“The Lamplighter has sampled lobster bisque and chowders from Rhode Island to Maine,” the Haverhill Gazette column The Lamp Post commented in 2012, “but has tasted none better than those at…the Pine River fish market.” Family owned and operated for more than 20 years, Pine River Fish Market earns such accolades by reliably supplying customers with fresh fish and shellfish, groceries, bisques and chowders, and live lobsters and crabs. In the store, maritime dwellers such as haddock, swordfish, conch, shrimp, steamers, and cherrystones—all of which are delivered daily—sit on ice, awaiting the day they’re thawed and can experience a strange new future world. The helpful staffers can also special order any in-season fish and have it ready for pickup the next day.
In 1965, Popular Mechanics ran a small classified ad for Brookstone, a new catalog company that packed its pages with functional products and detail-oriented descriptions. Brookstone quickly expanded to meet the high demand for its collection of “hard-to-find tools,” and opened the door to its first retail location in 1973. Today, Brookstone’s more than 300 nationwide retail locations allow customers to test-drive its ever-growing lineup of interesting products, which range from Bluetooth-enabled massage chairs to power adapters designed for international travelers and their electronic passports. Staying true to its roots as a catalog company, Brookstone houses an even larger selection of products, each waiting patiently to be shipped, on its website.
The Zanti family is no stranger to the sea. In 1898, Giuseppe Zanti, Sr., left his tiny Italian fishing village for the more fertile waters of America. When his son, Giuseppe, Jr., heard of the senior Zanti's success on American shores, he too made the trek across the Atlantic to net lobsters, crabs, and fish in Boston Harbor, teaching his own sons along the way. After World War II, Giuseppe, Jr. sensed an oncoming boon in the lobster trade and teamed up with his sons to debut Commercial Lobster, a wholesale business devoted entirely to lobster. Still under the rule of the Zanti family, the Commercial Lobster of today makes up the wholesale branch of Yankee Lobster Fish Market, a full-fledged seafood market. In addition to selling whole live and stuffed lobsters like their predecessors, modern-day Zantis also serve a seafood-centric menu of oysters, clams, and, of course, lobster in the casual, ocean-themed eatery of Yankee Lobster Company. After finally removing the protective rubber bands from his hands, Guy Fieri dubbed the lobster mac ‘n' cheese here “ridiculous” on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.
The staff at Golden Goose Market will direct you to the right aisle with a smile. But their role in your shopping trip doesn’t have to end there—they’ll stick by your side to help track down every item in a recipe, and even give suggestions on how to cook it. The extra attention to customers may be one of the reasons why the market has enjoyed such an impressive life span—it opened in 1978. But help with dinner is just one way the upscale store’s staff treats its patrons like royalty. Golden Goose opens at 6 a.m. and stays open until 11 p.m., and even offers complementary delivery to the North End, waterfront, and downtown. But customers might want to make the trip themselves, so they can explore firsthand the colorful array of fruits and veggies stacked in the produce section. Buyers select the freshest produce from all over the world every morning, from seasonal berries to mangos. In the butcher shop, employees trim meat and poultry to customer specifications, and shell out fresh seafood like a mermaid with an overstuffed fridge. Deli staff slice Boar’s head cold cuts and imported Italian cold meats and cheeses to order, and also assemble sandwiches, pizzas, and sushi to-go, while bakers craft muffins and cookies, and display them with fresh bread delivered by local artisan bakers twice every day. And, of course, in the grocery aisles, customers will find all the essentials—milk and bread, frozen foods and chips, paper towels and laundry detergent––they need to get through the week. One last surprise? Golden Goose’s liquor selection, which includes domestic, imported, craft, and local brews, along with local wines and better-known whites and reds. Those unsure which wine to choose can also swing by on Wednesdays from 6—8 p.m. for a weekly wine tasting.
Set among all of the restaurants that line popular Hanover Street is a simple neighborhood wine and beer store known as The Wine Bottega. The friendly staff here is only too happy to help guests find the perfect wine for their palate, from burgundy and cabernet reds to chardonnay and pinot grigio whites, not to mention organic and biodynamic wines. The nice selection from small Italian and global wineries also leaves room for some unexpected finds, like sake and an impressive collection of craft beer. Free tastings are held on Friday nights, usually inside the subterranean wine cellar, well-appointed with long wooden benches and a communal table that runs down the middle.
Hearty eaters head to the small casual eatery known as Dino’s Café in the North End for a reasonably priced lunch. There aren’t many tables inside the casual space, which makes it popular for takeout, but arrive on the earlier side of lunch to score a seat. This no-frills restaurant dishes up hot and cold sandwiches, including the requisite Italian cold-cut combo, to the returning masses, while heartier pasta dishes include baked ziti, cheese tortellini and lobster ravioli. Look for rotating chalkboard specials, which feature classic takes like veal cacciatore and baked fettuccini with chicken and mushrooms, as well as their rotating beer and wine selections.