With the arrival of summer come lighter dining and the procession of dishes using fresh-picked ingredients. Hingham chefs have shelved their heartier recipes in favor of farm-to-table fare that includes zesty heirloom tomatoes, tangy sweet corn and aromatic herbs—all adding refreshing twists.
14 North St.
Seasoned chef Kevin Long has returned to his roots at Tosca. He joined the rustic Italian eatery in 1995 and reclaimed the culinary reins this spring following a lengthy stint with a New England-based hospitality group. Long also oversees the cuisine at Caffé Tosca and Stars on Hingham Harbor, which, along with Tosca, are part of the Eat Well restaurant group.
Long maintains an herb garden at home, and he is eager to introduce mint and parsley to the summer menu. “I get really excited about herbs,” he says. “Growing them offers me creative inspiration with the different stages of maturity and yields product that I can’t by at a store.”
Patrons will want to sample the savory tomato and avocado salad with basil, chives and mâche. “I want to reinvent and treat the avocado almost like cheese by marinating it in olive oil, herbs, salt and sugar,” says Long, who is also serving up a Negroni-brined pork tenderloin.
SCARLET OAK TAVERN
1217 Main St.
Stephen Sherman has served as executive chef at Scarlet Oak Tavern for nearly a decade. At Hingham’s popular 250-seat contemporary American steakhouse, Sherman sources seasonal ingredients from 80-acre Gibbet Hill Farm in Groton, Massachusetts, which is owned and operated by the restaurant’s parent company, Webber Restaurant Group. He also works with South Shore-based purveyors and pulls from his own raised garden beds, which are located alongside the restaurant.
“As we get further into summer, I look forward to incorporating cucumbers, tomatoes, beets and peppers,” says Sherman, who has worked in the restaurant industry for nearly 30 years. “I love surprising guests with scallions, basil, bok choy and tomatillos.”
This month, Sherman launched his seasonal Farm to Fork series. The specialty menu spotlights a new three-course meal every weekend. “The Farm to Fork menus are almost exclusively crafted from local products,” says Sherman, who designs the fare based on the yield from Gibbet Hill Farm and other vendors.
Farm to Fork dishes to dine on this summer include an heirloom tomato salad with cucumber, radicchio, toasted almonds and Shy Brothers’ mozzarella; smashed cucumber and fregola salad with basil, Greek yogurt and bell peppers; and grilled pork ribeye with mustard barbecue, pepperonata and grilled corn succotash.
TRIDENT GALLEY & RAW BAR
23 Shipyard Drive
With its rustic decor, coastal accents and attractive bar, Trident Galley & Raw Bar has a globally inspired menu brimming with seafood and creative small plates. Chef-owner Brian Houlihan, who began cooking in Ireland when he was 13, is drawn to local growers and has a reputation for promoting sustainability.
“Holly Hill Farm is growing specific greens and herbs for us this summer,” says Houlihan, who also owns The Tinker’s Son in Norwell, Bia Bistro in Cohasset, and co-owns Galley Kitchen & Bar in Scituate. “We are working with their farmers to ensure that no product goes to waste. If they have an abundance of something, we will use it. If they are low on something, we will change our menu.”
Try the Holly Hill ratatouille with tomatoes, eggplant and red bell peppers, and the vibrant grilled corn and lobster taco. “Both dishes are destined to be crowd-pleasers,” says Houlihan.
THE RANGE BAR & GRILLE
306 Whiting St.
Mike Saef, executive chef at The Range Bar & Grille, has teed up a summertime menu that’s sure to have Hingham abuzz. From a refreshing watermelon arugula salad to a savory bone-in pork chop topped with a homemade fig and bacon jam, there’s something to savor for all patrons of this upscale sports bar.
“Our watermelon arugula salad has a great balance and is an original idea,” says Saef who devised a sweet honey and watermelon vinaigrette to top his serving of watermelon slices, toasted walnuts, goat cheese and peppery arugula. “It pairs perfectly with a glass of Prosecco.”
For the pork chop, Saef whipped up a tantalizing fig puree studded with caramelized onions and smoked bacon from New Hampshire. “When I put the jam on the pork chop and add Great Hill blue cheese, it’s magic,” says this seasoned chef who’s been at the helm of restaurant kitchens since 1992.
The 7,000-square-foot space, which opened in 2016, offers an outdoor patio, indoor golf simulators and a 97-bay outdoor public driving range. “In the summer, we have live music outside and guests are relaxing in Adirondack-style chairs,” observes Saef. “It feels like a fancy backyard barbecue.”