Ceia Kitchen + Bar
We don’t use the word “perfection” lightly in these BONS pages. But one restaurant continually stands out among a sea of worthy eateries for its cuisine, service, atmosphere, wine list, and craft cocktails—the dining experience at Ceia is, well, excellent. Owner Nancy Batista-Caswell won the 2014 Coastal New England Rising Star Restaurateur Award. Her approach to everything in the establishment is meticulous. Upon entering you feel like you’re in a trendy a SoHo, New York, establishment. Exposed brick walls, copper-topped bars and tables, wooden banquettes, and comfortable rattan chairs set the scene. The three floors make the dining experience intimate. Chef Patrick Soucy brings all the bounty of New England to his exquisite dishes. His plated compositions are a symphony of both subtle and complex flavors, which are sure to make your taste buds sing. Soucy serves honest and authentic food—foraging, curing, canning, smoking, and brewing most of the ingredients in his dishes himself. Dishes such as braised goat, basil-infused goat yogurt, wheat berries, violet blossoms, beet-brunet mousse and bee pollen offer a melody of flavors. Along with the dishes, the service is impeccable. The waitstaff is attentive and knowledgeable, and Batista-Caswell educates them on wines to pair with meals. With such attention to detail, it is no wonder Ceia continues to win high marks.
38 State St., Newburyport, 978-358-8112, ceiakitchenbar.com
The Blue Ox
“Love this place! Great North Shore fancy food, but without the snobbery of some of the surrounding areas. When I want to splurge, I go to this comfortable spot. Everything is on point.” –A.V.