Tag Archives: Halibut Point

Bowl or Floor?

Don’t get me wrong.  I grew up at the awesome Ground Round in Danvers where you could watch little film strip movies, play games, and chuck peanut shells and popcorn all over the floor. It was fantastic.

Fast forward, however, to now….and to Halibut Point Restaurant.

I love it there.  I’m all for a quick meal and a beer sitting at the bar talking with Jack. I’m also not afraid to dive into the basket of peanuts that is inevitably placed directly in front of me.  I do, however, while snacking….place my shells in the extremely convenient glass bowl that is ALWAYS strategically placed in close proximity to the peanuts themselves.  What I don’t do is channel my inner 7 year old….and chuck the shells all over the floor.

So, that being the case, I was a little surprised to watch someone eating peanuts and throwing the shells with reckless abandon…this way and that…all over the floor last night (that may be a slight exaggeration).

So, I ask you… If and when you happen to dine at Halibut Point…do you use the bowl or do you chuck shells on the floor?  Be honest.


What to Feed the Robins

American Robin in the Snow ©Kim Smith 2014The robins in our community have several different habits for surviving winter. There are year round resident robins that breed throughout Cape Ann during warmer months and also spend the winter here.  A second group only breeds in our region, then migrates further south during the winter months. A third group, the robins that we see flocking to our shores beginning round about January 28th, are migrating from parts further north. They are very hungrand are looking for berries, fruit, and small fish.

In early spring, robins begin to disperse from flocks. The ground thaws and worms, insects, and snails once again become part of the robin’s diet. Spring, too, is when we begin to hear the beautiful liquid notes of the male robin. He is singing to attract a mate. The robin’s song is one of the of most beloved and it is his music with which we associate the coming of spring.

With several edits and updates since I first wrote the following article, I think you’ll find the information helpful in knowing what to feed and to plant for the robins.

American Robin Sumac ©Kim Smith 2014Flock of American Robins Eating Sumac, Halibut Point Rockport

Food for the American Robin

During the winter months Cape Ann often becomes home to large flocks of robins, and we have had the joy of hosting numerous numbers in our garden. I can’t help but notice their arrival. Their shadows descend, crisscrossing the window light, followed by a wild rumpus in the ‘Dragon Lady’ hollies. This pair of hollies is planted on opposing sides of the garden path, alongside my home office. I have learned to stealthily sneak up to a window, as any sudden activity inside startles birds that are investigating our garden, and they quickly disperse. Dining not only on berries of the ‘Dragon Ladies’, but also the ‘Blue Princess’ Meserve holly and winterberry bushes, I find dozens of noisy, hungry robins.

These winter nomads flock to trees and shrubs that hold their fruit through January and February, feasting on red cedar, American holly, Meserve hollies, chokecherries, crabapples, sumac, and juniper. Robins traveling along the shores of Cape Ann also comb the shoreline for mollusks, and go belly-deep for fish fry. Depleting their food supply, they move onto the next location. Gardens rife with fruiting shrubs and trees make an ideal destination for our migrating friends.

Year round resident robins will call your garden home when provided with trays of chopped fruit and raisins, supplemented with meal worms.

What to Plant for Robins

The garden designed to attract nesting pairs of summer resident robins, as well as flocks of winter travelers, would be comprised of trees and shrubs for nest building, plants that bear fruit and berries that are edible during the summer and fall, and plants that bear fruits that persist through the winter months. Suburban gardens and agricultural areas provide the ideal habitat, with open fields and lawns for foraging insects as well as trees and hedgerows in which to build their nests.

The following plants, suggested with robins in mind, will also attract legions of songbirds and Lepidoptera. The list is comprised primarily of indigenous species with a few non-native, but not invasive, plants included.

Trees for nesting ~ American Holly (Ilex opaca), Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana), Red Maple (Acer rubrum), Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum), Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida).

Summer and autumn fruit bearing trees, shrubs and vines for robins ~ Black Cherry (Prunus serotina), Blackberry (Rubus spp.), Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida), Gray Dogwood (C. racemosa), Red-osier Dogwood (C. sericea), Silky Dogwood (C. amomum), Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis), Apple (Malus pumila), Virginia Rose (Rosa virginiana), Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum), Lowbush Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium), Wild Grape (Vitis spp.).

Trees and shrubs with fruits persisting through winter ~ Winterberry (Ilex verticillata), Mountain Ash (Sorbus americana), Crabapple (Malus spp.)Sargent’s Crabapple (Malus sargentii), American Holly (Ilex opaca), Meserve Hollies (Ilex meserveae), Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana), Common Juniper (Juniperus communis), Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra), Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina).

