It’s not quite 4 p.m. on a Friday, and already the large, curving bar at Ron Jillian’s Italian Bar and Grill in Hampton is alive with regulars, who chat animatedly with each other and the staff as they relax with drinks after work. “This is actually pretty quiet,” says owner Ed Blouin, motioning over his shoulder at the lively afternoon crowd behind him.
Set the night ablaze at Kume Japanese Restaurant. Opened in July of 2014, Kume is a standout in busy Brickyard Square in Epping, New Hampshire. Modern floor-to-ceiling natural stone walls, etched glass dividers, and ample lighting in the main dining room contrast with the lightly colored and impressive well-stocked bar. Along the back side of the restaurant chefs are abuzz at the sushi bar, showcasing a rainbow of fresh sashimi atop boats and decorative plates. Mahogany walls and gray stone are backlit to complement the inviting espresso-toned leather chairs that frame the rectangular stainless steel grills in the habachi dining room. Smartly dressed chefs, at home behind the grills, set the expectation that this is not your everyday dining experience.
At The Black Birch in downtown Kittery, proprietors Gavin Beaudry, Benjamin Lord, and Jake Smith ensure the vibe of the restaurant supports their comfort food menu. “We want everyone’s experience to be the experience we want to have when we dine out,” Lord says, which turns out to be a community block party in restaurant form.
From deck dining to romantic getaways Ice cream to martinis, microbreweries to wineries, the Seacoast is the place to be for culinary excitement. We all have our favorite places to go for the best—coffee, lobster roll, steak, you name it. We asked you to get online and vote for the Seacoast places you prefer for supping and sipping. We tallied thousands of votes to determine the best in over 80 categories, from alfresco dining to wings, and much, much more. Several places are newly Number One, joined by old faves. You can sample the best of the Best at our Fourth annual Best of Taste Bash on November 22, 2014. A portion of all proceeds will go to the New Hampshire Food Bank. Hope to see you there! Many thanks to the chefs, restaurateurs, brewers, bakers, sommeliers, farmers, and other food professionals who have established so many superb culinary destinations and created such amazing tastes. It’s your hard work that makes the Seacoast such an exciting place to dine. And now—the Best of Taste 2014!