50 Best Restaurants: Behind the Prix Fixe Menu at Lumiere

By | Chowder |

Photo by Keller + Keller. This photo originally appeared in our May 2010 Dining Out review.

A lot has changed in the Hub since 2002 — T fares, the Greenway, the Filene’s Basement store crater in Downtown Crossing.

One thing that (thankfully) hasn’t? The daily $35 three-course prix-fixe at Lumière, one of this year’s 50 Best Restaurants picks. “I thought it was a good deal back then, and I think it’s an even better deal now,” says chef-owner Michael Leviton.

So how, exactly, does a place that charges upward of $30 per entrée manage to bang out an entire meal — and a delicious one, at that — for around the same price? It’s all about taking full advantage of everything you have. “The more we use the whole animal or the whole fish, the more we’re left with the less-sexy parts, and that’s a way to use them up … whether it’s making sausages or meatloaf,” says Leviton. Serving an ever-changing prix-fixe also allows the restaurant to sneak a little bit of comfort food onto an otherwise upscale menu — and often comfort is exactly what neighborhood customers are looking for. “The point is to get people in on a Tuesday. You can drop close to that [much money] at Bertucci’s,” he says. Of course, you won’t find house-smoked swordfish on the menu there. (1293 Washington St., Newton. Info: 617-244-9199, lumiererestaurant.com.)

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.