The chefs at 29 Newbury arrange fresh ingredients into artfully presented, gourmet cuisine for guests dining between crisp white walls or on the outdoor patio. Both the eatery's menu and the local art adorning its walls rotate with the seasons to incorporate the latest harvests and trends in art criticism. A starter of steamed clams and mussels prepared with white wine, chorizo, and garlic warms up palates for a pan-roasted entree of sesame-encrusted salmon, which floats atop a blizzard of snow peas drizzled with soy-sesame sauce. Warm lobster salad tosses together sautéed white beans with mixed greens, avocado, and basil-lemon vinaigrette. Patrons concerned with etiquette debate between dessertspoons and grappling hooks before spelunking into layers of 29 Signature tiramisu or sojourning through heaps of homemade whipped cream topped with seasonal berries.
The first of acclaimed chef Barbara Lynch’s restaurants, No. 9 Park represents the James Beard Award Winner to a tee, from the elegantly refined fare to the carefully crafted cocktails and hand-selected wines. An expanse of dark wood floors unfurls across the historic Beacon Hill townhouse, juxtaposed by soft taupe walls and the shimmer of antique chandeliers. A blend of Italian and French traditions, Lynch’s cuisine effortlessly complements the swank decor, comforting palates with housemade prune-stuffed gnocchi, Colorado lamb loin dressed with pea green and pistachio pesto, and perfectly seared prime hanger steak with Nova Scotia lobster. Though desserts––such as the pomegranate and earl-grey tres leches cake––partner just fine with dinner, guests will surely want to pair their meal with something from the bar as well. Perfectly balanced, every drink is thoroughly researched first, allowing the mixologists to understand how it was born and why. The result: an assortment of unique creations—laced with everything from smoky scotch to foie gras-washed bourbon—to complement Chef Lynch’s unique fare. It’s no wonder Eater named No. 9 as the city’s best cocktail bar, an honor that is only further substantiated by sommelier Cat Silirie's James Beard Award-winning wine list.
Year after year, accolades and awards shower down on Erbaluce, often named the best Italian restaurant in Boston by local and national press alike. This Bay Village restaurant run by chef Charles Draghi draws from the cuisine of the Piemont region in Italy, but with the ingredients of New England. There’s no set menu as dinner courses change on a whim, but guests can always expect pasta – handmade, of course – and something approaching Draghi’s signature dish, wild boar with wild Concord grapes and lavender sauce. Best of all, Draghi doesn’t depend much on butter or oil for flavor; instead, he uses fresh herbs and sauces based on fruit and vegetable essences, as well as roasting juices, to give his dishes a much lighter touch. Service in the mostly white dining room with wooden accents and a mosaic-tiled floor is excellent, offering a calm oasis to savor the fine cuisine.
Blu bills itself as a “hidden gem.” But it’s hard to miss, towering four stories above Sports Club/LA and immediately recognizable by its curved steel pipe lattices and floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall windows. The view from the inside is even more enticing: a sweeping 360-degree view of Downtown Crossing is a treat if you can pry your eyes off the curved banquettes, oval-shaped stand-alone bar, and plates of coriander-dusted scallops and roasted duck breast. The airy, sunny hues give way to seductive blues come evening, as the space takes on a sophisticated club-like ambience. Neon lights color the white piping while the city lights glimmer in the background, and the eatery comes alive with young professionals sipping martinis, cocktails, and fine wines. Patrons can revel in desserts such as cinnamon-orange crème brulee and seasonal cheesecakes that Gayot promises are “worth the extra calories,” despite seeing the toned celebrities and muscular team mascots prancing around the posh Sports Club/LA.
Dining out is much more pleasant than dining in—it's annoying to take turns role-playing waiter, and restaurants are much less likely to have Roombas underfoot. With today's Groupon, $25 gets you $50 worth of drinks and dining at Bina Osteria, a restaurant with great food and atmosphere.
As you sit down on one of the The Red Hat's green vinyl barstools and lift a mug of lager to your lips, you might be replicating the movements of a patron from more than 100 years ago. Except that he or she would have snuck a nervous glance at the back door between every sip. The historic establishment survived the Prohibition era in Scollay Square—an area known for its bawdy vaudeville theater and risqué entertainment—by functioning as a reputable restaurant by day and a speakeasy by night.
Though the taps now flow freely in the daylight, some things at The Red Hat haven't changed. The menu still provides sailors, dockworkers, and local shoppers with hearty, comforting dishes of wings, fried fish, and other pub snacks. As Mike Dunphy of Beacon Hill Patch put it, "The Red Hat is a rare reminder of Boston's yesteryear, bringing an earthy spice to the more refined palate of Beacon Hill—an unpretentious watering hole to gain some courage for the climb." The exposed brick, wood-paneled walls, and old-timey memorabilia also give the space a turn-of-the-century feel. So do the nostalgic street-scene murals depicting the days when Saturns were Studebakers and people walked their Electrolux vacuums instead of pet dogs.