Best Restaurants & Food in Boston 2001

Chefs

2001 Best Sommelier

This Harvard-educated sommelier spends most of her nights winning over the suit-and-tie crowd that flocks to Grill 23’s polished interior. Towns’ wine list is impressive, with solid selections of steak-friendly...

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Chefs

2001 Best Chef, General Excellence

There is something to be said for dependability. In Steve Johnson’s case, it’s knowing that every time you visit his restaurant, you’ll be served a meal that is simply outstanding....

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Chefs

2001 Best Bartender

McGuirk is a throwback to a time when cocktails were made without a measuring cup, lighting a lady’s cigarette was cool, and bow-tied bartenders had all the answers. Even his...

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Chefs

2001 Best Pastry Chef

We searched high and low for another candidate, but we’ve found ourselves hopelessly devoted to Connors’ thought-provoking, palate-pleasing, meal-punctuating desserts. He breaks away from the pack with such confectionery coups...

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Cuisine Type

2001 Best Spanish Restaurant

Everything about this dark Somerville caverna qualifies as an aphrodisiac: the richly colored, bordello-inspired décor, the hum of loud conversation, and, above all, the lusty and authentic food. That means...

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Cuisine Type

2001 Best Thai Restaurant

Spicy, sour, salty, and sweet: In Thailand, the perfect meal offers all four tastes. And with its extensive menu, Brown Sugar Café furnishes plenty of options for creating the consummate...

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Cuisine Type

2001 Best Tea

Boston has long had a stormy relationship with tea, but this Alice in Wonderland-inspired joint puts all bad memories to rest with its 80-plus flavor selections. The menu offers authentic...

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Cuisine Type

2001 Best Fusion Restaurant

Pairing French classics with Latin ingredients has proven a recipe for success for Cambridge’s sexy, laid-back hotspot. It all works seamlessly. Cuban influences complement bistro dishes such as pan-seared quail...

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Cuisine Type

2001 Best Italian Restaurant

Ah, civility—a welcome change on a street known for interminable lines and cutthroat competition for tables on Saturday nights. Maurizio’s is intimate but not stuffy, the kind of restaurant where...

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Food

2001 Best Chowder

Unless your mother has the culinary savoir-faire of Todd English, you likely did not grow up on “chowdah” that tasted anything like what you’ll find at KingFish Hall. Hence, the...

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Food

2001 Best Pizza, Traditional

Miss your adolescence? The Formica booths at Little Stevie’s aren’t just seats, they’re time machines that sweep you right back to braces, babysitting money, and after-school specials. And the pizza’s...

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Food

2001 Best Bread Bakery

There’s some damn fine bread in this town, but we’re throwing down the gauntlet and calling it for Hi-Rise. Why? Shelf after shelf of simple but flawlessly executed loaves: chewy...

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Food

2001 Best Wine List, Affordable

Sometimes it’s hard to swallow the markup on wine lists. Not so at Veronique. Owner Jim Apteker wants diners to learn about and taste wine, so he’s priced every bottle...

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Food

2001 Best Seafood Restaurant

We know it’s in, yikes, Faneuil Hall Marketplace. And we know it’s owned by, yawn, Todd English. Still, KingFish Hall blows all the other seafood joints in town right out...

Winner

Food

2001 Best Ice Cream

Toscanini’s understands that life can be as simple as vanilla and chocolate or as complicated as burnt caramel or gingersnap molasses. Whatever your philosophical fancy, this heavenly ice cream parlor...

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Food

2001 Best Burger

This brick-walled South End hole in the wall reminiscent of an Alabama dive bar serves up the perfect antidote for a hot, sticky day: cool shade, cheap beer, and a...

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Food

2001 Best Burger, Gourmet

You have to order it specially because it isn’t on the dinner menu, but the cheeseburger may just be the thing at this Harvard Square institution (brunch excluded). The meat...

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Food

2001 Best Steakhouse

You can gripe until the cows come home about Boston’s relative lack of great steakhouses, but until you’ve bitten into a richly marbled, truly succulent Delmonico at G23, you’ll get...

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Food

2001 Best Pizza, Designer

It’s this simple: Nothing satisfies a pizza craving like a piping hot pie from the kitchen at Emma’s. Choose from more than a dozen tasty (and sometimes bizarre) toppings, including...

