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10 Best Restaurants in Boston

10 Best Restaurants in Boston

There’s great food everywhere you turn in Beantown

Combine a menu of seasonally-driven dishes made with locally sourced ingredients with chef Barry Maiden’s classical French culinary training, add in his love of Southern comfort foods, and you have Hungry Mother. Husband and wife team Alon Munzer and Rachel Miller Munzer run the wine and liquor programs and front of the house, respectively, and they do it very well.

10) Hungry Mother

Combine a menu of seasonally-driven dishes made with locally sourced ingredients with chef Barry Maiden’s classical French culinary training, add in his love of Southern comfort foods, and you have Hungry Mother. Husband and wife team Alon Munzer and Rachel Miller Munzer run the wine and liquor programs and front of the house, respectively, and they do it very well.

9) Strip-T’s

A recently retooled menu hasn’t diminished chef Tim Maslow from carrying on his father Paul’s classic American casual mainstay, in business since 1986. The romaine with oxtail is still there, along with lighthearted fare like “Wings, Moxie, chives, wetnaps” and Cubano fries topped with ham, pulled pork, pickles, and Swiss. Don’t miss the weekly themes menu, either.

8) Toro

Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette are packing them in every night at Toro, one of the town’s toughest reservations to secure. It’s a self-described “Barcelona-style tapas restaurant,” serving everything from traditional pan con tomate and patatas bravas to crispy veal sweetbreads, ham-wrapped pork paté, and a pressed uni sandwich with miso butter, but it’s much more than that. It’s an experience.

7) Craigie on Main

Owner Tony Maws has a knack for not being afraid to bust out some modern technology to make simple dishes spectacular, and at Craigie on Main he’s turning out some of the best roast chicken and burgers you’ll ever have. They’re not all simple, though: confit and roasted milk-fed pig’s head with spicy pumpkin sambal and boudin noir-hoisin sauce, anyone?

6) Scampo

Nobody writes menus like Lydia Shire does. She loves big flavors and embraces any cuisine that she believes will excite diners' taste buds, and she brings it all together in this nominally Italian but really more “Shirean” restaurant. Tandoor-cooked scallops with whipped white eggplant, ground lamb pizza, spaghetti with pork cracklings and chiles, char-grilled duck with celery root and fresh cherry gastrique, roast suckling pig every Friday night — no wonder tout Boston flocks here (sports celebrities above all).

5) Asta

yelp/Julie B.

Asta is less than three years old, but it’s already established a reputation for being one of the country’s most mysterious restaurants, with a tasting menu that’s constantly changing, a tiny website, and very little social media presence. That hasn’t stopped devoted followers from flocking to it, though; it’s astoundingly delicious.

4) No. 9 Park

Now in its fifteenth year, chef Barbara Lynch’s flagship is still one of downtown’s best destinations for fine dining. Drawing on French and Italian influences and a dedication to the freshest and highest-quality ingredients, the weekly-changing Chef’s Tasting Menu, which can include everything from sweetbreads with Australian black truffle and rabbit to Berkshire pork belly with heirloom tomato, gem lettuce, and buttermilk, isn’t to be missed.

3) L’Espalier

One of the pioneers of modern haute cuisine in Boston, chef-owner Frank McClelland has received a host of awards at L’Espalier. (Among other things, it was the first New England restaurant to receive four stars from The Boston Globe, back in 1996.) The food served at L’Espalier is focused around local and seasonal ingredients, with particularly good seafood, and the seasonal tasting menus, at $105 and $185, are well worth trying.

2) Clio

Chef Ken Oringer’s consistently impressive fare lands Clio on Boston Magazine’s lists of the best restaurants year after year. Oringer, one of the city’s most notable and respected chefs, serves up wildly inventive dishes including monkfish osso bucco and black licorice roasted Muscovy duck, while nodding to his forebears with items like truffle soup à la Paul Bocuse. Since its opening in 1997, Clio’s reputation has only continued to improve, and a 2012 makeover, which expanded the bar but kept the leopard-print carpet, assured its success for years to come.

1) O Ya

Chef Tim Cushman brings innovative sushi and related new-Japanese fare (hamachi belly with yuzu soy marinated sea urchin, foie gras gyoza with pink peppercorns) to his menu with imagination and flair, serving these and other truly wonderful dishes, accompanied by a large choice of excellent sake and wine, in an understated dining room whose simplicity belies the complexity of flavors on the plate. It’s a treat (of course) to sit at the sushi bar, a vantage point for watching the chefs prepare what are often otherworldly-looking treats; the omakase here is one of life’s true pleasures. Cushman won the 2012 James Beard Award for Best Chef Northeast.


1. Boston Chefs

Boston, Massachusetts, United States About Blog BostonChefs.com is a guide to Boston restaurants and fine dining - featuring the best chefs and restaurants in Boston. Frequency 9 posts / week Also in Boston Blogs Blog bostonchefs.com
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2. We are not Martha

Boston, Massachusetts, United States About Blog A food blog with simple to follow recipes for dinner, dessert, cocktails, and more, along with a healthy dash of lifestyle in Boston. Frequency 1 post / week Blog wearenotmartha.com
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3. Boston Girl Bakes

Boston, Massachusetts, United States About Blog Learn to make the perfect dessert every time and have fun doing it! Browse dozens of easy baking, cake and cookie recipes that will make you the hit of your next party or gathering. Frequency 1 post / week Blog bostongirlbakes.com
Twitter followers 1.3K ⋅ Instagram Followers 2.4K ⋅ Domain Authority 40 ⓘ ⋅ Alexa Rank 555.8K ⓘ View Latest Posts ⋅ Get Email Contact

