Dorchester What you're getting: Spaghetti alla Gricia, ester style Dorchester is full of hidden finds (Ashmont Grill, Tavolo, D Bar), but ester in Lower Mills somehow flies even lower under the radar. Criminal, really, as the restaurant ticks off all the boxes of the perfect neighborhood hangout. There’s a large bar area, a terrific burger and roast chicken, a non-condescending kid’s menu, and a rooftop garden that feeds many of the salads and sides. The back patio is its own discovery: an expansive, light-strung space with plush seating and a tiny bar area (good luck getting a seat there).
South End What you're getting: Spicy lobster BLT maki with butter-poached Maine lobster, organic bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, soy wrap, lobster cream reduction It’s one of the South End’s few sushi spots, yet it rarely makes best-sushi mention in any context. More for us then. The restaurant’s original maki list alone should be bringing you back once a week: duck maki, Kobe short rib maki, and a lobster BLT wonder that’s well worth the $16 price tag. But all your favorite rolls are here, along with an epic nigiri menu and a cost-effective bento box selection. As the name suggests, there’s also an attached wine shop, a jewel in its own right (we’re suckers for a killer bottle display).