A 1953 International Harvester tractor parks outside Maggie’s Farm, and inside, barn lights and boards reclaimed from a 1700s barn evoke a cozy country feeling. And yet, despite the fact that the restaurant’s decor was harvested from and styled after local farms under the direction of a rooster with an interior-designer background, the menus widen their focus to include more internationally inspired meals.
Beyond homestyle eats such as meatloaf and Black Angus burgers, diners can settle into plates of fish ’n’ chips, Cuban sandwiches, and chicken milanese. A separate sushi menu boasts six types of nigiri and sashimi, 16 specialty rolls, and oysters pulled from the waters of Massachusetts, Virginia, and the Long Island Sound.
Thirty-four stools encircle the bar, where bartenders fill glasses with both macrobrews and local beers such as Cape Ann Kolsch and Cody Wheelers Brown. The bartenders also craft cocktails, infusing elderflower liqueur into gin-based elder and wisers, and plopping champagne floats onto mimosa martinis with orange vodka and Cointreau. Nearly 30 wines populate a list with varietals culled from New Zealand, Argentina, and Sardinia.
However, the founders of Maggie’s Farm envisioned it as more than a place to eat and drink; they were also inspired by the promise of meeting new friends and their love of counterculture music. Named after the Bob Dylan song, the restaurant maintains that spirit by hosting live musicians whose styles range from funk to bluegrass to acoustic. A magician mystifies families with tricks Monday and Tuesday, and ladies’ night on Wednesday dishes out $1 oysters while banishing the men’s room to another plane on the space-time continuum.
The cooks at Piccadilly Pub Restaurant bake, fry, grill, and assemble a medley of sandwiches, seafood platters, and other comfort cuisine. Haddock fillets take a dip in a light beer batter before trans-fat-free oil cooks them to a golden crisp, and fries and coleslaw cuddle up beside them in a dish of fish 'n' chips ($11.69). A dozen seafood platters harvest additional ocean occupants, including lobster, salmon, shrimp, and mermaid-grown sea vegetables. Baked bowls of shepherd's pie ($9.59) and chicken pot pie ($8.99) release a flood of steam after knives and forks cut into the blistering combination of seasoned meat and vegetables. A different house-made soup holds court daily ($3.50–$4.50), and the soothing staples of Piccadilly clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl ($7.99) and lobster bisque ($4.59–$7.99), taking their middle-school yearbook inscriptions to heart, never change.
For more than 30 years, Countryside Deli, Pizzeria & Caterers has mastered a vast menu of comfort dishes from America and Italy. Diners stroll up to the counter in Countryside's simple dining room to order hot or cold sandwiches, cheesy pizzas, or plates of gnocchi with eggplant and mushrooms. Its catering selection is equally diverse, featuring trays full of tortellini alfredo, chicken marsala, and eggplant rollatini, as well as sandwich platters and giant subs perfect for serving a bunch of fans watching a football game or one football player after a football game.
If anyone asks why it's called The Ship Restaurant, they've never been there. Although landlocked in Lynnfield, The Ship has nearly everything necessary to set sail: two masts with rigging, a sturdy bowsprit, a red hull that looks ready to embrace the sea, and a deck where the ship's Captain once carved small sailboats out of wood with a jackknife. That man was Captain James F. Wilkinson, a retired sea captain began his landlubbing life with a small refreshment stand. In 1963, Captain combined his dreams of building his own ship and his own restaurant when he launched The Ship Restaurant.
Although his eatery will never set sail, passengers who cross the gangplank and board the vessel can experience the culinary adventures of a seafaring captain such as tropical cocktails and dishes that taste as if they'd come straight from Thailand, the Amalfi Coast, and The Caribbean. Guests can opt for entrees such as the cajun-spiced salmon or New England favorites that include the fisherman's platter or baked cod. As customers dine, they can look out the restaurant's portholes, bask in the romantic light of the lanterns swinging over head, and dictate their personal captain's log to their date.
In The Big Lebowski, "The Dude" will always take a break from his life of not-very-organized crime to go bowling. That's why, at Kings Lynnfield, a poster of The Dude presides over the 16 bowling lanes, all bathed in festive, neon purple light. Other games pepper the fun center, too, from a regulation-size bocce court and shuffleboard table to two pool tables, ideal for honing your game or pulling up a chair and eating an eight ball for dinner. As patrons sip drinks from the two bars, or refuel with at the onsite eatery, they can also watch professionals games thanks to the more than 50 HDTVs scattered throughout the establishment.
Honey-hued drapes span wall-to-wall windows. Polished silverware glimmers in the glow from dangling strings of lights and tiny wall sconces. Ristorante Pavarotti's Italian-born owner, Massimo, knows that little touches like this make a huge difference, whether you’re decorating a restaurant to create romantic ambiance or crafting authentic Italian cuisine. White tablecloths warm beneath veal and fresh seafood in red- and white-wine reductions, and other traditional dishes on the menu ramp up with gourmet ingredients such as artichokes, truffle oil, and pecorino cheese. Between bites of homemade fusilli or lobster and crab ravioli, guests can ask a server to suggest a bottle of wine to transport their senses to Italy, or a genie in a bottle to transport their physical bodies there.