Best Chef Tables in Boston

Front-Row Seats
September 17, 2015
by Zagat Staff

Here's Zagat's best picks if you want to see Boston's best chefs up close and personal.

French · Seaport District · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.6

"The theater of a perfectly crafted restaurant unfolds" at Barbara Lynch’s "fabulous" French-Italian in the Seaport District’s Fort Point, thanks to an "impeccable" team that "accommodates individual preferences" and provides an "educational experience" throughout each course; the "over-the-top" experience in the "romantic" , "formal" space is a "wallet emptier" , but it’s "worth the obscene amount" to be treated like "an oligarch for the night."
Bistro du Midi
French · Park Square · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.4

There’s "a little bit of Paris" at this Park Square French offering "solidly rooted" , "classic" Provençal cuisine enlivened with "modern presentation" for "great style and flair" and complemented by a "well-chosen" wine list; service is "exceedingly attentive" in the "elegant" dining room, which is nestled amid a stretch of tony boutiques and hotels and features "beautiful park views" , all making for a "romantic" pick that leaves diners "feeling cherished."
Ten Tables
American · Jamaica Plain · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.3

Locally sourced ingredients shine in "creative" American cuisine "prepared with care and balance" in a "tiny kitchen" at this Jamaica Plain nook; an "exceptional wine list" , plus a staff that’s "cleverer than most" and relatively "reasonable" price points, add to the appeal as a "great date place."
Alden & Harlow
Brunch · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.4

"Adventurous eaters" descend on this Harvard Square "hot spot" , where the "superb" , shareable New American offerings are "seasonal" and "inventive" , and there’s also a notable ‘Secret Burger’ (available in limited quantities at dinner); "accommodating" service and "creative drinks" from "excellent mixologists" assure "lively" crowds at the "exciting bar" and an atmosphere of "electricity" in the subterranean space featuring a "contemporary" spin on rustic decor.
Italian · $
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.5

"Fabulous" homemade pasta steals the show at this Porter Square Italian, where fans praise the "great care" evident in "exquisite" , "thoughtfully prepared" plates with "precise flavors" and seasonings that work in "symphonic harmony" ; "unpretentious, attentive" service enhances the "comfortable, stylish" oak and brick–filled space – that is, "if you can get in" ; P.S. the pasta prep space is repurposed as a chef’s table at night.
Craigie On Main
French · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.4

Guests find "food nirvana" at this "memorable" "must-try" in Cambridge, where chef Tony Maws’ "masterful technique" and locavore sensibility produce "sublime" , seasonal French-American fare, including tasting menus that deserve a spot on every diner’s "bucket list" ; a "well-trained" staff mans the "cool" dining room and bar, the latter of which serves a famous (if "pricey" ) burger in limited quantities alongside its "inventive" cocktails.
O Ya
Japanese · Leather District · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.5

Each "utterly amazing" plate is presented as "a work of art" at chef Tim Cushman’s "exceptional" Leather District izakaya, a sushi lover’s "dream come true" (especially if splurging on a grand omakase tasting that feels like "a dining experience of a lifetime" ); dinner will "definitely cost you an arm and a fin" , but "attentive" service and a "discreet, relaxing" ambiance ensure that "if you can afford it" , it’s "worth every cent.