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2018 Dessert

Editors’ Choice

Counter, Salem Standout Qualities: Chef Justin Perdue takes inspiration from the counter restaurants of old, including their desserts. Like the main courses, Perdue aims for the desserts to have a balance of flavors, not just sweetness, so he incorporates some vinegar to achieve his magic. The end results are exquisite plates that round out any meal. What’s New: Counter’s pie menu has just come out, featuring two daily pies that change often. Insider Tip: Desserts focus on citrus in the wintertime. When snow returns, get the grapefruit tart, a sophisticated grown-up construction of shortbread crust filled with ginger cream and topped with slices of fresh pink grapefruit, served alongside a scoop of bright basil ice cream. 209 Essex St., Salem, 978-451-4818,

Readers’ Choice

Buttermilk Baking Company, Newburyport Standout Qualities: Scones, tarts, and cookies are perfectly baked and often incorporate something savory—bacon’s a favorite—in addition to the sweet. 9 Liberty St., Newburyport 978-499-8278,
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