North 26, located inside the stately Millennium Bostonian Hotel, dishes up contemporary takes on classic New England cuisine, harnessing fresh seafood and prime meats to construct dishes that have earned glowing accolades from Gayot and Zagat. For breakfast or an insomniac's dinner, chefs serve house-cured corned-beef hash and steel-cut oatmeal flecked with raw vanilla sugar. The dinner menu flaunts elegant sandwiches and entrees, such as seared swordfish and 1.5-pound Maine lobsters that beget beer-battered claw meat and grilled tail. At the fully stocked bar, a smattering of small plates occupies fingers as signature cocktails blended with top-quality bourbon, vermouth, and other liquors satisfy thirsty coasters.
Understated lighting from dangling, cylindrical fixtures glistens off the sleek, modern wood furnishings that adorn nearly every facet of North 26's décor, from the chairs and tables to the blinds and high ceilings. Dozens of wines contemplate ways to break free from their cork confinement and run off with their martini lovers from inside an illuminated rack, which towers over the dining area amid exposed-brick walls and skylights. Full-wall windows permit vistas of bustling Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall located downtown, just beyond North 26's outdoor dining patio.