The restaurant was far more elegant than what we were looking for and we were dressed like typical tourists, in shorts and hoodies. We were planning on leaving when the hostess talked us into staying. She was very gracious and made us feel welcomed, even though we felt like we didn't fit in with all the diners dressed for a night on the town.
The restaurant is pretty. It's somewhat clubby in feel, but very elegant in a simple, understated way.
Our waitress came quickly and was very friendly. She helped us order and gave us some suggestions.
I had what was called the Down at the Shore dinner. It had scallops, clams, mussels, and half of a lobster. They had buffalo burgers made with real bison meat. The kids were dying to try these burgers.
We started a meal with fresh gazpacho. It was delicious - full of vine-ripe, fresh tomatoes, it really hit the spot.
The main course took a long time to get to our table. I have to say that, on a normal night, it would have been leisurely and I would have enjoyed the pace. However, on this night, we were in a bit of a time crunch trying to get to our tour. The waitress knew and was very apologetic. Finally, the food came.
My Down at the Shore Dinner was huge. It was full of fresh seafood and was all cooked perfect. The kids enjoyed trying buffalo, but both said they would be going back to beef. The buffalo was a little gamey tasting to them.
My biggest regret about this meal was that we didn't get to really enjoy it. This is the kind of restaurant where you need to make it the centerpiece of your night out on the town. It deserves your full attention. We came flying in and were watching the clock the entire meal. The food, service, and atmosphere were all top quality; we just didn't give it its due. I would have loved to try the Lyceum's desserts, but we were out of time. I hope I get the chance to come back here someday.
We did learn one very interesting fact about the Lyceum on our ghost tour. Even the Lyceum has some of the Salem witch history attached to it! This was the spot where Bridget Bishop (one of the witches who were hung in Salem) operated her tavern from her small farm house. Bridget was a bit of a Puritan vamp and was married three times. Being an independent woman who ran a successful business and had married often, she was a prime candidate for the gallows. This was the spot where she lived and sold ale.
September 23, 2004
From journal Salem - More than just witches.