Best Restaurants & Food in Boston 2003

Chefs

2003 Best Bartender

There are some who believe that a bartender should be neither seen nor heard—that he or she should be a pair of hands floating mimelike in the ether, deft with...

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Chefs

2003 Best Pastry Chef

After several luxurious courses of chef Ken Oringer’s French cooking, concluding with dessert might seem excessive. But when the desserts are as delicious as those made by pastry chef...

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Chefs

2003 Best Sommelier

One hundred seventeen pages long, with upwards of 32,800 bottles, the Federalist’s wine list is a tome to be reckoned with—if not downright feared. But as inaccessible as the list...

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Chefs

2003 Best Chef, Up and Coming

If ever there was a feel-good pill for these challenging times, chef Tony Maws’s cooking at Craigie Street Bistrot is it. Troubles fall away as soon as you set foot...

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Cuisine Type

2003 Best Chinese Restaurant

Sure, you’ll find General Gau’s chicken, lo mein, fried rice, and other Chinatown favorites on New Shanghai’s endless menu, but it’s unexpected details like a decent wine list, polished flatware,...

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Cuisine Type

2003 Best Italian Restaurant

If dining is theater, then Teatro is the consummate Italian drama. Scene One: bold openers like over-the-top fresh antipasti and simple, but intensely flavored, steamed black mussels swimming in a...

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Cuisine Type

2003 Best Thai Restaurant

Unlike the now-ubiquitous Asian fusion restaurants it resembles, this Coolidge Corner newcomer serves food that is authentically exotic. Fortunately, the knowledgeable waitresses excel at coaching diners who might otherwise steer...

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Food

2003 Best Cookie

Much of this bright and sunny bakery’s success is due to the fact that it was one of the first businesses of its kind to move into the Washington Street...

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Food

2003 Best Sushi

When you’re craving sushi but can’t bear waiting in line for hours for a table while being barked at by harried hostesses (an all-too-common occurrence at other sushi restaurants around...

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Food

2003 Best Lemonade

Few liquids can quench a thirst like lemonade. But making it—balancing the tart and puckering lemon juice with enough sugar, but not too much—is a tricky business. Baraka Café pulls...

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Food

2003 Best Burrito

Anna’s doesn’t serve the biggest burritos in town, and purists might—might—argue that some of its ingredients (particularly the carnitas) trail those prepared by its competitors. But Anna’s burritos are, without...

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Food

2003 Best Muffin

Enough with low-fat, no-butter baked goods. Muffins were meant to be savored. Appleton, the friendly, sunlit café, understands this, and answers the call with beauties made from hunks of fruit,...

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Food

2003 Best Chowder, Clam

To hell with baked beans. Clam chowder is Boston’s crowning food—not potato, not flour, but clam. That’s a distinction understood at the Times, an otherwise largely undistinguished beer hall within...

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Food

2003 Best Takeout, Restaurant

We wish we had thought of this—a take-home-dinner kiosk in the middle of South Station. You can peruse the daily updated online menu (marchingandchowder.com) from the comfort of your office,...

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Food

2003 Best Pizza, Traditional

There’s no shortage of great pizza in this town, but the place we always come back to is the original North End home of Pizzeria Regina. Ignore the outposts at...

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Food

2003 Best Spring Roll

Why choose a spring roll as the one must-try menu item in a town full of exceptional food? Because the crispy tuna spring roll at Pho Republique is just that:...

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Food

2003 Best Bread Bakery

One step inside this Cambridge bakery and you know you’re in a serious place for serious bread. Half of the shop is an open baking area where workers mix, cut,...

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Food

2003 Best Wine List, Upscale

It should come as no surprise that the wine list at Meritage is outstanding. The entire concept of the restaurant is, after all, about pairing food and wine. After 15...

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Food

2003 Best Tuna Tartare

Cool, tender, sweetly fresh, sushi-grade tuna. The salty tang of soy laced throughout, cut with the bite of ginger. The crunch of greaseless, light-as-a-feather wontons—perfect for scooping up the addictive...

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Food

2003 Best Fried Clams

Whole or sliced, and fried to a deep, golden brown, Farnham’s clams are soft and juicy on the inside, salty and even nutty on the outside. The homemade tartar sauce...

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Food

2003 Best Wine List, Affordable

The muscles on your face that give you the ability to smile—les zygomates, as the French call them—get a good workout at this Leather District restaurant of the same name,...

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Food

2003 Best Fries

French or freedom, fries are fries. Except at River Gods, a tiny Irish pub, where they’re crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, flaked with parsley, and dipped in...

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Food

2003 Best Ice Cream

With all due respect to the old-fashioned flavors at Brigham’s and the rich, smooth scoops at Toscanini’s, we keep coming back to Christina’s. This Inman Square institution continues to distinguish...

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Food

2003 Best Sushi, West

You’ll likely be saying “oishii” (Japanese for “delicious”) after one bite of the fresh, flavorful sushi from this Chestnut Hill hot spot. The restaurant may have barely a dozen seats,...

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Food

2003 Best Burger

With comfort food topping the cravings charts these days, it’s no wonder that getting a table at Bartley’s has become an Olympic sport. The crowds come for the addictive handcut...

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Food

2003 Best Coffee

Aunt Bette often says there’s nothing worse than a bad cup of tea, but she’s wrong. A bad cup of coffee is a greater offense. And there are far too...

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Food

2003 Best Steakhouse

The real meat of a truly great steakhouse is just that: its meat. And while the opulent Oak Room may look too delicate to deliver on such a carnivorous front,...

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General Restaurants

2003 Best Bistro, South

What may be the South Shore’s most fetching dining room (white tablecloths, cherry hardwood floors, plaid banquettes, soothing antique prints) now sports an equally alluring menu. Chef Andrea Schnell, an...

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General Restaurants

2003 Best Brunch

If brunch is the most civilized way to dine, the Harvest is the most civilized place to have brunch. First there’s the restaurant’s lovely garden patio, which in warm weather...

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General Restaurants

2003 Best Waiter

What makes a great waiter? At a restaurant like the Fed, it’s one who is friendly but not intrusive, informative but not obsequious. Mark Edwards has these admirable qualities and...

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General Restaurants

2003 Best New Restaurant

In replacing their much-loved UpStairs at the Pudding (some considered it the real institution of Harvard Square), Deborah Hughes and Mary-Catherine Deibel had big shoes to fill—their own. But they’ve...

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General Restaurants

2003 Best Bistro

From the second the linen hits your lap to the last spoonful of velvety chocolate dessert soup, Salts is a downright lovely experience. Before that soup, though, comes everything else:...

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Shops

2003 Best Cheese Shop

We thought the “freedom fries” movement was absurd, and we can’t imagine a diplomatic conflict grave enough to make us swear off truffles. But somewhere a line must be drawn:...

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Shops

2003 Best Wine Shop

With its oaky scent, worn wooden shelves, and thousands of bottles, Brookline Liquor Mart is simply an oenophile’s delight. This superstore has been doling out educated, accessible wine advice for...

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