Best Restaurants & Food in Boston 1999

Chefs

1999 Best Pastry Chef

Like his longtime collaborator, Michael Schlow, Connors focuses on pushing techniques to their limits in the interest of maximizing flavor and perfecting texture. His chocolate cake is not just a...

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Chefs

1999 Best Sommelier

Rogers’ unsurpassed knowledge of Italian wines makes her a living treasure for the wine connoisseur. A co-owner of this suburban Italian oasis, Jeanne is responsible for the lengthy and impressive...

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Chefs

1999 Best Caterer

Great service, flavorful food, beautiful presentation—and a willingness to take on any affair, no matter how small or bizarre—set this small company apart from its bigger sisters. From weddings and...

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Chefs

1999 Best Chef

In the four years since Michael Schlow moved to Boston, he has become not just a major figure on the local culinary scene, but on the national ones as well....

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Chefs

1999 Best Chef, Non-Performance

Todd English, Olives, for turning away the cast of Cabaret after a show because it arrived after 11 p.m.—an hour later than the agreed-upon time. That’s telling ’em—and in plain...

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Chefs

1999 Best Kitchen Grinch

Is it okay to pocket a profit on a charity dinner that never happens? Mediterraneo Bistro’s chef/owner Lotfi Saibi apparently thinks so. When low ticket sales forced the cancellation of...

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Cuisine Type

1999 Best Thai Restaurant

No doubt about it—the Tie Restaurant makes for a very bad pun. So sue us. The fact is we’re torn between two establishments that offer grace, charm, goodwill, and friendliness...

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Cuisine Type

1999 Best Chinese Restaurant

Nestled near the Chinatown gate, New Shanghai is, literally and figuratively, a step up from its neighbors. The decor is passable—it won’t depress you like some Chinese restaurants, and there’s...

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Cuisine Type

1999 Best Tea

This little cafe offers a welcome respite from Starbucks culture, offering everything from your standard Assam to more exotic blends, from scented and flavored teas to herbal infusions. For summer,...

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Cuisine Type

1999 Best Deli, Jewish

This isn’t the place to start a diet, unless you’re on a strict regimen of noodle kugel, knishes, and chopped liver. The fresh cheese blintzes and potato pancakes are to...

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Cuisine Type

1999 Best Korean Restaurant

We scoured the city in search of a worthy contender, but for the second year running, Koreana is the undisputed champion for dishes like kalbi (barbecued short ribs), dolsot bibimibap...

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Cuisine Type

1999 Best Mexican Restaurant

Hope at last for those who’ve tolerated the bland psuedo Tex-Mex prevalent in Boston. A warm yellow-and-orange dining room (in the Inman Square location) with Mexican tiled tales and a...

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Cuisine Type

1999 Best Market, Italian

It’s a rare, and decidedly European, thrill to go marketing—not supermarketing—for groceries. And no place provides a truer Old World experience than Salumeria Italiana, where you’ll find fresh cold cuts...

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Cuisine Type

1999 Best Market, Japanese

This Central Square institution has been providing the Boston Japanese (and other tofu freaks) with the ingredients for their home cooking for years. Yoshinoya’s endless variety of fish, nori (edible...

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Food

1999 Best Burrito

Boston has no shortage of great burrito makers, but the beaner in Beantown remains Anna’s Super Burrito. Huge, healthy, and incredibly tasty, it’s a mighty quick-fix meal for just $3.50—well...

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Food

1999 Best Burger, Cheap

No two ways about it: Tim’s is a dive. Not a dressed-down yuppie hot spot marketing itself as “casual” and “unpretentious,” but an honest-to-goodness greasy spoon. But where else would...

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Food

1999 Best Pie, Boston Cream

It seems that Boston cream pie is the tiramisu of the ’60s—once ubiquitous, now vanished from most restaurant dessert cards. But chef Billy Boudreau has salvaged the once august reputation...

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Food

1999 Best Chocolatier

The first retail outlet for the New Hampshire-based artisan who makes bonbons for New York’s most chichi restaurants, this is an adult chocoholic’s nirvana. Our first addiction was the Hot...

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Food

1999 Best Cake, Birthday

Whether you want a cake covered in flowers, ballerinas, or baseballs, this is the place. Not only does the cake taste great (especially the frosting), the decorators can reproduce any...

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Food

1999 Best Pizza, Classic

We won’t vouch for the suburban outposts, but there’s magic in the oven at 11 1/2 Thatcher Street. Out of that brick baby marvel come bubbling pies with a smoky/chewy/crispy...

