Chef's Night Out

Ever wonder where your favorite chefs eat out? Most nights, they’re slaving away in their own kitchens, but we were curious: If we gave them $100 and a much-deserved night off, where would they go and what would they eat? And so we asked around.

Surprisingly (or maybe not), some chefs opted to stay away from restaurants, eschewing table service for picnics and other non-traditional venues. Others would head to some of our own favorite haunts. Either way, take note of their recommendations. These palates know good food.

Tony Maws, chef, Craigie on Main
“I’d go to Jumbo Seafood (7 Hudson St., in Chinatown with my wife Karolyn and one year old son, Charlie. Charlie is loving Chinatown! We’d order shortribs with white garlic sauce and lettuce, clams with black bean sauce, chow fung noodles, lobster ginger scallions, geoduck clam sashimi, and a couple of beers (Tsingtao). It’s great to go there and watch Charlie clean all the meat off the bone. He loves those short ribs, but pretty much it can be anything with meat on the bone. He will get every bit of meat off of it.”

Dante de Magistris, chef-owner, dante and Il Casale

“I would take the money to Oishii (1166 Washington St., to order $80 worth of takeout sushi. Then I’d pick up a $20 bottle of wine, drive, and park the car by the waterfront, and walk to a nice private spot by the water to enjoy the sushi and wine while celebrating a night off.”

Will Gilson, chef-owner, Garden at the Cellar
“If I had only $100, I would try to turn it into some sort of crawl. In the South End, I would hit up B&G Oysters (550 Tremont St., for a half-dozen oysters and a glass of rosé. After that, I would go to Sage (1395 Washington St., for the 3 for $10 stuzzi menu and a glass of Italian red. Next I’d make it to Toro (1704 Washington St., and have about three tapas and a glass of sangria. With all that, plus tip…just enough left for a beer at Beehive!” (541 Tremont St.,

Jay Murray, executive chef, Grill 23 & Bar

“I’d go with my wife to Cantina la Mexicana in Union Square (247 Washington St., Somerville, Having grown up in California and worked in Chicago, it’s the only Mexican restaurant I’ve tried here that compares. And I like to support his business. For appetizers: Gorditas mixtas with avocado crema, beef, chicken, pork, and shellfish, and coctel a la campechana. For entrees: Brandt skirt steak with chilaquiles and grilled avocado, and chiles rellenos with carnitas. Plus, a bottle of Las Rocas Garnacha. Then pocket the remaining 30 bucks.”

Paul Turano, chef-owner, Tryst
“I would eat at Oleana (134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, outside on the patio. I would get the deviled eggs with tuna, the carrot puree (actually, probably almost all of the bread dips), the spinach falafel, and the bass for an entree. I would force my wife to get the fried mussels for a starter, as well. For dessert, I would order the native strawberry frappe. I am craving this right now—I may go next week and get this…”

Jason Bond, executive chef, Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro
“If I had a Tuesday night off, I would cook for my girlfriend. I would go to the farmer’s market in either Central Square or Copley ( for some great seasonal zucchinis and the curry-flavored herb, lovage. These would be used to prepare a nice summer soup. I would also roast a chicken from the market with some fresh stone fruits.”

Rachel Klein, chef, Aura, Tamo Bar
“I would probably meet up with a friend and go to Scampo (215 Charles St., and order a bunch of breads from Lydia [Shire]’s bread menu, especially the ciccio and the one with robiola cheese. I would probably order the tagliata steak and maybe a side of broccoli rabe and soft polenta. If Lydia was running a goat special that evening, I would order that as well. After dinner, I would head to Alibi (215 Charles St., to check out my girl Dimitra [the general manager] and have a glass of Dr. L or a Tanqueray Ten & tonic.”

There you have it: Seven great ways to spend a night on the town. You’re welcome. – Caitlin Domke