Chef Richard and Chef Katie

A few of our favorite things…

In At Work, Catering, Restaurant on December 6, 2012 at 6:30 pm

On the tails of Boston Magazine’s release of this year’s picks for the 50 best restaurants, we thought it would be fun to compile a list of our own local top picks, and not just on the restaurant front. We’ve taken it a step further to include our 50 best picks for all things food related in the Greater Boston Area, why we like them and what we get when we’re there. These are in no particular order, by the way.

JM Curley – We come for the amazing burgers and unique twists on junk food and comfort food classics, but we stay for the unique cocktails in a warm, friendly atmosphere that always treats us like family.

The 21 Temple Gin and Tonic at JM Curley

The 21 Temple Gin and Tonic at JM Curley

East by Northeast – The perfect spot for an intimate dinner, it’s inventive, fun and completely delicious. Easily the best deal in town, an 8-course tasting menu is a steal at $38/person. A superb weekend brunch is also not to be missed.

Russo’s – Where would we be without Russo’s? Featuring hard to find fruits and vegetables, cheeses, flowers and spices, it’s our go-to spot for produce and prices that simply can’t be beat. We especially love the prepared Muhammara and the fact that we can never leave without piling our cart high. Tip; try shopping on a weekday to avoid the dreaded weekend crowd.

Craigie on Main – A great spot for a blow-out dinner, we especially love sneaking in to the bar area (which accepts reservations) and ordering the best burger in town. But get there early, they only sell a limited number of burgers each night.

Armenian Row, Mt. Auburn Street in Watertown – A great stretch of four unique Armenian markets, we always stock up on pita, sumac and pomegranate molasses among other things.

Sofra – A great spot for an in-between meal, order a Mezze plate and dip your heart out with hearty, middle eastern fare from an ever-changing menu. Seating is limited, so try going at an odd time or accept the fact that you might be dining in your car.

Marty’s – A great selection of wine, beer and liquor, we’ve been going to Marty’s for years. Ok, not that long, we aren’t that old. Mustard lover? Marty’s sells quite possibly the largest container of Dijon mustard we’ve ever seen at an absurdly low price.

Cabot’s – The ice cream shop Richard grew up with, it’s cash only at this Newtonville establishment. You can’t go wrong with any of their ice cream flavors, split one of their enormous sundaes for an extra special treat.

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Classic Hot Fudge Sundae at Cabot’s

Anna’s Taqueria – Who says there’s no good burritos in Boston? We love Anna’s, paired with a Horchata and it’s a far-too frequent late night meal after a long work day.

New England Mobile Book Fair/Brookline Booksmith – Our two favorite local book stores, they each feature a terrific selection of cookbooks and food biography’s.

Back Bay Social Club – It will always hold a special place in our hearts because it’s where we first met. The burger ($23) is pricey but exceptional.

Wasik’s Cheese Shop –  A friendly staff that always points us in the direction of the best cheeses, this Wellesley shop in usually a fun treat for us when we’re in celebration mode.

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Wasik’s Cheeses

Formaggio Kitchen – Of course their cheese selection is terrific, but we also stock up on affordable and interesting wines, vinegars, international condiments and an amazing selection of honey and jams.

Myers and Chang – We love everything about Myers and Chang, boasting expertly executed Chinese food and a vibrant atmosphere. Head over for Cheap Date Night on Mondays and Tuesday where two people can enjoy a five-course Prix Fixe menu for only $40.

The Regal Beagle – Ok, call us lame if you want, but this Coolidge Corner cutie is where we enjoyed cocktails on our first date. Cozy on up in the bar area and drink the night away.

Christina’s Ice Cream/Spice Shop – Fun and unique ice cream on one side, and an affordable and avant garde spice shop on the other side and you have one of our favorite stores in the area. They also carry a wide selection of grains, flours and teas.

Cristina's Spice Shop's Wall of Sauces

Christina’s Spice Shop’s Wall of Sauces

Allandale Farm – Featuring impeccable produce all year round, they have one of the best summer CSA shares and enough in-store goodies to keep us happy and well fed no matter the season.

Russell House Tavern – A gastropub wouldn’t do this Harvard Square restaurant justice, we love their cocktails, bar snacks and overall vibe. You might find us seated downstairs ordering the “secret” burger; a rotating burger created by the super talented Michael Scelfo.

What's left of our meal at Russell House Tavern..

What’s left of our meal at Russell House Tavern..

The Hawthorne – As if you’re sipping drinks in a friend’s dining room, The Hawthorne is where we like to go for fancy cocktails. A unique and lengthy drink menu wins us over every time.

Boston Center for Adult Education – We teach here regularly and it’s one of our favorite places to be. The facilities are beautiful and the staff is very friendly, it’s a great place to brush up on some cooking skills or take one of their many courses offered year round.

Getting ready for class!

Getting ready for class!

HMart – The best place for Asian groceries, we like to stock up on Soy Sauce, Miso, Noodles, Steamed Buns and Spring Roll Wrappers. The food court is small but has some great options, and Saturday is Sample Saturday where you can taste treats from every section of the store.

Wilson Farm – We frequently head here for a great array of fruits and vegetables all grown on their farm, apple cider in the fall, and plenty of delicious breads to choose from in their bakery.

Dave’s Fresh Pasta – When we’re not in the mood for making our own pasta, we go to this Davis Square spot for fun and delicious house-made pasta. It’s always fresh and reliable.

