Best of Boston

1999 Best Italian Restaurant

Ristorante Toscano

No place else in Boston captures the simplicity and lack of fuss of real country Italian food, specifically food from Tuscany. That’s because nowhere else is run by northern Italians who know how plain that food is. Florence-born chef Vinicio Paoli shuns trends, so don’t expect overly decorated plates or nouvelle touches. Do expect properly prepared risotto, feather-light pastas, and Tuscan specialties such as charcoal-grilled sirloin that Paoli ages himself and cacciucco alla Livornese (a seafood stew in spicy tomato sauce and fish stock).

47 Charles St., Boston, 617-723-4090,