Editors’ Choice (THREE WAY TIE)
With an emphasis on locally grown herbs and vegetables and scratch-made pastas and sauces, Angelo Caruso has impressed guests with his interpretations of his native Italian cuisine for more than 30 years. While the menu is heavy on fresh seafood—think cioppino packed with shrimp, clams, mussels, calamari, lobster, and haddock; a mixed grill of baby octopus and calamari, served in an olive-rosemary balsamic vinaigrette; or fresh lobster dressed with a spicy plum tomato sauce—Caruso is equally deft with veal and chicken. Not to mention the house-made pasta.
239 Main St., Stoneham, 781-279-9035, angeloristorante.com
Fratelli Restaurant, Encore Boston Harbor
North End powerhouse restaurateurs Frank DePasquale and Nick Varano worked together for the first time to craft this temple of southern Italian specialties. From the classic chicken parm to the truffle-crusted tuna, every bite is perfectly prepared and wonderfully indulgent. With the excitement of the casino just steps away, the posh space treats every guest like a VIP.
1 Broadway, Everett, 617-420-8833, fratelliencore.com
Co-owner John Santaniello’s roots are in southern Italy, just outside of Naples, and his menu hews closely to authentic interpretations of regional dishes like Genovese pasta—a traditional Neapolitan dish of penne topped with a ragu of braised beef and caramelized onion and pecorino cheese, not to mention classic pizza prepared in a state-of-the-art oven imported from Italy. The kitchen is helmed by Jeff Howe, who came up in Jamie Mammano’s Columbus Restaurant Group and served as executive chef at L’Andana in Burlington.
35 Market Sq., Newburyport, 978-358-7741, www.veraristorante.com
Daniella’s Café & Market
The husband-and-wife team of Daniella and Dan Mammola, who also own Pellana Prime Steakhouse and Daniella’s Ristorante, operate this more casual café and bakeshop with the same exacting standards as their other restaurants. With Italy literally in their DNA, the Mammolas create classic preparations, using only the best quality ingredients.
78 Holten St., Danvers, 978-774-0012, daniellascafe.com