When we first relocated to the North Shore I was utterly stymied about where to find great food. Then we happened upon G Bar, on Humphrey Street (along the bay) in Swampscott. If you're looking for food that is always delicious, creatively cooked and made from only the freshest ingredients, this is it. Chef/owner Greg and his staff are never less than delighted to see you, and there is a level of sincerity in their desire for you to enjoy your meal that one rarely finds in a place with this sophisticated of a palate.
Greg is truly a flavor artist, creating combinations from whatever's best in the market that have the perfect combination of complexity and a subtle hand with seasoning, that never wanders off into that dark dyspeptic realm of less gifted cooks. There has not been a single dish on the menu that ever disappointed us, whether we were in the mood for comfort food or adventure. Tonight we chose to share the ravioli, which is a different preparation every day, as our starter, even though it was listed as a main dish. Three huge raviolis, filled with shrimp scampi, roasted garlic and a mild creamy cheese were lapped with a lemony butter-based sauce and liberally sprinkled with a mild chopped green. The sauce was so amazing that after we snarfed up the incredible ravioli I would have happily used it as a bread dipper - except that I'd eaten up all the foccacia that gets delivered with the cocktails because I didn't want to leave behind even a crumb of the amazing garlicky green olive tapenade that's served instead of butter or oil.
We both went for the daily special of crispy cod. The fish was so fresh I could imagine it being suitable for sushi. But it was cooked in a light batter that was thin enough to provide just a hint of crackle while preserving the moistness of the fish. The sides were a generous serving of homemade potato chips and the most remarkable crisped arugula. And here I though arugula was perfect just the way nature makes it. Now that I've had it crisped, I may never be able to go back.
We were too full for desert tonight, but I wholeheartedly recommend the bread pudding, which, though a menu staple, changes every night, as well as the traditional creme brûlée. (Why anyone would want to mess with traditional creme brûlée is beyond me, but my gratitude to Greg for making his just an outstanding version if the classic.)
You're always welcome to eat at the bar, or just hang out there if you'd rather. You'll get a warm welcome there too, from one of the most accomplished mix masters this side of Boston.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.