North Shore gem Red Rock Bistro has undergone some changes of late. Perhaps living up to the bistro tag, the emphasis is now as a neighborhood drop-in with pricing to match, including a monthly-changing $10 special, which is currently baked stuffed shrimp with vegetable wild rice. Incoming chef Joe Guarino (a veteran of Todd English joints Olives and Bonfire, as well as Fenway’s Church and Barbara Lynch’s The Butcher Shop) has overhauled menus at lunch, brunch, and dinner.
Given Red Rock’s coastal ocean setting, Guarino’s focus is on seafood: Fried oysters wrapped in beef carpaccio, bucatini with spicy Littleneck clams, pan-seared sea scallops with walnut gremolata and pear vinegar reduction are definite highlights. And who can argue with a Sunday brunch that includes a Lobster Bloody Mary adorned with two claws? Red Rock Bistro sits atop a cliff 40 feet above the ocean; right by Swampscott Beach, a mere 20 minutes drive from Boston. Thankfully, the changes are all in the kitchen and behind the bar, and the elegant but casual spot’s lovely water and city skyline views remain unchanged.
Red Rock Bistro, 141 Humphrey St., Swampscott; 781-595-1414