In Portsmouth, a trip down memory lane just might mean a jaunt around the Rotary. There, nestled beside the Best Western hotel, you’ll find the aptly named Roundabout Diner. Opened by former Muddy River Smokehouse owner Dan Posternak in 2011, the Roundabout shimmers with ’50s Americana from the outside in, all the way down to requisite race-script arrow sign, checkerboard floors, and plush vinyl booths. It’s enough to make this ’90s grunge kid wish he’d commandeered Doc Brown’s DeLorean.
You won’t ﬁnd a restaurant that oozes more charm and character than the beloved ffrost Sawyer Tavern, tucked in the lower level of a historic 1649 home (now inn) on the banks of the Oyster River in Durham, New Hampshire.
As you enter The Poynt in downtown Newburyport, your eyes will be drawn to the 360-degree bar in the center of the room. Rolling pins line a wall next to the pizza oven and cooks dance around one another in an open kitchen. Proprietors John and Laura Wolfe, who also own Brick & Ash in Newburyport, as well as more restaurants in Massachusetts and California, incorporated design elements to honor John Farley Clothiers, which formerly occupied the space. The backs of booths are upholstered with fabric used for men’s shirts and the old brick leading into a private dining area, The Wolfe’s Den, remains lettered with Farley’s legacy.
As one of New England’s premier coastal towns, Ogunquit brings together the best of land and sea. Beach lovers have access to a huge stretch of sandy shores. Walk along Marginal Way, a paved footpath that connects Perkins Cove—with its boutique shops, alfresco dining, and beautiful views of the colorful ships anchored in the harbor—to Ogunquit Beach. The welcoming community is ﬁlled with charm and offers a little of everything for visitors who’ve traveled near and far in search of the perfect getaway spot.
When you come to the 180 Restaurant & Bar, expect to be treated like family. Owners Brendon MacMahon and Graham Pellerin opened the eatery in 2009 and crafted a menu featuring only the types of dishes they’d want to serve to their loved ones. The North Hampton spot is cozy and casual—a great place to relax for lunch.
Portsmouth chefs reveal their personal menu preferences A LOT OF THOUGHT AND WORK goes into creating a restaurant menu. It must personify the restaurant’s philosophy and stay true to its mission. It should be varied enough to offer a little something for everyone. And, in the best of worlds, it reﬂects the creativity and inspiration of the chef at the helm. So, what are chefs looking forward to putting on their menus this season? We asked some of Portsmouth’s best chefs to reveal their favorite dishes. Here’s what’s cooking.