Best of Boston

2003 Best Bar, Upscale

Via Matta

This Back Bay nuovo Italian restaurant is as self-consciously trendy as its downtown sister, Radius, but damned if they don’t mix a thumpingly good basil gimlet here, poured with iced Ketel One and a garnish of fresh basil leaves. It’s a sunny drink for a bar that aspires to Tuscany via Fifth Avenue. There’s cool elegance in the beige-coated bartenders at the twin bars, while the round marble tabletops are pure Mediterranean café—perfect for a social grappa. Equally elegant, although perhaps a touch more florid, is the high-end clientele, and while elbows rub through Prada sleeves and the wine list flows with beauty, the absence of smoldering MS Clubs means it will never quite smell like Italy.

79 Park Plaza, Boston, 617-422-0008,