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As Seen on TV: 10 Boston Restaurants From Food-Show Stars

By Scott Kearnan
July 26, 2013

Food TV is responsible for a lot of things. It's made us savvier about what we order, smarter about cooking and a little softer around the middle. (If only we scheduled our gym visits as religiously as our DVR.) Most of all, it's introduced us to colorful, talented chefs from plenty of cooking and competition shows. In honor of the just-debuted new season of Top Chef Masters, here's where to find some of them in Boston.

  • Blue Inc. from Jason Santos

    Jason Santos knows how to make an impact. He sure did on Hell's Kitchen, where he came in runner-up on the seventh season. His head-turning blue hair inspired the name of his Financial District restaurant Blue Inc., where the food and drink sometimes invoke dazzling displays of his molecular gastronomy. At his newest spot, Theater District spot Abby Lane, the menu is geared toward more subtle spins on comfort food.

    131 Broad St.; 617-261-5353

  • Rialto from Jody Adams

    Chef Jody Adams has admitted she had never even watched Top Chef Masters before competing on the show's second season. But Boston diners are definitely familiar with her: the grande dame is behind the long-standing, Mediterranean-inspired Rialto restaurant in the Charles Hotel and newer, globally inspired Trade on Boston's waterfront.

    1 Bennett St., Cambridge; 617-661-5050

  • Coppa from Jamie Bissonnette

    Bissonnette appeared on two episodes of Chopped, taking home the $10,000 grand prize for one of them. But the punk-loving, tattooed toque, one of Boston's earliest nose-to-tail gurus, is also chef-owner of two South End spots: Coppa and Toro. In this case, both are winners.

    253 Shawmut Ave.; 617-391-0902

  • Harvest from Mary Dumont

    At her Harvard Square restaurant, Dumont creates contemporary New England dishes using the freshest and finest of the season. And she did a fine job representing herself on seasons of Iron Chef America and The Next Iron Chef.

    44 Brattle St., Cambridge; 617-868-2255

  • Barrio Cantina from Michael Schlow

    Michael Schlow didn't make it to the top of Top Chef Masters, but in Boston he's an alpha dog restaurateur. Schlow has his hands full with his latest Fenway neighborhood spot, Barrio Cantina, and works to keep his longtime local favorites, Tico and Via Matta, humming along. Plus he's consulting chef for the restaurant at The Sinclair, a Cambridge music club, and has two fine-dining establishments in the suburbs: Alta Strada in Wellesley and Pine Restaurant in woodsy northern New Hampshire.

    1363 Boylston St.; 857-753-4100

  • Sweet Cheeks Q from Tiffani Faison

    She showed her saucy side on the first season of Top Chef, where she placed runner-up, and a sweeter side when she returned for Top Chef: All-Stars. Now with her mouthwatering barbecue restaurant, Sweet Cheeks Q, Faison spices up the Fenway neighborhood food scene.

    1381 Boylston St.; 617-266-1300

  • Boston Chops from Chris Coombs

    Coombs may not have walked away from either of his two Chopped appearances with the $10,000 grand prize, but somehow we think he'll do just fine. At a prodigious age, Coombs was already commanding the contemporary American kitchen at Dorchester's dbar and bringing his French flourish to the Back Bay's Deuxave. And this spring, the Zagat 30 Under 30 honoree opened his third venture, Boston Chops, a swank steakhouse-slash-social scene.

    1375 Washington St.; 617-227-5011

  • Blue Dragon from Ming Tsai

    Asian-French fusion chef Ming Tsai, the man behind esteemed Blue Ginger in Wellesley and the new Blue Dragon by Fort Point Channel, didn't need his stint on The Next Iron Chef to make him a TV star. The Emmy Award-winning host of the Food Network's former Ming's Quest, he continues to run his own show, Simply Ming, on American Public Television.

    324 A St.; 617-338-8585

  • Nebo Restaurant from Carla and Christine Pallotta

    There's a lot to like on the menu at Nebo, the upscale Italian restaurant that just relocated from the North End to bigger digs by the waterfront. But make sure you try the vegetable lasagna: that's the dish that won these chef sisters their Throwdown With Bobby Flay

    520 Atlantic Ave.; 617-723-6326

  • Cakeology from Victoria Donnelly

    Naturally we had to polish off this list with dessert. And Donnelly is a two-time winner of Cupcake Wars. Ah, success. How sweet it is.

    45 Province St.; 857-239-9507

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