As the weather gets a little chillier and you start to crave all things comforting and cozy, be sure to take advantage of those restaurants in Salem that are as much about atmosphere as they are about food.
Here are six possibilities for places to dine when you're looking for a little comfort and something to eat.
Where is your favorite place to dine in the winter? Tell us in the comments.
— Step into the valleys of Italy by enjoying authentic Italian dishes and warm atmosphere under starry night bulbs and music. The restaurant is quietly tucked around the corner from Washington Street. While getting settled in with the evening's first glass of wine, be prepared to delve into a vast menu of classic Italian meals ranging from Ravioli Aragosta to Gnocchi Gioia. Ristorante Gioia delivers a cozy traditional Italian experience where you can spark conversation and satisfy your taste buds.
— For something a bit more contemporary, try 62 Restaurant & Wine Bar. Enter the lounge and enjoy a seat at the nearest glass of Pinot for after-work conversations with friends basked in subtle mood lighting and ambient downtempo sounds. Always inspired by seasonal organic and local produce, Chef Antonio Bettencourt crafts a menu of modern Italian dishes with personality and meticulous display.
— With Mediterranean cuisine from the seaside traditions of the Adriatic, slip into a corner street view of Washington and Front streets as visitors and holiday shoppers pass by. Enjoy the people watching over a glass of wine at the newly renovated bar. Choose from pasta, flatbreads or fresh pizza topped with seasonal vegetables, prosciutto or pollo while immersed in a soothing atmosphere, whether it's an introspective night out or dinner for two.
— Headed on a date? Bella Verona is a choice for those looking to cozy up to someone special with quaint corners and romantic lighting. Whether you're in the mood for calamari and polenta or a plate of "Lady and the Tramp," style spaghetti, Bella Verona offers a range of delicacies from Northern Italy. Be sure to bookend your meal with a glass of wine and tiramisu.
— Whether you're in the mood for a snack, lunch, dessert or a full entree, the Tavern at the Hawthorne Hotel has a variety of options and seasonal specials. For meat-lovers, the Three-Way Wings with three different tasty sauces are a safe bet. The sweet potato fries are also a favorite. Make sure to order a large basket, you'll probably be fighting over them. In addition to the food, enjoy the decor. With cushy, high-backed chairs in the dining area, you'll feel like you're curled up by the fire.
— Replacing The Lyceum, 43 Church, with its rich atmosphere, bar and hearty selection, has a vibe that suits those moments when you want some respite and some time with good company. In addition to a selection of steaks, 43 Church offers tapas for those times when you're in a lighter mood.
Tell us in the comments: Where you like to dine when it gets cold?