Best Restaurants & Food in Boston 1998

Chefs

1998 Best Pastry Chef

Surely, you must have done something right recently to deserve dessert at the Four Seasons. Whether you choose a dense and delicious chocolate mousse cake, the scones served warm from...

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Chefs

1998 Best Caterer

With its whimsical presentation and extraordinary attention to detail, Calla Lilly reinvents hors d’oeuvres. You’ll find the usual suspects (crab cakes and California rolls), but the twist is in the...

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Chefs

1998 Best Chef

An alumnus of Chris Schlesinger’s East Coast Grill and Gordon Hamersley’s eponymous bistro, Johnson is the quintessential product of Boston’s familial and sometimes incestuous restaurant scene. Bridging the gap between...

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Chefs

1998 Best New Chef

Within a few short months of his arrival at La Bettola, Michelena had helped the new South End tavern win honors from Esquire, Bon Appetit, and Food and Wine magazine...

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Cuisine Type

1998 Best Korean Restaurant

“Bibimbop” yourself to where every stone pot runneth over with savory dishes starring rice, fish, the freshest veggies, or practically the whole darn cow (from tongue to blood to feet)....

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Cuisine Type

1998 Best Ethiopian Restaurant

Just because the South End spot practically stands alone in this category doesn’t mean that it isn’t among the best ethnic restaurants in town. Its wonderfully baffling injera (spongy flatbread)...

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Cuisine Type

1998 Best Spanish Restaurant

With its various Andalusian artifacts, scarlet walls, and mysterious clothesline of lingerie strung through the middle of the restaurant, Daft looks like a whorehouse from a Bunuel film. We like...

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Cuisine Type

1998 Best Market, Asian

This is where shoppers from both the ‘burbs and Chinatown buy their lime leaves, shrimp balls, bok choy, and soy “pork,” in a Star Market-sized store crammed with tidy isles...

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Cuisine Type

1998 Best Tea, House

Built for a rainy October day— or snowy February— or any day that needs a little sprucing. With Billie Holiday singing from the shadows and a cup of Rose Congou...

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Cuisine Type

1998 Best Persian Restaurant

This gem moves in for the three-peat, and not just for lack of contenders. Beacon Hill’s prince of Persia still delivers attentive, congenial service, a solid wine selection, and exotic...

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Cuisine Type

1998 Best Turkish Restaurant

Why single out what is already probably Boston’s only Turkish restaurant? Because there are some who work downtown and still haven’t had one of their kebab sandwiches for lunch. Give...

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Shops

1998 Best Kitchen Supplies

Need a springform pan for a mile-high cheesecake? Eastern Bakers has Boston’s broadest, deepest, and widest inventory for baking, pastry-making, and all breeds of professional supplies. This is the place...

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Food

1998 Best Produce, General

This farm’s tomatoes are the best summer heat antidote— fleshy and cool, never mealy. The papayas are huge, and the corn— well, teens say it’s worth biting into, braces be...

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Food

1998 Best Pizza, Traditional

The old-school North End spot still serves up all the heavy bustle, cheap wine, and surly service required of a traditional pizza joint. And their slices are still the meanest...

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Food

1998 Best Tiramisu

After slogging through mounds of whipped-cream-and-pound-cake puddin’ packs, we were seduced by Caffe Vittoria’s luscious and authentic blend. Not a trace of whipped cream here, folks. Just the deep flavor...

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Food

1998 Best Olives

As with all of B&C’s stock, the prices are a bit higher, but the quality is way higher. So is the variety, which rotates on some regularity. Our favorite: the...

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Food

1998 Best Ice Cream

Cones from this cute Inman Square shop lick sweeter, silkier, and stronger than the rest, and for less moolah. Ice cream here has it all: mastery of the oft-muddled sugar/...

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Food

1998 Best Produce, Vegetables

If you’re fed up with the less-than-appealing look and less-than-inspiring selection of veggies at your local chain grocery, head over to A. Russo and Sons. It may be a bit...

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Food

1998 Best Doughnuts

Famous in Charlestown for its tasty pastries, Lori-Ann’s serves up a wide selection of the doughy goodies made on the premises daily. The shop is also a rare survivor: Fully...

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Food

1998 Best Tortilla

If you’ve eaten south of the border, or anywhere near it, chances are your tortilla sights are set a little higher than those Wonder Bread gringo wafers found at most...

