50 Best Restaurants 2010: Restaurants I Miss

Certain places change your mental landscape, and what you want when you go out to eat. These long-gone spots did it for me.

A few blocks away at the original HAMERSLEY’S, Gordon Hamersley made a French classic, skate wing with brown butter, into a Boston classic, along with roast chicken and lemon-custard soufflé. And designer Sandra Fairbank turned the storefront into something spare and chic. When you pushed aside the heavy velvet curtain, Fiona Hamersley was always there to welcome you, and you’d see Gordon in his Red Sox cap in the open kitchen, one of Boston’s first.

Over the years, some chefs were shooting stars: Nicholas Tischler at ZINC; René Michelena at CENTRO in Cambridge. And we’ve sure had rising stars: Barbara Lynch under the guidance of Rita D’Angelo and Marisa Iocco at GALLERIA ITALIANA; Michael Schlow at CAFE LOUIS; and Jean-Georges Vongerichten at the MARQUIS DE LAFAYETTE, whose mille-feuille de foie gras I’ll never forget. But nostalgia isn’t necessary. Yes, I miss some of the scenes. But most of those stars? This being a chef-family kind of town, they’re still in our skies.