The Liberty Hotel resides in the former Charles Street Jail, but these days guests are hardly there against their will. Clink. shares the space with the hotel, and the wine bar has even converted some of the jail cells into dining nooks. There’s nothing dated about the open kitchen, where chef Margate crafts modern American cuisine.
Praise doesn’t come easily from the restaurant tastemakers at Gayot. But, when faced with the delicate preparations of Pierrot Bistrot Francais, they not only awarded the restaurant a spot on their list of the Top 10 French Restaurants in Boston, but also praised the eatery as “a French bistro in the truest sense of the term.” Secluded from the exposed brick and coral tones of the dining room, chefs toil in the kitchen to bring that authenticity to dishes. From dry-aged beef sirloin to jumbo sea scallops and veal scaloppini, his locally sourced menu items find their mates in a large wine list.
Fresh out of college, Vince Petryk took a job as a dishwasher at an ice cream shop. It was just a temporary gig…or, so he thought. As Petryk climbed through the shop’s ranks—he rose from dishwasher, to scooper, to ice-cream maker, to manager—he was awe-struck by the way ice cream seemed to make people feel happy. From that point on, he knew that he wanted to continue to share that joy with others and that the best way to do it, was to own his own ice cream shop. He perfected his from-scratch ice cream recipe before opening J.P. Licks, named for Jamaica Plain, the neighborhood where he opened his first location. The flavors were immediately a hit and continue to win loyal fans for their intensity and ingenuity––at any given time, guests might find cake batter and chocolate peanut butter ripple on the menu, alongside unusual flavors like tomato basil or beer and pretzels. Since those early days, Vince has also added from-scratch hard and soft frozen yogurts, sherberts, and sorbets. He has even been known to develop flavors to suit the tastes of the area's different ethnic groups, and dairy-free ice creams to provide relief to the area's overworked cows. Beyond serving traditional cones, Petryk and his staff also pack chilly scoops into house-made cakes and pies, blend them into shakes, and transform them into decadent sundaes topped with homemade hot fudge or butterscotch. The icy treats have proved so popular, J.P. Licks now has 10 area stores, leaving them ample wall space for awards: readers of The Phoenix voted it the city’s best ice cream parlor in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.
It’s easy to see what makes Fins Boston so great. That’s because the master chefs twist signature sushi rolls, flip sirloin steaks, and slice bits of sashimi in full view of the customers. That way, diners can watch the creative process at work as the culinary masters turn fresh ingredients into modern creations such as Maine lobster rolls, eastern maki, and surf clams. Of course, the menu is also rich in tradition, turning out Japanese dishes such as miso soup and salmon with green tea broth and pairing them with bottles of Japanese beer or premium sakes. Each of the three locations also casts a stylish ambiance to match the flair of its chefs, with décor ranging from dark woods that glow under amber light to walls covered with painted cherry blossoms.
A banner printed with tiny white fish flutters above Ma Soba's sushi bar, where chefs in pert white hats tuck ribbons of fish atop rice and seaweed. In the kitchen, stovetops sizzle with Chinese, Korean, Thai, and other Asian dishes, such as bulgogi, tempura-battered seafood and vegetables, and entrees spiced with chili-and-ginger general tso's sauce. Wine and water goblets moor maroon tablecloths in the softly lit dining room, where potted orchids and bromeliads complement a Japanese screen painted with branches and cherry blossoms. Ma Soba also packs entrees into tidy containers for carryout and delivery orders to offices, homes, and tree houses.
“There’s nothing flat about this fun collection of seasonal items, toiletries, toys, pillows, and whatever else catches the fancy of the shop’s young owner,” raves Fodor’s about Flat of the Hill. Indeed, the eclectic collection at this Beacon Hill boutique features an array of gift items and accessories that almost defies description. Handbags by MZ Wallace, candles from Nest, children’s perfume, and prints from Sugarboo are just a few items you can expect to see on the shelves of this 15-year old neighborhood boutique. And as Fodor’s points out, the owner has a special affinity for pets, meaning there’s likely no shortage of toys for the dog and books on world domination for the cat.