4. DigBoston » Eats

Boston, Massachusetts, United States About Blog DigBoston is a one-stop nexus for everything worth doing or knowing in the Boston area. Boston's one-stop for News, Arts, Entertainment, Politics, Lifestyle & Food. Frequency 1 post / week Blog digboston.com/category/lifes..
Facebook fans 11.7K ⋅ Twitter followers 41.6K ⋅ Instagram Followers 3.5K ⋅ Domain Authority 59 ⓘ ⋅ Alexa Rank 614.6K ⓘ View Latest Posts ⋅ Get Email Contact

5. Confessions of a Chocoholic » Recipes

Boston, Massachusetts, United States About Blog Bianca Garcia is a food and lifestyle blogger who writes about her favorite eats, family, recipe collection, restaurant review database, travel diary, and other life musings. Frequency 1 post / quarter Blog confessionsofachocoholic.com..
Facebook fans 2.1K ⋅ Twitter followers 3K ⋅ Instagram Followers 6.9K ⋅ Domain Authority 43 ⓘ ⋅ Alexa Rank 7.1M ⓘ View Latest Posts ⋅ Get Email Contact

6. Brunch on Sunday » Food

Boston, Massachusetts, United States About Blog A Boston-based lifestyle and food blog by Mackenzie Murphy. Brunch on Sunday is a place where she shares bits of style inspiration, hair and beauty tips, travel guides, and life in New England. She always strives to keep it real! Frequency 3 posts / quarter Blog brunchonsunday.com/category/..
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7. Boston Foodies

Boston, Massachusetts, United States About Blog Tiffany is a Boston-based food blogger sharing her favorite food trucks, fine dining, and everything in between. Blog boston-foodies.com
Facebook fans 4.9K ⋅ Twitter followers 1.2K ⋅ Instagram Followers 155.4K ⋅ Domain Authority 16 ⋅ View Latest Posts ⋅ Get Email Contact

8. The Ghee Spot

Boston, Massachusetts, United States About Blog Hi, I'm Adarsh and I am the chef behind The Ghee Spot! My inspiration for exploring new cuisines and flavors comes from watching Gordon Ramsay & Jamie Oliver while I follow the basic recipe I always try to add instincts to create my recipes. Frequency 30 posts / year Blog searchforthegheespot.com
Twitter followers 76 ⋅ View Latest Posts ⋅ Get Email Contact

9. The Boston Day Book » Food & Drink

Boston, Massachusetts, United States About Blog A Boston-based lifestyle blog featuring art, food, interesting people, and city living with kids. Blog thebostondaybook.com/categor..
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10. Gourmet Pigs

About Blog Gourmet Pigs is a blog focused on showing people good restaurants, bars, food, and wine products, as well as where to travel and what to do. Frequency 10 posts / year Blog gourmetpigs.blogspot.com
Facebook fans 736 ⋅ Twitter followers 8.4K ⋅ Instagram Followers 18.7K ⋅ Domain Authority 38 ⋅ View Latest Posts ⋅ Get Email Contact

11. A Thought For Food

Boston, Massachusetts, United States About Blog Brian is a lifestyle and food photographer in Boston and New York. He is the creator of the acclaimed food blog, A Thought For Food, a collection of recipes and personal anecdotes pertaining to cooking. His work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Bon Appetit, Sunday Morning on CBS, Saveur, Kinfolk, The Boston Globe, Edible Boston, and The Kitchen. Frequency 2 posts / year Also in Food Photography Blogs Blog athoughtforfood.net/blog
Facebook fans 9.6K ⋅ Twitter followers 14.2K ⋅ Instagram Followers 414 ⋅ Domain Authority 45 ⋅ Alexa Rank 7M View Latest Posts ⋅ Get Email Contact

12. Greater Boston Food Blog

Boston, Massachusetts, United States About Blog This blog is about food, great food in and around Boston, MA has written by two regular people who are obsessed with tantalizing their tastebuds and filling their bellies with nothing but the best. The best can include anything from fast food to family-friendly to fine dining, during all meals of the day. Blog thebostonfoodblog.com
Facebook fans 39 ⋅ Instagram Followers 4.5K ⋅ Domain Authority 3 ⋅ View Latest Posts ⋅ Get Email Contact


Marcella Hazan's tomato sauce counts among the best and it's simple to make.

Italian-born chef Marcella Hazan burst onto the culinary scene in the early 1970s with " The Classic Italian Cook Book ," a volume that did for Italian dishes what Julia Child's books did for French cooking.

Many of her recipes have become major sources of inspiration for what we now know as Italian-American cuisine, but one stands out in particular: her tomato sauce. Made with only tomatoes, butter, onion, and salt, the sauce takes only 15 minutes to prepare and 45 minutes to cook.


Cocktails

Grapefruit
vodka, aperol, elderflower, lemon

Orange
bourbon, dram, bitters

Almond
amaretto, rye, aperol, lemon, egg white

Coconut
rum, falernum, lime

­­Watermelon
hibiscus tequila, mezcal, elderflower tonic

Barrel Aged Oak
bourbon, campari, sweet vermouth

Saltie
vodka, gordal olive, pickled onion, caviar


10 Copycat Appetizers from Your Favorite Restaurants

Make your home feel like a restaurant with these easy copycat appetizers. Save some money and make these appetizers just the way you like them — with extra spice or without. Whether you&aposre craving Chinese, Italian, or classic American, we&aposve got you covered.

