2003 BEST Restaurant, General Excellence, West
Like moths to a flame. That’s how we’re drawn to Michael and Jill Leviton’s extraordinary Newton restaurant, Lumière. The couple’s recipe for refined simplicity and excellent service starts with the crisp, white-on-white tones of the dining room, tempered with warm-hued upholstery you can’t help but run your hands over. But the main ingredient is chef Michael Leviton’s cuisine. His menu is mostly French in inspiration, though he dips into other parts of the Mediterranean, and occasionally into Asia, for plates that are minimalist in design and void of fussiness, yet bright and bold in flavor. He lets the principal ingredient anchor a dish like pan-seared, pristine sea scallops, then surprises us with rich and sweet truffled foie gras butter or a taste of caramelized fennel. He also keeps a watchful eye on everything from the homemade bread to the desserts. The cherry on top is the calm, efficient, confident, thorough, and knowledgeable service. We wish there were more restaurants like Lumière on this side of the city limits.