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Food

1998 Best Soup

Next time you’re sick and Mom offers to bring over some chicken noodle soup, ask her if she can swing by Brookline instead. Even the best grandmother can’t beat a...

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Food

1998 Best Burger

Carnivores come out of the closet at this New American eatery near Audubon Circle— there’s nothing birdlike about the eating habits here. A mere $5.75 gets you 8 ounces of...

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Food

1998 Best Ribs

The succulent beef doesn’t just fall off the bone here, it leaps. Cooked in a smoker built in Texas, the beef short ribs served at this joint near Fenway Park...

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Food

1998 Best Wine List, Affordable

The wine list changes frequently, but its hallmark remains affordability. Consider this: old-vine 1996 Pernand-Vergelesses from Delarche for a mere $26; a fabulous Sauternes, the 1988 premier cru Chateux. La...

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Food

1998 Best Wraps

These avowed wrapmasters hone in on a few select points: even distribution of ingredients; made-to-taste variety; and overall freshness, heftiness, and yumminess. They succeed. For those finicky wrapsters among us—...

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Food

1998 Best Cake, Ice Cream

The best thing about an ice cream cake is that once it comes out of the freezer, the party has to begin. Think of two of your favorite flavors of...

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Food

1998 Best Sandwich

The variety may not be the most extensive, but Kettle Cafe wins the taste test by a mile. In addition to muffins, croissants, and biscotti at the Kettle, there are...

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Food

1998 Best Muffin

A good muffin is a delicate thing. All you want is a little sweetness, not too much butter, and lots of fruit. Your delicate morning palate winces at anything so...

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Food

1998 Best Cafe

Sultry movies and moody java. Is there a better combination on the planet? At this “European Film Cafe,” you can watch a recent release on one of three TV screens...

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Food

1998 Best Caviar and Vodka Splurge

Homemade buckwheat blini and every fixin’ you could hope for accompany the osetra caviar ($60/ounce). Yellow roses decorate the block of ice that chills a bottle of Stolichnaya (it comes...

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Food

1998 Best Steakhouse

Forget what you think you know about steak houses. The Oak Room, this year’s dark horse candidate, puts the usual contenders to shame. Vaulted plaster ceilings and meticulously carved oak...

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Food

1998 Best Salad, Caesar, Chicken

Okay, so we’re crazy about Caesar salad, but Bill Poirer and friends get that ’90s classic lunch right. Lemony and crisp, dressing ample enough to coat the romaine leaves but...

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Food

1998 Best Bagel

How far did we have to go to find the best bagel? To Brooklyn, by way of Framingham Center. Firm on the outside, hot on the inside, these babies come...

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Food

1998 Best Salad, Tuna

Dill tuna at Formaggio Kitchen is simply too good for school lunchboxes. A hint of fresh dill makes this the adult version of kiddie comfort food. With just enough mayo...

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Food

1998 Best Coffee, Beans

Of course the coffee at this quaint North End shop is excellent. It comes from the Excellent Company in Rhode Island. There was a day when the Polcari family (merchants...

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Food

1998 Best Vegetarian Restaurant

Meat-and-potato Brahmin cravings may explain the dearth of veggie restaurants in Boston, but The Five Seasons will convince even the most die-hard carnivore to lighten up. With beautiful, delicious dishes—...

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Food

1998 Best Salad, Chicken

This take on the classic chicken salad is blessedly light on the mayo and heavy on the chicken. Capers and fresh herbs add flavor to the oversize chunks of breast...

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Food

1998 Best Bread

What does “Bread of the World” mean? For Iggy’s, it translates into old-fashioned, naturally leavened, hearth-baked breads made from ingredients that have not been chemically treated in any way (“as...

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Food

1998 Best Food, Prepared

Michael Baker and his team have taken the grease and garbage out of take-out and replaced it with fresh produce inspired , depending on the day, by the Mediterranean and...

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Food

1998 Best Deli, Kosher

There’s a reason places like the Harvard Club and the Four Seasons Hotel send out to Rubin’s when their guests want kosher meals. This is homemade food the way your...

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Food

1998 Best Cannoli

Fresh, chilled, and creamy sweet, the ricotta filling gushes from the flaky cannoli shells at Maria’s, making these pastries not only the area’s best, but at $1.25 per, among the...

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Food

1998 Best Scones

Hard to believe this is the place where we rebelled against the British. This little bakery overlooking the picturesque West Concord railroad junction has thoroughly embraced the delicacy that is...

