Winner of Improper Bostonian's Boston's Best Diner 2010, Deluxe Town Diner serves classic and creative American diner grub within a vintage 1947 setting. Those looking for a hearty breakfast can fill up at any time of the day with a goat cheese and spinach omelette served with thick slices of bacon ($7.25), but Deluxe Town Diner is known for its pancakes, available in six different varieties and served with genuine maple syrup. Take a lunchtime break from the electric shovel factory with a falafel sandwich with sesame tahini ($8.50) or a triple-decker cheeseburger club ($9.95). For dinner, Deluxe Town Diner cooks up simple, classic meals, such as Frank and Beans ($8.95), next to gourmet offerings including chicken picatta ($12.95). The diner's mammoth drink menu washes down diner fare with smooth NYC egg-cream ($2.50) or a bottomless cup of organic fair-trade coffee ($2.25).
Five decades ago, Kirio Pantelis wheeled a wooden cart around Kalamata, Greece, peddling syrupy sweets to locals. Today, his son and daughter-in-law oversee the American patisserie and café that evolved from these humble roots, nestled in both Brookline and Brighton. The bakery pays homage to its heritage with walnut-studded cakes and tarts that echo back to communal baking in wood-burning Greek ovens, though the shop draws from all over Europe for luxurious ingredients such as chocolate genoise, poached Turkish apricots, and Belgian cocoa. Puffed éclairs, petits fours, and fruit tartlets evoke the patisseries of Paris, and the bakery’s from-scratch gelato transports tasters to Italy without the hassle of concentrating hard enough to teleport.
Along with these sugary delicacies, the Brighton location also dishes up savory, Mediterranean-inspired fare at a café with marble tabletops and loft ceilings. Diners here fork into cold poached salmon, munch on paninis layered with gruyere or house orange-scented sausage, and savor cold sandwiches filled with roasted pancetta.
Fresh from his homeland of Brazil, Chef Rodney Moreira set himself on a path to become a master of Italian cuisine, beginning humbly as a prep cook at Pizzeria Uno. Ultimately, Moreira found his culinary muse, cooking his way up the ladder to his current position as head chef at Porcini's Italian Restaurant, where he holds numerous awards for his pasta and risotto. Building a menu off of these staples, Moreira crafts Italian- and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine finished with homemade sauces and fresh herbs. The restaurant's nightly specials and permanent entrees include grilled swordfish steak and pounded veal cutlets, and pair easily with varietals from around the world represented on the carefully curated wine list. The intimate dining room features the warming tendrils of a crackling fireplace, and the garden patio invites guests to indulge in meals under a sky filled with more stars than the sun's rolodex.
The open flames beneath Molana Restaurant’s grills lend a distinctive smokiness to the restaurant’s signature kabobs, but the closely guarded combinations of imported spices is what gives each dish its true Persian essence. Beginning with halal cuts of chicken, lamb, and beef, the chefs carefully roast meat-laden skewers on the grill tops. Appetizers of housemade pickles and yogurt add a refreshing touch to the savory meals, and fruit-accented sides of basmati rice can feature raisins, sour cherries, or sweet orange peels.
The restaurant occupies two floors, securing ample space for tables and a separate bar area. Wall sconces gently illuminate the dining room’s brickwork to help set the mood and alert guests if their shadows are running away.
At Andrea's House of Pizza, the aroma of freshly cooked pizzas hangs in the air, melding with wafts of gyro meat and fried chicken. As guests peruse the pizza menu, they’re greeted with a globetrotting selection of Greek-, Hawaiian-, and Brazilian-styled pies, as well as the local Bostonian topped with onion, eggplant, and broccoli. There are 36 types of grinders, sandwiched between sub rolls, pita bread, or impatient hands, that share table space with fried chicken meals, as well as burgers and wraps.
Papa John's has carefully crafted a menu of specialty pizzas to satisfy any taste or mouth shape. Order a Hawaiian BBQ Chicken, or go all-out and get The Works, a top-heavy combination of pepperoni, ham, spicy Italian sausage, fresh-sliced onions, green peppers, gourmet baby portabella mushrooms, and ripe black olives. Satisfy herbivores and herbivoyeurs with a Tuscan Six-Cheese or Garden Fresh pie. The full list of specialty pizzas includes several more; take the hassle out of haggling over individual ingredients and boldly cast your straight-ticket ballot for the pizza party that your conscious dictates.