Best Restaurants in Boston 2012
Our annual list of Boston's top restaurants. Check out all of our 50 Best Restaurants 2012 coverage.
MENTON Fort Point
WHY IT’S GREAT: Barbara Lynch and her meticulously trained staff make you and your guests the stars of the show. The breathtaking dishes—from amuse-bouches of buttery croissants and savory macarons to entrées like spiced lamb with beads of soft eggplant “caviar”—are delivered with service so seamless that your food seems to simply appear on the table. WHAT TO ORDER: Faroe Islands salmon; seasonal velouté. INSIDER TIP: Tours can be arranged of the stunning 3,500-square-foot kitchen. Menton, 354 Congress St., Boston, 617-737-0099, mentonboston.com.
MEYERS + CHANG South End
WHY IT’S GREAT: Joanne Chang and Christopher Myers’s Washington Street mainstay has the attitude of a comfort-food diner—one that just happens to serve dishes inspired by Thai, Chinese, and Korean favorites. That means that instead of chicken noodle, you’re in for delicious meatball-enhanced hot-and-sour soup, and rather than a sloppy joe, you get Korean bulgogi sandwiches. WHAT TO ORDER: Pork-and-chive dumplings; papaya slaw; Genmai fried rice; tea-smoked ribs; Tiger’s Tears salad. INSIDER TIP: Mondays and Tuesdays are date nights, with a set menu of five dishes for $40 per couple. Myers + Chang, 1145 Washington St., Boston, 617-542-5200, myersandchang.com.
NEPTUNE OYSTER North End
WHY IT’S GREAT: The lines always seem to last longer than the meal at this tiny seafood destination, but patience yields rewards, in the form of expertly selected bivalves and crispy johnnycakes topped with smoked trout and caviar. WHAT TO ORDER: Oysters on the half shell; grilled whole bronzini; “Neptunes on Piggyback.” INSIDER TIP: The weekly lobster spaghettini special is reason enough to eat here on Mondays. Neptune Oyster, 63 Salem St., Boston, 617-742-3474, neptuneoyster.com.
NO. 9 PARK Beacon Hill
WHY IT’S GREAT: Barbara Lynch’s flagship restaurant may not project the kind of over-the-top excess you’ll find at its extravagant sibling Menton, but her original has its own opulent charms, including an elegant list of apéritifs and luxe pastas: tender prune-stuffed gnocchi with minuscule seared foie-gras slices, and lemony disks of corzetti with toasted bread crumbs. WHAT TO ORDER: Lamb saddle with Medjool dates; chocolate pain de Gênes; the cheese cart. INSIDER TIP: The bar offers a more gently priced menu, with the same “let us dote on you” service. No. 9 Park, 9 Park St., Boston, 617-742-9991, no9park.com.
O YA Chinatown
WHY IT’S GREAT: Each bite from Tim Cushman’s elaborate contemporary-Japanese menu—every painstakingly calibrated micro sea bean or watermelon pearl that garnishes the fresh slices of sashimi and nigiri—warrants a moment of silent appreciation. So, then: Shhhh. WHAT TO ORDER: Hamachi with banana pepper mousse; Onsen egg wtih dashi; shiso tempura with grilled lobster. INSIDER TIP: Get a lesson in sake along with your meal with a flight of hand-chosen varieties for $60. Take a closer look at the $175-per-person omasake at O Ya. O Ya, 9 East St., Boston, 617-654-9900, oyarestaurantboston.com.