Best of Boston

BEST Italian Restaurant

2017 BEST Italian Restaurant

SRV

Boston

In the sea of noteworthy Italian restaurants that have opened recently (Benedetto, Bar Mezzana, Mida), small-plates-focused SRV edges out the competition with its umami-rich one-bite cicchetti and bold pasta dishes made with house-milled flour, from garganelli with ‘nduja-carrot sugo to… read more»

2016 BEST Italian Restaurant

SRV

Boston

After tag-teaming at culinary heavyweights like L’Office and Del Posto, chefs Kevin O’Donnell and Michael Lombardi have taken their talents to the South End, opening a stellar Venetian-style bacaro. The marble-topped bar is the perfect place to kick back with… read more»

2015 BEST Italian Restaurant

La Morra

Brookline

Any meal that begins with Josh Ziskin’s tried-and-true cicchetti—bite-size sage leaves dunked in tempura batter and fried with salty anchovies; crisp arancini filled with braised beef and cheese; Tuscan meatballs with porcini and prosciutto—is bound to be a success. Follow… read more»

2014 BEST Italian Restaurant

Giulia

Cambridge

This Porter Square gem won us over with its chewy, emmer-flour-based farro casarecce alone, tossed with red-wine-braised duck, sweet cherries, and foie-gras butter on the night we tried it. But in truth, any of chef Michael Pagliarini’s pastas—painstakingly crafted on… read more»

2012 BEST Italian Restaurant, Casual

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

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»

2012 BEST Italian Restaurant, Upscale

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»

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»

2011 BEST Italian Restaurant, Upscale

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»