Best of Boston

BEST Italian Restaurant

2009 BEST Italian Restaurant

Rialto

Cambridge

Like a Verdian lothario, this town’s upscale Italian has a knack for breaking hearts. Leave a place transported by its pillowy gnocchi, and you can bet your Bolognese it’ll be dense as lead when you go back for more. Spending… read more»

2009 BEST Italian Restaurant, Affordable

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

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

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»

2008 BEST Italian Restaurant, West

La Campania

Waltham

Given its Main Street address and wall of accolades from the likes of Wine Spectator and Zagat right inside the front door, there’s no pretending La Campania is an undiscovered jewel. The beauty is, it still feels like one. Stepping… read more»

2007 BEST Italian Restaurant

Sorellina

Boston

Dinner at Sorellina can cost as much as a flight to Italy, but at least here the life-altering food comes without jet lag. The hearty pappardelle with rabbit ragu is a bowl of Bologna, the delicate beet-filled ravioli further evidence… read more»

2007 BEST Italian Restaurant, Affordable

Trattoria Toscana

Boston

This Tuscan specialist hits all its marks: good wine, great pasta, glorious espresso. Grab one of the 28 seats, and relax in the mellow atmosphere (and the knowledge that nothing tops 20 bucks). 130 Jersey St., Boston, 617-247-9508 read more»

2006 BEST Italian Restaurant, South

Riva

Scituate Harbor

Italian food means many things to many people. At Riva it means a lusty love of fresh flavors, simple preparations, and family-friendly but still serious—and seriously good—dishes. Gather by the fireplaces over grilled oyster ;spiedini, or dig into gemelli with… read more»

2006 BEST Italian Restaurant

Via Matta

Boston

Time and again, Via Matta floors us with its marvelous interpretations of Italian standards: The prosciutto is accented with creamy homemade ricotta and piquant (not to mention addictive) pickled vegetables. The greaseless fried baby artichokes are almost dainty. And the… read more»

2006 BEST Italian Restaurant, Berkshires

Verdura

Great Barrington

Homey Italian joints all seem underwhelming after you’ve been to Verdura, the simple standout from restaurateur Bill Webber. In the rustic Tuscan dining room, plates of rich wild boar Bolognese, handmade chévre raviolis, and gnocchi with arugula pesto are savored… read more»