Boston Locals Top 10 Favorite Restaurants
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Boston Locals Top 10 Favorite Restaurants

Boston is for (Food) Lovers

Over the past fifteen years the city of Boston has emerged as one of the nation's leading restaurant destinations. The presence of local chef luminaries, the burgeoning  local economy of the 1990's as well as efforts to promote tourism are all factors that have helped Boston to become a must-see for foodies from around the country as well as the world. From 5-star dining rooms in luxury hotels to tiny neighborhood restaurants and ethnic eateries, Boston has it all.

Where the Locals go

Boston is filled with one-of-a-kind restaurants that showcase the city's local culinary talents. If you are traveling to Boston in the near future, the best way to find out about the city's best restaurants is to ask the locals. Being a local myself and having many food-loving friends who frequent Boston's various establishments has enabled me to compile the following list of Boston locals' top ten.  I've divided the list into three categories: Special Occasion Splurges, Romantic Dining and Fun Hot Spots. I have exercised "geographical license" here by including  two restaurants  "across the river"-aka Cambridge.

Special Occasion Splurges

L'Espalier tops the list of restaurants to celebrate an important milestone. The grande dame of Boston fine dining, L'Espalier is known for its impeccable service and innovative French cuisine that pays homage to the seasons of New England with the use of local ingredients. September 2008 marks its move to a grander space in Boston's Back Bay.

Chef/owner Barbara Lynch's empire started with No. 9 Park, an understated yet elegant restaurant near Boston's State House and remains one of Boston's top dining destinations because of her creative interpretation of French and Italian cuisine and her  wine list filled with artisanal European selections.

Creative modern French cuisine is always on the menu at Radius. Located downtown, its beautiful atmosphere and stellar hospitality - as well as the food- make a visit here worth every penny.

Among its many accolades, O Ya, in Boston's Leather District, was named the #1 restaurant in the United States by the New York Times, and for good reason. Chef/owner Tim Cushman will amaze the most sophisticated diners by elevating food to high art with his complex, European-influenced Japanese cuisine that displays his extensive knowledge of food.

Romantic Dining

Oleana in Cambridge is a personal favorite of mine, primarily for its beautiful patio. Filled with flowers and vines, it is the perfect backdrop for a romantic evening. The outdoor dining season is short in Boston, but fret not; the cozy dining room is almost as romantic. The Mediterranean cuisine, coupled with a thoughtful wine list filled with Italian, Spanish and Portuguese wines, is superb.

The funky Boston neighborhood of Jamaica Plain is lucky to have Ten Tables, an intimate, inviting gem. The proximity of  each table to the open kitchen is intended to make diners feel at home. The food is European -influenced but unpretentious and the menu changes frequently.

Located just outside of Harvard Square, the cozy Craigie Street Bistro is on many "Best of Boston" lists because of chef Tony Maws' innovative interpretation of modern Parisian cuisine-and his menu changes nightly! The wine list here is full of interesting, off-the-beaten-path wines and is exclusively French.

Hamersley's Bistro, in Boston's South End, has long been known for its beautiful dining room and its classic, unfussy French cuisine that lets local ingredients shine - a must for any couple visiting Boston for the first time!

Fun Hot Spots

Eastern Standard, located in the new Commonwealth Hotel in Kenmore Square, always busy, mostly because of the forty-foot long bar and the best cocktail menu in Boston. The excellent French bistro food, the approachable wine list and the moderate price tag also make it a Boston must-see.

Via Matta, located in Park Square, represents sophisticated yet simple Northern Italian food at its best - and also has the best Italian wine list in Boston. Its bustling bar scene makes it a place to "see and be seen". A visit to Via Matta had all of the components of a great experience, great food, wine and cocktails, beautiful space and great people watching!

For more information about dining in Boston, check out the following web sites:

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