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Food

1999 Best Pizza, Gourmet

Perhaps it’s a misnomer to call it gourmet. After all, what’s more traditionally Italian than a thin, crispy crust; fresh herbs and vegetables; smoky sausage; and fine cheeses? Then again,...

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Food

1999 Best Challah

Try as we did, we couldn’t find another plait of challah that came close. We always buy two at a time, one for scarfing in the car, another to eat...

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Food

1999 Best Ice Cream

You need not travel to Italy to taste the best. Each bite of Toscanini’s divine ice cream conjures memories of Italian piazzas, gelato peddlers, and starry summer nights. Simple is...

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Food

1999 Best Roll-Up

At this clean, bright restaurant across from Boston College they’ve spent six years perfecting roll-up combinations with ingredients such as their own homemade roasted red-and-green-tomato-cilantro salsas, Haas avocados, premium breast-meat...

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Food

1999 Best Doughnuts

Practice makes perfect, and Gail Ann has been baking more than 20 varieties of fresh doughnuts daily for 45 years, since the shop was opened by its French immigrant founder....

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Food

1999 Best Comfort Food

The heart foundation might not exactly endorse the Macaroni Simoni (the ultimate rich and creamy macaroni and cheese), but who cares? Celebrity chef Todd English conceived of the idea while...

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Food

1999 Best Burger

Chef Ana Sortun’s North African/Mediterranean fare has revitalized this Harvard Square standby, but her version of one of the great American classics—the hamburger—is particularly winning. It’s not on the menu,...

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Food

1999 Best Sausage

After a three-year apprenticeship with a fine-sausage maker in Germany, Dave Nosiglia returned to Boston and started stuffing and smoking his own. By now, his clients include the restaurants, wholesalers,...

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Food

1999 Best Smoothie

Ask for the Energizer, Rejuvenator, or Passion Cooler—or let the friendly blender wizards custom-design your drink. Their palette includes a smorgasboard of fresh fruit, a huge stock of vitamins and...

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Food

1999 Best Dim Sum

For sheer variety, authenticity, flavor, and chaotic neighborliness (does anyone really expect sedate dim sum?), China Pearl is the winner. From lobster balls to spicy shrimp in the shell to...

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Food

1999 Best Sandwich

What if great Boston chefs such as Todd English of Olives, Lydia Shire of Biba, Jody Adams of Rialto, and Chris Schlesigner of East Coast Grill designed sandwiches? Well, they...

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Food

1999 Best Lobster

With more than 250 bubbling tanks of ocean water, and a staff that knows everything there is to know about lobsters, Hook is the oldest lobster dealer in the country...

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Food

1999 Best Fast Food

You have 20 minutes to eat. And you have taste. What to do? Head to Campo de’ Fiori in Harvard Square’s Holyoke Center Aracade (a Financial District outpost is slated...

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Food

1999 Best Steakhouse

When it comes to the steak-house experience, Grill 23 has it all—a cavernous men’s clubby atmosphere, impeccable service, the kind of bar where one is apt to imbibe too many...

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Food

1999 Best Soup

These unassuming storefronts take their motto—Feed Your Body Well—to heart, with some 75 alternating choices, all wholesome and flavorful. We slurped lentil; sweet and sour cabbage with fresh dill, white...

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Food

1999 Best Dessert

Mark our words: Naples-born pastry chef Tonie Rapa is going places. And her Catalan version of a creme brulee is just one reason. It comes in a big, shallow soup...

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Food

1999 Best Frozen Yogurt

It seems too creamy, too thick, and too rich to be fat-free—but somehow J.P.’s does it. Its chocolate-chip-cookie yogurt is even better than licking mom’s batter off the spoon. It’s...

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Food

1999 Best Sushi

If you knew sushi like Ginza knows sushi—well, you’d never go anywhere else for sushi again. No other place offers such subtle and succulent yellowtail, melt-in-your-mouth tuna, tasty scorpion, and...

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Food

1999 Best Steak

Sure, it’s a little noisy, and to make matters worse, located in a basement, but in a year when a stampede of worthy new competition arrived to challenge it, Morton’s...

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Food

1999 Best Cookie

Make no mistake: These aren’t delicate little Proustian pastries. Cafe 300 serves up good ol’ American chunka hunka cookies—chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, snickerdoodle, ginger, and peanut butter—and we love their...

