Elm Square Oyster Co., Andover
Outstanding Qualities: Executive chef Michael Sherman deftly blends the best of molecular gastronomy with approachable New England fare to come up with dishes that are exciting yet familiar.
What’s unique: Everything is made in-house, including ketchup, bacon, vinegar, and finishing salts. A large selection of wines by the glass, alongside beer and cocktail offerings, can be perfectly paired to your meal by bar manager Colin Welch.
Fun Fact: Sherman uses his dehydrator to create everything from yogurt powder to chewy beer, enabling adventurous diners to experience a familiar flavor in a whole new way.
Insider tip: The five-course tasting menu is a thrill ride of tastes and textures, combining favorites, seasonal bites, and newly developed dishes.
2 Elm Sq., Andover, 978-470-2228, elmsquareoysterco.com
Mission Oak Grill, Newburyport
Insider tip: Owner Wellington Augusto hails from Brazil—the dishes on his predominantly steak house menu from his home country are outstanding.
26 Green St., Newburyport, 978-463-9009, missionoakgrill.com