Nancy Batista-Caswell, who has two award-winning Newburyport restaurants to her name (Ceia Kitchen + Bar which opened in 2010 and Brine which followed in 2013), is a fan of the little city on the North Shore. So much so that she’s helped spearhead the first ever Savor Newburyport to show off the coastal locale’s food, drink, arts and entertainment. On the eve of the festival, she talks about the area’s appeal and what’s not to be missed during the ten-day-long community celebration.
What are you hoping to accomplish with Savor Newburyport?
I love the people of Newburyport—the sense of community, plus the architecture of the city really inspired me. I wanted to raise awareness of what Newburyport offers year round. I wanted to focus on the tourism of the city and market Newburyport for the fall season which is truly beautiful here. Guests will be able to enjoy fall menu previews, clothing showcases, and the overwhelming amount of fitness options, all that illustrate that we really are a city, and we can be a one-stop shop.
What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in Newburyport in the last few years?
The struggle to continue to grow as a city has been difficult. While we all want Newburyport to remain charming, small, and unique, there have been some hesitations with movements on hotels and transportation that make it difficult for business owners to survive.
What festival events are you most looking forward to?
The waterfront gala will be pretty special; we don’t get many events on the river, so that will be an amazing showcase of awesomeness. A few more that I’m looking forward to include: the farmers market, which will focus on apples; Ceia’s brunch with Pol Roger; the tasting of Basque wines with Jeremy at the Grand Trunk; the LASH BASH with Interlocks; and the meatball eating contest at Oregano’s Pizza.
What’s the one thing you’d tell any visitor to Newburyport to be sure not to miss during Savor Newburyport OR any time?
Do the metzy ride on the ninth wave; you get to see Newburyport from the water. Check out the bivalve oyster event at NBPT Brew, that’s a whole lot of fun. Workout on our waterfront with Studio 5 or Rasamaya – those girls will certainly whip you into shape and help you feel better about the weekend calorie intake.
Caswell has plenty of tasty events planned at her restaurants for Savor Newburyport, including a daily pasta tasting menu and a charcuterie showcase at Ceia, and specialty cocktails and buck-a-shuck at Brine. Check out the details here to get to know the North Shore.