Alden & Harlow
Bar Boulud Boston
La Brasa
M.C. Spiedo
The Bancroft
Bastille Kitchen
Liquid Art House
Pastoral - ARTisan Pizza, Kitchen & Bar
Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar
Parla North End
David Krugman
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1. Alden & Harlow 40 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138

Alden & Harlow, located in Harvard Square, is serving inventive American cuisine from a constantly changing menu. Aside from unique small plates like chicken-fried rabbit and pickled corn pancakes, the kitchen makes an understated but decadent burger, simply dressed with shredded lettuce, a secret sauce, and a crisp frico. The semi-secret burger is available in limited quantities, so don't be surprised to see people lining up at 5pm for it.

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2. Bar Boulud 776 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

Following the success of Bar Boulud New York (and London), superstar Chef Daniel Boulud brings his traditional French bistro cuisine to Boston. Chef de Cuisine Aaron Chambers adds seasonal New England-inspired dishes to the already inspired menu with selections like Coq au Vin, jazzed up with bacon lardons, terrines & pates, and signature house made sausages. There’s also “The Frenchie”, an extravagant burger with pork belly confit and Morbier cheese on brioche.

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3. La Brasa 124 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02145

Enjoy some pumped-up Mexican flavors from Daniel Bojorquez and Frank McClelland -- dishes like Smoked Bone-In Pork Milanese, Lamb Shank Pozole, and Barbecued Beef Brisket will keep you coming back.

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4. M.C. Spiedo 606 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

They've got hand-made pastas, a 40in steel spit roasting delicious meats like suckling pig, and market carts circling the floor with irresistible antipasti... what's next, a recipe derived from some of Da Vinci's writings? Oh yeah, they've got that too.

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5. The Bancroft 15 Third Ave, Burlington, MA 01803

This cavernous suburban restaurant has all the delicious and mood-setting frills to make sure Burlington is worth the drive. From the house made flavored salts that season the cuts, the tomahawk steak presented tableside, then brought back to the kitchen for carving, to the polenta cakes shaped like little cows that accompany each steak. As far as setting, Bancroft's modern iron and glass decor is a refreshing detour from the standard dark wood and brass, and both the cocktail and wine programs demand you designate someone else to drive home.

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6. Bastille Kitchen 49 Melcher St, Boston, MA 02210

Fancy eats like Frisée Aux Lardons, Vanilla Butter-Poached Lobster, and Beef Short Rib Wellington are complemented by a deftly assembled wine list at Bastille Kitchen.

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7. Liquid Art House 100 Arlington St, Boston, MA 02116

This grand experiment is equal parts restaurant, gallery, showroom, lounge, and online platform. The food is just about as artistic as the pieces they're showing off on the walls: handmade dumplings with duck cracklings, Brussels sprouts, aged Gouda, and Asian pear; or Maple Planked Arctic Char with baby potatoes, quail eggs, dill pickles, sour cream, and roe.

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8. Pastoral 345 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

Pastoral's got rustic pizzas, like duck sausage and clam topped with house-made mozzarella, as well as the option for you to grab their pastas, sauces, and cheeses to make your own treats at home.

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9. Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar 381 Summer St, Somerville, MA 02144

Located in Davis Square, Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar offers roadhouse regional comfort food from Chef/Partner John Delpha and Chef/Owner Joe Cassinelli, known for his nearby Davis Square faves Posto and The Painted Burro. There are traditional plates like fried green tomatoes and the fried chicken thigh platter, as well as distinctive must-try dishes like dry fried green beans (with smoked pork shoulder) and the "BBQ Baconator Meatloaf Fatty" (poblano-onion gravy).

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10. Parla 230 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02113

Parla's an Italian speakeasy with classy cocktails like the Dillinger Sidecar (rye, Solerno Blood Orange, fresh lemon). Get cozy with some fancy cuisine, too, like their squid ink gnocchi or roasted bone marrow.

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11. Juniper 13 Central St, Wellesley, MA 02482

Chef Dave Becker, of Sweet Basil in Needham fame, brings Eastern Mediterranean to Wellesley. There are many unique bites throughout the menu. For mezze and spreads, nosh some lamb tartare, baharat-spiced crispy oysters, and smoked eggplant baba ghanoush. Then stuff yourself with smoky lamb bolognese, bolstered by handmade saffron pappardelle, grilled baharat skirt steak topped by whipped feta yogurt, or roasted pork tenderloin doused with pomegranate barbecue sauce. Save room for dessert, because you need pecan pie baklava.