"When I visit my mom we usually make it to P.F. Chang&aposs® at least once and always start the meal with their very popular chicken lettuce wraps. They do a good job with most of the dishes I&aposve had, but the wraps are clearly my favorite. I don&apost do a lot of copycat recipes these chicken lettuce wraps, however, are a delicious exception." — Chef John

"A delicious onion sliced to bloom, then coated and deep-fried," says Joanne Bruck. "The recipe for the dipping sauce is also included."

"The best wings ever!! Baked mine and fried some for my husband. Better than any restaurant wings I&aposve tasted." — Shelly

"Light and tasty, these make a great appetizer or a quick and easy main dish! Kids love them! Finally a dish that makes use of ground chicken but not so far-fetched . I loved the ones at Applebee&aposs® and decided to attempt a home version. I was extremely pleased with the healthier version! Top tacos with cilantro, red onion, or sweet onion, if desired. Serve lime wedges on the side."— OdaMae

"This is an actual recipe from a former employee of a popular drive-in restaurant. Crispy coated onion rings like the pros make!" — JeanieMomof3

"I love the San Remo seafood dip at Olive Garden® and this is my attempt at trying to copy it. It is very popular at family gatherings!" — Chrissy DeCosmo Fesler

"If you love Applebee&aposs® spinach and artichoke dip, this is the one for you. Serve with chips or bread and enjoy." — canderson09

"Just like the appetizer at Bonefish Grill®!" — linzleel

"This is similar to the hot wings recipe served at a popular restaurant chain. If you have ever had them, you have to love them." — Kelly

"These are great breadsticks to make," says Kimbers. "They taste great and are easy to make. If you are an Olive Garden® lover, then you will LOVE these."


We Found The Best Appetizers At Your Favorite Chain Restaurants

Appetizers are the best part of any meal&mdashthis isn't up for debate, it is simply the cold hard truth. Nothing comes between me and my carby, buttery, gorgeous apps. Here are the best apps at your favorite chain restaurants whether you choose to share them or not is totally up to you.

Can you imagine if we DIDN'T put this on here? These golden, tender biscuits are bottomless and can turn any bad day around. Some will say these biscuits are meant to be filler and keep you from getting to the good stuff, but I think these *are* the good stuff.

We've had our fair share of calamari on our restaurant adventures, and honestly. most of them suck. If you're going to get calamari, I recommend only getting it from here. It's lightly breaded and tender, and comes as a large serving size for a group.

Somehow the best part of this burger isn't the thick blanket of cheddar cheese. The generous slathering of tangy bacon jam and crispy fried onion makes this one of the best sliders I've had.

Do you love lasagna? OK, what about deep-fried lasagna? The parmesan breading, marinara drizzle, and creamy alfredo sauce make this app a work of damn art.

How did it take us this long to get to a dip?? This dip is the perfect example of an app that you're expected to share but you simply won't. The creamy lemony dip is loaded with shrimp, scallops, and crab and it will make you feel like the fanciest person at the table.

I really didn't want to like these. Everyone and her mother was screaming about these flaky, golden egg rolls and, to be frank, I assumed they were overrated. I'm here to report that they are just as legendary as expected. Chili's wraps chicken, black beans, corn, jalapeños, cheese, red peppers, and spinach in a flour tortilla and fries it in all its glory. If you don't dip it in the avocado-ranch, you're doing a disservice to yourself.

Another extremely common and overrated app is the onion ring. Often, the onion is too slippery and falls out leaving you with a breading carcass. I am thrilled to say that Red Robin has nailed the onion ring game and these thick-cut onion rings are my new pride and joy. You'll be dipping them in the campfire mayo and ranch debating which dip is better until it's all gone. (But we all know the campfire mayo is best, yes?)

We're going to take a quick break from all things fried and brown for these chicken lettuce wraps. This app is great activity for the table and is light enough that you'll be able to make it to dessert. The garlic, ginger, hoisin sauce, and green onions give some serious flavor to the chicken, making you almost forget this is healthy-ish.

Look, I know this might be crazy to put this at number 2&mdashbut I've never had a reaction to bread and cheese like I did to this combo. The pretzels are puffy and salty and the beer cheese dip could truly go on everything. I had a spiritual awakening with these damn pretzels and I will stand by this ranking.

I'm also surprised this took the top spot, but when I really reflect on my favorite apps, this one immediately comes to mind. It was garlicky, buttery, and made me want to get up and dance. Every restaurant should put bread under their proteins to catch the sauce. It made so much sense, yet most places don't do this. If I talk about this app anymore I will have to order it for delivery, so I'm just going to tell you the obvious: Try it. Please.


Max Brenner

Photo courtesy of Max Brenner

Max Brenner has great dinner choices, but everyone knows that the desserts are the true highlight. If a box of chocolates is a standard romantic gesture, taking your date to Max Brenner is over-the-moon romance. Choose from crepes, shakes, tiramisu, s’mores, chocolate fondue… really anything your heart may desire. Don’t plan for any high-energy date activities following dinner, as you will undoubtedly be leaving in a food coma.


How to Cook Boston Butt in the Oven: Step-By-Step

Pork butt or shoulder are often the meat of choice for making pulled pork.

However, this isn't the only way to use this cut of meat.

Below, we will provide you with three pork butt oven recipes that you can try. The first will be pulled pork, as every chef should know how to make this signature dish.

We have also outlined two other pork oven recipes you can use to step outside of your comfort zone.

You also don’t have to make these dishes in the oven. A grill or smoker works just as well. However, we’ve chosen the oven as the preferred method because you can use these recipes all year round no matter the weather.

