Best Restaurants in Boston 2013: Where to Eat, Right Now
Some of the area’s most exciting food—grilled potatoes with pumpkin and marrow butter, takoyaki with plum sauce—is being served by Tim Maslow and crew at a scruffy Watertown diner, against a sonic backdrop of slow jams, no less (at least on a recent visit).
$$$ | Great for: Wine | 93 School St., Watertown, 617-923-4330, stripts.com.
Tiffani Faison’s homage to Texas barbecue offers high-quality renditions of smoked brisket, pulled pork, and light-as-air biscuits—plus masterfully composed salads to pair with them.
$$ | Great for: Groups, Cocktails | 1381 Boylston St., Boston, 617-266-1300, sweetcheeksq.com.
Seasonal produce is the star of the vegetable-centric dishes at this tucked-away Newton spot. Carnivores, meanwhile, will appreciate the inventive meat boards for two.
$$$ | Great for: Vegetarians, Cocktails, Wine, Date | 755 Beacon St., Newton, 617-244-4445, sycamorenewton.com.
The recent joint effort from brothers Louis and Michael DiBiccari has introduced a vibrant mix of à la carte sides and mains, serious cocktails, and a casual-bites-driven takeout spot (TR Street Foods) to Fort Point.
$$–$$$ | Great for: Groups, Cocktails | 343 Congress St., Boston, 617-790-0808, tavernroad.com.
TEN TABLES J.P.
The intimate dining room remains a lovely place to tuck into house-made sausages and elegant pastas, but don’t overlook the bar area, which boasts a litany of fun snacks, a great burger, and excellent cocktails from barman Joe Choinière.
$$–$$$ | Great for: Vegetarians, Cocktails, Wine, Date | 597 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 617-524-8810, tentables.net.
Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette’s tapas spot remains a South End fave, thanks to its appealing mix of Spanish classics (tortilla Española, paella) and quirky one-offs (pork belly with pumpkin and kimchi).
$$ | Great for: Vegetarians, Cocktails, Wine | 1704 Washington St., Boston, 617-536-4300, toro-restaurant.com.
Jody Adams’s second restaurant is sleek and scene-y, but there’s plenty of substance in the interesting dishes (like whole lobster and clams in a Thai-scented broth) and welcoming service.
$$$ | Great for: Groups, Cocktails, Wine, Date | 540 Atlantic Ave., Boston, 617-451-1234, trade-boston.com.
With its seriously stacked sherry list, unconventional small plates (grilled lamb tongue, beer-battered golden trout), and location inside a music-and-book store, this J.P. tapas bar is about as cool as it gets.
$$ | Great for: Cocktails, Wine, Date | 470 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 617-477-4851, tresgatosjp.com.
Matthew Gaudet’s Kendall Square tribute to small-plate wizardry turns lowly carrots and cauliflower into masterpieces, yet the more-shareable menu items—like braised lamb neck—are winners, too.
$$$ | Great for: Vegetarians, Groups, Cocktails, Wine, Date | One Kendall Square, Cambridge, 617-945-0221, westbridgerestaurant.com.
Head to this tasting-menu-only Han-over Street pop-up while you still can for excellent bread (four words: black garlic–miso butter), beautiful pastas, and conceptual yet satisfying desserts.
$$$ | Great for: Date | 351 Hanover St., Boston, 617-756-7571, whiskboston.com.