best reasonable restaurants in Ipswich and newburyport ma
Ugh. I will never step foot in Lewis's in Essex. The place is a pit and it is for sale. OK for prime rib but that is about it. In NBPT, try 10 Center St, Glenn's both good but not inexpensive. Avoid the Starboard Galley. Ithaki in IPS used to be good but it is now a Greek Sports Bar with an expensive menu and poor execution overall. Choate Bridge Pub is good-enough pub food but their fried clams are pretty darned good. American BBQ is just OK but it is the only smoke joint around so everyone likes it. The Village in Essex has broad appeal but stick to the fish and shellfish and you won't be disappointed - but it is old school and that is OK with me. Most of the chow on the Essex causeway is otherwise very average and geared to summer tourists who want burgers, clams and drinks. Portsmouth, NH have more and better places to eat than all of the NS combined.
Lewis' prime is killer and has some decent flavor, have also had good seafood entree's, they're closing/for sale, what will the blue hairs do? Agree it's a bit thread bare, a place that has past it's time. I think Glenn's is way overrated and over priced. Agree with Starboard Galley and would also aviod Michael's. Maybe Bob Lobster would do.
Agree with almost all of your post, Ipso (as usual), but disagree about Ithaki. After a very bad year (maybe two) after their remodeling- they're back to their old form. Their pasta with clams is to die for - my favorite dish before the remodel, and my favorite dish now. I do refuse to sit on the noisy bar side.
In Newburyport, my new favorite restaurant is Enzo's in the Tannery.
They are about the fourth restaurant in that spot in the past ten years, and the first one worth a second visit. Locavore oriented Italian menu - small list but well-executed. Their chicken under a brick is excellent, as is their free-form lasagne. Not cheap ($25 - $30 an entree), but high prices seem typical for Newburyport.
Not quite as good, but worth mentioning, is Loretta's on State Street in Newburyport
Lower prices than comparable Newburyport restaurants, featuring (mostly) good food with some Cajun and southern influences. Very friendly staff with the owner usually on-premise. They're a small storefront (maybe 15 tables), and sometimes a little too crowded for my taste.
This might be helpful for ipswich:
Except for the just o.k. Village , I agree with all Treb's recs above.
We are big fans of The Clam Box. Very clean frying there for top notch clams and etc.
In Newbport, Glenn' s has been very good
for many yrs. l don't rec Ceia or the Mex place. There is a well reviewed French bakery but can't remember name. You really want to make sure you see Newbport- what a beautiful well preserved 18th and 19th c. town- residential and commercial.
If you have a night in Newbport, the best dinner imo is to be had just 20 min north ,in Portsmouth ,another handsome historic town.,There you'll find the delightful and outstanding artisinal innovative chef -owned resnt - Black Trumpet- in a 19th c. waterfront warehouse; imo equal to Boston's best bistros. They offer small. medium and large tapas style plates and excel w/ seafood and unusual elements.There is also, in Portsmth, a store for When Pigs Fly, tremendous unusual variety of hearty breads(and they offer tastes of them all!) The Craft Beers scene is also quite lively in Portsmouth.
Lewis, on 133 in Essex, good soild american comfort food, Choate Pub for a great burger, Village in Essex for seafood. All are reasonable. For greek, Itahki. American BBQ in Rowley if that's what you crave. If you want the best fried clams bar none, Clam Box is the mecca for such offerings.