Most modern cuisine is a continuation of classic dishes, just as a computer is a slightly modified typewriter and a washing machine is a river in a box. Revel in palatable progress with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of Mediterranean fusion fare at Brutole Restaurant in Danvers. Reservations are required; call ahead.
Brutole Restaurant's lunch and dinner menus feature contemporary American and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. Lunchtime options include a slew of savory sandwiches, such as the grilled chicken with pesto, fire-roasted red peppers, and fresh mozzarella ($12), as well as a selection of grilled pizzas piled with delectable toppings such as wild mushrooms, goat cheese, and caramelized onions ($16+). Main-stage meals begin by tantalizing taste buds with predinner plates, including the slowly rendered duck breast atop a bed of truffle risotto, blanketed in a blackberry reduction ($14). Complementary flavor notes harmonize sweetly in hearty entrees, such as the panko-encrusted pork tenderloin with mustard greens and hoisin-cranberry reduction ($28) and the lobster ravioli simmered and served in a luxurious pool of tomato-sherry cream sauce, with or without lobster beach balls ($29).
Executive chef Ilias Kakouris, a former apprentice of celebrity chef Nicholas Peter Valhouli, pushes up the sleeves of his white uniform as he leads his crew of chefs who roast baby eggplant, grill pizzas in the brick oven, and pan-sear scallops. Kakouris not only oversees the kitchen, but also co-owns Brutole Restaurant with Nick Kakouris, with whom he works to curate a menu of Mediterranean and American flavors. Near the warm glow of the brick oven, cooks pile pizza dough with caramelized onions, figs, and julienned pear while others top grilled beef tenderloin with a red-wine reduction.
The dark-wood-trimmed interior creates a romantic setting in which votive candles flicker atop white tablecloths and the silverware hums Tom Jones's greatest hits. A full bar draws in swarms of entranced patrons with its backlit glass shelves, wall-mounted flat-screen TVs, and signature martinis.