Terrace Grille at Bar Harbor Inn, 1 Newport Drive, Bar Harbor, Maine — You find the Terrace Grille by sighting its big yellow umbrellas at the end of West Street in downtown Bar Harbor. Once you are ensconced on the terrace, brace yourself for fresh ocean air, gorgeous views of Frenchman Bay and the Porcupine Islands. Start with specialty cocktails, if that is your taste, and then move on to a menu of fresh seafood, and healthy entrees. This being Maine, you should order the Downeast Lobster Bake (steamed mussels and clams, Maine Lobster, roasted red potatoes, corn on the cob and blueberry corn bread). Also available: healthy salads, burgers and sandwiches. Hours: May to October, 11:30 a.m.-dusk. Menu. 207-288-3351. Map.
East Side Restaurant and Pub, 47 Landing Street, Newport, VT — Located on the shore of Lake Memphremagog in northern Vermont, close to the Canadian border, the East Side Restaurant offers wonderful sunset views from its west-facing deck, overlooking a sweet little marina. Enjoy America comfort foods like homemade buttermilk biscuits with chicken, gravy, real mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce. Enjoy many seafood dishes, salads with substance, an interesting grilled flatbread with roasted garlic, baby spinach, Italian sausage, smokehouse bacon, Grafton cheddar and red onion drizzled with maple syrup. We’re near Canada, so poutine also is on the menu. Large selection of specialty cocktails. Hours: Monday-Friday, opens at 11 a.m.; weekends, open at 7:30 a.m. Lunch menu. Dinner menu. 802-334-2340. Map.
Ardelia’s at Basin Harbor Resort, 4800 Basin Harbor Road, Vergennes, VT — Reaching back to its opening in 1886, Basin Harbor has always placed an emphasis on fresh, local foods with a menu of traditional favorites and experimental new flavors. The views – glorious! The dining windows open to grand, exquisite views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains of New York. The chef – a native of Provence — holds three culinary degrees and has worked in some of the finest restaurants in Paris (including the famed Michelin-starred Polo Club). There is a Saturday supper buffet in the summer months, Dress code is dressy casual, including collared shirts for gentlemen. Reservations required. Hours: Open May through October; breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served. Buffet menu. 802-475-2311. Map.
Millwrights Restaurant, 77 West Street, Simsbury, CT — There was a time when the local grist mill was an essential element of early New England communities. The Mill at Hop Brook – now the home of the Millwright Restaurant — has been part of Simsbury’s history since the 17th century. The dining room overlooks a sparkling pond and rushing waterfall. The menu by chef and owner Tyler Anderson comes from a from-scratch kitchen and uses products raised, farmed and foraged locally. The theme of the menu is American classics, and the large wine selection offer many choices. Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, open at 5:30 p.m.; Sunday brunch, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dinner menu. Wine list. 860-651-5500. Map.
Oyster Club, 13 Water Street, Mystic, CT — This excellent seafood restaurant is just steps from downtown Mystic (itself a small gem for walking and browsing) aside the Mystic River, in view of the town’s beloved drawbridge. Food here is fresh, fresh, fresh. Among the most recommended dishes is the fried oysters, but all seafood dishes get glowing reviews. Service is very quick and well-informed. Guests also are bowled over by the creative dessert and imaginative cocktails. Menus rotate frequently. In warm weather, some lucky guests get to dine in the adjunct Treehouse. Hours: Happy hour, 4-6 p.m.; lunch, noon-3 p.m.; dinner, 5-10 p.m.; Saturday brunch, noon-3 p.m.; Sunday brunch, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Lunch menu. Dinner menu. 860-415-9266. Map.
Evelyn’s Drive-In, 2335 Main Road, Tiverton, RI — This is a drive-in clam shack, folks, serving outstanding food to longstanding fans since the late 1960s. Dine at indoor tables or order at the window and dine at outdoor picnic tables overlooking Nanaquacket Pond, and, beyond that, the Sakonnet River. There is dock space for boaters who love the dock-and-dine way of life. Nanaquaket Pond is particularly calm in all weathers, so you can enjoy a meal at anchor on the water. The classic menu of the genre includes fish and chips, pan-grilled sea scallops, a two-pound seafood platter, lobster chow mein, and more. Full bar. Hours: Daily in the warm seasons, 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Menu. 401-624-3100. Map.
The Red Inn, 15 Commercial Street, Provincetown MA — The Red Inn, perched above the beach at the outermost tip of Commercial Street in Provincetown, is no secret. People who love Provincetown and Cape Cod have chosen the Red Inn as their special-occasion go-to for decades. Setting aside for a moment the cuisine by the executive chef and owner, the dining room at The Red Inn gives guests gorgeous views of Provincetown harbor, Cape Cod Bay, and the lighthouses of Long Point. Love for this view runs deep in all accounts of dining here. The menu changes with the time of year; the star of the menu always is the seafood, including Wellfleet oysters and locally -caught lobster and cod. Dinner reservation may be booked up to six weeks in advance. Hours: Bar and dining room are open daily. Raw bar happy house is Monday-Thursday, 4-5 p.m. and Friday to Sunday, 2:30-5 p.m. Dinner is served at 5:30 p.m. Dinner menu. Happy hour menu. Dessert menu. 508-487-7334. Map.
Pigeon Cove Tavern at The Emerson Inn, 1 Cathedral Avenue, Rockport, MA — Perched on a hillside overlooking the ocean, Pigeon Cove Tavern gives guests a superlative views from a raised veranda along with New England comfort foods: chowder, lobster rolls, and other local favorites. The restaurant is located in breezy The Emerson Inn, a landmark of the North of Boston region. The selection of seafood dishes covers the gamut of New England specialties, and there are many interesting options to choose from on the drinks menu. Hours: May 10- October 26; Wednesday through Sunday; open at 4 p.m. Menu. Cocktail menu. 978-546-6321. Map.
NazBar & Grill, Naswa Resort, 1086 Weirs Blvd., Laconia, NH — This restaurant/bar, on the sandy shore of Paugus Bay, next to Lake Winnipesaukee, hollers “welcome to summer” from the moment you roll into the entrance. The theme of this waterside eatery is Caribbean pleasure. Expect a cold tropical drink (if that’s your taste), a tasty menu of sandwiches, salads, appetizers and more for lunch and dinner, and a fabulous sunset. A children’s menu is also available. Midweek specials includes Margarita Mondays, Mojito & Taco Madness on Tuesdays, and Burger-n-Brew on Thursdays. The Nazbar also rocks after dark, with fire pits, reggae music, and live entertainment. Hours: Open for lunch and dinner, Memorial Day weekend to Columbus Day weekend. 603-366-4341. Map.
Surf, 99 Bow Street, Portsmouth, NH — There are many things to love about Surf, and we start with location. It’s on Bow Street, an aptly named crescent that wraps along the Portsmouth shoreline, with the perfectly delightful and dynamic small downtown on one side and the busy Pisquacatuck River of the other side. (Your water view includes three bridges, busy tugboats, fishing boat and ocean going freighters plying the waterway between New Hampshire and Maine). The food: fresh seafood (finfish and shellfish), all the favorites and classics, expertly prepared, according to all accounts, under the direction of the chef/owner. Hours: Thursday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Tuesday-Wednesday, 4-9 p.m.; closed on Mondays. 603-334-9855. Menu. Map.