Best of Boston

BEST Italian Restaurant

1999 BEST Italian Restaurant

Ristorante Toscano

Boston

No place else in Boston captures the simplicity and lack of fuss of real country Italian food, specifically food from Tuscany. That’s because nowhere else is run by northern Italians who know how plain that food is. Florence-born chef Vinicio… read more »

1998 BEST Italian Restaurant, Contemporary

Marcuccio’s

Boston

Boldly layered flavors, as in charred calamari with black olive puree and red pepper jus, and imaginative twists on staples, as in fusilli in a parmesan broth with walnuts and sundried tomatoes, make this copper-kitchened restaurant one of the brightest… read more »

1998 BEST Italian Restaurant, Take-Out

Cremaldi’s

Cambridge

Food so good you won’t want to go out for dinner. Although the containers should feed two or three people, don’t underestimate the hog factor once you dig in. It’s a toss-up which lasagna is the best, meatless traditional or… read more »

1998 BEST Italian Restaurant, Traditional

Mamma Maria

Boston

Don’t be misled by the name: this ain’t no spaghetti house. Bringing high-end Northern cuisine to the North End, chef Bill Wallo is a maestro of the classics. Papardelle is served in a lovely traditional Tuscan rabbit sauce, and Bistella… read more »

1997 BEST Italian Restaurant, Contemporary

Pomodoro

Boston

Pomodoro’s flavorful, creative offerings reconcile the old Italian with the new. The food retains a simple, traditional character—which should not read as dull or unimaginative, whatever you may have come to expect after numerous “red sauce” menu encounters so often… read more »

1997 BEST Italian Restaurant, Traditional

Ristorante Toscano

Boston

When Vinicio Paoli first arrived in Boston in the early ’80s, he says it was just like a scene from Big Night: “People would order risotto and then ask why they didn’t get a side of spaghetti!” Despite this less-than-fortuitous… read more »

1996 BEST Italian Restaurant

Mario’s

Hyde Park

This is native son Tommy Menino’s favorite neighborhood joint, and he should know, right? By the way, they call it spaghetti, not pasta. read more »

1996 BEST Italian Restaurant

Galleria Italiana

Boston

We weren’t surprised when chef Barbara Lynch started garnering national attention. If only it weren’t so difficult to decide between the lasagna, the veal shank, and the duck. read more »

1995 BEST Italian Restaurant

Ristorante Toscano

Boston

Crosstown rivals in the North End have yet to equal the confident simplicity of veteran chef Venito Paoli’s cuisine. Paoli turns out matchless risotti, superb seafood, and Boston’s best Bolognese sauce. If Italian cooking guru Marcella Hazan came to visit,… read more »

1987 BEST Italian Restaurant, Outside the North End

Ristorante Toscano

Boston

Beacon Hill charm and Italian cucina. read more »