbed Sirloin dish, which you can have on your own OR with Panko Crusted Scallops (our recommendation). Now to make your mouth water…
Dessert offerings include warmed apple crunch with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce, chocolate cake with espresso ice cream, hot fudge and crushed chocolate covered espresso beans, lemon sorbet with pecan shortbread, Coco Daniel, a coconut cake with peanut brittle ice cream, creme Anglaise drizzed with butterscotch and toasted coconut, the “Almond Joy” which is chocolate purses with coconut ice cream, creme chantilly and almonds, and a warm chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream.
Nothing is standard here — everything on the menu is fresh and deep thought has been put into the ingredients and the process.
One of the things that really stood out for us in addition to their fine attention to detail (romantic detail) was their passion for cooking and making customers feel like they’ve had a unique experience they’ll remember for a lifetime. I loved listening to Kathy’s story about how much time she took to refine the ingredients of the Coco Daniel and after countless versions, the result is now “perfect”. I couldn’t help but feel when I tasted it that she created a mouthwatering and memorable balance — the salt versus sweet combo taste was really “just perfect.”
We loved our experience and whole heartedly give it a two thumbs up! If you’re on the Massachusetts North Shore or planning a trip there, make sure to book a reservation.
My Place by the Sea
68 Bearskin Neck
Rockport, MA 01966
Note: We were hosted, however all opinions expressed here are entirely my own.