The Boston restaurant scene offers an embarrassment of riches. Many local establishments are deservedly hyped, however there are the restaurants that should be on the radar and, for whatever reason, aren’t — or at least aren’t as appreciated as they ought to be. These places deserve to be recognized. A list could encompass hundreds, but for starters, here are 10 of Boston’s underrated restaurants.
— By Devra First, Globe Staff Next
From whole prawns with Sardinian couscous to Maine lobster with lobster-coral tagliatelle, the surf side of the menu shines. Of course, the turf is fine, too, with dishes such as classic beef daube and perfect whole roast chicken.
272 Boylston St., Boston. 617-426-7878. bistrodumidi.com
Pictured: Roasted chicken with ricotta, lemon, roasted potato, and spring onion. Next
Carlo’s Cucina Italiana in Allston serves up generous portions of well-prepared, gently priced Italian-American classics and originals. The atmosphere is casual, often bustling, and the staff is friendly.
131 Brighton Ave., Allston. 617-254-9759. carloscucinaitaliana.com
Pictured: Chef Wilfredo Lopez worked on a “Pasta Special” dish in the kitchen of the restaurant. Next
For creative bistro fare — including some of the best mussels in town — along with an interesting, reasonably priced bottle of wine, Central Kitchen will always have your back.
567 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. 617-491-5599. enormous.tv/central
Pictured: Mussels, white wine, butter, garlic, and hand cut frites. Next
Chef Phillip Tang prepares the cuisine using seasonal ingredients from local farms. The result is dishes such as pork and zucchini dumplings with carrot puree and black vinegar reduction, stuffed littleneck clams with bacon, black beans, and spicy tomato relish, and thick, handmade noodles in vegetable broth with a poached egg and grilled king oyster mushrooms and eggplant.
1128 Cambridge St., Cambridge. 617-876-0286. exnecambridge.com
Pictured: Crispy pork belly, mantou bread, pickled vegetables. Next
Owners Lara Egger and Julio de Haro, a Madrid native, offer plenty of classic pintxos and tapas. The menu also encompasses less-familiar dishes — think ensalada a la parilla, grilled romaine with pickled beets and crisped Serrano ham.
700 Harrison Ave., Boston. 617-266-0443. estragontapas.com
Estragon: Pictured: Sauteed rainbow chard, butternut squash, chickpeas, almonds, golden Raisons. Next
Since 1999, this little bistro has been serving beautiful food, from seared sea scallops with succotash salad to lamb with ratatouille and tapenade jus. The service is good, the atmosphere is upscale but not stuffy, and the prices are reasonable.
1293 Washington St., Newton. 617-244-9199. lumiererestaurant.com
Pictured: Chef and restaurateur Michael Leviton demonstrated how to sear a steak. Next
Salts offers innovative preparations of local, seasonal ingredients, ornately plated with fresh herbs and flowers. And then there’s the signature whole roast duck for two, glazed in lavender honey.
798 Main St., Cambridge. 617-876-84444. saltsrestaurant.com
Pictured: A collection of heirloom vegetables and herbs with local goat cheese. Next
Focused on charcuterie, cheese, wood-grilled pizza, and dishes featuring tongue, marrow, and other odd animal parts, this restaurant is right on trend. It also has a fine selection of beer on tap, reasonable prices, and a super-convenient location just across from the Back Bay T station.
130 Dartmouth St., Boston.617-536-6200. thesaltypig.com
Pictured: Pizza at the Salty Pig in the Back Bay. Next
Tu Y Yo has long served regional Mexican dishes created from family recipes old and new — from a cochinita pibil (pork loin in a garlicky orange sauce) attributed to one María Ruz Viuda de Espinosa circa 1908 to Estela Calzada’s 2005 chicken mole colorado Tlaxcalteca.
858 Broadway, Somerville. 617-623-5411. tuyyo2.com
Pictured: Chiles Rellenos de Cameron. Back to the beginning
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