From the time they first showed their mettle with Galleria Italiano to a brief stint in the South End, Rita D'Angelo and Marisa Locco have always showed an exciting, creative flair for authentic Italian-style food. They have hit a home run with their North End bistro Bricco. It's chic and comfortable -- D'Angelo's front-of-the- house charm and Locco's kitchen savvy are a perfect match. Try the milk-fed veal chop with candy beets and truffle popcorn, or quail stuffed with speck and apricot. Home-made pasta Bolognese is perfection and you'll savor their special bread pudding. Now that Bricco is going full tilt, the two ladies have set their sights on Boston's financial district (the former Il Panino) where Umbria Ristorante is set to make its mark with ingredients flown direct from one of the largest organic farms in Umbria. They've got five floors to have fun with -- private dining areas, a lounge and bar area and a state-of-the-art bi-level nightclub that will stay open til 2 a.m. on weekends. Keep your eye on these gals…they're on a roll!
241 Hanover St., Boston
258 Franklin St., Boston
Now that the Fleet Center area is going through a resurgence, a new hotel (The Onyx), new office space, and believe it or not, another Au Bon Pain, it's nice to see this new large space on Portland Street open to give us a quality restaurant in the neighborhood, serving American comfort food with panache. Chef Robert Fatham has come up with some creative dishes -- here's a sampling of appetizers: Spinach and artichoke fondue (excellent), chickadee chick Chinese chicken (sweet and sour marinated wings), or a pu pu platter of fried tuna maki, braised pork ribs, tempura shrimp, or tuna tartar. The menu also offers a variety of soups,salads, and sandwiches. We particularly liked the southern fried salad (fried chicken tenders, pecans, baby spinach) and the iceberg "wedgie" salad (blue cheese dressing, bacon bits, marinated tomato and hard cooked egg.) For entrees, we recommend the mighty meat loaf, or the Sichuan peppercorn crusted seared tuna .The pork shank was tasty, and we also enjoyed the hanger steak with au gratin potatoes spiked with Great Hill blue cheese. Anthem is certainly a classy addition to the North Station area.
138 Portland St., Boston
Scampo, 15 Charles St. (former jail) at the new Liberty Boston Hotel. Award-winning chef Lydia Shire is known for pushing the envelope and creating an unrivaled culinary experience. Her newest entry has an Italian concept. The atmosphere is simple andrustic, with chic Italian design and a glorious open kitchen. Chalk up another winner for Lady Lydia!
Johnnie's on the Side
New England specialties are the focal points of Johnnie's on the Side, a spacious sports-and movie-memorabilia-bedecked restaurant near North Station and TD Banknorth Garden in the space once occupied by Anthem; floor-to-ceiling windows brighten up the dark wood, copper and brass of the street-level dining room, which is situated above a basement bar dubbed the West End Lounge.
Johnny's on the Side
138 Portland St., Boston
Trade, the newest gem from Chef Jody Adams (Rialto). Situated off the Ft. Point Channel at historic Atlantic Wharf, and overlooking the Greenway, this highly anticipated waterfront offering offers locally sourced, and internationally flavored fare ..190 seats are stationed beneath painted steel girders, floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the Greenway. Dome-shaped, hammered-tin lights illuminate wine racks masquerading as wooden filing cabinets. Shareables start with roasted littlenecks (w/ smoky chili-nut sauce) and lemon aioli whole globe artichoke, plus there are wood stone oven-grilled flatbreads (including a lamb sausage/ eggplant/ Manchego number topped w/ peppers and garlic yogurt), and heartiness like an herb & garlic pork loin.A full bar and discounted garage parking.
540 Atlantic Ave at Congress 617 451 1234
Sam's at Louis
Sitting atop one of Boston's hippest clothiers at their new location on Fan Pier, Sam's at Louis brings together a fresh, tempting menu, a spectacular seaport view of Boston Harbor and a great casual dining experience. Open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, Sam's has created a comfortable and very sociable environment where you immediately feel welcome and pleased you made the decision to come.
With floor-to-ceiling windows offering 180-degree views and a sizable wrap-around deck for dining and drinks, this American-French styled menu seems to have something for everyone. And, I have no doubt the outdoor deck will be a summertime hit.
There for Sam's weekend brunch, our party will personally vouch for the sizable "Jonnie's Bloody Mary's". Among the dishes tried: a delicious Paia Fish Market Tuna Sandwich with aged cheddar, cole slaw and tiger sauce and the Black Pepper Burger with Blue Cheese. Both were exceptional.
