Editors’ Choice (TIE)
The light, fresh, and subtly spiced Mediterranean fare at this popular spot is perfectly suited for outdoor dining—so it’s a good thing this summer brought an expanded patio. Danielle and Carlo Berdahn have been operating this spot for more than a decade, giving back to the community through support of local producers and local nonprofits while keeping customers well fed. The salads are bright and inventive, entrees are slow-simmered to bring out the warm spices, and the vibe is cozy. And it’s celebrity-chef approved—last year, Barbara Lynch was spotted at Yella on the Water, the restaurant’s Gloucester sibling.
16 Post Office Ave., 978-749-0011, yellagrille.com
Ithaki Mediterranean Cuisine
More than 20 years ago, chef/owner Petros Markopoulos opened Ithaki with a pocketful of his Mother’s favorite Greek recipes. Over time, he has added layers of modern flair and a menu of small plates in his elegant, light-filled space, while retaining a focus on freshness. From the Greek salad to the Shrimp Saganaki, right through to a gyro or the mixed grill for two, diners can set themselves up for sharing—or keep everything to themselves.
25 Hammatt St., Ipswich, 978-356-0099, ithakicuisine.com
Adriatic Restaurant & Bar
The menu here leans heavily Italian, with a slate of tasty pasta dishes and brick oven pizza, served in a cozy, convivial space. For a unique appetizer, try the “Bag of Munchkins”—lobster, corn, and scallion fritters, served with spicy sriracha mayo.
155 Washington St., Salem, 978-594-1832, adriaticrestaurantandbar.com