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2023 General Excellence

Editors’ Choice (upscale)

Pellana Prime Steakhouse, Peabody

For a special occasion or just a singular evening out, it’s hard to match the combination of excellent service and high-quality food at this posh multi-BONS winner. Steaks are front and center, from filet mignon to prime porterhouse, but pescatarians will find a lot to love, too, including an impressive seafood tower and grilled swordfish. The wine list is broad and filled with rare gems—and so is the cocktail list. A new brunch offering, on Saturdays and Sundays beginning at 10:30 a.m., features a house Bloody Mary stacked with candied bacon and shrimp. 9 Sylvan St., Peabody, 978-531-4800,

Short & Main (casual), Gloucester 

The real magic is in the kitchen at this casual, decade-old palace of gourmet pizza and East Coast oysters. Celebrating local farmers and producers is so central to the owners’ philosophy—honed during time in the kitchen at Alice Waters’ famed Berkeley, California, restaurant Chez Panisse—that the menu not only identifies where each oyster is from, but it also lists the individual farmer. Offerings change nightly, but are always sourced as close to Gloucester as possible. Except for things that don’t grow in Massachusetts, all produce comes from local organic farmers, the fish is caught nearby, pork comes from Maine, and the chickens hail from West Gloucester. A thoughtful cocktail list includes several delicious zero-proof options, and well-trained staff can guide you through an extensive beer and wine list. 36 Main St., Gloucester, 978-281-0044,

Readers’ Choice 

Ledger Restaurant & Bar, Salem

Pastry Chef Erin Barry, fresh from working in the kitchens of Boston legends Joanne Chang and Frank McClelland, recently joined the team at this welcoming New American spot. The vibe is friendly, the food is serious with a focus on local, seasonal, and wood-grilled, and the service is consistently excellent, delivered in a beautifully adapted historic former bank. 125 Washington St., Salem, 978-594-1908,
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