Executive chef Ilias Kakouris, a former apprentice of celebrity chef Nicholas Peter Valhouli, pushes up the sleeves of his white uniform as he leads his crew of chefs who roast baby eggplant, grill pizzas in the brick oven, and pan-sear scallops. Kakouris not only oversees the kitchen, but also co-owns Brutole Restaurant with Nick Kakouris, with whom he works to curate a menu of Mediterranean and American flavors. Near the warm glow of the brick oven, cooks pile pizza dough with caramelized onions, figs, and julienned pear while others top grilled beef tenderloin with a red-wine reduction.
The dark-wood-trimmed interior creates a romantic setting in which votive candles flicker atop white tablecloths and the silverware hums Tom Jones's greatest hits. A full bar draws in swarms of entranced patrons with its backlit glass shelves, wall-mounted flat-screen TVs, and signature martinis.
You don't need to join a yacht club to dine at Danversport Grille & Bistro, but you might want to anyway after spending a leisurely afternoon on the patio. As part of the Danversport Yacht Club, the restaurant remains open to the public for all of lunch and dinner. That's a good thing, because everyone will find something to like here, be it the savory steaks, fresh seafood, or stunning views of the waterfront. After your meal, take a stroll through the gardens maintained and manicured by a crew of reformed pirates.
A look of resigned beatification crosses the faces of fresh kiwis, mangos, bananas, and papayas as they knowingly march into whirring blenders to join Maui Wowi Hawaiian's homemade, nonfat yogurt. With no artificial flavors, unnatural colors, or fake accents, the smoothies—most of which harbor less than 250 calories in their 12-ounce incarnation—infuse guests with two servings of fruit and a bevy of vitamins in flavors that range from the tart kiwi lemon lime to the dulcet black raspberry. For caffeinated pick-me-ups, baristas brew kona coffee and mix up specialty drinks, starting with a blend of arabica and kona espresso.
For native Greeks, each bite of moussaka at Ithaki Mediterranean Cuisine is like a warm, delicious hug. Owner Petros Markopoulos and his team individually bake each serving, layering together beef, eggplant, zucchini, and spices, and topping it all in a delectable b?chamel sauce. That cooked-to-order dish is just one of the ways Petros reminds his fellow Greeks of home?while also introducing nonnatives to the flavors and comforts of Mediterranean cuisine. In a 2005 review, The Boston Globe happily noted that Petros "doesn't veer when it comes to the classics," though some of the menu goes beyond the Mediterranean, such as the fried Cape Ann haddock sandwich.
In 2010, a 15-week renovation brought even more comforts to the restaurant. Petros expanded the building, adding colorful accents such as oil paintings, comfy couches, and a full bar, where diners can nibble gyros while watching a game or listening to occasional live music. He also expanded the menu to include a selection of small plates and a raw bar.
Maple Street Tavern's events list is so extensive that you might mistake it for the menu. There's something to do almost every night?whether it's challenging your coworkers to a game of trivia or stepping up to the open mic to test your music or comedy chops. And the space is surrounded by flat-screen TVs, so you can watch as your favorite football team rallies to victory with an unexpected home run.
The kitchen constantly updates their menu to include new?and sometimes themed or seasonal?dishes. Its current incarnation features classic grilled burgers and buttermilk-marinated chicken tenders. Other entrees range from seared duck breast in red wine sauce to slow-roasted pot roast.
At Blue Fin, it's all about traditional Japanese cuisine with New England undertones. Blue Fin serves classic maki and sashimi alongside innovative rolls, such as the blue fin roll's mixture of shrimp tempura, cucumber, and tobiko, in an intimately lit dining room. Besides the dance of flavors whirled together in fresh sushi rolls, the restaurant delights in serving hot entrees including broiled Aika mackerel and soft shell crab tempura served with ponzu sauce. Cold beer, hot sake, and other fine spirits populate the bar area, and keep customers yelling "kanpai!" every Saturday and Sunday.