The Boston Globe names 2018’s best restaurants and bars in the Boston area

Pizza, a snack bar, and robots are celebrated in the end-of-year list.

BOSTON, 10/4/2018 - Squid ink fusilli, sopressata, tomato, ink and olive bread crumb, at Chickadee in the Innovation & Design Building in the Seaport. Shoot the following dishes: fried cauliflower.  Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe (Lifestyle, food, First)
Squid ink fusilli at Chickadee. –Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe

The end-of-year lists keep coming, this time from The Boston Globe. On Monday morning, Globe food writer and restaurant critic Devra First released her picks for the Boston area restaurants and bars that made an impact this year, in categories that ranged from Restaurant of the Year and Best Trend to Most Intellectually Stimulating.

Restaurant of the Year went to Chickadee, a Mediterranean-inspired newcomer in the Seaport that First has praised since it opened in July. Helmed by chef John daSilva and beverage director Ted Kilpatrick, Chickadee’s arrival turned the Innovation and Design Building into a dining destination, where daSilva melds flavors from the Middle East and North Africa.

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“Think chickpea panisse fries with Calabrian chile aioli; semolina gnocchi with smoked chestnuts and mushrooms; lamb harira; and an estimable porchetta that was one of my favorite dishes of the year,” First wrote. “At lunch, don’t miss the sandwiches in perfect, pillow-y house-made pita.”

Tiffany Faison’s Fool’s Errand won for Best Concept. —Mike Diskin

In the Best Concept category, First recognized Fool’s Errand in the Fenway neighborhood from chef Tiffani Faison. The standing room only adult snack bar that Faison opened in August is a distinct departure from her other two restaurants — barbecue-filled Sweet Cheeks and Southeast Asian-inspired Tiger Mama.

“Gluttony, whimsy, and carefully chosen ingredients commingle on each plate,” First wrote. “You might find finger sandwiches of smoked beef tongue, raclette, hot peppers, and crushed potato chips; crisped potato mille-feuilles with lobster gravy; crudités with sour cream and chive labneh; and Mexican shrimp cocktail.”

First called it “…the cocktail party you want to throw, but better, and all you have to do is show up.”

Find the complete list of award winners — including First’s pick for Best Pizza — here.

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