BBQ Pulled Pork

Do you need a low and slow-cooked barbecue pulled pork recipe? Learn how to cook pulled pork in the oven using the recipe below.

Step 1 - Decide on a Dry Rub & Liquid Smoke to Use

To get the most flavorful pulled pork possible, you should figure out what kind of dry rub and liquid smoke you want to use.

You can purchase a dry rub from the store or mix the following ingredients to create your own dry rub recipe:

  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

You can find liquid smoke from your local grocer. Make sure it is suitable to use with an oven.

Step 2 - Prepare Your Pork Butt

Place a 4-pound bone-in or boneless pork butt on a large piece of plastic wrap. The weight doesn't have to be exact, but try to keep it in the 3.5-4.5 pound range so you can follow this pulled pork recipe as closely as possible.

Rub about 2 tablespoons of liquid smoke into the meat. This part of the recipe is optional, but it will give your roasted pork a distinctive and desirable wood flavor.

Coat the meat with about 1 cup of your dry rub. Completely wrap the pork in plastic and place it in the fridge for a few hours. You can also leave it to sit in the fridge overnight.

Step 3 - Cook Your Pork Butt

When you're ready to cook your pork butt, start by preheating your oven to 250°F.

Prepare a large rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan with aluminum foil and spray it generously with cooking spray.

Place the pork butt onto your baking sheet or roasting pan and let it bake in the oven until it reaches an internal temperature of 200°F. This process should take around 9 hours.

The cooking time will vary depending on how large your cut of meat is and whether it's boneless. You will need to keep a watchful eye on your meat to ensure it doesn't overcook in the oven.

This longer low and slow oven recipe produces much more tender meat than if cooked only to an internal temperature of 160°F.

Step 4 - Wrap & Shred Your Pork Butt

After your pork has reached the ideal internal temperature, take it out of the oven and place it directly on a tinfoil sheet.

Wrap it securely with the tinfoil. Wrap it again with several paper towels and let it rest in a small cooler for an hour before shredding it. Place the meat on the counter away from the oven for cooling.

Shred the meat with two forks and watch it fall right off the bone, giving you heavenly pulled pork.

Baked Pork Butt Meatballs

Want to add some Italian cuisine to your dinner table? This recipe is the perfect way to do so.

If you and your family want to give pork butt a try but don't want to give up some of your other favorite meats, this oven-baked meatball recipe offers the best of both worlds.

Step 1 - Obtain Your Meats

The center of this recipe will be ground pork. You will also need ground lamb and ground beef round.

Either grinding your meat or using purchased ground meat will be sufficient. The best method for this recipe will depend on the equipment you have on hand and the types of meat you have in stock.

Step 2 – Preheat Oven and Combine All of Your Ingredients

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine all your ground-up meat in a large mixing bowl. Add the following recipe ingredients to your bowl:

  • ½ lb. Ground Pork
  • ½ lb. Ground Beef
  • ½ lb. Ground Lamb
  • 5 ounces of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • ½ cup of finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of dried parsley
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of dried basil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • ¼ cup of breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup of red pepper flakes

Use your hands to incorporate all these ingredients together.

You can either proceed with making this recipe right away or let it rest in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. We recommend using the recipe immediately to keep the ingredients as fresh as possible.

Step 3 - Form Your Meatballs

Cover a food scale with plastic wrap and divide the meat mixture into 1 ½ ounce portions. Avoid making them too thick, as this may cause them not to cook all the way through. Use your hands to form the meat portions into ball shapes.

Pour an additional ¼ cup of breadcrumbs into a small bowl. Roll your meatballs in the breadcrumbs.

Set up a muffin pan with miniature muffin cups. Place one meatball per cup.

Step 4 - Cook & Serve

Place the entire pan into the oven, which should have preheated to 400°F. Allow the meatballs to bake until they are golden on the outside and cooked thoroughly on the inside. This process should take around 20 minutes using this recipe, but the cooking time may vary slightly depending on the oven and the size of the meatballs.

Take the meatballs out of the oven once they have reached an internal temperature of at least 160°F. Serve the meatballs over your favorite pasta noodles and marinara sauce.

Braised Pork Stew

Braised pork stew hot out of the oven is a nostalgic meal for many. It's a recipe best to enjoy on a chilly winter day around the fire. However, you can still serve it during the summer and offer your family and guests a sense of hominess.

This recipe that we've provided makes about six servings. You can serve it all at once, but it also makes for great leftovers.

Keep reading to learn how to make braised pork stew using this step-by-step recipe.

Step 1 - Gather Your Ingredients

This recipe's ingredients list is substantial, but you can expect that with any type of stew. Before you begin, gather these ingredients:

  • 3 pounds boneless pork butt or shoulder (cubed into bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 red onion, halved and sliced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • One 15-ounce can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup of canned green chilies
  • 1 cup of frozen corn

The above ingredients are for the stew recipe. You will also need the following items to make the recipe for this dish's garnish:

Fresh cilantro leaves
Diced avocados
Fresh diced tomatoes

Now that you have gathered and prepared all your ingredients, you can move onto making the stew.

Step 2 - Start on the Stovetop

Before beginning any work with this recipe, preheat your oven to 325°F.

To brown the diced pork, you will first use your stovetop. Heat the one tablespoon of olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the pork cubes and cook them until they brown.

Then, add in the onions, garlic, and all the spices. Cover and simmer them for several minutes until they become tender.

