Best of Boston

BEST New Restaurant

2003 BEST New Restaurant, North

197 East Main


After tenures at Sage and eat, chef Nick Speros has migrated north from Boston and opened 197 East Main. If you’re smart, you’ll follow him. Tuck into the rib-eye or native halibut, and you’ll see what we mean. The seafood… read more»

2003 BEST New Restaurant, South

Fifty-Three South


Don’t let the trendy name fool you: Fifty-three South is far more nouvelle than nouveau. That’s not to say this fetching bistro, opened at the site of the former Seasons restaurant, doesn’t have a classic strain. Candles light the tables,… read more»

2003 BEST New Restaurant, West

Ariadne Restaurant & Bar


It’s not the easy parking or the sexy and refined décor that makes Ariadne our favorite newcomer—but those things help. Shimmering floor-to-ceiling raw-silk curtains in earthy tones of sage and wheat, candles that glow inside alabaster holders, crystal-accented light fixtures,… read more»

2003 BEST New Restaurant

UpStairs on the Square and Via Matta

In replacing their much-loved UpStairs at the Pudding (some considered it the real institution of Harvard Square), Deborah Hughes and Mary-Catherine Deibel had big shoes to fill—their own. But they’ve done it, creating an outstanding restaurant that has surpassed the… read more»

2002 BEST New Restaurant, North



We’ll just say it: The North Shore doesn’t typically see many promising new restaurants opening. So Cilantro came as a pleasant surprise—authentic, hearty, and diverse Mexican specialties in an upscale but easygoing brick-walled setting. Fresh specialties such as crispy flautas… read more»

2002 BEST New Restaurant, South

Bridgeman’s Restaurant


Not since Paragon Park shut down has Nantasket Beach seen such an attraction. Nearly every night, the locals line up for the energetic scene at the long, sleek bars; for the genteel, white-linened dining area; and, natch, for the Italian-inspired… read more»

2002 BEST New Restaurant, West

New Ginza


The folks at Ginza in Chinatown and Brookline have brought high-quality Japanese food one step closer to the suburbs with a new Watertown location. The ultrafresh sushi and sashimi make us weak in the knees, but if you’re still reluctant… read more»

2002 BEST New Restaurant



It’s no wonder Food & Wine magazine chose Thomas John as one of the country’s 10 best chefs this year. His sophisticated Indian-accented French cuisine has made Mantra such a destination that it’s spawned its own cult following. Creations such… read more»

2001 BEST New Restaurant, North

The Franklin Cape Ann


A touch of the South End opened in Gloucester last fall, and it’s been packed ever since. And no wonder. You could become addicted to the meatloaf, and can make an evening out of a couple of appetizers, a few… read more»

2001 BEST New Restaurant, West

Zebra’s Bistro and Wine Bar


A hip lounge and a cozy dining room with live weekly jazz and a great, affordably priced wine list, plus a menu packed with creative dishes and healthy options—what’s not to like? Zebra’s offers fresh, clean salads, and veggie appetizers… read more»