What started as a single suburban outpost from acclaimed Boston chef Jamie Mammano years ago has turned into a deluge, as high-end restaurants crowd into this small city. Take a tour of our favorites here.
Explore the deep flavors and slow cooking of the cuisine of many regions at this pan-Asian spot where you can hop from Shanghai Braised Pork Belly to Daily Beijing Duck, alongside familiar favorites like General Gau’s Chicken and pork fried rice. Sushi lovers shouldn’t miss classic rolls and beautiful innovations like the Tuna Wasabi Dumpling—thinly sliced tuna wrapped around crab and avocado. The décor at Feng Shui is modern with subtle nods to the restaurant’s roots – look closely and you’ll see some symbolism in the modern vibe, from the custom light fixtures that evoke ancient Chinese coins to beautiful calligraphy, while the wall behind the sushi bar is like a soothing waterfall.
2200 District Avenue, 781-365-0918, gofengshui.com
Mismatched furniture, including custom-made plush banquettes, chairs wrapped in cowhide and floors covered in a patchwork of different materials, from tile to throw rugs to dark wood, work together to create a warm, sophisticated experience that leaves diners plotting a return trip. While the soaring purpose-built space seats 278 people, smart design and furniture choices make the space feel warm and intimate, perfect for feasting. Culinary Director Mario Capone has crafted a menu that goes well beyond classic steakhouse, offering a range of seafood entrees and of course amazing sides (hint: get the polenta). An innovative and seasonally updated cocktail program is enhanced by a broad wine and beer list, including their own private label offerings selected to compliment the menu.
15 Third Ave., 781-221-2100, the-bancroft.com
Eddie V’s Prime Seafood
Servers wear crisp white jackets and bow ties, large chandeliers dominate the sunken main dining room, ringed with curvy upholstered banquettes, and live jazz wafts through the air. Eddie V’s the kind of place where your server has a business card. In short, stepping into the restaurant feels like stepping back in time, to the Roaring Twenties, when dining out was an event. Elegant dishes like Steak Tartare, prepared tableside, and old school favorites like the Iceberg Lettuce Wedge add to the timeless ambience. But the focus is on fish — the restaurant’s varied list arrives daily from sustainable fisheries around the world, including offerings like Georges Bank Scallops, Norwegian Salmon, Gulf Shrimp and Pacific Ahi Tuna.
50 South Ave., 781-221-7151, eddiev.com
Karma Asian Fusion
There is no skimping here–Karma goes through more than three pounds of caviar a week and uses only real truffles. No truffle-flavored oil or peelings here. That abundance of high-end ingredients is present throughout the menu, which teeters on the precipice of too much quite successfully at this, the fourth restaurant in Iverson Guo’s local empire. The classic sushi platter is a beautifully presented show stopper. Karma also offers an array of hot Japanese entrees and a thoughtful selection of Chinese dishes, like Bird’s Nest Delicacies with XO Sauce and Soy Sauce Chow Mein. The restaurant has a lively bar scene, especially on Friday and Saturday nights when a DJ spins the music, creating an international dance party vibe.
75 Middlesex Turnpike, 781-365-0687, burlington.karmaasianfusion.com
Whether you are an expert who understands the difference between heartland beef and a West Coast cut, or a steak-curious novice, Mooo… is exactly the right place. Servers have been trained by top butchers and have likely tried every cut, meaning they are incredibly well-versed in how the steaks differ, and can explain everything from the process of dry-aging to the tenderness of each filet and how marbling affects both flavor and texture. Be sure to order the Mooo…. Side Flight for the table, with whipped Yukon gold potatoes and truffled parmesan fries, along with creamed spinach and exotic mushrooms. The décor echos the urban vibe of its sleek Beacon Hill counterpart– modern black wood paneling and metal chandeliers.
86 Cambridge St., 781-270-0100, mooorestaurant.com
With exposed brick and large windows to let in the light, this casual spot draws inspiration from the kitchens of Rome. Mixing Italian traditions with the bounty of New England, you’ll find everything from classics like Rigatoni Bolognese and Chicken Piccata alongside an entire section devoted to seafood, with dishes like linguine with local clams and lobster ravioli. Nearly everything on the menu –including the woodfired pizzas with toppings like classic pepperoni or indulgent buffalo chicken—is available gluten-free. The beer list is mostly locally sourced and entirely craft. Order a tasting flight and pair it with the crave-worthy bar menu.
19 3rd Ave, 781-272-1600, osterianino.com
Celebrity chef Mario Carbone’s casual Italian spot is a reminder of the classic red sauce joints of yore. Right down to the 1950s-era soundtrack–but the bright modern space and knowing wink is much like Carbone himself, whose eponymous New York restaurant draws celebrities with its Old World ambience and elaborate service. The flavors at Parm are brighter than decades ago, in a nod to modern tastes, but there is no skimping on the comfort, or the cheese. Lots and lots of cheese—not surprising for a restaurant whose name is an homage to the king of Italian cheeses. Fresh made pasta, gentle prices and a robust salad list make this spot a great place for a family weeknight meal.
75 Middlesex Turnpike (Burlington Mall), 781-328-8003, parmitalian.com
Chef Jeremy Sewall’s temple to New England seafood always comes through, from clam chowder and lobster rolls to fish and chips. Not to mention the freshest shellfish towers – the chef probably knows every single grower providing the rotating dozen or so oysters on offer, and his cousin Mark is so famous for bringing the lobster you can buy a t-shirt honoring him at the restaurant. The staff can guide you to your raw bar nirvana – they are highly trained and knowledgeable and can lead you from bivalves to crudo, then suggest a tasty beverage pairing. In the sleek, airy space, anchored by a wall built entirely of oyster shells, you’ll also find an ever-changing craft beer list and even a few dishes for land lubbers.
300 District Ave., 781-761-6500, row34.com
An early entrant into the hot Burlington restaurant scene, this outsize outpost of Italian food continues to please, with fresh-made pasta, mozzarella, bread, and pizza. Not to mention a slate of hearty steaks and seafood. Burlington debuted as Joe Faro’s second Tuscan Kitchen location, and is now a part of a mini-empire, paying homage to the chef/owner’s Sicilian heritage while also showcasing other regions of the boot. The wine list is impressive – and heavily geared toward Italy, of course. The restaurant even has its own private-label wines, in red, white and rosé, hand-chosen in Italy to shine alongside Tuscan’s cuisine. And the cocktail menu, which changes seasonally, keeps the bar scene lively.
24 New England Executive Park, 781-229-0300, tuscanbrands.com/tuscan-kitchen