Food at 22 Bowen's, Newport, New England

22 Bowen's

With panoramic views overlooking the Newport Harbor, 22 Bowen’s encompasses a casual-chic atmosphere. Excellent service enhances meals on the wraparound deck or inside the bustling yet cozy main dining area. Across the cobblestone path on the wharf's other side sits Portside, a seasonal bar that offers refreshing cocktails and bar snacks during summer months.

Food at 7a Foods, Martha's Vineyard, New England

7a Foods

7a Foods redefined the packed beach lunch game when it opened in 2011. Located mid-island in West Tisbury, this eatery proves that there’s no such thing as a simple sandwich; the menu rotates, but there are always house-baked goodies and you can’t go wrong if you order something involving their freshly-baked foccaccia. It’s a wonder no one discovered the genius combination of asparagus, lemon aioli, pickled onions and dried blueberries until these guys slapped them between two slices of bread.

Editors' Picks
Facade at Alchemy, Martha's Vineyard, New England

Alchemy

A good option for a romantic night out, Alchemy serves elegant but unfussy cuisine in a beautiful two-story setting. New American dishes take center stage, and the varied venue offers a main dining room, alfresco veranda and lively upstairs pub, each with modified atmospheres but the same reliable cuisine.

Food at American Seasons, Nantucket, New England - Courtesy Brian Sager

American Seasons

Just a few blocks beyond Nantucket’s downtown fringe, American Seasons has the air of a longtime classic but the cuisine of a hip new spot. Foodies delight in the farm-to-table dishes, which may include such tastes as carrot soup with cream cheese falafel and bulgar wheat risotto with farm egg and fried pickled ramps in a baked potato broth. With a wine list with over 500 titles, American Seasons is the perfect spot for a romantic evening, especially when dining in the garden patio.

Exterior View - Art Cliff Diner, Martha's Vineyard, New England

Art Cliff Diner

A local favorite for decades (it opened in 1943 as the Captain St. Clair Brown Diner), the Art Cliff, one room in a simple white cottage, is located off busy Beach Road in Vineyard Haven near the ferry terminal. Owner Gina Stanley, who took over the kitchen in 2000, whips up such delectable breakfast fare as almond-crusted French toast and “Drunken Sailor” pancakes with pecans and rum raisins. It can be tricky during high season to score a table in the dining room, which seats 39; your best bet is to arrive early (it opens at 7 a.m.).

Editors' Picks
Exterior View - Atria, Martha's Vineyard, New England

Atria

This local favorite, open year-round, is located in an old mansion and serves an innovative mix of Mediterranean, Asian and Middle Eastern dishes. While the main floor is home to a formal dining room, the cellar bar has a legendary burger menu. Live music is performed on most summer nights.

Food at B and G Oysters, Boston, New England

B&G Oysters

A spanking fresh raw bar and casual South End scene make B&G Oysters a good choice for gourmet versions of New England specialties. From fried Ipswich clams to buttery lobster rolls and the to-die-for lobster BLT, the food is fresh, well prepared and served by a gracious, attentive staff. The restaurant sits in a chic subterranean space in the heart of the Tremont Street restaurant row and boasts an open kitchen, a minimalist design and a pretty backyard patio. Although B&G’s pint-sized space tends to fill quickly, the long rectangular bar provides plenty of extra spots for singles or couples who don’t mind dining side –by side. (A corner seat at the bar will work for parties of three as well.)

Food at  Back Door Donuts, Martha's Vineyard, New England

Back Door Donuts

For an early morning sugar rush, islanders head to Martha’s Vineyard Gourmet Café & Bakery, Oak’s Bluffs’ baked goods mainstay. While the signature treats are available at the main store, the real secret lies behind the shop at the back door, where the kitchen doles out freshly baked donuts for a late-night treat (7:30pm-1am) during the summer season. The goods are delicious in the morning, but a piping hot donut—especially the substantial apple fritter—satisfies in an entirely different way.

Barking Crab

Despite the Barking Crab’s fifteen years of operation, a surprising number of Bostonians don’t know it exists. An urban clam shack with incomparable views of the skyline, the restaurant sits on Fort Point Channel across from the financial district and offers authentic New England atmosphere, complete with gruff service, rough picnic tables and a smattering of tough locals. I love taking people here on a warm afternoon or evening, when you can pass the time over messy lobster rolls and ice-cold beers. In the summer, some diners arrive by boat, the small sails contrasting with the soaring skyscrapers across the channel. But even in the winter, the Crab remains open. When the wind dies down and the sun comes out, a February afternoon may suddenly feel like springtime.

