Only One New England Restaurant Makes it Into Bon Appetit’s Hot Ten [Updated]

Portland's Central Provisions comes in at number six on Knowlton's 'Best New Restaurants' list.

Sarma in Somerville.

Sarma in Somerville. Photo by Anthony Tieuli for Dining Out

UPDATE, August 19, 8:30 a.m.: After recognizing seven New England restaurants in his annual Best New Restaurants” list, restaurant editor Andrew Knowlton narrowed down the field to his top 10 nominees for 2014 on August 19. Only one of those seven restaurants made it into the final round, Portland, Maine newcomer Central Provisions, which came in at number six. The rustic restaurant, headed up by chef Christopher Gould was singled out for his deft treatment of crudos and raw fish, particulary his sea bream ceviche with kumquat, rhubarb, and puffed rice. Below is the full list:

  • 1. Rose’s Luxury (Washington D.C.)
  • 2. High Street on Market (Philadelphia)
  • 3. Estela (New York City)
  • 4. Tosca Cafe (San Francisco)
  • 5. Westward (Seattle)
  • 6. Central Provisions (Portland, ME)
  • 7. Hot Joy (San Antonio)
  • 8. Thai-Kun (Austin)
  • 9. Maurice Luncheonette (Portland, OR)
  • 10. Grand Central Market (Los Angeles)


PREVIOUS: This morning, Bon Appetit released restaurant editor Andrew Knowlton’s highly anticipated “Best New Restaurants” list for 2014, and New England chefs came out looking pretty good. In the Boston-area alone, four restaurants—Michael Scelfo’s Alden & Harlow, Tim Maslow’s Ribelle (Brookline), Jeremy Sewall’s Row 34 (Fort Point), and Ana Sortun and Cassie Piuma’s Sarma (Somerville)—were nominated. Other New England newcomers recognized by Knowlton include Birch (Providence), Central Provisions (Portland), and Palace Diner (Biddeford, ME).

Knowlton travels the county all year, dining at each of his selections multiple times before whittling his list down to 50 worthy nominees. In August, Bon Appetit will trim the list down even further to 10 finalists, before unveiling its chosen winner in its September issue.

One of the most enlightening aspects of Knowlton’s process is “What to Order” section, which highlights specific standout dishes on each menu. At Alden & Harlow, Knowlton honed in on the beef heart tartare and chicken-fried rabbit; at Ribelle it was Maslow’s Sicilian semolina bread with caponata and brunch burnt cinnamon roll; at Row 34 chef de cuisine, Francisco Millan’s raw, smoked, and cured board; and Sarma was noticed for its seven-layer hummus and fried chicken with sesame seeds.

In 2013, only two Boston restaurants were considered, Will Gilson’s Puritan & Company and Matthew Gaudet’s West Bridge.