Romantic restaurants, new eateries, cheap eats, haute cuisine—we have tons of dining-out options here on the Seacoast. Then there are the specialties, like seafood, steak, cocktails, beer, wine, chocolate... And we each have our favorites, the places we like best for all kinds of eats and drinks. We asked you to get online and vote, choosing your preferred culinary destinations all along the New England shore. The voter turnout was tremendous. We've tallied the numbers and determined the best in dozens of categories, from coffee to cocktails, butcher shops to health food markets, sports bars to special-occasion places, and lots more.Some old favorites are back, and several new winners have joined the list. You can sample the best of the best at our second annual Best of Taste Bash on October 19 (click here for details). A portion of all proceeds will go the New Hampshire Food Bank. Hope to see you there!Many thanks to the chefs, restaurateurs, brewers, bakers, sommeliers, farmers, and other food professionals who have established so many wonderful culinary destinations and created such amazing tastes. It's your hard work that makes the Seacoast such an exciting place to dine.And now—the Best of Taste 2012!
It’s hard to imagine a prettier spot on the Seacoast than this postcard-perfect foodie find. Nestled on Harris Island, Dockside Restaurant overlooks a protected harbor and small marina dotted with bobbing sailboats and dinghies, small yachts, and working lobster boats. Look to the east and you’ll see the open ocean, the waves crashing against Boone Island, and a slice of Maine’s rocky, spruce-studded coastline. You could come solely for the setting, but what happens in the kitchen is equally dazzling.
John Welch, executive chef of the Wentworth by the Sea resort, says, "Our entire menu is inspired by the ocean that surrounds us." With a sweep of his hand, he adds, "I want people to know that everything they're eating is right out there."
A commercial plaza on Portsmouth's Mirona Road might not be the kind of place where you'd expect to find authentic Greek fare. Located in Madison Village off Route 1, Café Nostimo serves a variety of traditional Greek dishes (and a handful of American favorites as well), while offering customers an affordable alternative to dinner downtown. Having won Taste's Best Of award for Inexpensive Lunch and Dinner three years in a row, it's no wonder customers say, "It's like eating in Yia Yia's kitchen."
For over 15 years, Blue Moon Market and Café was a natural food store and casual restaurant. But in the fall of 2010 it morphed into Blue Moon Evolution, an elegant but unfussy lunch and dinner restaurant complete with refined table service, candlelight, white tablecloths, fresh flowers, and a superb locavore fine-dining menu. Much more than a glorified café, its worth seeking out this new Moon.
Ian Thomas doesn’t set out to create a signature dish—it’s more an act of spontaneity, a dash of chance. As the Executive Chef of The District restaurant explains, anyone can create an elaborate, beautiful-to-look-at dish—but it takes “real genius” to craft something that’s straightforward, yet elegant and, most important, delicious. “The simplest dishes usually become the signature ones,” says Thomas, who is most inspired by French and Asian fare.