?PHOTOGRAPH BY ANTHONY Tieuli
Tucked away in an 1850s-era house on East Main in Gloucester, Duckworth’s Bistrot offers an intimate dining experience that captures the essence and flavors of Cape Ann. The dining room is cozy, with bistro tables with fresh flowers and votives—setting the mood for romance. Chef-owner Ken Duckworth creates memorable dishes using fresh local ingredients. In fact, wholesaler Captain Joe & Sons, located around the corner from the restaurant, provides Duckworth with lobsters. If you have a special occasion coming up, book early—it’s hard to get a reservation on the weekends.
197 E. Main St., Gloucester, 978-282-4426, duckworthsbistro.com
Ceia Kitchen + Bar
This Newburyport eatery stands out consistently as one of the best restaurants on the North Shore. This year readers gave Ceia two thumbs up on the romance scale. And that’s no surprise: With its exposed brick walls, craft cocktails, well-curated wine list, and chef Jeremy Glover’s divine dinner creations, it’s the perfect place to book a table for two.
38 State St., Newburyport, 978-358-8112, ceiakitchenbar.com