New England's 38 Essential Restaurants

The exuberant seafood phenom that sets the standard for the modern oyster bar — not only in New England but for all of America. Eventide is no secret: No matter what time of year you arrive, or at what time of day, there will likely be at least a short wait. WHY: Nearly 20 varieties of craggy, pristine oysters from Maine and throughout the region sit piled on ice atop a hollowed-out slab of granite. Their names reflect their geography, etching maps in the mind: Pleasant Bay, John’s River, Basket Island, Dodge Cove. Eat them plain and then dabbed with accompaniments both classic (red wine mignonette) and newfangled (ices made from horseradish or kimchi). Trust that blackboard specials like fish crudos and octopus terrine will deliver, though the marquee remains the signature lobster roll umami-blasted by an unlikely triumvirate: browned butter, dried milk powder, and lemon. — B.A.