Best Restaurants & Food in Boston 1997

Chefs

1997 Best Chef

If she’s good enough for the James Beard Foundation, she’s good enough for us. Some people complain about the through-the-roof prices—they’re just whiners. Not only is the food inspired, fresh,...

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Chefs

1997 Best New Chef

If you can make your way through the supercool front-of-the-house impressarios, and manage to obtain one of the precious few tables in the back dining room, Nicholas Tischler’s food will...

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Chefs

1997 Best Pastry Chef

This man does incomprehensible things with figs, pears, and berries—along with rich, dark chocolate and creamy creme brûlée. Desserts are by their very nature the stuff of overstatement, but it’s...

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Chefs

1997 Best Caterer

Relax. Everything is being taken care of. No more pre-party freakout as you run to the deli to buy ice, only to realize that you have nothing to put it...

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Cuisine Type

1997 Best Persian Restaurant

Authentic, exquisite Persian food in an intimate warren of rooms on Beacon Hill. Chef Azita Bina-Seibel works wonders with rose petals, pomegranate seeds, barberries, and dill—just a few of the...

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Cuisine Type

1997 Best Turkish Restaurant

With such a powerfully aromatic taste of the Mediterranean, you’ll find it hard to believe you’re still in Boston’s hectic financial district. Try the Patlican Imam Bayildi or Chicken Durum,...

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Cuisine Type

1997 Best Indian Restaurant

Named for perhaps the most beautiful region of India, this restaurant offers a fittingly spectacular feast, serving mouthwatering vindaloos and kormas. For a lighter meal, try the tandoori mixed grill,...

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Cuisine Type

1997 Best Tea, House

A reinvention of the English tea salon, guaranteed to lure the true connoisseur. They offer almost 140 varieties, from the finest-grade Indian Darjeeling to Japanese green tea. The homemade pastries...

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Food

1997 Best Pizza

In this confusing era of haute-cuisine pizza and the low-rent greasy stuff, we almost forgot what we were after—until we got to Emma’s. Sure, it’s got the fancier toppings, but...

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Food

1997 Best Wine List, Affordable

The wine list at Anthony’s Pier 4 is deceptive: It’s a Wine SpectatorGrand Award Winner (since 1982), and it is huge in a way that usually suggests an equally huge...

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Food

1997 Best Pasta

This Italian specialty shop routinely stocks the finest and freshest selection of fresh pasta. Four or five daily flavors can be cut to order, and the freezer cases hold homemade...

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Food

1997 Best Ice Cream

This stuff is outrageously creamy. The consistency is mousse-like without being airy, rich without being heavy. Toscanini’s selection of original flavors seems to change hourly (depending on how busy they...

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Food

1997 Best Pancakes

Forget the bland griddle frisbees from IHOP that turned you off pancakes years ago, and get thee to Doyle’s. Plumped with luscious strawberries, these pancakes are so moist you can...

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Food

1997 Best Salad, Chicken

This delicious salad might well tempt a vegetarian to reconsider. Perfectly diced pieces of chicken are tossed in a light mayonnaise that hints of fresh herbs. The shop is also...

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Food

1997 Best Burger

Okay, for $11 it should be the best. But if you’re going to pay $7.95 for a so-so burger elsewhere, why not splurge for the extra three bucks and live...

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Food

1997 Best Bagel

Their initials don’t spell FAB for nothing. Soft and chewy on the inside, with a firm-but-not-crunchy shell, Finagle’s are what bagels are supposed to be: not too round, not too...

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Food

1997 Best Bake Sale

This charity gives non-cooks and harried cooks—the only two kinds during the holidays—perfect endings to Thanksgiving dinner: pumpkin, apple, or sweet potato-pie, from the kitchens of Julia Child, Jody Adams,...

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Food

1997 Best Sandwich

This bistro doesn’t dub its sandwich selection “The Great Ones” for nothing. Some of the city’s best chefs have contributed recipes for lavishly layered concoctions sure to make your mouth...

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Food

1997 Best Bread

Carmelized onion and cheese ciabatta (a twisted Tuscan bread), triple-raisin loaf, and parmesan-pepper breadsticks are just a few reasons to check out Biga. In addition to retail sales...

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Food

1997 Best Bread Pudding

Forget everything you’ve heard about “the scene” and zero in on the dessert menu. Art Welch is the new pastry chef and he does wonders with the good ‘ol chocolate...

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Food

1997 Best Steakhouse

Carnivores descend upon this old-boy’s-club dining room to eat big portions, tell tall tales, and pay top dollar. While some of our more subdued purveyors complained of undue ambient noise,...

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Food

1997 Best Brownie

The perfect brownie is the simplest of pleasures. Chocolate frosting, chocolate chips, walnuts, and so forth are wonderful and delicious additions, but brownie heaven is found in that space between...

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Food

1997 Best Crumpets

Forget “English muffins” and get a hold of the original article. These crumpets are filling enough for a decent breakfast (and, if you have the power to skip butter, they’re...

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Food

1997 Best Sushi

This is where Boston’s other sushi chefs eat on their nights off. Memorable maki comes with ingredients ranging from burdock root to Japanese basil. The fish is unbelievably fresh, the...

