In Beverly, Cygnet celebrates 10 spectacular years. By Anna and David Kasabian
At cygnet in beverly, you’ll find a menu anchored in a mix of fresh, no-frills American offerings—albeit with its own little twists—served in a room that recalls a stylish getaway to snap you out of the doldrums of the day.
As diners now toast Cygnet’s 10th anniversary, owner and chef Jim Glesener celebrates his 50th year in the restaurant business. It has been a meandering road that began when he was a busboy at the Hickam Air Force Base Officer’s Club at the mouth of the Pearl Harbor channel in Hawaii. He went on to major in hotel management at Monterey Peninsula State College in Monterey, CA, and worked in a number of positions on and off the mainland until 1997, when he moved to the North Shore to open the Vine and Ivy Inn. In 2002, he purchased the K.C. Club, which was transformed into Cygnet after a million-dollar redesign.
Glesener decorated and designed as he went along, creating one of the most attractive dining rooms on the North Shore. Two massive wood bars separate the dining areas, which are decorated with a mix of plush fabric banquettes, and linen-topped tables. Ever-changing art from Glesener’s collection, plus an array of charming local pet portraits, add to the dark-stained bead board-accented walls.
We began with the Maryland crab cakes, made with lump crab and claw meat mixed with corn and served with a fabulous spicy chipotle aioli. The second appetizer, House Pizzetta with fresh pesto, roasted Roma tomatoes, shredded prosciutto, mozzarella, and goat cheese, could be a meal in itself.
For salads, we chose the Caesar and the lobster and avocado. The lobster is delivered daily from the Manchester Lobster Company and served with mango salsa, field greens, creamy chunks of avocado, and citrus vinaigrette. The Caesar salad comes with homemade dressing and croutons made from Iggy’s French bread.
Both entrées were perfectly prepared. The pan-seared crusted salmon was accompanied by Brussels sprouts with bacon and a complex and deeply flavorful wild mushroom risotto. (The standout salmon crust is made with fresh grated potato, and the mild mustard dill cream is a noteworthy complement.) The melt-in-your-mouth lamb shank with roasted root vegetables and scalloped potatoes was our absolute favorite; the thick-cut potatoes—Glesener’s mother’s recipe—are addictive.
Key lime pie and an over-the-top warm chocolate truffle cake ended the flavor extravaganza. The desserts are skillfully prepared; each is a standout with quality ingredients.
Whether you dine at the bar or off in a cozy corner, Cygnet will wrap you in elegant comfort and good food, just like an old friend should.
The Menu. Chef/Owner: Jim Glesener. Appetizers: Crab Cakes ($13), House Pizzetta ($10); Salads: Lobster & Avocado ($25), Caesar ($10); Entrées: Pan-Seared Crusted Salmon ($20), sides of Brussels sprouts, wild mushroom risotto; Lamb Shank ($22), sides of roasted root vegetables, scalloped potatoes; Dessert: Warm Chocolate Truffle Cake ($10), Key Lime Pie ($8). Location: 24 West Street, Beverly, 978-922-9221, cygnetrestaurant.com.