Step 3 - Move to the Oven

Before moving the Dutch oven to the oven, add in the black beans, chicken broth, and green chiles.

Once you mix these ingredients in, secure the lid on top of your Dutch oven. Place the whole piece into your preheated oven. The cooking time for this stew recipe is approximately 2 ½ to 3 hours.

This amount of time should be enough to make the pork tender and allow all the ingredients to amplify the meat's flavor.

During the last fifteen minutes of cooking in the oven, don't forget to add in your frozen corn. You can also use fresh kernels from corn-off-the-cob, but we prefer frozen corn for its convenience.

Step 4 - Make the Garnish

The garnish for this recipe is optional, but it can add a unique finishing touch. To make it, simply mix the diced tomatoes, avocados, and cilantro leaves.

Wait until the stew is in serving bowls to add this garnish. This way, the flavor of these fresh ingredients won't get lost with the rest of the stew.


More Memories of Closed New England Restaurants from the 60s, 70s and 80s


Yoken's, a once famous seafood restaurant on Route 1 in Danvers.

by Eric Hurwitz. Updated 12/19/16.

Share this New England travel article with your friends .

Editor's note: Due to popular demand, we have expanded our original New England Restaurant Memories section -- a warm look at restaurants we wish were still open, except maybe Lums (read below).

King's Grant, Danvers, MA -- The King's Grant, located in the King's Grant Inn, realistically captured all the elements of the 14th Century Tudor Dynasty with plush carpets, bi-level dining, a staff with thick Boston accents (some wearing glasses, so common in the 14th Century), an overly-chlorinated swimming pool nearby, and a buffet table with enough heating elements to keep the entire North Shore warm. All kidding aside, the King's Grant featured one of the best Sunday brunches in the region, almost hitting a home run with every dish -- expertly created by obviously talented chefs. On our last visit, however, a major source of irritation occurred when the King's Grant featured a "theme brunch," with actors and actresses portraying 14 Century types. They visited each table performing lame magic tricks, speaking in an odd combination of Old English and Boston accents, and generally impeding our mission to eat and be with family. Historians know that Henry VI eventually went insane we weren't far behind after suffering through this misguided performance that, perhaps, was the earlier day version of the old lady becoming annoyed at the Renaissance Fair in the recent FreeCreditReport.com television commercial. Soon after our visit, the King's Grant closed. Don't get us wrong -- for a long time, this was a tremendous restaurant with a great management staff. Unfortunately, the quality of food slipped and the sideshows became unbearable before the closing.

Lums, Braintree, MA, and other locations - We loved the named, as it reminded us of Mike Lum, a mediocre baseball player with the Atlanta Braves from 1969-1975. We didn't love the restaurant, sort of a bad version of Howard Johnson's with tiffany lamps over every table and the horrendous "Ollie Burger" with
"secret spices" that disgraced every hamburger. The hot dogs steamed in beer were actually pretty good and allowed us to brag to our friends about consuming beer (pretty pathetic, indeed). Lums' founder was a man named Stuart Pearlman, so we have often wondered where the name Lums came from. Comedian Milton Berle was once the spokesman for Lums! Unfortunately, the joke was on the customer who thought low prices and beautiful tiffany lamps for ambiance would equate to great food.

Toll House Inn, Whitman, MA - All that's left is the sign, located between a Wendy's and about seemingly 10,000 pharmacies within a one-mile radius. The Toll House made history with by inventing the toll house cookie in the 1930s. The restaurant was charming with its traditional New England atmosphere and food. Unfortunately, the Toll House burned to the ground in 1984, and was never rebuilt, thus paving the way to this now faceless stretch on Route 18.

The Town Lyne House, Route 1, Lynnfield, MA -- The Town Lyne House, in its white, colonial-style house glory, stood as the last bastion of grace and dignity on a road filled with restaurants that had plastics cows out front, and giant sausage and "Leaning Tower of Pizza" structures outside their respective restaurants, and that hideous 50 ft. orange dinosaur in front of the miniature golf course. The Town Lyne House was a traditional favorite serving terrific Yankee fare for people ranging in age from 95-120. But then, something oddly revolutionary happened to the Town Lyne House where you could here some of the worst Karaoke music coming out of the bar. It was just too much having Karaoke in a place that your grandmother loved. To stick with the colonial theme, the Town Lyne House could have at least had a sense of humor if they were to play Karaoke and perhaps spin some Paul Revere and the Raiders songs.

Aku Aku, Cambridge, MA -- We're not talking about the second version of this legendary Chinese restaurant that was located at Alewife Station in Cambridge. Before that, we enjoyed the Aku Aku, located on Route 2 near the Arlington line. It was so dark in here, we bumped into walls and had to read the menu about an inch away from our eyes (which eventually we would be doing in our advanced age, anyway). Funny Story: My Dad and his friends went to the Aku Aku for the lunchtime specials. He ordered "Number One." His friend said, "Me, too," and got the "Number Two" special. We loved the hokey, colored lights and manufactured water views inside the restaurant, which provided a pathetic respite to this busy, charmless stretch of Route 2 where a bowling alley and the unfriendly looking Arthur D. Little Building served as the local tourist attractions. We miss the first Aku Aku: the pu pu platter was beyond reproach, and the service was pleasant, unlike some of the nastier waiters that were employed at the second restaurant. Now all that stands at the former Aku Aku Building is a vacant building and parking lot that makes you long for the day of old school Chinese restaurants like this.

