Best of Boston

BEST Italian Restaurant

2013 BEST Italian Restaurant
Photo by Jesse Burke

Erbaluce

Boston

Drawing on his Piedmontese heritage, Charles Draghi turns out elegant northern Italian-inspired fare with a delicate touch—homemade pappardelle with cubed beets and speck; butternut-squash broth with spicy shrimp; and wild boar with a Concord-grape mosto, all designed to pair with… read more»

2012 BEST Italian Restaurant, Upscale
2012-upscaleitalian1

Rialto

Cambridge

The city’s Italian-dining scene skews either reasonably authentic (yet undistinguished), or posh (but not quite legit). Rialto bridges the gap with seasonal, from-scratch cooking (strands of bucatini with lobster and saffron; salumi with house-made ricotta) and attentive, special-occasion-worthy service. Chef… read more»

2012 BEST Italian Restaurant, Casual
2012-casualitalian1

Coppa

Boston

One of the biggest misconceptions about Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette’s South End enoteca is that it’s for hard-core meat eaters only. Sure, the restaurant was named after a cured cut of pig and boasts some of the best meatballs… read more»

2012 BEST Italian Restaurant, Romantic
2012-casualromantic1

Franklin Cafe

Boston

No need to consult with a wardrobe stylist when prepping for a classy date night at the Franklin. Just come as you are, slide into a black leather booth, and let the low lighting, art-covered walls, and excellent wine list… read more»

2011 BEST Italian Restaurant, Upscale
2011-newengland-italian-upscale1

Dante

Cambridge

Okay, so the guy went and named a restaurant after himself. Clearly, chef Dante de Magistris is focusing his subtlety elsewhere—on, for example, his nuanced dishes. In actuality, each is served with a side of humility; he and his brother… read more»

2011 BEST Italian Restaurant, Casual

Trattoria Toscana

Boston

We’re reluctant to give up this little storefront gem, but its ribbons of house-made pappardelle and tender raviolis are just too delightful not to share. The bubbling braised tripe and perfectly charred tagliata are right out of Nonna’s Tuscan kitchen—which… read more»

2011 BEST Italian Restaurant, South

Orta

Pembroke

We love Orta for the same reason we love classic red-sauce Italian food: It’s bold, unpretentious, and easy on the wallet. That’s not to say chef Jimmy Burke’s fare isn’t inspired. The menu is anchored by standbys like veal Parm… read more»

2009 BEST Italian Restaurant, Affordable
2009-italian-affordable1

Il Casale

Belmont

When dining at Il Casale, don’t be surprised if your companions—having mopped the last bit of tangy, rich marinara from their plates—start hatching a plan to move to the suburbs. Who wouldn’t want to get closer to food like this?… read more»

2008 BEST Italian Restaurant
2008-italian1

Dante

Cambridge

Don’t be misled by the hotel setting: Dante de Magistris is no banquet chef. Since opening his eponymous restaurant at the Royal Sonesta two years ago, de Magistris has found his voice (part Italian homeboy, part fancypants chef) and now… read more»

2008 BEST Italian Restaurant, Affordable
2008-italian-affordable1

Trattoria Toscana

Boston

This ’07 winner keeps its crown for another year, and deservedly so. We adore the relaxed intimacy of the teeny Fenway trattoria, especially the everyone’s-a-regular welcome from owner Zamir Kociaj (who’s Albanian by birth, but very much Italian by nature)…. read more»