Best New Restaurants in Boston 2015

From a bistro channeling the best of 18th-century New England to a cutting-edge “think tank” slinging some of the city’s finest French food, these are Boston’s most exciting new dining destinations. By Christopher Hughes with additional reporting by Jacqueline Cain, Brittany Jasnoff, Scott Kearnan, Corby Kummer, and Catherine Smart


All nine courses of the tasting menu at Tasting Counter. / Photograph by Nina Gallant

These days, a truly memorable restaurant experience is no longer defined merely by luxurious trappings, squeeze-bottle flourishes, and an endless parade of demure small plates. Instead, it’s about the details. Think Sam Cooke’s “Night Beat” crackling on vinyl or a design-savvy restaurateur who commissions a one-of-a-kind mural. It’s a beverage program helmed by a progressive somm stashing rare beers alongside the Rhônes and Burgundy.

Most important, it’s about the personal touches, like a chef who ventures outside the sanctuary of the kitchen—something the Barbara Lynches and Ken Oringers of the dining world have been pulling off for more than a decade. Since March 2014—our cutoff for last year’s 50 Best Restaurants issue—dozens of debuts have attempted to match those esteemed predecessors. Sometimes innovation comes from the bottom up, as in boundary-pushing food trucks, sprawling downtown markets, and craft-beer bars that think beyond frites and Buffalo wings. Several high-profile newcomers have also stormed onto the scene, from local luminaries to Michelin-starred interlopers. The most successful and passionate of this new class delivered highly tailored concepts presented with a strong sense of purpose, nailing the dining-out zeitgeist in compellingly unique ways. Herein, we profile the 25 breakout spots that inspired, challenged, and made us believers in a city that is finally, finally taking its food as seriously as its sports teams.

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