Yoken's, Danvers, MA -- We had previousy mentioned the Portsmouth Yoken's, but I actually liked the Danvers one better. The reason: it was closer to our Arlington home. Yoken's had two separate dining rooms, each identical to each other. The manager featured my Mom's art work at the restaurant. The staff was nice to us in a grandmotherly kind of way, and often threw in an extra piece of fried fish and extra scoop of ice cream. Most importantly, Danvers also had the smiling whale logo sign (see above) -- a warm, innocent, positive mircocosm of another area.

The Kitchen, East Lexington, MA -- The best thing about the Kitchen was that it was tucked away in the basement of a brick professional building in Lexington. How many other restaurants could claim something as unique and enthralling as that? With a cozy, informal atmosphere and really good air conditioning (unfortunately, sometimes in the winter, too), finely painted wall murals and the feeling of being in the pizza house version of a speakeasy, the Kitchen was not your average quick-serve restaurant. They never said "15 minutes please" with that patented disinterest so familiar at some sub shops. The Kitchen baked its delicious pizzas with consistency, and overloaded the subs with meats and cheeses on a perfectly done toasted sub roll. It was a place you could call your own, as, at times, nobody seemed to dine at the Kitchen. The Kitchen gained a nice reputation amongst our elitist crowd (driving mainly Ford Escorts and Dodge Neons at the time), however, as the best restaurant in East Lexington, not to mention one of the only restaurants in East Lexingtion.

The Cottage Crest, Waltham, MA -- What I remember most about the Cottage Crest was walking upstairs to an old-fashioned dining room where I ate very good steak, chicken and seafood dishes food with my parents and people who, mysteriously, had blue hair (today, it's not quite so mysterious). The Cottage Crest was terrific for quite some time serving great home meals away from home, but then slipped and fell into generic, function room food specializing in dried-out chicken. It's kind of sad when a landmark, household name restaurant like this slips in quality and then closes, as the tradition of going out to eat locally at a friendly place like the Cottage Crest brings back some of the most pleasant dining memories of my childhood.

Peking on the Mystic, Medford, MA -- The family that ran the Peking on the Mystic really went the extra mile to make their customers satisfied. These kind, unassuming owners frequently came over to our table, made the effort to get to know us, and were generally grateful for our patronage. Their low-key, warm personalities made us feel comfortable and the great spare ribs, dumplings and chicken fingers satisfied our demanding but limited, childhood Chinese food requirements.

Franks' Restaurant- Hartford, CT -- Frank's (picture below) proudly served Continental, Italian and American Cuisine, but it really seemed all Italian. Aside from our juvenile minds being amused at its location on Ayslum St. ("Ha, ha, it must be a crazy street!"), Frank's impressed us with its elegant black booths, pleasantly dim lighting and multi-colored tile ceiling. We had one of the nicest waiters in the world, but he could not pronounce the word "spaghetti." He asked us,"Would you like some 'bizghetti,'" so we had to look to our dad for some translation. My Dad was a multi-linguist, so he was able to help. We had one of the best Italian dinners, to date, and wish Frank's were still open -- or Hartford, for that matter.

Frank's was really elegant looking, but so friendly and informal. What a shame it closed. I still remember the great spaghetti dinner from when I was eight-years-old. The thing that looks like a cobweb in the top left corner is actually an old piece of 1970 tape used to put this postcard in my 1970 green notebook that my Dad bought for me at Ingall's Stationary store (yes, that's closed, too) in Lexington, MA.

Peking Garden, Lexington, MA -- Peking Garden was a somewhat elegant looking Chinese restaurant with little of the gaudy decor excesses of its competitors. Still, the Peking Garden had its flaws. It could be a place where a brusque waiter would say "NO SEPARATE CHECKS!" to our polite request. They always had a fabulous luncheon buffet with all the Chinese food bells and whistles, although pork fried rice was frequently missing from the latter day buffets. I once heard a story from many years ago of two cooks flying out of the kitchen's swinging doors and into the dining room -- duking it out in front of mortified customers. Peking Garden wasn't really this kind of place, however. It actually turned into a popular dining destination for locals who enjoyed the buffet, the diverse and sometimes creative menu , and some often polished and gracious service and hosting. The Peking Garden kind of evolved into something worth going to, and then closed its doors on us, forever.

The Midget Deli, Cambridge, MA -- As a child, I liked going to restaurants with funny names. There was Shakey's in Nashua, NH, Rudy's Rail in Old Forge, NY, Brillo's in Framingham, MA, the Wursthaus in Cambridge, MA, the previously mentioned Lums, and of course, the Midget Deli in Cambridge. Much to our disapointment, we never saw any midgets there. The deli selections weren't as good as Jack and Marion's and Rubin's. So why did we bother with the Midget? I don't know, life can be like that sometimes, OK?

Buzzy's Roast Beef, Boston, MA -- Located on Cambridge St. under the Charles Street Train Station and next to the Charles Street jail, Buzzy's seemed to be open at all hours. This outdoor, order-at-the window food stand was best known for its heaping roast beef sandwiches, french fries, onion rings and curt, brusque "What do you want pal?" service. Buzzy's attracted drunks, sober late night owls (in the minority), Massachusetts General Hospital staff, refined Beacon Hill types showing their alter egos, and other purveyors of the best in greasy food. Local comedians abused Buzzy's many times in their stand-up routines. I remember one comedian (the name escapes me) saying that Buzzy's used to throw its food over the wall to feed Charles Street jail prisoners -- and the prisoners threw it right back! Buzzy's could have very well contributed to higher traffic at the Mass General Hospital cardiac unit, but I remember it as a beloved place from youth. Granted, I never went there much (even as a nearby Suffolk University student), but just the sight of this bustling, old-fashioned outdoor food stand made me feel good -- from the comfort food aromas to the undeniable presence of a local business succeeding.