The proud faces and sincere welcome by owners Esti and Drew Parsons, and the wide smile and quick nod from busy Chef Ken Rogers set a cheery tone for a truly delightful afternoon.
Sam's is open 7-days a week, Mon - Thurs 11:30 – 10PM, Fri - Sat till 11PM, and Sunday's till 9PM. Lunch and Weekend brunch is served from 11:30 - 4PM. Sam's offers free 2hr validated parking in the commerical parking lot in front of the store.
Sam's at Louis
60 Northern Ave, Boston
Replacing the ill-fated Sensing, this Fairmont Battery Wharf hotel has come up with an attractive, comfortable and pleasant dining destination. Overlooking the harbor, the restaurant from its name (lobster in Italian) has a wide variety of seafood dishes, and of course Italian style favorites, The hand made pasta dishes including Lobster ravioli ,Pappardelle bolognese and Spaghetti and scampi are ample and flavorful. Seared tuna on flatbread was a wise first choice starter. Their baby beet salad with sweet and sour pine nuts was exceptinal. An unusal desseert choice included boston cream pie alfredo, a frozen dessert with all the flavors of the traditional pie. You can sit at the chef's table and watch the actual preparation of the various dishes. Or more privately in other parts of the resaurant Completely redorated, the space is warm and cozy and the service is professional and caring. Their is also an outdoor deck which in fine weather is perfect for drinks and dining.Award winning Chef David Daniels formerly of the Wauwinet in Nantucket, has come up with some wonderful variations on old favorites and keeps the menu fresh and exciting. Definitely a major contender on the waterfront dining scene.
Durgin Park Market Dining Room
Guest Reviewer: Chef Argold, Brookline
It's really a "Golden Oldie." After an absence, on my part, of too many years, Durgin Park is still there in historic Faneuil Hall Market housed in a building whose bricks were ballast in the holds of inter-continental sailing ships. It hasn't changed much. Still very satisfying with generous portions of traditional local fare, reasonably priced, and all quite good. The red and white gingham table cloths are still there and the historic decor appears intact, but the waitresses seem nicer and kinder, though still proficient and strong under those heavy trays. The shrimp appetizers and Greek salads were fresh and delicious. the lobsters were wonderful and my friend's end-cut of Roast Prime Rib of Beef was to gaze at in awe. It had to be 2 inches thick and over a foot long with the bone in. Tradition reigns at Durgin Park (established in 1827) with familiar favorites -- Yankee pot roast, Indian pudding and hot apple pan dowdy. The coffee Jello dessert under a mountain of whipped cream and luscious Strawberry Shortcake is still hard to beat! Fun dining. Really worth a try . . . bring the gang!
Durgin Park Market Dining Room
340 Faneuil Hall, Boston
Legal Sea Food Long Wharf
Next door to Sel De La Terre on Long Wharf and very close to the New Engalnd Aquarium is the popular waterfront location of the nationally-famous seafood restaurant.Quality control is the watchword at all the Legal's and if you're in the waterfront area, ( very close to Quincy Market) you can count on the freshest and widest variety of fish in the New Engalnd area.
Legal's Long Wharf
255 State St., Boston
Legal Test Kitchen or "LTK" as the regulars refer to it, has been open 4 years now, and is the place where the creative chefs in the Legal family come up with new and exciting menu ideas along with the old favorites.
The menu changes every six weeks and the restaurant in the growing Legal chain is the only one that caters to the late -night crowd. They're open until 2 a.m.! So if you're looking for food and drink in the wee hours, head for one of the most exciting and newest Boston neighborhoods.
225 Northern Avenue
Sel de la Terre
Around the corner from Legal Sea Foods and across the way from the Aquarium restaurant sits this unobtrusive restaurant that provides serious cuisine for the discriminating diner. French country-style cuisine with a flair and with attention to detail tells you this is not your ordinary dining establishment. It was a difficult choice right from the beginning as we alternated dipping two kinds of bread into the olive oil laced with roasted shallots and garlic, and then again with the exquisite red bean dip. An appetizer of sauteed scallops in puff pastry kept the taste sensations going. The salad of Boston lettuce and red cabbage with golden raisins, roasted peanuts, and grapefruit curry provided some delicious breathing room. And the entrees -- a delicious bouillabaisse, a barbecued salmon with buckwheat noodles, a beef rib-eye. Be still my heart. The restaurant has branched out--with a very busy spot in the Mandarin Hotel in Boston's Back Bay and another one in the swank Natick Collection off Rt. 9 in Natick. They have hit the mark right on. This is the "salt of the earth." Garage.
