Chef Joshua Smith’s long history with small growers—his grandparents and great-grandparents were all farmers, and he spent five years as chef at Short & Main in Gloucester, where local food is prized—means he has the connections to serve up the best the North Shore has to offer. The menu changes nightly, but the spectacular water views are a constant, as is the friendly, thoughtful service. In addition to plentiful seafood, look for cured meats and creative vegetables, from salads to sides. Be sure to make reservations—the intimate space is in high demand during its brief season.
33 River Rd., Annisquam, 978-515-7814, taliserestaurant.com
Like being wrapped up in a cozy pashmina, this restaurant is all about posh comfort. From the thoughtful hospitality to the expert preparation of classic Italian dishes, the intent is to create a familiar yet luxurious escape. The menu is full of enhanced representations of classic dishes—the vinegar peppers served with the pork chop are made in-house, and the Marsala wine in the Veal Marsala is the same brand that co-owner Daniella Mammola’s grandmother always kept on her counter in her East Boston triple-decker. Be sure to save room for dessert—everything is made in-house, overseen by pastry chef Karolina Sadova.
41 Cross St., Peabody, 978-871-2942, daniellasristorante.com