Best of Boston 2009 South Boston
In the gap between Southie's working-class past and emerging condo-class future, St. Alphonzo's stands as a small marvel of a bridge: authentic but not staid, polished but not pretentious. Owned by Silvertone alums Natasha and Peter Irving, who live nearby and obviously pride themselves on feeding their neighbors well, it plates up top-notch sandwiches (the Cuban's a standout) and affordable pastas, meat, and fish that embody home cooking in the best sense. The pocket-sized space is rarely packed, which means patrons can relax and actually hear themselves thinkprobably, about how soon they can come back.
RUNNER-UP: Franklin Southie