Sel De La Terre
255 State St, Boston ( nexzt to the Aquarium) ,774 Boylston St and 1245 Worcester St. Natick
606 Congress, Michael Schlow's new restaurant at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel is an American take on tapas: tasting plates or hearty appetizers from light to robust dishes that allow diners to share.
This tiny boite at the lower end of Beacon Hill on Cambridge Street (opposite the giant MGH complex) offers one a chance to enjoy authentic French cuisine at reasonable prices. Open for lunch and dinner (dinner only on Saturday and closed Sunday), we sampled the luncheon menu and are pleased to report ... tres magnifique. Crispy and crunchy French bread with salted butter balls set the stage for our culinary French excursion, followed by traditional onion soup, a light, delicious broth topped with a light layer of toasted cheese. Next came mussels in white wine sauce -- hearty and flavorful. The salad course, romaine with roquefort and crushed walnuts, was light and fresh, and quite satisfactory. On the downside, another traditional French dish, the beef Bourguignon, either was not cooked enough or too much, and I found it tough despite the nice wine flavor.We perked up with dessert -- creme brulee, a rich burnt sugar topping over a light creamy interior -- and the rich chocolate mousse's dark melt-in-your-mouth chocolate was perfection. Wine and beer are available, but parking is minimal. Best bet is to park at the new Yawkey garage a block away, or at one of the MGH garages nearby. The atmosphere is very French -- Pierrot clown pictures dot the persimmon-colored walls, and the strains of haunting Edith Piaf songs add to the authentic French flavor of the Hub's newest entry into true French cuisine. Vive le Paris!
272 Cambridge St, Boston
West On Centre
West Roxbury is moving up on the gourmet scale. The "Eat, Drink, Laugh" Restaurant Group's newest entry in the area (they also run such diverse eating establishments as "The Blarney Stone" in Dorchester, The Paramount on Charles St., Peking Tom's at Downtown Crossing and the 21st Amendment on Beacon Hill) was indeed a surprise. But these guys seem to have a knack for creating unique and diverse eating establishments that offer quality, quantity and fair prices. This newest edition on Centre Street in West Roxbury is a well-appointed, cozy 80-seat restaurant with an open kitchen, classic mahogany bar and relaxing lounge area. More than just a neighborhood haunt, its well-prepared food and generous drinks have brought in folks from other suburbs as well. The menu, although not huge, offers enough variety to please any palate. We started with freshly-steamed mussels and an ample-portioned shrimp cocktail. You can choose from 3 or 4 salads that offer large portions. I thoroughly enjoyed my thick porkchop served with pecan sweet potatoes, garlicky green beans, and crispy onions. You won't go wrong with the the herb-roasted chicken served with creamed spinach and garlic mashed potatoes, and you won't find a better tasting steak than the sirloin club. The top price for any of the entrees is $20. With this family friendly eatery, it looks like this growing restaurant group has latched on to another winner.
West on Centre
1732 Centre St., West Roxbury
Cafe D Global Kitchen
In the reincarnation of his former Jamaica Plain eatery, "Arbor", talented owner/chef Doug Organ has already won the kudos of the JP neighborhood with his more casual, less-expensive offerings. Gourmet burgers (beef or tuna), a variety of pastas, and a three-course prix fixe menu (until 7 p.m.) is packing the place. The quality has not been compromised, and the cuisine is still attractive and tasty enough to satisfy the most discriminating diner. The medjool date and orange salad tossed in a olive oil lemon juice and mint dressing will start you off in fine fashion. Daily specials are listed on a blackboard and we ordered the whole trout in a sweet hot and sour mustard sauce. It was was clean-your-plate delicious. Ditto the roasted native pollock. A carryover from Arbor days is the Moroccan spiced lamb that still seems to be the diners' favorite. Leave room for the limited dessert menu. Our choice: rice pudding brulee. The tiny spot (about 15 tables) takes no reservations, and there is no full bar, but the wine list offers affordable choices. Parking available in the rear.
Cafe D Global Kitchen
711 Center St, Jamaica Plain