10 Hottest New Restaurants in Boston
1- Little Donkey
Chef-duo Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette (Coppa, Toro) team up at this cool Central Square spot offering inventive, globally-inspired small plates that cull and combine inspiration from myriad cuisines, plus unique raw bar eats and a beverage program highlighting craft beers, small wine producers and creative cocktails. The open, airy room features floor-to-ceiling streetside windows and plenty of exposed brick and slatted wood furnishings.
Star chef Jody Adams helms this Mediterranean seafood restaurant in Back Bay, culling inspiration from regional coastal cuisines to create an array of crudo, seafood stew, whole fried fish and pastas. It's all served from an open kitchen in a blue-hued space adorned with scalloped tile, imported marble, netted crystal lighting and a ample-sized seasonal patio.
3- The Smoke Shop
Chef Andy Husbands, who travels the country on the competitive BBQ circuit, mans the pit at this 'cue joint in Kendall Square where diners gather for trays of classic smoked ribs and brisket, whole hog meals, East Asian–inspired barbecue sandwiches and Southern sides, matched with a substantial whiskey selection. The rustic digs have an Americana feel and a spacious patio that hosts live music performances.
4- Bar Mezzana
Colin Lynch, previously executive chef for star restaurateur Barbara Lynch's empire, branches out on his own with this sparkling coastal Italian gem in the South End's Ink Block development turning out fresh crudo, handmade pasta, and modern large plates. The airy, midcentury-meets-Amalfi dining room features a large bar and seasonal patio.
5- Wink & Nod
With a nod to the Prohibition era, this South End speakeasy pours craft cocktails in festive glassware paired with Eclectic cuisine-hopping eats from the latest inhabitant of a culinary incubator program that offers temporary residency to roving pop-up concepts. Rendered in reds and golds with snakeskin-backed seating, black leather banquettes and zebra rugs, the sensuous setting is equally transporting.
Two concepts cohabitate at this eclectic eatery in the Fenway neighborhood: the beach house-inspired front room, dubbed the "expo kitchen," slings wood-fired pizzas, fresh-shucked oysters and creative small bites, while the rear "club room," suggests a Cuban lounge serving more refined fare around a four-sided glass fireplace. Tiki cocktails anchor the beverage menus, and there's a small seasonal patio, too.
7- Kava neo-taverna
Tucked on a quiet corner in the trendy South End, this chic little number, a sophisticated taverna swathed in stone and reclaimed wood, serves up a small plates–focused array of Hellenic cuisine made with imported ingredients, and stocks its bar with unique Greek wines and spirits.
8- Stoked Wood Fired Pizza
A popular food truck has spawned this Brookline brick-and-mortar with a loose music motif (founder Scott Riebling hails from the band Letters to Cleo), where creative pies are crisped quickly in a massive oven and sides like spicy chicken wings push the menu beyond the confines of the mobile original. Also on offer: A curated collection of draft cocktails, craft brews and affordable wines.
This minimalist European-style neighborhood cafe in Union Square combines a youthful hipness with refined culinary techniques showcased in breakfast, lunch and (early) dinner plates available for grab-and-go or seated service. A redwood counter with six seats facing the open kitchen offers exclusive options like breakfast prix fixe menus that highlight rotating global cuisines and custom matcha tea service.
In the style of a Venetian bacaro, or wine bar, this South End Italian keeps the vino flowing and the small plates (including sophisticated house made pastas) coming to guests gathered in the hobnob-enabling dining room, outfitted with drink rails to encourage mingling, or on the cloistered rear patio.