What is New England's ultimate dining experience? The finalists for this New England Travel Readers' Choice Award ranged from casual seafood spots to elegant and much-acclaimed dining destinations.
The winner and runners-up for Best Restaurant in New England are...
Woodman's of Essex is where fried clams were invented, and connoisseurs of clams know there's no better place than this Massachusetts North Shore eatery to feast on fried clams and tender whole bellies, too! Woodman's isn't fancy, but the seafood prepared here has wowed generations of customers. More than 50 members of the Woodman family still sustain the business, which traces its origins to Chubby Woodman's fateful decision to throw clams into his potato chip fryer in 1916. It's a true New England success story. And so is Woodman's victory in this hotly contested award category.
The Salem Cross Inn in West Brookfield, Massachusetts, is a fascinating place to dine and a quintessentially New England experience. The colonial structure, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is home to the only known operating Roasting Jack: a circa 1700 device for roasting beef, game and fowl over an open hearth. And baked goods are prepared in a 1699 beehive oven! Menus feature classic New England dishes, and diners in search of a truly memorable meal flock here for Fireplace Feasts on select dates in the winter and early spring.
If you haven't been to the White Barn Inn, my photo tour may convince you that dinner at this highly acclaimed Kennebunk Beach, Maine, restaurant should be on your bucket list. The elegantly rustic restaurant is one of only two Forbes 5-Star restaurants north of Manhattan and a AAA Five Diamond honoree for 20 straight years.