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Boston's Top Restaurant & Food News of the Week

By Scott Kearnan
August 29, 2014

This week we announced the results of our Best Burgers Surveys, which let Zagat readers from across the country cast their votes on their city's top patty. In Boston, the winner was (drumroll please) the grass-fed burger at Craigie on Main (pictured). You can check out the full Top 10 right here, and then review all the city winners too. (Rule #1 of travel: Always know where to find a good burger.) Since Craigie was the winner, and its "off menu" status a bit of local lore, we grabbed chef Tony Maws to talk about the high-end burger craze he helped launch locally, and continues to purvey at Kirkland Tap & Trotter, his Somerville spot that is about to celebrate its first anniversary. Check out our chat here. If your favorite didn't make the Top 10, take heart. It may have wound up among our Honorable Mentions, which looked at some of the other popular runner-ups from spots like Charlie's Kitchen and Boston Chops. [Zagat Boston]

It's been a relatively quiet month on the openings front, but this week saw a pretty high-profile one — particularly for a pastry spot. Welcome to the South End, Café Madeleine, which comes to us from acclaimed pastry chef Frédéric Robert, a James Beard Award winner and decades-spanning collaborator with Alain Ducasse. The small space is stocked to the (elegant) gills with sweet and savory treats and small batch coffee. [Zagat Boston]

While it's not quite an opening, there's a big turnover taking place at Wink & Nod, where on September 1 the kitchen trades hands: chef duo Whisk is out, and pop-up Bread & Salt Hospitality is in, setting up semi-permanent shop as part of the restaurant's "culinary incubator program." Bread & Salt chef Josh Lewin, an alum of Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro, gave us an early look at the menu, which is complemented by a Southeast Asian-leaning "South End Night Market" menu on Monday nights, to coincide with the bar program's weekly tiki specials. [Zagat Boston]

Heading to the North End anytime soon? If so, you'll want to check out this Chef's Guide from Boston magazine, which followed chefs Dante de Magstris (Dante, Il Casale) and Tony Susi (formerly of Sage, among others), both neighborhood residents, on a crawl of their favorite restaurants. Among the picks are spots like Taranta, Prezza, and Neptune Oyster, which also made our recent North End neighborhood guide. But the toques also took time to sing the praises of a few others, like Artu, Aria Trattoria and Pomodoro. [Boston magazine]

News has been swirling that the team behind South End gastropub The Gallows would soon debut something new: Blackbird Doughnuts. Now we know where it will nest. Gallows owner Rebecca Roth Gullo confirms to Boston magazine that Blackbird will be heading to 492 Tremont Street, and is aiming to open by the end of the year. Adjust your gym schedules accordingly. [Boston magazine]

Thrillist declared its picks for the 21 Best Mexican Restaurants in America, and a lone Boston eatery made the list: El Centro, specifically its original South End location. [Thrillist] 

Nationally acclaimed cocktail guru John Gertsen recently stepped down from his role as GM at Drink and is preparing for an imminent move to San Francisco, where he'll explore new opportunities while serving as Spirits and Hospitality Ambassador for Barbara Lynch Gruppo. But first he gave an interview to BostonChefs.com, talking Boston cocktail culture and Toto's "Africa." (You'll have to read it.) [BostonChefs.com]

Places Mentioned

Dante Restaurant

Italian • Cambridge

Food24 Decor22 Service23 Cost$52
 
 
 
Aria Trattoria

Italian • North End

Food- Decor- Service- CostE
 
 
 
Pomodoro

Italian • North End

Food25 Decor21 Service22 Cost$36
 
 
 
Artu

Italian • North End

Food24 Decor20 Service23 Cost$35
 
 
 
il Casale BELMONT

Italian • Belmont

Food25 Decor23 Service23 Cost$49
 
 
 
il Casale LEXINGTON

Italian • Lexington

Food- Decor- Service- CostE
 
 
 
Taranta

Peruvian • North End

Food26 Decor20 Service23 Cost$41
 
 
 
Prezza

Italian • North End

Food27 Decor22 Service24 Cost$55
 
 
 
Neptune Oyster

Seafood • North End

Food28 Decor23 Service24 Cost$43
 
 
 
Craigie On Main

French • Cambridge

Food28 Decor24 Service26 Cost$72
 
 
 
The Kirkland Tap & Trotter

New American • Somerville

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
Boston Chops

Steakhouse • South End

Food- Decor- Service- CostE
 
 
 
Charlie's Kitchen

Cambridge

Food- Decor18 Service19 CostI
 
 
 
Wink & Nod

Bar • South End

Atmo.- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
The Gallows

South End

Food24 Decor24 Service23 Cost$34
 
 
 
El Centro Mexican Restaurant

Mexican • South End

Food23 Decor23 Service21 Cost$26
 
 
 
 
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