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Phantom Gourmet Guide to Boston's Best Restaurants

Phantom Gourmet Guide to Boston's Best Restaurants

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Phantom Gourmet Guide to Boston's Best Restaurants

388 pagine
3 ore
Apr 1, 2010


Boston's well-known "mysterious" food critic has honed his compendium of restaurant knowledge into his selection of the Boston area's best restaurants. The Phantom lists his favorite eight (also known as the "Great Ate") restaurants in 60 categories from comfort food and fried clams to Chinese and Italian. There are also lists devoted to neighborhoods and regions, from the North End to the North Shore. The nearly 500 restaurant reviews are also catalogued in alphabetical, geographical, and cuisine indexes for easy reference.

Unlike the competition, this book has a voice and exhibits the well-respected local expertise of the Phantom Gourmet himself. Moreover, rather than list every restaurant under the sun, the Phantom selects the places he feels are worthwhile and explains why, giving restaurant-goers more guidance when they're looking for a place to eat.

Apr 1, 2010

Informazioni sull'autore

The Phantom Gourmet is the famous New England restaurant critic who dines in disguise and always pays his own bills. He is thus able to serve up the most honest and trustworthy restaurant reviews through television, radio, newspaper, and online outlets.

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Phantom Gourmet Guide to Boston's Best Restaurants - The Phantom Gourmet



by Category

Phantom dines at hundreds of restaurants every year in search of unforgettable dining rooms. Some candidates were obvious winners for their top-rated scores. Others stood out for memorable meals and a truly unique take on the spirit of dining out. From fine dining to take-out, only the 8 GREATEST eateries make it into Phantom’s all-time favorites

THE GREATEST: Fine! Fine! Fine! Dining

Berwick Rd., Ogunquit, Maine, (207) 361-1100,

When there’s a $50 per person cancellation fee, you know you’re either being taken for a ride or you’re in for something special. Arrows is the current record holder for Phantom’s all-time highest restaurant rating, making it well worth the trip to Maine. Set amidst dense woods and gorgeous gardens, this eighteenth-century farmhouse is highly romantic. Dressed-up diners duck into the wood-and-glass-encased porch, where a sprawling birch tree and square lanterns illuminate a woodland scene. The playful menu changes daily, with 90 percent of the restaurant’s produce grown on the grounds. They cure their own hams and fish, and each entrée is actually four mini creations. Seasonal inspirations might include red wine and honey-poached beef or cedar plank salmon with rosemary rhubarb candy.


612 Hammond St., Chestnut Hill, Mass., (617) 277-7888

Oishii is a snug sushi bar with ten coveted counter seats where customers can watch the sushi experts slice and roll. It’s a bare-basics closet of a room, but there’s no better dressed fish in town (or out of town)! Chef Ting crafts generous portions of tasty, superbly fresh fish. Phantom goes for the toro, which is the most fantastically fatty part of the tuna. At Oishii, the salmon shimmers, the red clam comes paper thin, and the spicy scallop hand rolls are sublime. Hot entrées are equally outstanding, with udon noodles and stone-grilled selections. There’s a second, more spacious location in Sudbury.

THE GREATEST: Exotic Flavors

134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, Mass., (617) 661-0505,

For Phantom’s adventurous palate, Oleana is in a flavor-filled league of its own. The Middle Eastern–influenced menu swirls exotic spice into Mediterranean dishes like sea scallops with tangerine butter. The only difficulty is deciding between fried mussels with hot peppers or za’atar lemon chicken with Turkish pancakes. Not to worry, you can order pre-appetizer bread spreads (Armenian bean & walnut pâté, anyone?) while making up your mind. Equally outrageous desserts include baked Alaska with passion fruit caramel and chocolate hazelnut baklava. The pretty dining room is intimate and rustic with stone tiling and colorful North African artifacts, and there’s a garden patio in warmer weather.

THE GREATEST: Tamales, Tostadas, & Tacos

192 Sumner St., Boston, Mass., (617) 567-4449

You won’t need much cash at this East Boston taqueria, where the tamales, tostadas, and tacos are awesome. The menu is Mexican meets Salvadoran, which means lots of tortillas, rice, and beans. Phantom especially loves their enchiladas piled with spicy pork, guacamole, pico de gallo, and sour cream. The pupusas, or ground corn cakes stuffed with meat and beans, make a tasty appetizer, and the Montanero plate is a feast of flank steak, a runny fried egg over rice, and glistening pork rinds. Definitely save room for desserts like the gushing sweet plantain empanadas.

