For more than 30 years, The Lighthouse Preservation Society has worked to save and maintain the endangered lighthouses of the United States. The organization has spawned Congressional hearings and legislation, sponsored National Lighthouse Day, and aided in the creation of the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act and the National Lighthouse Museum. The organization has also raised lighthouse awareness in the national consciousness, placing hundreds of lighthouses on the National Register of Historic Places and landing the most scenic ones on popular U.S. Postage stamps. This is all in addition to the ongoing preservation efforts; to date, the organization has raised nearly $6 million for more than 160 lighthouse-restoration projects. It's little wonder that the nonprofit was chosen as a recipient of the prestigious Presidential Achievement Award for its efforts to maintain America's coastal heritage. Day to day, members lead lighthouse tours and present lighthouse-related presentations, gather historic documents and artifacts, and manufacture replica replacement parts.
Even when a lighthouse guides its last ship, the organization keeps its spirit alive through creative adaptive reuse projects. They take special pride in their private dining program, headquartered in the Newburyport Lighthouse on Massachusetts' North Shore. Recommended by Boston's Phantom Gourmet and lauded by Yankee Magazine as a "glass-enclosed love nest," the intimate multicourse meals pair dishes from sea and land with views of the historic town harbor and picturesque beaches. The cozy circular room nestled at the top of the lighthouse retains its functional panoramic views, but also features comforts including padded benches, a dining table, a music system, and a climate control system. There's even an outdoor balcony, giving diners the chance to feel the ocean breezes from 60 feet in the air.
With a combined 70 years of culinary experience, the chefs at Capri Seaside Italian Grille & Bar craft a dinner menu filled with authentic Italian cuisine made from locally-sourced seafood, prime meats, and other fresh ingredients. Homemade bread is baked on-site daily and showcases its family-recipe-fueled talent in dishes such as the steak tip crostini, a medley of grilled meat, arugula, sweet and spicy peppers, and aged balsamic perched atop toasted focaccia ($9). Like a crab's panic room, delicate lobster and ricotta ravioli ($12 or $17) safely harbor a crustacean and arrive bedecked in lemon tarragon beurre blanc. Pan-seared scallops, risotto-mascarpone cake, grilled corn, and cilantro vinaigrette run amok in the scallop risotto ($20) while diners on the outdoor patio slice into the braccioletini ($17), a roasted chicken breast stuffed like a succulent teddy bear with prosciutto, mozzarella, and pecorino romano cheese.
Plum Island Beachcoma reopened in 2011 after a seven-year hiatus to serve American favorites in a laid-back, beach-themed setting and continue a tradition as a local hangout that stretches back to the 1950s. Surrounded by bright yellow walls and beach paraphernalia, diners watch sports on flat-screen TVs and dig into lobster-salad sandwiches with sliced avocado and 8-ounce Angus-beef burgers. The beachy vibe is carried on in entrees such as fish tacos and coconut-crusted chicken, made with ingredients plucked from Hawaii's fabled coconut-chicken trees.
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As golf carts putter across the lush, manicured grounds of Exeter Country Club, chefs are hard at work in the kitchen of the club's onsite restaurant—Grill on the Hill. They cut french fries by hand, blend fresh sauces, and regularly fold themselves into the refrigerator crisper so they can better empathize with the produce. The restaurant's crispy wings get tossed in chili-lime marinade, lemon garlic butter, and buffalo sauce, and the eight-ounce black angus burger is layered with bacon and caramelized onions. Also available: custom wraps and panini, which you can get filled with selection of meats, cheeses, and toppings, and various kid-friendly dishes, including hot dogs and chicken tenders.
Ashworth by the Sea is a picturesque getaway spot, enhanced by views of the ocean and imbued with a relaxing, traditional New England vibe. Rooms can fit two city escapees or suburban fugitives, and may come with two queen or one king-sized bed, plus a balcony ideal for silent, romantic stargazing or pedantically pointing out made-up constellations. On the night of your arrival, you’ll receive a $20 voucher toward dinner for two in Breakers Restaurant, which features coast-appropriate fare such as the lobster roll ($18) or the Atlantic haddock beach special ($10.50); the next morning’s meal will come with a $10 voucher for a breakfast of $20 or more. You and your significant other, family member, or strange traveling companion with a handcuff bracelet can enjoy the heated waves of Ashworth’s indoor pool, or bask in the electric glow of the wireless Internet.
The concept for Savory Square Bistro developed "after years of successful 'Friday Night Bistro Night' dinners as part of Chez Boucher Cooking School," according to Hampton–North Hampton Patch. This concept stuck and the cozy, Old World-style eatery continues to share an address with the culinary training center, allowing diners to indulge in rustic meals inspired by French countryside cooking, Asian flavors, and seasonal New England ingredients. For an extra bit of homespun charm, the bistro's chefs invest a bit of extra effort into their recipes by hand cutting each order of frites, making boursin cheese, and curing salmon in in the kitchen. Even though crisp white linens adorn each table, the intimately lit space is decidedly casual. A painted mural of a provincial village swaths one large wall, complementing the room's mustard-yellow and sunset-orange accents. Various bottles of wine fill the cubbies in the mahogany-hued cube shelves that flank the mural.