50 Best Restaurants: A Blue Ginger Flashback

Photo by Anthony Tieuli

Dining at the Hub’s finer eateries was the rarest of treats back when I was an undergrad at BU (a treat that usually involved visiting family members). I’d spend days researching the options, sharing enthusiastic recommendations with my guests via e-mail.

I decided one day during my sophomore year that Blue Ginger, one of this year’s 50 Best Restaurants, would make for an excellent next excursion. Of course, being a college student, I waited until the absolute last minute to make a reservation, and of course the restaurant was already booked for my preferred night. “But come wait in line outside at 5 p.m.,” the hostess told me, “and we may be able to accommodate you as a walk-in.” Was I ever glad we took that advice: Beyond a fabulous meal, we spent a good five minutes chatting and snapping pictures with chef Ming Tsai. As a 19-year-old just developing a passion for all things culinary, that interaction was the highlight of my school year.

Flash-forward to present day, as I sit with my fiancé at a comfortable table overlooking Blue Ginger’s open kitchen. I crane my neck, looking to spot Tsai in the sea of line cooks. Though I didn’t see him again that day, my meal was just as good as I remembered it from college. It’s funny how those kinds of things stay with you so many years later. (583 Washington St., Wellesley, 781-283-5790, ming.com/blueginger.)

We’re blogging about the 50 Best Restaurants on Chowder all month long at bostonmagazine.com/50best. Join the conversation on Twitter (#50Best) with @ChowderBoston.