Our readers reminisce about New England restaurants that are no longer with us:

I'd like to add the following favorite, now closed, restaurants to your list: Kaffestuga, (Swedish restaurant) in Sudbury, Mass. Peg Leg in Rockport, Mass. Dill's in Marblehead, Mass. and last but not least, Atlantic Restaurant - a Marblehead restaurant with the best clam chowder and lobster duchess ever tasted.
Thanks for the trip down memory lane! - Nancy


Thanks for the article, really enjoyed it. Here are a few names from my files.
Boston20
AKA Peter McNamara
Boston - Cambridge

Sally Ling's - Waterfront
Jasper's - Waterfront
Allegro on Boylston - Boston Chef Jimmy Burke
Aujourd'hui- Four Seasons Hotel
Autre Chose - Cambridge
Back Bay Bistro - Boylston St, Boston
Bay Tower Room - Downtown
Cafe Florian - Back Bay
Capriccio Plu - South End
St. Cloud - South End, Rebecca Karas
L'Espalier - on Boylston St before Gloucester St., Chef Moncef Meddeb
Season's - Season's Hotel
Devon on the Common - Boston Common
Apley's Sheraton - Back Bay
Another Season - Beacon Hill, Chef Odette Bery
Cafe Budapest - Brookline - Back Bay
Colony - Boylston St., formerly L'Espalier - Bruce Frankel/David Kantrowitz
Chef Chandler's - South End., later Tim's Tavern
Cornucopia - West St, moved to Waterfront
West Street Grille - West St
Empress Room Hyatt - Cambridge
Boston Lobster House - Waterfront
Chez Jean - Cambridge
P.B. Shanon's - Faneuil Hall
The English Tea Room - 29 Newbury St
The Commonwealth Grille - Back bay
Dartmouth Street - Back Bay
Delmonico's - Lenox Hotel, Back Bay
Du Barry - Back Bay
European - North End
Dini's Seafood - Tremont St.
Harvard Book Store Cafe - Newbury Street
Henti IV - Winthrop St, Cambridge
Jimmy's Harborside - Waterfront
Le Bocage - Watertown Chef Danesi
Le Marquis De Lafayette - Hotel Lafayette, Chef Louis Outhier
Maison Robert - Old City Hall
Maison Jacques - West End
Michela's - Cambridge, Chef Todd English
Michael's - Waterfront
Mister Leung's - Back Bay
Newbury Steak House - Back Bay
Panache - Cambridge, Chef Margaret Fari
Peacock Restaurant - Craigie Cir, Cambridge
Premier Restaurant - South End
Rarities - Charles Hotel, Cambridge
Rebecca's - Charles St, Beacon Hill, Rebecca Kakas
Romagnoli's table - Faneuil Hall
St Botolph - St Botolph St
The Winery - Long Wharf
Zachary's - Colonnade Hotel
Joseph's Aquarium - Waterfornt
Dakoto's - Downtown
Betty's Rolls Royce - Faneuil Hall
Bandy Pete's - Downtown
Icarus - Tremont St, South End
Biba - Harvard Cafe, Cambridge
Balcksmith House- Harvard Sq, Cambridge
Ken's Deli - Boyslton Street
Walmouth's - Downtown
Oasis Cafe - North End
On the Park - South End
Jeffery's - South End
Ottavio's - North End
Falstaff Room - Sheraton Back Bay
Rocco's - South Charles St., Chef Danny Weisel

Tullio's - Quincy
Town Lyne House - Lynnfield
The Ship - Rt 1 Saugus
Dinner Bell - Wollaston
Navona's - Hingham
Chillingsworth - Brewster
The Cranberry Moose - Yarmouthport
The Regatta of Falmouth by the Sea - Falmouth
Blue Strawberry - Portsmouth NH
Jobba Grille, E. Bridgwater
The Golden Cock, Scituate
The Toll House - Whitman
The Baclksmith Shop - Whitman


Cambridge-Boston dining memories

The Fantasia Restaurant on Concord Avenue, Cambridge, MA, was renowned for its minestrone soup, businessman's specials, and a gaudy, watered-down Chateau de Ville-esque "function room" where you were guaranteed a wonderful banquet menu, with the scrod being the best thing. Many weddings, communion breakfasts, bar mitzvahs, "appropriately attired" family dinners and birthdays were celebrated there, and the old-timey professional waitstaff and menu were perfect. And along the same lines as Fantasia was good old Dinis on Tremont Street. It was "the home of the Boston scrod" and nobody but nobody had it so good, unless you compared it to Warmuth's which was down on Washington Street in what is now called the Ladder District. There were actually three places that in my mind were somewhat interchangeable in downtown Boston: Dinis, Warmuths, and Cafe Marliave. Of the three Cafe Marliave is technically still around, but in name only. the days of the "complete dinner" are no longer there. As far as incomplete dinners (i.e. snacks and/or light meals) goes, let's not forget the Marble Spa (and its macaroons) at Gilchrist's nor Thompson's Spa on the alleyway behind Washington Street. Also, The Brass Lantern at Jordan Marsh had the delectable blueberry muffins we all miss so much. I could never decide which was better, those JM muffins or the croissants at Harvard Square's C'est Si Bon Cafe (also sadly gone). Francis, submitted May 7, 2009


McIntire's Clam Shack, Rowley, MA

McIntire's was an icon I remember fondly. Because of the abundance of places around, New Englanders are very particular
about their fried clams, and McIntire's produced clams that, in my
opinion, surpassed the more well publicized places like the Clam Shack and Woodman's in Essex. McIntire's also served the most exquisite fresh boneless chicken fingers I have ever had anywhere. The place was, of course, family run and the recipe for the frying batter was closely guarded. One of my most prized mementoes is a bright red McIntire's "T" shirt. Sadly, McIntire's closed shortly after the turn of the century and the last time I went by the site the funky building had been razed and replaced
by a bank or something - Doug

Missing Several Greater Boston Restaurants

I'm a life-long Boston area resident from Revere, and now
live in Arlington. I've been to at least half of the restaurants you
mentioned that are now closed, all around the greater Boston area and up the NH seacoast.

