The Paddle Inn, Newburyport
Standout Qualities: Locally caught day boat fish, whenever possible, comes in fresh several times a week, providing the palate for sous chef Pam King’s delectable, creative ceviche.
What’s Unique: Ceviche—raw fish “cooked” with citrus —paired with delicate flavors from around the world that don’t overpower the dish. Recent offerings have included salmon over asparagus pistachio pesto with cauliflower and Thai basil, and local fluke lightly dressed with pickled quince, which gives the fish a delicate lingering floral taste and a surprising tropical flair.
Insider tip: While the cocktails and beer are an obvious score, The Paddle Inn also has a small but sophisticated wine list.
27 State St., Newburyport, 978-572-1242, paddleinnsurf.com
What’s Unique: At least three crudo choices nightly; experimenting with pickling and fermenting to give the tiny bites a strong finish.
25 State St., Newburyport, 978-358-8479, brineoyster.com