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Food

2001 Best Sushi

This giant temple to raw fish may look like a Zen sanctuary, but don’t expect any peace or quiet. Between the circular sushi bar’s clamor and the bustle of waitresses...

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Food

2001 Best Sandwich, Gourmet

Don’t be put off by the big Busch beer sign. Inside, Darwin’s feels like a hip country store with red tin tile walls. Loyal customers from a fast-moving line for...

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Food

2001 Best Bakery for Sweets

Experienced sweet-tooths know exactly where to turn when sugar cravings hit. Vanille’s pastry cases are chock full of tantalizing treats: cappuccino cheesecake, chocoholic bliss tart, Boston cream pie. Don’t fret...

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Food

2001 Best Chocolate, Experience

Want to experience a European café without the jet lag? Head to Burdick. The true test of chocoholism is actually finishing the iced hot chocolate—a deeply decadent concoction poured over...

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Food

2001 Best Frappe

So many flavors, so little Dexatrim. First there are the standards: chocolate, malted vanilla, strawberry. Then come the more esoteric mixes, such as amaretto, carob, and Dutch orange chocolate. They’re...

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Food

2001 Best Takeout, Gourmet

Imagine, if you will, a place with simple, well-prepared foods, a courteous and friendly staff, and truly terrific international noshes. Welcome to the Seasonal Table—one-stop shopping for epicures and entertainers...

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Food

2001 Best Burrito

The true test of a good burrito is: Will you travel for it? In Boston, burrito lovers have little choice. This is, after all, a city with a whole lot...

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General Restaurants

2001 Best Bistro

In a fiercely competitive category, Salts takes the cake for its extraordinary Eastern European-accented appetizers (chive pierogies with sweet Maine lobster, smoked paprika-fired gypsy bundles); its friendly, informed waitstaff; and...

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General Restaurants

2001 Best Brunch

To endorphin addicts, East Coast is the place to go for a dose of intensely spiced, pan-tropical dinners, but brunch fanatics know it offers something more: It’s also home to...

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General Restaurants

2001 Best Diner

There’s a difference between authentic and retro, and this no-nonsense Somerville treasure falls squarely in the former category. It has everything you come to a diner for—a 1953 Jerry O’Mahoney...

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General Restaurants

2001 Best Group Dining

Valet parking and reservations? In the North End? Absolutely, at this house of refined and authentic Italian cooking tucked away in North Square. Better still, it’s perfect for large parties,...

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Shops

2001 Best Fish Market

Never are fresh ingredients more crucial than when it comes to seafood. These friendly fish-mongers reel in customers with a vast assortment of finned favorites such as haddock, salmon, and...

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Shops

2001 Best Wine Shop

We’re fond of smaller wine shops—Back Bay’s excellent Bauer Wine & Spirits, say, and Somerville’s Wine and Cheese Cask (where you can pick up some good bread and cheese), or...

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Shops

2001 Best Candy, Store

It’s hard to decide whether Dairy Fresh deserves our vote more for its nonpareil assortment of confections or for its friendly and informative staff. Its two narrow rooms are packed...

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Shops

2001 Best Beer

North East brewmeister Dan Paquette is one to watch, mainly because his Grampus Trippel is one to drink. Served up in a 10-ounce brandy snifter that lets you see its...

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Shops

2001 Best Chocolate, Shop

Your quest for the Holy Grail of chocolate can end right here. Topnotch and velvety white, dark, and milk chocolates are flown in from Switzerland every week to literally and...

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Shops

2001 Best Sandwich, Deli

Whether it’s the “Famous Rumanian Pastrami,” simple turkey, or a grilled sandwich, these handmade creations hit the spot every time. Though there are vegetarian options, meat is the focal point...

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Shops

2001 Best Coffee Shop

Warm sun streams into this Charles Street bakery-cum-café’s expansive windows, where the clientele kicks back (sometimes for hours) over high-octane lattes, crumbly slices of walnut bread, and the daily papers....

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Shops

2001 Best Cheese Shop

No, it’s not a charmingly quaint boutique. But, hey, you’re there to buy cheese, not a hat. Above all, you want absolute ripeness, informed service, and a carefully chosen selection....

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