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Beachside Bistro

A casual alternative to the Summer House Restaurant, Beachside Bistro is located on Sconset Beach and is ideal for dining with ocean views. Indagare Review
Entrance at Beetlebung Farms, Martha's Vineyard, New England

Beetlebung Farm

Less than a mile from the Beach Plum Restaurant lies its main supplier, Beetlebung Farm, a five-acre spread where owner and Beach Plum chef Chris Fischer hosts the occasional pop-up supper. Elegant evenings are spent in the farm’s intimate greenhouse, outfitted with a long picnic table and soft lighting. When the farm is literally beneath the table, you’re guaranteed quality ingredients—and a unique menu; as Fischer says, “Every [meal] is different. It depends on what we have and what the people want to do.”

Behind the Bookstore

Helmed by a vet of Alice Waters’s famed Berkeley restaurant Chez Panisse, Behind the Bookstore is a charming local favorite for an alfresco breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Belle's Café at Newport Shipyard

Beloved by Newport weekenders and locals for breakfast and brunch, this spot on the water offers beautiful outdoor dining and delicious fare. Even New Yorkers rave about the lox bagels.

Exterior View - Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Emporium, Martha's Vineyard, New England

Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Emporium

While some prefer the ice cream at Mad Martha’s, Ben & Bill’s is far more consistent when it comes to quality. The creamy flavors are reliably excellent, and Ben & Bills also stocks an impressive selection of chocolate confections sure to induce a sugary haze.

Bin 26

Located on Charles Street in Beacon Hill, Bin 26 is a chic, simple wine bar, a perfect place to cozy up with some friends over a great bottle of vino. Owned by the same family as Lala Rokh, the restaurant also serves a simple Italian menu, but I recommend you skip the unremarkable entrées. Instead, choose from a selection of charcuterie and cheese, then pair your choice with one of the more than sixty wines available by the glass or the two hundred options to be had by the bottle. Pours come in 100-, 250- and 500-milliliter sizes and are priced starting at five dollars.

Outdoor Dinning Area at Black Pearl, Newport, New England - Courtesy Discover Newport

Black Pearl

Situated on the bustling Bannister’s Wharf, this waterfront-dock-turned-fine-dining establishment is known for its award-wining New England Clam Chowder. Sip on a cocktail and people-watch at the outdoor patio bar or enjoy freshly caught lobster tail and Nantucket Bay scallops inside The Commodore’s Room. For a more casual ambiance, snag a table at the Tavern.

Entrance at Black-Eyed Susan’s, Nantucket, New England

Black-Eyed Susan’s

There’s still no easy way of getting into this island favorite—reservations are accepted only for dinner—but locals and longtime visitors have accepted the fact that lining up in front of the unassuming restaurant is part of the experience. Opened in 1992 by chef Jeff Worster and Susan Handy, the BYOB restaurant has a small dining room with white-washed walls and green copper chandeliers, as well as a lovely outdoor dining space. The hearty breakfast, served until 1 p.m., is the most popular; arrive early and be prepared to wait.

Editors' Picks
View from Bar - Bleacher Bar, Boston, New England

Bleacher Bar

Baseball fans should not miss stopping at the Bleacher Bar, a watering hole built inside Fenway Park’s famed Green Monster. Part of the wall has been cut out so that patrons, who enter from Lansdowne Street rather than through the ballpark itself, can look directly onto the field. You’ll save yourself the cost of a ticket if you want to watch part of a game from here. Bleacher Bar is a bit of a dive, but that’s part of the draw.

Bar at Bricco, Boston, New England

Bricco

Bricco occupies prime real estate on the North End’s main drag, Hanover Street. Lively almost any night of the week, this welcoming trattoria is a popular local meeting spot for dinner and drinks. The menu offerings, which noted food critic John Mariani has called “among the finest Italian cooking in the country,” include traditional antipasti, homemade pastas and a selection of hearty tenderloins for meat lovers. Service can be a little slow, especially on crowded weekend nights, and the noise levels rise to earsplitting when the bar area is packed. Nevertheless, be sure to request a table downstairs, not one on the quieter mezzanine level, and ask to be seated by the window that looks onto Hanover, especially on a snowy evening. It may be loud, but the fun of being swept up in the scene overcomes the restaurant’s minor flaws.