Restaurant Depot – While it can be crowded at times, we find it more than worthwhile to head here for large quantities of beef, seafood and cheeses for large-scale catering gigs. The prices are incredibly low, and Richard gets to flex his muscles carrying 50 pound packages of short ribs to the car. everybody wins!

Saloon– It may be hard to find at first, but once you head downstairs you are in for a treat.Not only are the cocktails top-notch, the food menu has snacks, both big and small, to keep you warm and satisfied. Try the beer battered pickled peppers for an ideal bar snack.

No.9 Park – When we dress up we like to hit the town, and No.9 Park is one of the best restaurants for a reason. The legendary prune-stuffed gnocchi lives up to and exceeds all the hype.

China Fair – Sure some of the items have been on the shelves for seemingly forever, but the prices and variety on serving plates, bowls, stockpots and containers of all shapes and sizes is hard to beat.

Sophia’s Greek Pantry – We don’t care if the yogurt is fat-free or not (hello, Seinfeld) it’s easily the best Greek yogurt we’ve ever tasted. Try a giant container of the non-fat honey and thank us later.

Jo Jo Taipei – Some of the best food around, period, we especially love the Pork Belly steamed buns and soup dumplings.

Pork Buns at Jo Jo Taipei

Pork Buns at Jo Jo Taipei

All Star Sandwich Bar – The Atomic Meatloaf sandwich is everything they say it is; luscious, spicy and hearty, it’s one of our favorite sandwiches in the city.

Infusions Tea Spa – Our favorite for Bubble Tea in the summer, all the fruit teas are delicious and for something different try the smoked plum.

Cheryl Ann’s – It’s cash only, but be sure to grab some Rugelach and a loaf of Challah, which we usually consume all of before we even get home.

Ruggelach at Cheryl Ann's

Rugelach at Cheryl Ann’s

La Verdad – The Tortas are amazing, and we actually like standing in the take-out section of the restaurant, where we can watch the women hand-make fresh tortillas.

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The Torta at La Verdad

Bon Chon – Probably the best fried chicken we’ve ever had, Richard has been known to threaten late night outings to the Allston location on more than a few locations. Go for the half spicy, half soy chicken combo and a draft of Sapporo.

Whole Foods – We know, we know, there are a lot of  Whole Foods haters out there, but not us. Our morning always starts with a walk to the Brighton store so we can get cooking for our personal chef clients, and it’s also nice to have a smiling staff ready to help us and get our day started.

Penzey’s Spices- A great, affordable selection, we love visiting the Arlington store because you can get different sizes for all of their spices. Now there’s no need to over-buy and get stuck with a spice you don’t use that often.

Regina’s Pizzaria – This North End establishment is our favorite, try going at an odd time and you won’t be left standing in the inevitable long lines that form quickly. A sausage or meatball pie is usually our go-to pizza.

Picco – Something a little more refined and different, this South End pizza place specializes in pizza and ice cream. What more do you need?

Savenor’s – If it was good enough for Julia it’s good enough for us. It’s fun to experiment with their unique selection of game meats (elk or bear, anyone?) and fun choices of condiments and sauces. The sandwich counter at the Cambridge location is also exceptional.

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Savenor’s in Cambridge

Monica’s – This tiny North End store has the best Italian Sub anywhere, and the selection of antipasti and cheeses is also great.

Roxy’s Grilled Cheese – Rock and Roll grilled cheese served up by a great crew and a constantly changing menu that is fun and always wants you leaving more.

Dok Bua – The lunch/dinner specials are ridiculously affordable and delicious. We especially love the Pad-Si-Ew and Pad-Ki-Mow.

Lincoln – A new addition to the Boston restaurant scene, we venture into Southie for the inviting atmosphere and most importantly, the pizza. It’s one of the best we’ve had in the city.

The Lincoln Pizza

The Lincoln Pizza

Hamersley’s – There are some dishes in Boston that never go out of style. Take the Roast Chicken at Hamersley’s in the South End for example. Lemony, Herby and perfectly cooked, there’s no twists or turns, just damn good chicken.

Cafe Polonia – Honoring our Polish roots, we like to start our meal with a big cup of Barszcz (Polish beet Soup) before splitting the “Polish Plate”; an oval platter overflowing with all the classics to make our Polish hearts skip a beat. Pierogies, Kielbasa and Bigos – oh my!

KO Catering and Pies – Fancy a meat pie, mate? This quaint Aussie joint in Southie specializes in handheld meat pies. Hearty, meaty and piping hot, we can’t get enough.

S & I To Go – If we’re ordering take out, it’s most likely from here. The dinner specials can’t be beat. Coming in at only $8 a pop, we get more than enough food to keep us full, not to mention satisfied.

Spring Rolls from the S & I To Go Dinner Special

Spring Rolls from the S & I To Go Dinner Special

Caffe Vittoria – Located right on the main drag on Hanover Street in the North End, Caffe Vittoria’s cappuccino’s are dusted with cocoa powder before they arrive at your table and if that’s not enough, the people watching is the best. Grab a seat and you’ll see what we mean.

Fuel America – Our favorite coffee shop vibe; a relaxing  and cozy atmosphere with some Indie music playing in the background, if you want to meet us to plan out a catered event, we’re probably going to suggest here. Great coffee and fun snacks, this spot is the type of place you’ll want to waste away the day at.

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  1. […] (which I miss, btw), Boston Magazine does the 50 best restaurants each fall, and most recently, The Skinny Beet came out with a list of their favorite restaurants and food shops in the Boston […]

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