THE GREATEST: Rare Cheeses & Gourmet Grocery

244 Huron Ave., Cambridge, Mass., (617) 354-4750,

Formaggio Kitchen is a gourmet grocer with the best cheese counter in the entire country. Phantom has eaten extensively through France and Italy, so he knows a good Roquefort or pecorino when he smells it. FK’s 400 varieties of funky fromage include 20 kinds of chèvre and rare artisan finds from across the globe. There’s a cheese cave in the basement for proper storing, and samples are spread around the store. The boutique space is packed to the picture windows with imported jams, oils, wine, unpasteurized olives, farm fresh eggs, and uncommon produce. Phantom could subsist on their house-made granola and cinnamon bread alone; their charcuterie specialist makes the best chicken liver mousse in town; and the kitchen takes creative license with tasty sandwiches and take-out dinners.


415 Washington St., Somerville, Mass., (617) 661-3254,

Dali has an exotic, eclectic atmosphere that’s like a nonstop party in a surrealistic flea market. It’s a highly ornamented, social space, but there’s plenty of potential for romantic dining due to sexy Latin music, recessed alcoves, and beaded curtains. The fruit-infused sangria pairs magically with Spanish tapas like roast duckling in berry sauce. Phantom also enjoys the sautéed Iberian sardines and the fried cheese with caramelized onions and honey. Dali’s signature is the fresh catch of the day baked in coarse salt, which they debone and fillet tableside. Birthdays are celebrated festively, with waiters singing in Spanish and blowing bubbles over the celebrant’s head.

THE GREATEST: Classy Comfort Food

1357 Washington St., Boston, Mass., (617) 423-0555,

Union Bar and Grille turns out urban comfort food for the stylish soul. The menu is nonethnic, yet on the forefront of creativity with dishes like the 10K tuna with a coriander crust and candied red peppers. The grilled BBQ ribs come with smoked sea salt, and every table starts off with skillet cornbread. Almost every one of their delicious desserts is capped with homemade ice cream in wild flavors like Marcona almond, ginger, or blood orange. The gothic-meets-urban scene combines massive wrought-iron chandeliers and black leather banquettes, and the dark lounge is framed in floor-to-ceiling glass and slanted mirrors.

THE GREATEST: Clay Oven Flatbread

5 Market Sq., Amesbury, Mass., (978) 834-9800,

The Flatbread Company supports local farms, using organic and natural ingredients. Their mission is commendable, but Phantom saves his loudest applause for the flatbreads themselves, fired in a massive, dome-shaped clay oven right in the dining room. The free-form crust is made from wheat, cake yeast, and spring water, resulting in chewiness and slim structure. Yummy flatbreads include Nitrate-Free Pepperoni with cauldron tomato sauce, Cheese & Herb with garlic oil, and Maple Fennel Sausage with caramelized onions. The earthy setting was converted from an old mill, so it’s easy to watch your kids while they run around the cavernous room. Additional Flatbread locations include Portland, Maine; North Conway, New Hampshire; and Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Bakeries help Phantom get through the day with hot breakfast pastries, sugary afternoon treats, and fresh-baked breads at dinner. Phantom gets his chocolate-frosted, fruit-topped fill at the 8 GREATEST bakeries.


1595 Washington St., Boston, Mass., (617) 267-4300,

Flour Bakery is a refreshingly calm café with soothing sky-blue walls, blond wood tables, and a gorgeous gourmet spread of pastries, breads, pizza, and quiche. The blackboard wall is chalked with the day’s specials, the weather forecast, and a quote of the day. In the morning, Phantom goes for chocolate brioche, sticky buns, and sour cream coffee cake. By lunch it’s time for an upscale BLT featuring apple-wood-smoked bacon. Their dainty little tarts come in four darling sizes with flavors like lemon lust, ooey-gooey caramel nut, fresh fruit, and chocolate truffle. They also bake delicate cookies like meringue clouds and Scharffen Berger chocolate

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