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Boston Restaurant Blog -- December, 2013

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Favorite Dining Spots and Dishes of 2013 from Restaurant and Media Folks

Last year, several folks in the restaurant business and the media gave some of their picks for favorite dining spots and dishes of 2012, and now a few people have given their picks for 2013. Below is a running list that will keep being updated through the end of the year, so continue to check back for additions to the list.

Dan Andelman
(The Phantom Gourmet)
Some of my favorite dishes of 2013:
-Chorizo Flatbread with fingerling potato chips from Cook in Newton
-Roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon & Parmesan from 29 Sudbury
-"The Katz" pastrami sandwich from Moody's Delicatessen in Waltham
-Horseradish twice baked potato from Strega Prime in Woburn
-Porchetta from Tavern Road in Boston
-Gyro from Feisty Greek in Norwood
-Steak tips from Fells Market in Wellesley

Kara Baskin
(Writer at The Restaurant Hub blog of The Boston Globe)
Sarma in Somerville, Good Thymes in Lowell, La Posada in Arlington, Posto in Davis Square, Gene's in Downtown Crossing and Chelmsford, Blue Dragon in FT PT, Flo's hot dogs in Maine, Casa B in Union Square, Biryani Park in Malden, Qingdao in Cambridge, Bistro du Midi, L'osteria, Trade

Walt Perkins
(Sports Director, WBZ News Radio 1030)
Besides the all the wonderful meals and memories emanating from the Perkins’ kitchen this year, there are a number of dining out experiences I’ll remember in 2013.
Eastern Standard was superb with both food and beverage on more than one occasion.
Falmouth was the scene of a couple of memories. Silver Shores Shanty is a local lunch-time gem. Fresh food and friendly folks all around. And Anejo Mexican Bistro serves up one tasty meal after another. I favor the Anejo Steak Frites.
Closer to home (for us, anyway) is Romaine’s in Northborough and Bullfinch’s in Sudbury. They never disappoint.

Susan Holaday
(Editor and Publisher, Foodservice East)
I'd say the biggest was Pier 6 in the Navy Yard - we've needed this style of restaurant for a very long time in that location. The food is quite consistently good, beverage program needs work but is coming along, and service is very good. Elsewhere in the city we've had lots of good additions from CinqueCento and BoMa late last year to Ward 8 just recently.

Richard Auffrey
(Author of The Passionate Foodie)
I'll concentrate on some of my favorite suburban restaurants, as Boston area spots usually get most of the attention. My top pick, for great French & Japanese lunch, dinner and brunch is the AKA Bistro in Lincoln. Get the Moules Frites! Also check out Thai cuisine at Phu Ket in Wakefield (Spicy lobster soup), breakfast at Iron Town Diner in Saugus, Italian cuisine at Bistro 5 in Medford, and Cuban food at Oya Cuban Cafe in Malden (bread pudding). And for a Boston area rec, I strongly recommend Bergamot in Somerville.

Michelle Collins
(Local Food Writer, Blogger at The Economical Eater)
One of the best meals I had this year was at Harvest in Harvard Square. We were celebrating an anniversary and enjoyed fantastic food, impeccable service, and even a complimentary glass of champagne for our celebration. It was definitely a memorable evening!

Patrick Maguire
(Author of Service Industry Blog Server Not Servant)
Thanks to all of the bartenders, servers, chefs, FOH and BOH workers, and owners who made eating and drinking in Boston awesome in 2013. So many places have opened that I couldn't get to. I'm sure I forgot a few, but here's what I can remember through the haze as we close out the year. Slainte.
Memorable Meals/Dining Experiences
Theo's Cozy Corner, Giulia, KO Pies (Eastie), Puritan & Co., Erbaluce, Prezza, Sportello, Oishi, Salty Pig, Sorellina, Coppa, Ribelle, Grill 23, East by Northeast, Asta, Metropolis, Neptune, The Abbey, Mooo...., Toro, Uni, Strip-T's, and Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe.
Best Dishes of 2013
Dino's (steak + cheese sub), Abe & Louie's (swordfish chop), Galleria Umberto (Sicilian pizza), Sportello (gnocchi), Neptune (cherrystones, crudo, + buttermilk johnnycake), Drink ("secret" burger), Aragosta (turkey hash @ brunch), J. Pace & Son (All sandwiches on fresh, braided, seeded buns), Lulu's Sweet Shoppe (chocolate salted caramel cupcake), Mistral (tuna tartare and crab ravioli are still awesome), Coda (steak + eggs @ brunch), Douzo (hamachi kama-collar), Ribelle (warm garlic knots dipped in marinara sauce), Metropolis (chicken over rosemary-mashed potatoes w/oyster mushrooms, gravy + watercress. Superb. Also, cauliflower and potato gratin, and gnocchi w/duck confit, brussel sprouts, truffle rosemary jus and parmiggiano reggiano.), Mei Mei (carrots & seeds), Oishi (uni spoon w/quail egg), KO Pies (basic meat pie) and Salty Pig (pastas and meatballs @ Red Sauce Sundays).
Beverages & Bartending
Silvertone, Citizen, Backbar, West Bridge, Stoddard's, Drink, The Butcher Shop, Russell House Tavern, Bristol Lounge, Tavern Road, No. 9, The Franklin, The Gallows, and The Hawthorne.

Julie King
(Owner of Villa Mexico Cafe)
CUCHI-CUCHI @ Cambridge. It is a Spanish place the atmosphere is very nice, they serve tapas and I really enjoy their food!
FUSION TASTE @ Stoneham: Very good food, outstanding service and competitive prices, I love their grilled salmon which is very fresh and excellent flavor. For brunch there are few in Cambridge and one of is the Cambridge Brewing Co. nice service and good food!!! There is also a little place on Broadway St and by the way the owner is from Mexico, it's Dwelltime, even though they do not have a full kitchen, the food they serve for brunch is pretty good and they bake their bread there!!!

Jeff Cutler
(Content Specialist and Writer - Writes about Food, Travel, Tech and Myriad other Topics. Food and Travel Blog at
You can't swing a pork chop in Boston without hitting menu items and venues that inspire and satisfy. That's what makes this challenge/request so difficult. As readers know, my tastes range from the uber upscale to the pedestrian, so identifying a favorite dining spot and dish makes me think about mealtime. For breakfast, I have a couple favorites but the winner is the Croque Madame at Brasserie Jo. For lunch, I could have chosen a burrito and Anna's, but I'm actually going to select Chacerero and their BBQ chicken sandwich. It's spicy, tasty and a delight. Further, the atmosphere (diners regularly standing in line for a sandwich no matter the weather) is a testament to how much people like this place. Dinner...a burger at the Yard House near Fenway Park. Really. Maybe it's because it's a recent memory, but you know when a meal is done expertly and you know if anything is awry. The burger I had at Yard House in early December was perhaps the finest example of a burger I had in 2013. Would love to hear what people think about my choices. Find me on Twitter @jeffcutler.

If you are in either industry and would like to tell us about your favorite places for 2013, please send us a note on Twitter or Facebook, thank you!


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