The 50 Best Restaurants 2009

It's a simple question: "Where should we go for dinner?" Yet ask it and brace for a cacophony of opinions, as every magazine, newspaper, and user-generated-review website vies to serve as your gastronomic guru. Wouldn't it be nice if there were a way to pull it all together, to herd that surfeit of recommendations into one single, convenient, yet statistically meaningful index? To have a Metacritic, of sorts, for local grub? We thought so, too. Presenting the ultimate ranking of Hub dining, as determined by every major dining expert and amateur critic out there.

Next Bests?

Too new to have been widely reviewed yet, the following spots should have this year’s top 50 watching their backs.

Bina Osteria

The upscale Italian upstart from the Bin 26 folks serves a smoky, salty quail —roasted in hay and paired with foie gras bread pudding—that might already be the dish of the year.

581 Washington St., Boston, 617-956-0888,


Charles Draghi’s Bay Village restaurant revives the style he premiered at the late, lamented Marcuccio’s, with vibrant flavors coaxed from fresh herbs and hearty meats, including wild boar.

69 Church St., Boston, 617-426-6969,


Barbara Lynch’s retro lunch counter serves high-minded food like strozzapreti with braised rabbit and salt-roasted pork shoulder with porcini mushrooms.

348 Congress St., Boston, 617-737-1234,