Anthony Conelisee, Hungry Betty’s executive chef, comes from a tradition of restaurateurs: his family has opened several restaurants on the Cape. He himself honed his cooking skills overseas, learning from some of the top chefs of Ireland and Italy and running a London bar in the early 2000s. Today, he brings that experience to bear in crafting Hungry Betty’s new menu of bar-and-grill fare with fine dining twists—one of the changes to come along with the restaurant’s recent change in ownership. Alongside classics such as meat loaf and fish and chips you’ll find more creative offerings such as seared scallops served with mushroom ravioli and egg rolls stuffed with shaved steak and salami.
The restaurant has a fun, family-friendly vibe. Kids (11 or younger) eat free on Tuesdays, and the décor is open and casual with five TVs and a well of windows looking out from the second level of the Village Plaza. You can check out Hungry Betty’s event calendar to see what’s going on each day, but some ongoing events include Wednesday trivia, Friday night karaoke, and live music on Saturdays.
Manhattan Sandwich Company concocts a menu of tasty New York–style deli fare, including specialty sandwiches, soups, and salads. Noontime noshers can calm down rumbling bellies with a specialty sandwich, such as Mickey's #7, a pile of turkey, coleslaw, and melted swiss cheese topped off with a splash of russian dressing ($7.09). Or, stride inside the deli and insist that you must have either liberty or the herbivore-friendly Central Park veggie melt, a smattering of veggies and cheeses that also happen to be drenched in russian dressing ($6.49).
Alongside the sandy shores of Devereux Beach, Lime Rickey's grill masters pacify hunger pangs with a seafood-centric menu overflowing with sandwiches and entree plates. Shellfish fans savor the lobster roll's succulent chunks of fresh Atlantic lobster resting inside the crusty-bread chrysalis, accompanied by a bag of potato chips ($16.95). Buffet tongues with deep-fried dishes such as the fish 'n' chips ($12.95) and the fried clam-strip plate ($13.95), or appease circular cravings with nests of onion rings ($4.50). A variety of classic sandwiches, salads, and wraps comfort lonely taste buds or grant nostalgic last meals to wisdom teeth awaiting retirement.
Today, Victoria Station in Salem is unique—but it wasn't always. In 1970, inspired by the landmark Victoria Station in London, three Cornell Hotel School graduates created a restaurant with English touches, such as a bright-red phone booth and authentic train cars they'd turned into dining cars. They opened up in San Francisco, and the business grew. By the 1980s, there were about 100 Victoria Station locations in the United States and around the world. Johnny Cash did a stint as their spokesman.
But the company filed for bankruptcy in 1986. Its rise and fall is documented in Tom Blake's book Prime Rib and Boxcars: Whatever Happened to Victoria Station? The waterfront Salem location was the very last to open, and it's the only one left.
Today, the restaurant has gone in its own direction, drawing inspiration from both the restaurant's past and its current surroundings. Classic New England cuisine and old steak-house favorites mingle comfortably on the menu. The chefs coat haddock in a seasoned cracker crust to bake and serve with chardonnay and fresh lemon juice, and the slow-roasted prime rib that made the original restaurant famous still has a place on the menu. Diners can also order up house favorites, such as lobster mac 'n' cheese with five-cheese béchamel sauce and cornbread shallot crumbs, or they can opt for an Angus burger.
Vic's Boathouse, a bar and lounge, opened in 2010. There, diners can request a local or craft brew, order a martini, or pick from the pub menu. The bar hosts nightly live entertainment, including open-mic sessions, live musicians, and karaoke, which makes for lively evenings without the expense of hiring a DJ for family dinner.
Situated on Salem’s scenic Pickering Wharf, Capt's Waterfront - Premium Steak & Seafood Grill provides guests with picturesque harbor views from its upstairs dining room and deck or first-floor bar and grill. While catching sports games playing on the widescreen televisions, guests in the bar and grill can overlook the harbor while cozied up next to the fireplace. Upstairs, the main dining area offers an ideal atmosphere for a romantic date or special event, with a full wine list and meals of charcoal-grilled steaks, lobster, and other market-fresh seafood. On Sundays, brunch momentarily takes over the eatery, with specialties such as lobster eggs benedict and apple-and-cheese French toast box served with a Bloddy Mary bar and bottomless coffees or espresso drinks.