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Good Place in Salem MASS Area

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I am taking my wife up to Salem this weekend for a bunch of the cheesy ghost tours. Any recomendations on where to eat? We would prefer seafood but are up for anything. Since we will be riding trolleys all day and listening to ghost stories from people in costume, we will most likely be casually dressed. Any tips you have would be great.

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  1. i used to live in salem and the grapevine is terrific. open dinner only. finz is on the water, but the food and service are very bad. good place for drinks though.

    1. Nothing is at the level of Boston's choicest options, but the best would probably be Grapevine (open for dinner only), Finz (which specializes in seafood), and Passage to India. Taste of Cilantro is a take-out offshoot of the more formal, expensive Mexican place Cilantro, the latter of which has gotten some gripes on this board in past. I'd avoid Strega, Salem Beer Works, and Lyceum Bar & Grill.

      5 Replies
      1. re: bachslunch

        I disagree about the Lyceum, but that is my opinion. I love their Tuscan Salad.

        Grapevine is excellent. Another good food place is the Hathorne Hotel. The food is actually very good, even if it is a hotel dining atmosphere.

        If you want to travel into Marblehead, there is Pellinos (sp?) on Washington Street - good Italian.

        1. re: kate used to be 50

          I would put in a word for the Lyceum too. I have been there a number of times and as long as you stick with the basics you will have a fine meal. They do a nice steak and my wife loves their grilled salmon. We tried their fried calamari one time and it was pretty bad but as soon as we told our waiter about it he replaced it with another dish and didn't charge us for it. I think it is one of the best places in Salem and as another poster said stay away from Finz. Mediocre food and terrible service with a nice view.

          1. re: RoyRon

            My experience at Lyceum involved brunch, with poor food and not-so-friendly service (in particular, the kitchen help were clearly audible in the bar area, where we were sitting, about their irritation at having people seated right at opening time).

            By contrast, I had a very enjoyable lunch at Finz the one time I went (oven roasted haddock, if memory serves) with very good quality food and professional service. The view was, as everyone seems to agree here, fine.

            1. re: bachslunch

              I've only been to a wedding at Finz and eaten at the bar, but I thought it was good. Wedding food was good seafood ravioli among other things, nice 2nd floor setting. Last year a friend and I split a fried softshell crab sandwich w/ fries and a couple drinks on a crappy crappy day and it was a pleasant experience.

          2. re: kate used to be 50

            the food at the hawthorne to me always seemed like really bad hotel food. i'd rather have a burger at the beer works. their beers are quite delicious.

            lyceum goes through a lot of chefs, so the food is very inconsistent, although it's a pretty space to have a drink and a simple app.

        2. Bella Verona - small Italian restaurant across from Hawthorne Hotel. Witches Brew on Derby St. - locals kind of place, steak tips, chicken, couple of seafood entrees on menu. Specials every night. Casual. Passage to India - good Indian food.

          1. if it's a crappy day like today, weatherwise, have lunch at the Hawthrone Hotel pub...they have a simple menu with a little flare but they have a HUGE fireplace and cozy seating. always a welcomed site on a chilly day.

            if nothing else...go into the Hawthorne Hotel and ask someone there for a local lunch spot.

            3 Replies
            1. re: lasiciliana

              Try the Old Spot for a Ploughman's lunch or a great burger. Cozy setting, great staff and you're never rushed. Finz has a nice setting and I do like their buffalo calamari.

              1. re: Pegmeister

                Bella Verona is a hidden gem on Essex St. It has fantastic Italian food but it is small so reservations are a must. Grapevine is always good. I would avoid the places on the water for dinner but they are fun for a drink.

                1. re: greenstate

                  After hearing about the Old Spot on this board (maybe from Pegmeister), in late February, we have probably been there once a week. Most times it's on a Sunday, which means a brunch menu that has been consistently good. But dinner has been great as well. On Sunday's they offer a breakfast that's so big my husband can't finish it. But he seems to have a lot of fun trying.

            2. If sushi is an option, Kame on Cabot St. is one of my favorites!

              1 Reply
              1. re: merrvally

                Kame has good sushi but their waitstaff is terrible.
                They always seems to rush me out...they seems unhappy to be there which makes the experience bad.

                I usually get take out from them or sit at the bar.

              2. If the dining room is open yet at the museum, the food there is very good.

                1. I was driving through Salem Sunday, but hit the Trackside Inn on the way home. Here is my old post:

                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/33134...

                  1. If you're hungry and at the PEM, which is highly, highly recommended, the Irish pub on the corner to the East - I think it's McSwiggin's - has good food. I'm sorry I don't know a seafood place in that area.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: lergnom

                      McSwiggin's is now the Old Spot.