I have a few restaurants for your list.

1) Morelli's in East Boston , closed around 1997. It had the best food I've ever had, period. Their Italian food was exceptional. Their steak put steakhouses to shame. My wife and I practically wept when they went out of business. If there is a heaven, this is what they will serve.

2) Antoinetta's in Everett changed owners when the original chef and owner quit to work closer to home in New Hampshire. The food was excellent then, it's ok but not the same under the new owner.

3) Angie's clams, Revere
Greasy (but good) clams and large portions, but I mostly went there for the excellent pizza, cheap beer, and "wide screen tv" a la 1980s. They were one of the first places I can remember to have a Kloss Novabeam projector before the age of large televisions.

4) Weylu's in Saugus
Much better food than nearby Kowloon, but the incredible ornate
fountains with goldfish, woodwork, oriental decor was something to remember.


New England Restaurant Memories from Rich O., North Cambridge, MA:

This list nearly brings tears to my eyes and a rumble deep in my gut. Nicks Beef and Beer (aka "Nick eef and Bee Hose"), The Wusthaus, and Chadwicks hit very close to home. Harvard Square simply lost most of its remaining charm when the Haus, The Tasty, and the Bow closed. At a recent gathering of old friends, we discussed this very topic at length and came up with a few (pardon me if any seem repetitive):

Babo's, Cambridge, MA- I only have vague recollections of this drive-in type take- out place in the Alewife section of Cambridge. I can only remember going there once and being fascinated by it every time we went to visit my grandmother

Ground Round, Mass. Ave, Cambridge, MA - No, not the one in Fresh Pond but when it was on Mass. Ave. in Cambridge. This was more like a down and dirty version of what Chuckie Cheese is now and really catered to kids better then any place else at the time

Fantasia's, Cambridge, MA- Pretty good in its day and considered kind of upscale for Cambridge. My mom worked there and was her favorite job, ever.

The Kitchen, Lexington - Was a kinder, gentler (though not much) version of Mike's Pizza in Davis Square, Somerville, MA. You walked in, ordered and they yelled your name when it was ready. Good pizza and subs and, of course, that odd Lexington concept of BYOB.

Chains-
Ponderosa Steak House
York Steak House

Fast Food-
Long Johns Silvers (came and left Arlington long before I knew it was a chain)
Jack in the Box (Somerville, MA) - Still going strong outside New England
Burger Chef

Random-
The European, Boston, MA
Villa Capri, Somerville, MA
The Venice, Somerville, MA
Dough-C-Doughnuts, Arlington, MA (home of the dancing bakers. though I mostly remember grumpy, old people).
Roast Beef Roundup, Arlington, MA (thankfully, one still exists in Woburn).
Del's Pizza, Everett, MA


Remembering the Casa Mexico in Cambridge, MA

My favorite mexican restaurant hands down was Casa Mexico in Harvard Square, Cambridge. It had the best Chile Rellenos, Enchilada Verdes, and the reried beans had such character. Not to mention the homemade margaritas. Miss it so!


Oh, no! More restaurants in the Boston area (and beyond) that closed not too long ago:

Pappa Razzi, Burlington, MA

Vin and Eddie's, Abington, MA

Charlie Horse, West Bridgewater, MA

Yenching, Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA

The Beachcomber, Wollaston Beach, Quincy MA

Anthony's Pier 4, Boston MA

Charley's Eating and Drinking Saloon, Chestnut Hill MA

Three Aces Pizza, Cambridge, MA

Dandelion Green, Burlington

Memphis Roadhouse, Attleboro, MA

Constantino's, North Attleborough, MA

Giuseppi's Kitchen, Medford, MA

Skip's Restaurant, Chelmsford, MA

Clara's Seafood, Franklin, MA

Franklin Buffet, Franklin, MA

Banjo's Roast Beef, Brockton, MA

Mel Diva Coffee Shop Shop, Franklin, MA

Three Aces Pizza, Cambridge, MA

Bickford's Grille, Sharon, MA

Steve's Pizza, Arlington, MA

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5. Blackstrap BBQ

Founded nearly a decade by a couple of East Coast Grill alums, Blackstrap started out as a tiny space with a focus on takeout, but the restaurant has expanded into adjacent spaces over the years, adding a full bar and dining room. Blackstrap touches on different barbecue regions with Memphis-style dry rub ribs, Texas-style brisket, and North Carolina-style pulled pork.

Platters are available with a choice of meats (pick one, two, or three from a list that includes smoked chicken, pulled pork, ribs, and more), plus two sides and cornbread. The menu branches out with a solid selection of soups, sandwiches, and salads as well, from a "rip your lips off" chili to chili cheese fries. And there are a few specials for particular days of the week — Wednesday, for example, features a fried chicken dinner.

The friendly crew is also available for catering.