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Food

1999 Best Juice

Fresh Fruit juices squeezed right in front of you; herbal concoctions that promise to defend, detox, relax, and slim; and elixirs made with organic vegetables. We feel better already. Did...

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Food

1999 Best Vegetarian Restaurant

Visions of the Moosewood Cafe dance in our heads. This Jamaica Plain eatery isn’t quite the famous haven that spawned all those veggie cookbooks, but it offers meatless dishes flavorful...

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Food

1999 Best Tapas

Even if the food at Taberna were lousy (and it most certainly isn’t), you’d be too relaxed to care. From the decor to the gracious service to the fruity sangria...

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Food

1999 Best Muffin

The husband-and-wife team of South End caterers who opened Appleton last year make fresh muffins with delicious and often surprising combinations such as peaches and walnuts, and pineapple and coconut....

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Food

1999 Best Olives

Inside Sevan’s modest storefront, you’ll find bins full of fresh, saltiy, delicious olives imported from Greece, Lebanon and Turkey—all packed with a little bite and a lot of taste...

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Food

1999 Best Cannoli

Don’t ever trust a bakery with prefilled cannoli. Modern fills them on the spot, so you don’t get soggy cylinders found at so many pastry counters. The shell of this...

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Food

1999 Best Waffle

For the sweet-toothed there’s the cinnamon-raisin-vanilla waffle; for the diet-conscious, a healthy heaping of strawberries, apricots, and kiwi on multigrain. The combinations are limitless and breakfast is served well into...

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Food

1999 Best Bagel

They’re plump and chewy, not the leaden wheels so many bagel shops offer. Even visiting New Yorkers keep H&H comparisons under wraps when they’re served these bready wonders at brunch....

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Food

1999 Best Oysters

On a recent visit, the Waquoit oysters were fabulous. But don’t limit yourself—the Cherrystone clams are also wonderful, as is fresh fish of almost every variety. We’ve had particularly good...

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Food

1999 Best Frappe

A frappe is supposed to be an indulgence, cold and creamy and loaded with goop that probably clogs the arteries. And that means lots of really good ice cream, like...

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Food

1999 Best Brownie

The mother of all artery cloggers is Rosie’s Chocolate Orgasm, as decadent as the name implies, with a rich, creamy smear of fudge atop a two-inch-thick fudge brownie. For those...

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Food

1999 Best Pie, Apple

If it’s possible for a Scandinavian apple pie to be better than an American one, Trudie’s Swedish apple pie takes the cake. The secret: sweet, juicy apples, nuts to keep...

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General Restaurants

1999 Best Breakfast, Business

With eclectic specials such as the Japanese breakfast (seaweed, pickles, broiled salmon with vegetables, steamed rice, green tea), or the fitness breakfast (yogurt, exotic mushroom frittata, six-grain toast), it’s impossible...

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General Restaurants

1999 Best Buffet, Brunch

If you think buffet means institutional, steam-table fare, think again. The Blue Room brunch includes everything from pancakes to quesadillas, pork ribs to smoked salmon, Moroccan spiced chicken thighs to...

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General Restaurants

1999 Best Brunch

The three-course prix-fixe menu is everything brunch should be: a selection of sweet and savory breakfast and lunch dishes and an assortment of chilled seafood (Wellfleet oysters, countneck clams, shrimp)...

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General Restaurants

1999 Best Diner

While the rest of Davis Square submits to a yuppified takeover (Coming Soon! Starbucks!), the Rosebud is one of the last holdouts of old-time Somerville. Okay, the bloody brawls are...

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Shops

1999 Best Cheese Shop

Last year Food and Wine magazine named Formaggio one of the five cheese shops in the nation, and Cambridge Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Louise Gluck wrote an ode to the shop,...

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Shops

1999 Best Wine Shop

There are plenty of great wine stores in Boston, but what keeps Brookline one step ahead of the pack are its serious French wines—particularly Burgundies and Rhones. BLM has been...

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Shops

1999 Best Pastry, Shop

Yes, we love the biscotti (and the heavenly hazelnut meringues) at Biscotti’s, made by a strapping soccer-playing lad from Salerno (95 Salem Street, Boston, 617-227-8365). But on North End pastry...

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Shops

1999 Best Beer

After years of waffling, we’re finally calling a bitter the beer. The Tremont brewers distribute their bitter at only a handful of pubs, including Doyle’s Cafe and Cornwall’s. They shouldn’t...

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