Another day, another list. Yesterday, GQ released its list of the 12 Most Outstanding Restaurants in America, and Cambridge’s own West Bridge (deservedly) made the cut. Today, The Daily Meal has announced its annual list of the 101 Best Restaurants in America, and three local restaurants are on it.
Marc Hurwitz, the local man behind the wildly popular Boston Restaurant Talk and Hidden Boston blogs, served on The Daily Meal’s judging panel, which consisted of 174 experts. The panelists were tasked with voting on 202 nominees (narrowed from 303) based on location, type of cuisine, factors of price, level of “buzz,” formality of food and atmosphere, classic status and epic meal experience offered.
Hurwitz describes his experience narrowing down thousands of restaurants across the nation into a bite-sized package: “Honestly, the toughest part was the fact that the restaurants nominated were from all over the country, including from a number of areas in which I’ve never been. And there were so many restaurants included that it took awhile to get through them all.”
Luckily for us, he did. Without further ado, here are the three local restaurants named to The Daily Meal’s List of 101 Best Restaurants in America.
#66 Craigie on Main
James Beard Award-winning chef Tony Maws’ Cambridge, Mass., restaurant doesn’t hold back, or leave anything behind for that matter. With a self-described “nose-to-tail, stem-to-root, and fin-to-gills” style, dishes like confit and roasted milk-fed pig’s head with Peking pancakes, spicy pumpkin sambal, and boudin noir-hoisin sauce have kept the restaurant in the spotlight year after year. In 2012 alone, the restaurant made Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 list as well as Boston Magazine’s Best of Boston list, and landed on Food & Wine’s list of the best burgers in the U.S.
Chef Ken Oringer’s consistently impressive fare lands Clio on Boston Magazine’s lists of the best restaurants year after year. Oringer, one of the city’s most notable and respected chefs, serves up wildly inventive dishes including monkfish osso bucco and black licorice roasted Muscovy duck, while nodding to his forebears with items like truffle soup ŕ la Paul Bocuse. Since its opening in 1997, Clio’s reputation has only continued to improve, and a 2012 makeover, which expanded the bar but kept the leopard-print carpet, assured its success for years to come.
Chef Tim Cushman brings innovative sushi and related new-Japanese fare (hamachi belly with yuzu soy marinated sea urchin, foie gras gyoza with pink peppercorns) to his menu with imagination and flair, serving these and other truly wonderful dishes, accompanied by a large choice of excellent sake and wine, in an understated dining room whose simplicity belies the complexity of flavors on the plate. It’s a treat (of course) to sit at the sushi bar, a vantage point for watching the chefs prepare what are often otherworldly looking treats. Cushman won the 2012 James Beard Award for Best Chef Northeast.
Honorable mentions go out to our New England neighbors to the north and south for making the cut as well: Al Forno in Providence, Rhode Island and Fore Street, Portland, Maine.
Check out the complete list here.
Which local restaurants do you think should have made the list?