The 50 Best Restaurants
Roast duck from Troquet
Ten Tables Cambridge
With food that capitalizes on the season’s bounty, chef David Punch reels in a cross section of Cambridge; you’re as likely to see tattooed students as graying scholars clinking glasses in the intimate, dimly lit dining room. Arrive a few minutes early to share a snack or two (cheese boards, house-made pickles), or to tip back a Berkshire Brewing Company ale at the tiny bar. >> Order This: The tender pork chop. >> Great For: Date night, vegetarian dining.
5 Craigie Cir., Cambridge, 617-576-5444, tentables.net/cambridge.
Ten Tables J.P.
There’s a reason owner Krista Kranyak was able to open two more Ten Tables locations after this one: It’s the kind of smashingly successful indie restaurant that everyone wants in the neighborhood. Offerings like the house-made ricotta cavatelli with wild mushrooms keep the locals coming back, and the newish bar area has made the place an even more inviting hangout. >> Order This: Chorizo-stuffed chicken with pickled jalapeño; the bar menu. >> Great For: Date night, vegetarian dining, creative cocktails.
597 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 617-524-8810, tentables.net/jp.
You know the drill: Show up about 40 minutes before you actually want to eat, because unless it’s 5:30 on a Monday, you’re going to wait. Luckily, that’s just enough time to order and drink one of Toro’s excellent cocktails. By the time you polish off a spicy Perro Picante, your name will be up, and your appetite for blistery padrón peppers and the now-famous cotija-and-aioli-slathered corn will be whetted. >> Order This: Bone marrow with oxtail marmalade; pimientos de padrón. >> Great For: Vegetarian dining, creative cocktails.
1704 Washington St., Boston, 617-536-4300, toro-restaurant.com.
There are restaurants that cater to food lovers who like wine, and then there are restaurants designed for people who have a deep love for small-batch burgundies, grand-cru bordeaux, and esoteric rosés and want something lovely to eat with them. Troquet is most certainly the latter. The cellar isn’t the city’s biggest, but thanks to smart buying by the staff, it offers tremendous values on hard-to-find bottles — and even the food seems designed to fit the wine program, not the other way around. The ingenious menu guides diners to wines that pair well with each app, entrée, and dessert, so even if you aren’t one of those wine nerds, it won’t be hard to fake it. >> Order This: Roast duck; assiette of Vermont lamb; whatever seasonal soufflé is offered. >> Great For: Date night, business engagement, group gathering, standout wine list.
140 Boylston St., Boston, 617-695-9463, troquetboston.com.
Despite being part of the popular Ken Oringer restaurant club, this tiny sashimi bar in the Eliot Hotel still feels like a secret. With only 21 seats, it’s where sushi chef Chris Gould takes fresh, exotic fare from the sea and turns it into edible art. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, either — on Tuesdays, get four courses plus sake bombs for a reasonable $35. >> Order This: Uni spoon; the omakase. >> Great For: Date night.
370 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 617-536-7200, unisashimibar.com.