Food at Castle Hill Dining Room & Lawn, Newport, New England

Castle Hill Dining Room & Lawn

Though he now calls New England home, Chef Karsten Hart originally hails from New Orleans and grew up with one German and one Italian parent. Hart's menu emphasizes seafood and many dishes, such as the fluke and lobster etouffee and a delicious muffaletta, celebrate his background.

The best dishes on the menu are the double-stuffed lobster roll, steamed littleneck clams and Jonah crab stuffed quahogs. The Dining Room and Lawn have the same menus, but very different atmospheres. Whereas the Dining Room is more formal and popular with an older crowd, during the summer months, the Lawn is the place to be, overlooking the water and a lawn covered with white Adirondack chairs.

Editors' Picks
Exterior View - Chilmark General Store, Martha's Vineyard, New England

Chilmark General Store

Chilmark’s general store may not be as pretty as Alley’s in West Tisbury, but it’s a popular spot for a slice of pizza (there are twenty-five kinds on the menu) and island gossip. If you’re on your way to the western beaches and Aquinnah, it’s a great place to stop for a picnic or grab takeout. The green rocking chairs on the large porch out front are wonderful for a lazy afternoon snack.

Food at Chilmark Tavern, Martha's Vineyard, New England

Chilmark Tavern

Chilmark Tavern celebrates the Vineyard’s natural bounty with fresh seafood and produce from local farms and markets. The chef refers to the endeavor as an American Tavern and serves dishes such as Martha’s Vineyard oysters, Allen Farm lamb cooked two ways, fluke fillet with a Meyer lemon beurre blanc and warm rhubarb cobbler.

Indagare Tip: There’s a bar menu with delicious tastes, which is perfect for a quick dinner if you arrive late on the island.

Exterior View - Clarke Cook House & The SkyBar,  Newport, New England

Clarke Cooke House & The SkyBar

An institution in Newport, the Clarke Cooke House is as famous for its dining options as it is for its late-night revelry. The 18th-century building on Bannister's Wharf houses multiple dining rooms but favorites are the traditional Porch, with white tablecloths and green-painted bamboo chairs, and the main, ground level Bistro, which is largely open-air during warm months. Cuisine is typical to Newport, highlighting Rhode Island seafood specialties and sushi is offered in the summer. The SkyBar (at the top) and basement-level nightclub Boom Boom Room are the hottest post-dinner drinks and dancing spots in town.

Editors' Picks

Claudette’s

A longtime reliable takeout place in Siasconset, Claudette prepares hearty—and pricey—sandwiches to go for visitors en route to the local beach. You can also eat on the petite patio in front of the cute storefront with its red-and-white-striped awning.

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Company of the Cauldron

Tucked off a cobblestoned street in a shingled, ivy-covered cottage, Company of the Cauldron is one of Nantucket’s most beloved restaurants. Indagare Review
Food at Coppa, Boston, New England

Coppa

Just minutes from artisan market Formaggio’s and The Buttery, Toro’s sister restaurant is arguably one of Boston’s best restaurants since opening in 2009. Helmed by experienced restaurateurs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonette (Food & Wine’s Best New Chef in 2011), Coppa serves Italian-style tapas and superb pizzas. My mom loved a zucchini bruschetta so much that we developed our own recipe at home, but nothing compares to the original. Hands-down my favorite restaurant in Boston, it is hard to get a table for a reason; the food is fabulous, the restaurant is small and cozy, and they don’t take reservations. It’s hard to pick what to recommend because it is all so delicious, but a few inventive items are the bone marrow pizza topped with beef tongue and horseradish and a twist on the traditional spaghetti alla carbonara, which steps things up a notch with sea urchin speckled throughout. The menu isn’t only for culinary daredevils, however, with equally delicious margherita pizzas, simple pastas, and a long list of stuzzichini, small Italian bar snacks.

Editors' Picks
Breakfast at Corner Table Café, Nantucket, New England

Corner Table Café

Located within the Nantucket Culinary Center, this cheery café welcomes guests with plenty of natural light and comfortable banquette seating. In addition to excellent coffee, pastries, sandwiches and salads, the menu features a selection of goodies created by chefs in town. Locals swear that these cookies are the most delectable treats on island.

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