I spent three summers bussing and waiting tables at Chillingsworth in Brewster, Mass., one town north of my hometown. I guess that makes me a little biased, but it is the best restaurant I've ever eaten at. Dan and I went last summer and had an incredible meal. Dan is a big fan of red meat, and he had what he called "the best steak I've ever eaten."
Run by Pat and Nitzi Rabin, the restaurant resides in a sprawling 300-year-old fisherman's house on a six-acre wooded plot. In the main dining room (and if you go for the first time, you HAVE to dine in the main dining room) you are served a seven-course meal with offerings like Creole Lobster Cream Soup, Jumbo Lump Crab with Curried Cauliflower, incredible Saffron Risotto, the best in fresh seafood, wild game and beef, and desserts that will completely satisfy.
If you do go, be sure to arrive an hour ahead of time and have a martini in the lovely bar they've built since I worked there 10 years ago. Kathy is the bartender most nights - and if it's not too busy, she'll regale you with local stories, a bit of the history of the restaurant and some good humor.
MY ZAGAT RATINGS (OUT OF 10): CHILLINGSWORTH: Food, 10, From soup to appetizer to entree to dessert, Chillingsworth would be in the top five of any restaurant I've eaten at from L.A. to San Francisco to New York; Service, 10, Everyone at Chillingsworth is a professional and every detail is considered in their service; Atmosphere, 10, What I love is starting in the fun, upbeat bar and bistro, then dining in the quieter, lovely main dining room that is, depending on the room you end up n, either romantic or incredibly romantic.