Boston has some phenomenal restaurants spread out all over the city and western suburbs with so many of them concentrated in the city's unique neighborhoods. Come with me on this multi-part eating guide to some of Boston's many neighborhoods then follow me west as I visit the 'burbs.
Part I - The South End
Boston's South End is a diverse neighborhood populated with its fair share of young professionals and an active gay and lesbian community. There are many art studios, dog parks and plenty of fantastic restaurants to keep you busy for a long time. Here are some of my favorites:
Tremont 647: Executive Chef/Owner Andy Husbands "serves up boldly flavored American cuisine, with inventive global influences." Chef Husbands believes in supporting local producers and purveyors and changes his menu every two months to keep up with whats freshest at the moment. When you go, try the Momos and the Banana Leaf Wrapped Halibut, two of Chef's signature dishes. Note that the banana leaf wrapped fish sometimes changes, I've had it with Chilean Seabass before, and it's always delicious.
If you really want to treat yourself, make a reservation for the chef's table and get the chef's tasting, you will not be disappointed! The chef's table is actually two seats positioned at the end of the open kitchen, right next to the grill station. Go for the wine pairing as well and have a good time. Go hungry, and take a cab. Parking can sometimes be a problem.
647 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02118
Franklin Cafe: Executive Chef David Dubois has created a modern American menu that can stand up with the best of them. What I love about the Franklin Cafe is that its comfortable. When I go there I feel all warm and cozy sitting in the high back booths, enjoying a glass of wine from their limited but well thought out wine list, and a perfectly prepared dinner, whether its the olive crusted local cod, the bone-in filet or the miso grilled salmon. The menu changes frequently so pick something that sounds good and it will be. The Franklin Cafe has been growing in popularity over the years and they don't take reservations. Go early or be prepared to wait. Parking in this neighborhood can be difficult since most of the spots are Resident Only, see their web site for some tips. One more thing, they are open late serving dinner until 1:30am, the bar is open until 2am.
278 Shawmut Avenue
Boston, MA 02118
Red Fez: Specializing in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, this is a great place to go with friends. The menu is divided into three parts, mezze (appetizers, or small plates,) salads, and entrées. The hummus and baba ghanoush at the Red Fez are great for starting things off. Don't miss the roasted beet salad with goat cheese and arugula either. Try the sheefa or the mussels for some hot mezze and you can't go wrong with anything lamb here, they know how to cook it well. There is a large bar with lots of TVs, usually showing local sports, and parking is a breeze with a large lot right behind the restaurant.
1222 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02118
Masa: Take a trip to the Yucatan without ever leaving Boston. Chef Philip Avilies is right on with this Southwestern, Tex-Mex establishment. With over seventy, yes seventy kinds of tequila and salsa dancing and lessons every Thursday night, it's actually not all about the food here. Although it could be. Start with the Mixto Ceviche or the Spicy Ahi Tuna Cabo Rolls and indulge in the roasted salmon with chipotle and horseradish crust or the southwestern style steak frite with chile dusted fries, chile lime arugula salad and Guajillo bourbon sauce. With all the tequila they have in house, they also make a fantastic margarita. Visit for brunch if your in the mood for a lazy southwest Sunday morning. Reservations are recommended.
439 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02116
Some other places I've been to that you should check out:
28 Degrees One Appleton St Boston, MA Ph: 617-728-0728
B&G Oysters 550 Tremont St Boston, MA Ph: 617-423-0550
The Butcher Shop 552 Tremont St Boston, MA Ph: 617-423-4800
The Dish 253 Shawmut Ave Boston, MA Ph: 617-426-7866
And some places that I still want to try:
Bob's Southern Bistro
Coming soon... Part II - The North End