Best of Boston

2003 Best New Restaurant, West

Ariadne Restaurant & Bar

It’s not the easy parking or the sexy and refined décor that makes Ariadne our favorite newcomer—but those things help. Shimmering floor-to-ceiling raw-silk curtains in earthy tones of sage and wheat, candles that glow inside alabaster holders, crystal-accented light fixtures, and luxuriously upholstered half-moon banquettes are telling harbingers of the experience that awaits inside this Newton restaurant. The food, like the design, is refreshingly simple but prepared with passion and talent. Chef and owner Christos Tsardounis prefers seasonal and local ingredients for his Mediterranean-tinged menu, with offerings such as simple grilled squid. No fuss here, but the execution is flawless—as is the crisp-skinned roasted organic chicken served with a rich morel mushroom, fava bean, and creamy fingerling potato sauté and finished with a pan jus glaze. The full bar is also a welcome pleasure, and the wine list includes half bottles such as Billecart Salmon brut rosé and a few new names from around the globe.

344 Walnut St., Newton, 617-332-4653,