Locals are always the best resource for local information, naturally. But an answer is only as good as the question. Don’t just ask where the best steak house is, or the best sea food place. Ask something like, “Where would you go for steak if it were your birthday?” or “Where was the most romantic dinner you ever had in this town?”
You’ll get something other than the canned answer, and you may get a really great story in the bargain.