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Food

1997 Best Cake, Birthday

Alden Merrell’s chocolate-fudge layer cake, topped with a velvety sour-cream frosting, is so rich and delicious, you’ll actually look forward to your birthday. For something a little different, try the...

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Food

1997 Best Pie, Blueberry

When snowy nights descend upon us again, there’s only one thing to do: Revel in them. Tramp over to the Dogwood Cafe in Jamaica Plain and order up a hot,...

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Food

1997 Best Vegetarian Restaurant

While other restaurants like The Blue Room, Hamersley’s Bistro, and Icarus can’t be beat for the occasional vegetarian meal, Steve Pell wins for variety. You could eat here every night...

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Food

1997 Best Dim Sum

Hands down, the best dim sum in Boston. Get there before 10:30 a.m. on Sunday or be prepared to wait for cart-delivered delicacies that include shrimp chow foon, sticky rice...

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Food

1997 Best Popcorn

Forget about the movie-theatre-popcorn-has-more-saturated-fat-than-a-Big-Mac scare a few years back. Send your gourmet popping corn back to Williams-Sonoma. This is fresh popcorn at its finest, with just the right combination of...

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Food

1997 Best Cannoli

Cannoli should never be filled until you enter the bakery and say, “Four cannoli, please.” At which point the white-smocked helper at Modern will slip into the back of the...

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Food

1997 Best Olives

There are many tasty reasons to visit Salumeria Italiana, foremost among them the gorgeous mixed-olive antipasto (dressed in oil, caper berries, sundried tomatoes, and garlic) that adorns the countertop. The...

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Food

1997 Best Smoothie, Fruit

Some proprietors labor under the notion that groovy juice equals gruby working conditions, or that we all enjoy the screaming squeal of a blender. The folks behind Harnett’s have rectified...

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Food

1997 Best Frappe

It might not be the first thing you’ll smell walking down street, but a frappe from Bartley’s may be an even better reason to stop in than the tantalizing aroma...

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Food

1997 Best Pie, Boston Cream

Boston cream pies are all about ratios: cake to chocolate, chocolate to cream, cream to cake. At Mike’s Pastry in the North End, somebody did their algebra homework. More like...

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Shops

1997 Best Kitchen Supplies

Looking for just the right-size saute pan or properly weighted knife? This family-run shop has all the best accouterments for the kitchen and is notable for its knowledgeable sales staff...

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Food

1997 Best Sticky Buns

Not too sweet, not too sticky, these addictive, oven-warm, golden, glazed concoctions, known as Morning Buns, are required a.m. accompaniments to coffee and the newspaper. That’s assuming they last until...

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Food

1997 Best Burrito

Pardon the pun, but this was one of the most hotly contested categories this year. Happily for burrito lovers, the city has several delicious options; sadly, only one can become...

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Food

1997 Best Soup

You must take seriously any soup shop that boasts “Triple Strength Chicken Vegetable Available Daily.” The Factory means business, with four alternating selections of more than 75 varieties every day....

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Food

1997 Best Chocolate

Champagne truffles? Assorted pralines? Emphatically, yes! These bon-bons are mindnumbingly sweet and decadent beyond belief. Unfortunately the prices can be prohibitive—8 ounces for $27—but sometimes you just gotta have it...

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Food

1997 Best Wine List, Selection

Male wine collector and female wine collector meet and fall in love. The result? A marriage of private wine cellars that would send any oenophile to the nearest singles bar....

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Food

1997 Best Chowder, Clam

This is another one of those Boston traditions that seems simple enough, but is repeatedly botched by ambitious amateurs. Turner Fisheries sticks to the basics—a good roux, fresh potatoes, lots...

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Food

1997 Best Oyster Bar

The semi-circular oyster bar has been in continuous operation since 1826, with the likes of Daniel Webster tossing back three dozen Blue Points at one sitting.Yes, it’s on the Freedom...

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Shops

1997 Best Coffee Shop

If you live in fear of the ubiquitous Starbucks turning up on every street corner, head to the recently opened, one-of-a-kind Roasters. It’s professional enough to be a chain (it’s...

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Shops

1997 Best Cheese Shop

Craving a tangy taste of ash-coated chevre? A mouthful of manchega? A genuine Gorgonzola? Proceed directly to Formaggio Kitchen, the closest you’ll come to a European cheesemonger on these shores....

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Shops

1997 Best Butcher

Recommended by Julia Child and practically every other chef in Boston, this is the place to purchase the tastiest tenderloin, the juiciest goose, and the finest pheasant in town...

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Shops

1997 Best Produce

try as we might to avoid repeating ourselves, Russo wins again. Whether it’s ramps or radishes you’re after, head to this Watertown institution (founded in 1925) to stock up on...

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Shops

1997 Best Beer

A classic pale ale—vaguely sweet, distinctly hopped, and tinged a deep shade of copper—this is the flagship brew of tiny Atlantic Coast Brewing, more commonly known as Tremont Brewery, in...

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Shops

1997 Best Market, Chinese

The Wal-Mart of Chinese markets, the 88 is an all-encompassing cultural experience. Among many other delights, it stocks fresh noodles, pigs’ feet, frozen dumplings, inexpensive Chinese ceramics, ginseng gum, Vietnamese...

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