Philosophy: Food was made for sharing. Shared plates now encompass the entire left side of the menu, and the remaining entrees are plated to split.
Standout Qualities: A wide variety of flavors—anything from paper-thin slices of beef carpaccio, arrayed on a generous plate, to grilled Caesar salad draped with anchovies and, of course, creative pizzas.
Fun fact: Look for produce from local farms used in many ways, such as baby carrots simply roasted with a side of dill yogurt for one dish and pickled in another.
288 Derby St., Salem, 978-594-8709, bambolinarestaurant.com
Ceia Kitchen + Bar, Newburyport
Insider tip: Always order the octopus. No matter what the season, chef Jeremy Glover has a deft hand with the tentacled delicacy.
38 State St., Newburyport, 978-358-8112, ceiakitchenbar.com