Boston magazine shows Downtown Boston restaurants a little Top 50 love

Posted November 4, 2014 by Cheryl Fenton in Eat & Drink
Bao at Shojo

When the city’s dining horizon looks as good as Boston’s, it’s tough to decide where to go. So we anxiously await someone (we’re looking at you, Boston magazine) to give us the scoop on the best. Thankfully, the magazine recently released its ranking of the Top 50 Restaurants in the city. They call it their “call-it-like-we-see-it ranking.” We call it pure culinary genius on what makes our city a dining destination. Here’s a peek into the downtown Boston restaurants that made the grade.

O Ya #1 (9 East St., Boston, 617-654-9900): When labor intensive sushi is done right, people take notice. Get ready to notice this tiny casual eatery. Works of art are piled high in decadent fashion, created by sushi experts and appreciated by Boston’s cool kids. The magazine’s “can’t miss dish” is the quailegg chawan mushi with uni, trout roe,and soy-maple dashi. But with tons of other choices on the menu, like scarlet sea scallop nigiri with white soy yuzu sauce and Santa Barbara sea urchin and Russian Ossetra caviar, we can’t help but say Oh yeah.

Inside Erbaluce

Erbaluce is an intimate destination for northern Italian dishes.

Erbaluce #19 (69 Church St., Boston, 617-426-6969): Chef Charles Draghi brings a little northern Italy to Bay Village, with simple, focused flavors of fresh herbs, fruit and vegetable essences, and natural roasting juices. The menu changes nightly. Read: don’t get too cozy with any of the dishes, but imagine fettuccine with roasted beets, beet greens, speck and sage; wild boar roasted over walnut shells with a wild concord grape mosto; and seared pine mushroom salad with taleggio and wild arugula. Wash it all down with sips from their all-Italian wine list.

Ostra #22 (One Charles St. S., Boston, 617-421-1200): If the decor isn’t enough to bring you in (there’s B/W style, chilly ice showcasing today’s catch and live piano), chef/owner Jamie Mammano’s (of Mistral fame) smoked-to-order salmon, seafood paella and grilled sea bream in trevisano leaf will seal the deal for this Mediterranean restaurant.

Bistro du Midi #32 (272 Boylston St., Boston, 617-426-7878): Boasting a menu that drips of Provençal, this Public Garden bistro is under the talent of executive chef and Le Bernardin alum Robert Sisca. The Bouillabaisse du Midi; Braised Lamb Neck with Goat Cheese Polenta; and Pan Seared Tilefish with Native Clams in a Citronelle Broth aren’t to be missed, while the two-person Plat au Four is worth the hour it takes to roast, present and carve.

Shojo #44 (9A Tyler St., Boston, 617-423-7888): It’s no wonder this modern Chinatown eatery made the cut. The dark cavern of kooky hand painted murals gives the Asian cuisine of former O Ya chef Mark O’Leary a chance to shine. Mostly small plates, there’s huge flavor in dishes like the Suckling Pig Bao and Kimchi Fried Rice.

Boston magazine ate its way through the city. Now it’s your turn.