When I speak with family and friends, as well as people I've just met, they often ask me for restaurant recommendations. Sometimes they have specific questions, such as they are seeking a reasonably priced Italian restaurant in the North End, while other times they simply want to know some of my current favorites. Though I usually provide them the link to my blog for additional consideration, I also provide them a few of my top restaurant recommendations, those hot spots which are most on my mind at the moment.
There are plenty of local restaurants which deserve kudos, such as those places on my Top 50 list. However, I want to provide a list of my 5 Restaurant Hottest Restaurants, those which I am most recommending to people right now. These are places with quality food at reasonable prices, and those I refer to these restaurants usually provide me very positive feedback of their experiences. These favorites of mine become their favorites as well.
So here's my Top 5, in no particular order:
Ciao! Pizza & Pasta: Including this restaurant on this list was a no-brainer. Located in Chelsea, this hole-in-the-wall restaurant serves some of the best pasta and wood-fired pizzas in the Boston area. Above is one of my favorite dishes, House-made Campanelle with Chorizo Bolognese, and it is difficult for me not to order this dish every time I dine there. It's prices are very reasonable and cheaper than many "artisan" pizza joints. The menu sees some changes every few weeks and they also serve wine & beer. The food quality is consistently excellent and the restaurant offers a casual and friendly atmosphere. I frequently dine here and everyone I bring here raves about it afterwards. I cannot recommend this spot highly enough.
A&B Burgers: If you love burgers, then you need to trek to Beverly to dine here, to savor some of the top burgers in the area. Using a special oven, they are able to slow cook their burgers, made from local, sustainable beef, for almost two hours before searing them on the grill. That ensures the burger is juicy and flavorful. The burgers are also reasonably priced and fully customizable. Above is my favorite of their burgers, the Sweet & Salty Burger, topped with Burrata cheese, fig jam, bacon, & arugula. The restaurant is more than just burgers though, with delicious dishes from Smoked Gouda Mac n' Cheese to Louisiana Fried Wings. And don't forget the Churros for dessert. In addition, they have an excellent drinks program, from their 100+ tequilas to their adult milkshakes.
Committee: Greek cuisine is hot right now and Committee, located in the Seaport district, is one of the top local spots to experience this delicious and fascinating cuisine. With traditional Greek recipes as well as some more modern twists on Greek dishes, the food here is compelling and delicious, from Brunch to Dinner. Above is Tyropita, an amazing breakfast pie made from phyllo, feta, kasseri, vlahotiri, and rigani. Everything from the homemade Hummus to the Lahmajun (kind of a spicy, ground lamb pizza) is consistently excellent. Their drinks program is also excellent, with numerous Greek wines and spirits as well as inventive cocktails.
The Porch Southern Fare: Located at a small spot in Wakefield, this restaurant, which has been open for less than six months, offers delicious southern fare which is made form scratch. The menu is small but it allows them to concentrate on the quality of those items, from North Carolina Pulled Pork to Meatloaf (and though I generally am not a fan of meatloaf, I love the meatloaf here). Above is their moist Fried Chicken with mashed potatoes and corn bread. And their home-made biscuits with honey butter are killer! The quality of the food, especially some of the sides, has even improved since my initial review. They offer some excellent specials as well, such as Chicken Fried Steak, and they have some very reasonably priced family dinners for take-out. They now offer Brunch though I haven't yet been yet though hope to check it out soon.
Tasty On The Hill Cafe: In Somerville, you'll find this Portuguese owned cafe which offers a unique and delicious dish which is difficult, if not impossible, to find anywhere else in the Boston area. Above is the Francesinha, a famous sandwich from Oporto, and the cafe offer six variations, including the Traditional which is made with American cheese, ham, steak, linguica, hot dog, fried egg and bacon. What a hearty sandwich and the tomato-based sauce atop it is savory and compelling. It has to be one of the top sandwiches in the area. In addition, the cafe serves a full menu of more standard breakfast and lunch items, with additional Portuguese dishes for dinner. Their house-made muffins are excellent too.
Which of these five restaurants have you visited? And what are your thoughts?