When Matthew Gaudet’s much lauded Kendall Square restaurant West Bridge closed in 2015, the Boston restaurant scene suffered a loss. But now, with Superfine doing more than fine in Manchester-by-the-Sea, the 45-year-old chef’s recently returned to Cambridge with the brand new Freepoint Kitchen & Cocktails. Tucked in the lobby of the Freepoint Hotel, Gaudet's focus is on shareable plates and dreamy renditions on brunch and bar snacks. We chat with the Sudbury native about his favorite (and most delicious) seaside hangs.
Place you recommend for out-of-towners?
J.T. Farnham's in Essex for fried clams and lobster rolls. It’s quintessential New England roadside food that does it better than anyone else. The fried clams are some of the best I’ve ever had and the lobster roll is super juicy and delicious plus the setting out there on a marsh is equally as impressive.
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88 Eastern Ave., Essex, jtfarnhams.com
Best late night meal?
Peach Farm, obviously. It’s consistently good food, always exotic — they’ll literally present you with a live eel before they cook it up for you. It’s always busy and is a known chef hangout. I never know who I might run into at 2 in the morning. It’s like a little homecoming in the middle of Chinatown.
4 Tyler St., peachfarmboston.com
Best hidden foodie gem?
I’ve lived around the corner the corner from both the South End and Cambridge Formaggio, and both have always been by go-to spot for a quick foodie fix. I would often go there by myself just to sample cheese and snack on the Jamon and butter sandwich. So simple and so delicious.
268 Shawmut Ave., and 244 Huron Ave, Cambridge; formaggiokitchen.com
Best place to dine alone?
A ramen joint. The last ones I went to was Santouka in Boston and Ippudo in New York City.
66 Hereford St., santouka-usa.com
Go-to date spot?
Oleana if we still lived in Cambridge. Spring if we were back in Paris. But now we head to Halibut Pointin Gloucester, thickest chowder, coldest draft beers and they are great with our daughter.
289 Main St., Gloucester, halibutpointrestaurant.com
Best place to catch up with friends?
Fenway Park! Expensive beers, sketchy pitching staff even with the addition of Chris Sale, cheesy sing-a-longs, obstructed views but still a great time!
4 Yawkey Way, boston.redsox.mlb.com/bos/ballpark
Most Instagrammable dish in town?
I am too busy eating to take pictures! It's a little tacky to pull your phone out and take the time to snap the perfect picture at a dinner table as some sort of cultural trophy when you are spending time with loved ones but if you had to, anything at Superfine photographs beautifully! Haha!
25 Union St., Manchester-By-the-Sea, superfinefood.com