Some meat-centric restaurants may try to evoke an old-time Western ranch, but chef Harding Lee Smith dubs The Grill Room & Bar an “urban steakhouse.” Although the open, high-ceilinged dining room exudes plenty of rustic charm, Smith is most inspired by his restaurant's own bustling neighborhood and the local farms beyond it. Starring in a cast of fresh, locally grown produce are grass-fed, all-natural meats from New Gloucester's Pineland Farms. These meats—think spice-rubbed skirt steaks, butterflied pork chops, and organic Cornish game hen—are seared on the open kitchen’s wood-fired grill and then plated with modern flourishes such as truffled mash and grilled onion jam. Seafood dishes benefit equally from the wood grills, while a wood pizza oven creates crackly, chewy pies such as a duck and brie pizza with shaved apples and balsamic syrup.
Wines range through France, Italy, and New Zealand, and bartenders kick out cocktails such as hot buttered rum and the Creole Bull, a Twenty-2 vodka concoction with peppers and smoked peppercorns. Desserts tend toward the rich and creamy, with house-made bean crème brulee and New York–style cheesecakes whose flavors vary with the seasons and the Statue of Liberty's moods.
From shrimp and scallops to crabs and calamari, the culinary team at Muddy Rudder crafts an award-winning menu of classic seafood. They brush grilled salmon with a honey-mustard glaze, fill steamed lobster with seafood stuffing, and drizzle fried clams with r?moulade sauce. Patrons enjoy the oceanic morsels while seated at the linen-draped tables in the dining room?sometimes surrounded by the twinkling of live piano music?or outside on the breeze-kissed deck. Alternatives to seafood include pork pot stickers with Asian garlic sauce with toasted pumpkin seeds that sprout into menacing jack-o?-lanterns if they go uneaten. The chef also caters to diners' dietary restrictions with a gluten-free menu stocked with items such as baked haddock and new york strip steak.
Chefs at the Royal River Grillhouse merge classic Maine culinary traditions with contemporary cooking techniques. Bowls of lobster stew and Prince Edward Island mussels in madeira reduction cater to traditionalist seafood diners, and truffle cheese fries put a spin on standards. Hand-cut steaks cook on a grill lit by smoldering wood to infuse the meat with smokiness. Guests can sip on a speciality cocktail or a glass of wine from an expansive list while enjoying views of the Royal River from the dining room or the deck.
Tucked into the rolling greenery of the White Mountains, The Woodshed Restaurant resides in a converted 19th-century farmhouse and barn. The decor reflects the rustic charm of the setting, but the menu features plenty of modern treats. Chefs coat duck breast and confit leg in a cherry port wine reduction, or age steak tips in a sweet bourbon marinade. Though inland, they're still close enough to the sea to get fresh scallops, which they wrap in applewood bacon and serve alongside fire-roasted corn salsa. They follow up meals with all-American desserts such as apple crisp with vanilla ice cream, Denver chocolate pudding, and the chef's choice of flavored cheesecake.
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.
Aikia Steakhouse's staff goes beyond providing food: the chefs make elegant presentation a core part of the dining experience. From arranging sushi rolls artfully on plates to sizzling hibachi entrees on teppanyaki tables right in front of customers, the team takes the doldrums out of dining without the use of motorcycles. Their menu catalogs 20 hibachi dinners, including filet mignon, 28 maki and hand rolls, and several lunch specials. The decor is as upscale as the culinary presentation, with rows of plants set against wood accents and shoji screens marking private tatami rooms.