These are two restaurants that recently lit my fire.
Alchemy (Gloucester) has an amazing new menu. It features lamb sirloin in harissa, a Provencal platter of white-bean hummus and olive tapenade, and moules frites (mussels with fries) with yummy aioli. The chocolate clementine martini makes a great dessert.
The Black Lobster (Salem) genuinely grills the items that it identifies as "grilled": filet mignon, scallops, shrimp, asparagus... and before grilling them, the chef liberally doses these items with sea salt. Simple, but very yummy. Plus, the view (trains, boats, and automobiles) is endlessly entertaining, and the pasta is delightfully al dente. AVOID the espresso martini; the shiraz is quite good.