American Robin winter crabapple turdus migratorius, americanus ©kim Smith 2015American Robin Eating Crabapples

I Love Sumac


The American Robin and Bird Food

This is Not a Bee


Halibut Point: Bees Bees I’m covered in Bees. A hundred shots of bees and the bees are all out of focus. I think they were all bumble bees and they were bumbling so much they were fuzzy. This bug was in focus.


One fuzzy bee in focus! Click on the photos to get up close and personal with my fuzzy bee and bug. Click one more time to see the fuzzy head. How does this thing fly? The wings are attached to her head and her ass is humongous compared to the wings. It did fly away.

iPhone 5s iOS8

Destination Gloucester….celebrity run in.

As if some steamers and a good drink at Halibut Point with a great friend isn’t excellent enough….last night I happened across a wonderful party of about 20 diners out to celebrate a wedding of dear friends.  While we didn’t chat long, the happiness exuding from their large table was palpable and I was so happy to have had the chance to meet them.

The fact that I met them at all stemmed from the fact that some of the younger-than-me wait staff recognized one of the guests as a very handsome actor. Doing my due diligence as a GMG contributor (who happened to be wearing my GMG baseball hat…go figure) I introduced myself and got a bit of the scoop.

Yanic Triesdale, a Canadian actor, also adored in the United States as Michael on The Gilmore Girls in addition to other series and mini-series, is in town to celebrate the destination wedding of dear friends Isabelle Lafleche and very soon-to-be-husband, Patrice.  While, maybe not as recognizable in person to those dining at Halibut, Isabelle is the fantastic, and incredibly beautiful, author of the novels J’Adore New York and J’Adore Paris.  I can’t get to Barnes and Nobles fast enough.  She also happens, as it turns out, to be good friends with GMG’s own, Kim Smith.

They were completely charming and talking with them made me smile.  I was, for the record, incredibly happy to learn that my own dear friend, while recognizing that I was mildly intruding on a rehearsal dinner of sorts, bought the table a couple of bottles of wine in thanks for humoring me.

Excellent examples of friendship on both sides of my iPhone last night.

Cheers to friendship….mine, Kim’s, everyone’s.  Cheers to Isabelle and Patrice on a glorious wedding and a lifetime of happiness. How special that they chose Rockport, of all places, to seal the deal.


GloucesterCast With Toby Pett and Joey Ciaramitaro Taped 4/19/14

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GloucesterCast With Toby Pett and Joey Ciaramitaro Taped 4/19/14


Subscribe to The GloucesterCast Podcast by Email

Topics Include: Gloucester MA, 01930, What up Homie?,  Jim Casey, Lighten Up Francis, Toby Pett, Chamber License Plate, Bringing GMG Back Old School, Passports Wine Dinner, Killer Cheeses, Sidewalk Sweeping Day, Carry In/ Carry Out, Patti Amaral, 40 Barrels?, Masspirg, Effort To Get 5 Cent Deposit On Water and Juice Bottles, Big Mike’s Bikes, Getting Around Gloucester Via Bike and Water Taxi, Toby’s List of the Best Bartenders In Gloucester, Stoli O Tonic, Lime Shortage, Gene Silviera, Erika Baert, Ellen Tasker, Molly Marks, Halibut Point, Jack Muniz, Jamie Verga, Lobsta Land

I Love Sumac!

Now that’s not an opinion you don’t hear very often. I try to get my clients to love it too or, if they can’t enjoy Smooth Sumac for its unusual beauty, to at least appreciate the shrub for the myriad species of wildlife that it supports.

American Robins Eating Sumac ©Kim Smith 2014American Robin Flock Eating Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra) Berries

Yesterday while walking through Halibut Reservation with daughter Liv, we encountered a very large flock of robins devouring seeds of sumac. The beautiful clump of sumac, with its bare crooked, leaning trunks and raspberry pink furry seedheads made a striking combination of shapes and textures against the windswept ocean vista. We disturbed the robin feast, but then Liv walked further down the path to photograph the Atlantic and I stayed behind, half hidden by an evergreen tree. The robins quickly returned to the ripened seedheads and I got to snap away until the next walker came along.

Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra) is a shrub that naturally forms colonies; it can also be grown as a beautiful single-trunk tree. The yellowy-green flowers on female plants give way to deep rusty red berries held in erect, pyramidal clusters. What makes sumac so invaluable to wildlife? The fruits persist through the winter, providing nourishment for many, many species of birds and small mammals. Additionally, the foliage is a larval host plant for the Coral Hairstreak Butterfly!

robinarrivalsAmerican Robin and Winterberry photo submitted by Jacqueline Bennett. Thanks Jacqueline for sharing your beautiful photo!

