Best of Boston

2019 Best Restaurant, General Excellence, North

Ellis Square Social

During the two decades Jay Murray kept Grill 23 humming like a well-marbled machine, his creative artistry was mostly relegated to the specials board. At his new spot in Beverly, those thrilling flights of fancy finally get the run of the place, with eclectic, on-the-pulse small plates—duck wings laced with Ethiopian spices, mushroom croquettes with shiitake aioli—inspired entrées (see: swordfish with rice pilaf and a fresh chickpea-and-dill purée), and the sort of charry-edged steak perfection you get from 20 years of practice.

252 Cabot St., Beverly, 978-998-4450,