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New England dining >>> Romantic New England dining

Romantic, Intimate New England Dining for Your Special Night Out

The Old Mill restaurant, Westminster, MA

The romantic 1761 Old Mill Restaurant in Westminster, MA (photo by Eric H.)

by Eric H.

Call the babysitter, dress up a little, splurge and find yourself in one of New England's most intimate dining spots -- complete with regional atmosphere, wonderful cuisine and instant memories:

Barker Tavern, Scituate, MA -- The Barker Tavern's cozy, colonial, romantic atmosphere provides a perfect setting for extremely well- prepared food. We recommend starting out with the heavenly New England clam chowder and a fresh mixed greens
salad. For the main course, the fresh broiled swordfish has a legendary following, and rightfully so -- tasty and tender does not even begin to describe this incredible dish. The crisp roasted Long Island duckling in port wine orange sauce over a bed of wild rice is an instant food Hall of Fame choice, as well as the pungently delightful roast rack of lamb with a rosemary and garlic crust. We finished with a chocolate cake, complements of the chef, because my wife was expecting our first child. Wonderful people, incredible atmosphere and unsurpassed food makes this our current top choice in New England.

Barker Tavern, 21 Barker Road, Scituate MA, Tel. 781-545-6533


Clay Hill Farm, Cape Neddick, Maine -- Clay Hill Farm is without a doubt the best restaurant in the area and possibly in New England. Clay Hill Farm's lovely gardens and warm intimate dining rooms in an old and elegant farmhouse set the tone for the freshest food we've encountered in many years of dining. The spinach salad is so alive with straight-from-the-garden taste and just the right amount of dressing. The lobster bisque jumps right at your taste bud's joy center. The roast half duck and seafood scampi are particularly amazing, so flavorful and memorable with all the right seasonings and sauces. Deserts, largely of a chocolate theme, will leave you breathless, and a great way to complete a truly romantic dining experience.

Clay Hill Farm, 220 Clay Hill Rd., Cape Neddick (York), Maine, Tel. 207-361-2272


The Foxfire Inn and Italian Restaurant, Stowe, VT -- The Foxfire is a well-maintained warm and loving old inn with very pleasant innkeepers, a crackling fireplace, beautiful guest rooms and an incredibly wonderful restaurant with high caliber Southern and Northern Italian cuisine. It is, on one hand, a romantic restaurant with its candlelit tables, handsome hardwood floors and wonderful rustic Vermont inn atmosphere, but, on the other hand, a family would not seem our of place as there is a children's menu and a staff that is very friendly towards the younger ones. All food is extremely fresh, including the tangy lasagna and mixed platters, which allows one to combine their favorite Italian dishes. Salads are void of iceberg and abundant in fresh, mixed greens. The desserts are rich and filling, including a delicious lemon cheesecake and a melt in your mouth chocolate mouse.

The Foxfire Inn and Italian Restaurant, 1606 Pucker St., Stowe, Vt., Tel. 802-253-4887

Inn at Woodstock Hill, Woodstock, CT-- The Inn at Woodstock Hill might one of New England's finest inns, but it also has a truly remarkable restaurant. We walked down the elegant red carpeted, curved staircase (which was wrapped in tulle, with just the right amount of ivy and floral accents to make you feel as if you were royalty floating down to meet your subjects) straight to a charming little dining room with candlelight, a fireplace and old world furnishings. This was the smaller dining room which was long on warmth, ambience and an incredibly fine menu. We devoured some crab cakes, as good as anything we've had in Maryland. The Caesar salad mixed fresh dark greens with a "just right" dressing. After finishing some wonderfully warm homemade bread, we then fell in love with the irresistibly tender and tasty Long Island duckling with a brandied lingonberry glaze. The New York sirloin steak had perhaps a little too much pepper, but that was no problem, as the quality of the steak rivaled the best steak houses in New England. For dessert, we sampled a fallen chocolate cake, which we had instantly fallen for. Not in recent memory had we tasted such a rich, yet airy chocolate, with just the right amount of raspberry sauce, ultimately designed to finish within seconds because of its incredible taste.

The Inn at Woodstock Hill, 94 Plaine Hill Road, Woodstock, CT., Tel. (860) 928-0528


Mill Wharf Restaurant, Scituate, MA -- The Mill Wharf Pub and Restaurant offers one of the best harbor views we've experienced at a New England restaurant and seafood that is about as good as its gets in New England The lobster stew is undeniably top-notch, a savory mix of abundant lobster chunks and a splendid cream base. The broiled scallops are perfectly prepared and a recent special, the shrimp risotto with an Asian sauce, validated the chef's ambitious and intuitive nature -- a dish that wanted you coming back for more. Of course, there's lobster, cod, and haddock -- all expertly prepared. The atmosphere at night, with its large dimly lit dining room with great hardwood floors and the lovely Scituate Harbor sunsets, make for one of the most memorable dining experiences in the northeast.

Mill Wharf Restaurant, 150 Front St., Scituate, MA. Tel. (781) 545-3999.

1761 Old Mill, Westminster, MA -- The lovely pond graced by ducks, a sweet smelling waterfall, a walk-through covered bridge, and the charming restaurant interior with old wooden floors, and post and beam ceilings in the main dining rooms makes the 1761 Old Mill one of the most attractive dining spots in New England. It is the perfect getaway for a romantic, rustic dining experience, featuring wonderful Yankee fare and well prepared traditional steak, chicken and seafood dishes. Desserts are to behold, also, especially the homemade apple crisp and carrot cake. But it is the wonderful setting that stands above it all, resulting in the 1761 Old Mill representing true, traditional New England dining and scenic beauty, perhaps better than any restaurant in Massachusetts.

The 1761 Old Mill , Rte. 2A, Westminster, MA 01473, Tel. (978) 874-5941.


Top of the Hub, Boston MA -- Formerly a mediocre tourist trap, the Top of the Hub eventually transformed itself into a plush, classy New American cuisine establishment. Clever variations of steak, seafood and chicken dishes make the Top of the Hub more than just a place with a spectacular view of the Charles River, Boston and outlying communities. Located on the 52nd floor of the Prudential Building, the Top of the Hub is recommended for all romantics except those with acrophobia.

800 Boylston St., Boston, MA (Prudential Building, 52nd floor), Tel. (617) 536-1775

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