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Feb 18, 2008 05:14 AM

Good Dining on the North Shore

I just posted to a very old post about the Red Rock Bistro in Swampscott and it got me thinking. What are the good restaurants in the Salem,Beverly and Marblehead area? For brunch or regular pm dining. I'm sick of driving to Boston and I think the staff at Pellana are sick of seeing me there twice a week. Good food and a decent wine list shouldn't be that hard to find right?

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  1. If you're willing to trek to Ispwich, try Cafe Zabaglione on Central St., Ithaki for Mediterannean, both have excellent food with good wine lists. If you go a little farther in Gloucester, try Franklin Cafe on Main St., La Tratorria on Main or Duckworth on E. Main St. All need reservations.

    1. Focaccia in Wilmington is great if you don't mind a short drive to Wilmington. I live in downtown Salem and it takes less than 30 minutes to get there. They have a relaxed atmosphere, delicious food (from complex regional Italian cuisine to pizza) and a very accommodating waitstaff. The prices are quite reasonable for lunch or dinner. They also have a separate lounge area with weekly live music.
      In Salem I would highly recommend either the Tavern or Nathaniel's, both located in the lower level of the Hawthorne Hotel. Nathaniel's is more of a fine dining experience, while the Tavern leans more toward sophisticated comfort food. A lot of the Tavern meals are basic favorites with small tweaks--- like chicken fingers with a real honey mustard or maple mustard, or a burger served on a gourmet multigrain roll. They also serve various pasta dishes and other entrees. They have daily soup selections (the cream of tomato is amazing) as well as "burger of the day" selections-- Kobe beef, ostrich, buffalo, salmon, etc. Their salads are always fresh and have lots of flavor to them. No bagged salad here! There is a small bar and lots of tables with comfy armchairs and couches at some tables. The fireplace and bookshelves make the room so cozy. And they are open late for a restaurant outside of Boston. It is one of my favorite places to dine in Salem.
      Strega in Salem is also quite good. They serve Italian food "with a twist" and the decor is beautiful. They are known for their martinis but they also have a good selection of white and red wines.

      1. If you are stuck on the North Shore, Chianti Café in Beverly, MA is viable option.

        1 Reply
        1. re: joebelt

          Also don't forget Wild Horse Cafe in Beverly. Always a favorite.

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