DaVinci's, next to the Elsinore Theater on High Street, is by far, my favorite restaurant in Salem. It's not cheap, but the food is spectacular. I've happened to go on two different Thursday evenings, and they had a jazz trio playing in the bar area. With the main dining room upstairs, the music is a wonderful accompaniment to the meal without being too loud or overpowering.
The menu has a few entrees, several pastas, and a large appetizer and salad menu. The pastas, they warn you, are quite small—about half an entrée. But it's really nice to order a salad and pasta, and share an appetizer with your date. That's exactly what we did the last time I went. I ordered the Caesar salad, pasta with Dungeness crab, and we shared a shrimp appetizer in a green curry sauce.
The Caesar salad was one of the best I've had in ages. It was a real Caesar—be warned—with 4 skinny anchovies lying across the lettuce. In addition, there were thick slices of Parmesan, homemade croutons, and a great Parmesan dressing. The shrimp was so-so, the green curry sauce was flavorful, but it overpowered the shrimp. The pasta was divine. I can't remember everything that was in it, but I do recall Dungeness crab, pancetta, and lemon zest. An odd sounding combination, but it tasted wonderful. The server said that they're perfectly willing to prepare any of the pastas as an entrée size for diners who'd like a larger order.
My date had a New York steak with roasted fingerling potatoes, cauliflower, and a tomato-based sauce reduction. The steak was full of flavor and perfectly cooked. We've never had an appetite for deserts, but I bet they're quite good too.
When I tell people I love the food at DaVinci's, often times I get odd looks. Evidently, the service there used to be terrible—terrible enough to not want to ever go back, no matter how good the food is. Well, I've been three times since October, and the service has been, at a minimum, decent, and at the best, quite good.