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Food

1998 Best Brownie

Cakey or fudgey; chewy or gooey? What ideal tension of textures constitutes the perfect brownie? We found it in an unlikely grocery where they make virtually everything in a little...

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Food

1998 Best Eclair

All the essential elements meld in these sweet, petite treats: an airy, flaky shell; a pastry cream redolent of vanilla with flecks of the bean; a bittersweet chocolate ganache; and...

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Food

1998 Best Frappe

This family-owned ice cream parlor is a flashback to the ’50s, but what better era to find a real New England ice cream frappe? Here they’ve perfected the art, with...

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Food

1998 Best Cake, Birthday

The problem with most birthday cakes is that the better they look— all flowers and scrolls— the worse they taste. May, bless her heart, has solved the dilemma. She compliments...

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Food

1998 Best Oyster Bar

The touristy trappings, like the gift shop off to the side, are a bit disconcerting. But a stool at the half-circle bar is still the best place in the city...

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Food

1998 Best Burrito

Sick of hearing the yammering of burrito snobs putting down the local variety? Take them to Anna’s and shove one of these foil-wrapped fat boys in their mouths. Chances are,...

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Food

1998 Best Spice Selection

With close to 200 herbs and spices to choose from, Harvest remains the wise shopper’s best bet. Planning a romantic dinner? In one stop you’ll find the cardamom, tumeric, and...

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Food

1998 Best Challah

Lines form around the block on Friday afternoons and before major Jewish holidays, though this challah is too good to save for special occasions. Cheryl Ann’s challah has the soft...

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Food

1998 Best Pasta

Italian on demand: Stuff the freezer with an assortment of Capone’s gnocchi, ravioli, and tortellini, and toss in a couple of containers of vivid pesto and cardiac-crisis Alfredo sauce. Guaranteed,...

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Food

1998 Best Chowder, Clam

Not one but two versions! There is the sinful creamy chowder most of you already know and love, and a low-fat version, a secret treasure that’s not even on the...

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Food

1998 Best Steak Tips

Heaping piles of juicy tips, soaked in marinade, perfectly grilled and doused with the cafe’s secret sauce make the NewBridge our favorite place for the pointy peaks. And not just...

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Food

1998 Best Dim Sum

Once again, China Pearl has proven itself the gem in an otherwise lackluster world of Hub dim sum. Quite simply, this Chinatown eatery has more seating, more circulating food carts,...

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Food

1998 Best Pizza, Contemporary

Yo-Yo Ma has been known to scarf a slice, as has man-with-much-free-time Bill Weld. Sure, they live next door, but fans from far and near flock to Emma’s. And even...

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Food

1998 Best Chocolatier

Ever wonder why the church once outlawed chocolate as too sensual? Airlifted weekly from the little chocolate gnomes in Zurich, delectable with the finest cream, butter, and milk chocolate, these...

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Food

1998 Best Tea, Afternoon

Life should always pause around 4 p.m. so people can revive themselves with a cup of tea. Besides this genteel refreshment (or coffee, if you must), the Four Seasons Hotel...

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Food

1998 Best Juice

Hand these folks an old sneaker, and they’d squeeze a delicious juice out of it. Then they’d throw in a little bee pollen and ginseng in, just to make it...

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General Restaurants

1998 Best Lunch, Casual

Who says good restaurants have to be fancy? Fine, fresh ingredients and a smart, eclectic, carefully thought-out menu are the secrets to what is basically a terrific neighborhood joint. Reasonably...

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Shops

1998 Best Cheese Shop

Yes, this is Cambridge, not the North End. And Formaggio Kitchen simply has no peer in this city Formaggio Kitchen simply has no peer in this city. Formaggio’s food buyers...

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Shops

1998 Best Butcher

Cognoscenti (including top chefs) admit that it’s impossible to buy better meat anywhere in the city. Great cuts, fair prices (for the extraordinary quality you get), and straight talk about...

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Shops

1998 Best Fish Market

This is the place where restaurants like Hamersley’s and Biba get their fish. It does retail, too, and you can shop from the Captain’s Wellesley market or pick up dinner...

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1998 Best Wine Shop

For lovers of serious french wines, Brookline Liquor Mart is one of the best stores in the country. True, if you are looking for widely available wines, you may find...

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Shops

1998 Best Beer

Used to be this hophead’s delight was available only on the occasional tap at, say, F.J.Doyle’s in Jamaica Plan. As of April, though, the good people at the Tremont Brewery,...

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