[Gloucester, MA] Short & Main

Yesterday was perfect for a first of the season beach walk at Crane’s Beach in Ipswich, to be followed by an early dinner. First we checked out CK Pearl in Essex—house was already packed, even just before 6 pm—so that idea was a non-starter. Then we decided to head into Gloucester to try our luck. It had been a few years since we last ate at Short & Main, and are we ever glad that we returned.

Oysters and wood-fired pizza are the main events on their limited menu. We were fortunate to be seated at the counter near the kitchen, because the small room was already full early on a Saturday evening.

We shared a selection of oysters to start: Mookie Blues, Moon Shoal, and Puffer Petite. Each perfect and pristine. Not pictured because we made the oysters disappear so fast.

The pizza that won us over is called Klaus: smoked trout roe, red onion, thinly sliced potato, hot peppers, and creme fraiche. We agreed that we were wowed by the flavors, although the texture of the crust suffered under the moist creme fraiche. Still, we’d gladly order the Klaus again.

A bottle of white wine from Piemonte Italy went splendidly with the meal. Our server described the Favorita grape, new to us, as akin to a Sauvignon Blanc but we thought the wine to be richer and fuller in a very pleasing way.

Usually after a meal like this we’d skip dessert, but an olive oil cake with cardamom-spiced plums, pistachios, and lemon curd was too intriguing to pass up. The cake reminded us of a pound cake. The other flavors came together in a fresh and novel way.

Yes, the room is small, no-frills, and a bit loud. It’s the food and the hospitality that charms.


A beach walk at Crane’s Beach on our August staycation brought us back to Short & Main, not so far away in Gloucester. Oysters and pizza, of course.

We shared a dozen sparkling beauties to start: Cadillac Mountain, East Cape Petite, Ichabod, Island Creek, Moon Shoal, and Riptide. Our favorite oysters of this bunch were East Cape Petite and Moon Shoal.

Next up was the Norma pizza, where summer eggplant was the star.

For dessert, an ethereal panna cotta dotted with luscious whole raspberries and a few drops of balsamic vinegar.

This is summer.


Short and Main has eluded us since it opened. The timing when we are in Gloucester for the day just does not work out especially with spring onion in tow when he was younger. We’re gonna have to fix that soon.

Short and Main takes reservations through Resy now, I think. That may help.

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