Best of Boston

2003 Best Beacon Hill Restaurant, Neighborhood

Ristorante Toscano

Real Italian food isn’t about layering precious specialty ingredients into one impressive dish. It’s about honest, simple ingredients that spotlight intense flavors. So it is at Toscano, Charles Street’s beloved tribute to Northern Italy. The space, divided by brick walls hung with cooking instruments, antique maps, and handpainted plates, is rustic Tuscan through and through. As is the welcome. And the food. Chef Vinicio Paoli whips up such traditionals as vitello tonnato, roasted veal sliced thin as a dime and smothered with fresh tuna sauce, and a risotto that highlights nothing more complicated than earthy, meaty wild porcini.

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