Restaurants in Portsmouth

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Every day is Mother’s Day for Chef Sam. The family’s matriarch, Sam’s mother, Assia, recreated the recipes of her girlhood in Revorno, Sicily, filling her home with tantalizing smells and her children with a love of family-style cooking. Sam puts these values on display at La Bella BYOB Italian Restaurant, dishing out Southern Italian staples including lemony chicken francese and veal cacciatore in a softly lit dining room decorated to resemble a rustic Italian countryside home. He also invites diners to bring their own alcoholic drinks and enjoy them without a corking fee, though they must still be 21 and have the ability to recite the Greek alphabet backwards in order to consume alcohol. Fulfilling his promise to make everyone feel like family, Chef Sam also makes La Bella's dishes available for catering for as few as 10 or as many as 1,000 eaters.

2454 Lafayette Rd
Portsmouth,
NH
US

At What a Crock!, chefs turn locally sourced ingredients into experimental and familiar made-from-scratch soups, stews, and chowders. Three signature options headline the menu, including creamy tomato and the chicken-based Doc in a Crock, and chowder. Five daily-rotated specialties join the signature selections on the Slurp side, and on the Sip side, What a Crock! maintains its locally sourced theme with milks, sodas, and waters tapped from nearby springs. For a crunch, the restaurant dishes out freshly prepped salads, such as our house "crock salad" and Caesar salad, in addition to the speciality salads offered throughout the week.

14 Manchester Sq
Portsmouth,
NH
US

York Harbor incorporates a quartet of historical communities into one picturesque town brimming with natural beauty and historical charisma. Travelers can stroll the secluded sands of York Harbor Beach, or cruise down Route 1 to inspect more than 20 antique shops stocked with furniture, fine china, or wooden nickels. Hikers, bikers, and equestrians can twist and turn through 10,000 acres of untouched coastal forest winding through the Mount Agamenticus Conservation Region or walk across the Wiggly Bridge.The Old York Historical Society promotes York Harbor's rich history by showcasing colonial exhibits and landmarks. Among properties fit for sightseeing, a one-room schoolhouse from 1745, a tavern dating to 1750, and the Old Gaol prison, erected in 1719, welcome visitors into their historic walls.

480 York Street
York Harbor,
ME
US

You would think that a restaurant inside one of The Hill's 200-year-old historic homes would have a menu steeped in traditional American cuisine. But that's not the case with Blue Mermaid Island Grill, which instead serves the sweet, spicy food of the Caribbean. Popular dishes include everything from guava-braised short ribs to a New World paella with chicken, shrimp, mussels, and sausage in curried rice. Chefs can prepare many menu items vegetarian or gluten-free.

Blue Mermaid Island Grill also has full bar service, including eight rotating craft-beer taps and margaritas in nine flavors. Cocktails contribute to an upbeat vibe?which landed it a feature on Food Network's Rachel Ray's Tasty Travels?as does live music four nights a week with both professional and local musicians. The indoor and outdoor dining areas are decorated with pieces from local artists, adding to the grassroots vibe and relieving owners Scott and Karen Logan of trying to pull off a major museum heist.

116 High Street
Portsmouth,
NH
US

Owner Jacqui’s healthy take on homestyle cooking shines through in every entree at Serenity Cafe & Catering, whether she’s cracking eight eggs to make breakfast pizza in the morning or baking housemade dough for the oven-roasted turkey BLT. A bulk of the menu is dedicated to sating noontime appetites, with fruit smoothies, deli sandwiches, and a hummus wrap stuffed with roasted red-pepper hummus, sprouts, and avocado. Even the dessert menu, with the Wacqui Jacqui brand of gluten-free cookies, sticks to the healthy-living program

25 Sagamore Rd
Rye,
NH
US

Ruby's chefs pluck specialty pizzas and quesadillas hot from an authentic brick oven, in addition to slathering barbecue dishes with house sauce and grilling up steak and seafood entrees. Guests burst out of the barbecue gate with an appetizer of Ruby's smoked ribs, a hickory-smoked heap of pork crafted St. Louis style, piled into a delicately balanced arch. The Odyssey pizza rallies wine, artichokes, and greek olives on a field of mozzarella and feta for an epic journey to waiting mouths, and The Philly covers its sandwich-inspired disk with shaved steak, american cheese, peppers, onions, and mushrooms. Diners can summon an 8-ounce salmon fillet in a grilled, blackened, jerk, or citrus model perched across from two sides. For a more portable meat parcel, the pulled-pork sandwich stuffs its bun with saucy strips that have been smoked for 12 hours and trained to defend themselves from beef patties in martial combat.

433 US Route 1
York,
ME
US