Best of Boston

2002 Best Italian Restaurant

Trattoria à Scalinatella

Tucked away on a second floor above Hanover Street, this tiny slice of Sicily is proof there’s more to an authentic North End restaurant than red-and-white-checkered tablecloths. An elegant experience from start to finish (with a business attire-only dress code), Trattoria à Scalinatella pairs a refined room with a like-minded menu. Appetizers such as the lobster timballo showcase the kitchen’s love of fresh flavors, while entrées like the olive-coated salmon are seductively simple. The flirty, macho waiters know their stuff when it comes to the menu and the wine list, and aren’t afraid to show it. It’s best to just sit back and let them guide you through your meal. Post meal drink in hand, curled up at a table by the cozy fireplace, you won’t find a better way to relax.

253 Hanover St., Boston, 617-742-8240,