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Liv submits apparition from Halibut Point

Sean Hurley Cape Ann Artist/Printmaker Gives An Update On Halibut Point

Sean Hurley here, Cape Ann artist/printmaker.
As you may or may not know, I am also full time cook down at Halibut Point, and we are trying to spread the word about our upcoming anniversary, and the return of our classic menu.  In January, Halibut Point will celebrate its 30th anniversary, almost unheard of in the restaurant business.  We’ve recently been trying out some new things, but we want to get the news out that due to customer feedback and demand, we’ve returned to what we do best, re-instating our old menu.
I’d love it if you could help spread the word – I’ll attach the current menu below.

Oyster Bar

Oysters & Cherrystones 2.50 each ½ dozen 14.00
Shrimp Cocktail – With homemade cocktail sauce 10.00 Chowders & Soups – cup 6.00    bowl 8.00
Clam Chowder – White and creamy
Italian Fish Chowder – Spicy tomato base with peppers and onions
Howard’s Chili – Beef, black bean, and tomato
Soup of the Day – Ask your server
Side of Italian bread 2.00
Appetizers & Salads
Sliced Prosciutto, Fresh Mozzarella, Salami, and Italian Bread 8.00
Cajun Shrimp Kabob – Served with blue cheese dressing 8.00
Steak Kabob – Marinated sirloin with veggies 8.00
Grilled Buffalo Wings – Spicy and served with blue cheese dressing 9.00
Garden Salad – with garlic mustard, balsamic vinaigrette, or blue cheese dressing 6.00
… with grilled chicken 11.00 …with grilled salmon or steak tips 13.00

From the Grill

Served with chips and a pickle, coleslaw, or hot side
Old Fashioned Burger or Grilled Chicken Sandwich 8.50
… add choice of cheddar, Swiss, provolone, or creamy bleu cheese, caramelized onion, or bacon 1.00 ea.
Haddock and Cheese Sandwich – grilled in foil, with cheddar cheese, bread crumbs,and a side of coleslaw 13.00
Open Faced Salmon – with pesto and mozzarella on a slice of Italian bread 13.00
Grilled Hot Dog 5.50 …with sauerkraut and cheese or chili and cheese 6.50
The Harf and Harf – A juicy cheeseburger and cheese dog relaxing on a bun, withgreen pepper, lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup, mustard, and mayo 14.00
The Point Reuben – on rye bread with sauerkraut and Swiss cheese 9.00
The Fatty Matty – steak tips on a bun with onions and blue cheese dressing – 12.00
Grilled Chicken and Ham Sandwich – with choice of cheese 10.00
Feta Chicken Sandwich – with lettuce, tomato, and poppy seed dressing 10.00
Cheese Steak – with melted cheddar cheese 9.00

Deli Sandwiches

Served with chips and a pickle, coleslaw, or hot side
Turkey and Cheddar – with lettuce, tomato, red pepper, and aioli 8.50
Ham and Swiss Sandwich – with lettuce, tomato, and mustard 8.50
Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato – with mayo 7.00
Chicken Salad Sandwich – secret recipe 8.50
Tuna Salad Sandwich 8.00
Tomato & Fresh Mozzarella Sandwich – with pesto 8.50
The Dagwood Delight – Ham, turkey, tuna, cheddar and Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato,onion, mustard, mayo, and green pepper, on crispy Italian bread 14.00

Halibut Point Special:

Burger, Chicken, or Deli Sandwich, with Cup of Chowder or Soup & Draft Beer 18.00
Served with our hot side and vegetable of the day
Howard Blackburn’s Haddock – Cooked in foil with parsley lemon butter, topped with crumbs 20.00
Charcoal grilled Salmon 20.00
London Broil – marinated, sliced thin and served with toast 19.00
Teriyaki Steak Tips 20.00
Cajun Shrimp Kabobs – spicy, served with our blue cheese dressing 18.00
Boneless Chicken Breasts – with feta and poppy seed dressing, or with buffalo sauce and blue cheese 18.00

Halibut Point

Tidal Pool at ocean's edge in Halibut State Park
Painting by E.J. Lefavour


Did you know that Halibut Point is made of sheets of 440 million year-old granite that now descend from rocky headland to the tidal pools below. Beginning in the 1840s, granite was quarried from this area, first on a small scale and primarily along the coast, and then on a much larger scale when the Rockport Granite Company acquired the Babson Farm quarry and expanded its operation. Shortly after the Cape Ann granite industry collapsed in 1929, 17 acres on the eastern side of the quarry were purchased and given to the Trustees of Reservations who manages Halibut Point State Park for scenic, historic and conservation purposes. This is a painting of a tidal pool and some of those 440 million year-old rocks. Makes me feel really young.

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