Best of Boston

2000 Best Restaurant, General Excellence

No. 9 Park

Chef Barbara Lynch strikes just the right chord with her Beacon Hill restaurant, which is elegant and haute without any pretension. The ambiance: The music is low and sultry (Billie Holiday is often spinning); the bar is swanky yet small; the dining room is well-appointed and unostentatious. And the food, oh, the food. Lynch is a wonder at homemade Italiana. You can’t go wrong with her starchy creations; even simple spaghetti with meat sauce is elevated to higher ground. No. 9 has given Lynch license to be more ambitious, though. Foie gras terrine wrapped in proscuitto with caramelized apples is ethereal; seasonal specialties like lightly fried soft shell crabs with pea shoots are terrifically inventive; and milk chocoalte bread pudding is sweet satisfaction. Added to the mix: sommelier Cat Silirie’s impressive Burgundian wine sensibilities, a quietly efficient staff, and a picture-perfect perch on the Common.

9 Park Street, Boston, 617-742-9991,