We're constantly covering all the important openings around Boston, but every now and then it helps to have a refresher. Especially when you're looking for new spots. Here's a roundup of the most notable openings, plus some handy links to our more in-depth looks. Listed from new to recent, we'll continue to update this list periodically as additional restaurants are unveiled.
Must-order: Though Little Donkey is all about small plates, you've got to get your hands around the messy burger of dry-aged Pat LaFrieda beef topped with pickles marinated in Buffalo sauce, caramelized onions, seared pieces of foie gras, crispy jalapeño chips and a little slathering of onion soup dip–inspired mayo.
Insider tip: On the beverage side, get punch-drunk on the Donkey Punch, a mix of reposado, cassis, lime and agave served in a halved melon.
Must-order: Seafood and pasta are perfectly paired in this small plate of housemade squid-ink bucatini. It's topped with crispy squid and tossed with a citrus and Fresno chile sauce, shaved fennel, pickled peppers and herbs.
Insider tip: The Mediterranean-hopping fare incorporates ideas from the sea's North African side, including a stellar dessert of om ali, an Egyptian bread pudding. Porto's chocolate om ali takes coconut-coriander puff pastry cookies and adds chocolate-coconut pastry cream, then tops it all with coconut sorbet, chocolate ganache and toasted coconut.
Must-order: Husbands' award-winning pork ribs have scored him plenty of ribbons on the competitive BBQ circuit as part of his nationally touring IQUE team.
Insider tip: If you can pull together a few friends, go for the whole hog, a reservations-only feast that feeds up to a dozen hungry pigs.
Must-order: Seafood is emphasized, but we can't pass up Bar Mezzana's fried rabbit, marinated in orange, cinnamon and garlic, dipped in buttermilk and a flour-semolina combo, then fried with rosemary. It's accompanied by black olive–chile mayo and a side salad.
Insider tip: Don't snooze on stellar cocktails created by beverage director Ryan Lotz, another Lynch Gruppo vet, previously of No. 9 Park. We're partial to the Amaro di Cocco, rum with Campari, pineapple, coconut and sweet vermouth.
Must-order: You've got to get the imam, a delicious dish of eggplant stuffed with tomato, onion, garlic and kasseri cheese.
Insider tip: It's a small space, so reservations are strongly recommended — especially if you want to sit on the charming patio in the middle of the South End's brick-lane streets.
Must-order: You've been waiting too long for a truly awesome new Jewish deli, Boston. Do not pass go, do not collect $200 — just go right now and snag one of Mamaleh's deli sandwiches, stuffed with hot pastrami, corned beef or, if you're feeling indecisive, a 50/50 split.
Insider tip: With Yom Kippur on the horizon, scope the High Holidays menu here; dinners include everything from honey-dipped apples to the beeswax candles.
Must-order: Though Brassica's eclectic menu includes plenty of new ideas, it also includes staples from its pop-up, Whisk among them: seaweed tagliatelle, featuring Maine-coast kelp and dehydrated kale, cauliflower, a tomato-miso sauce and charred octopus.
Insider tip: The $65 six-course tasting menus are available in omnivore, vegetarian and pescetarian formats, so you're pretty well covered no matter what.
Must-order: The anchovies antipasti is a spectacular starter. Chef Michael Bergin is going for an Italian take on hummus, so he devised an anchovy-laden spread of white bean purée with Calarbian chile and fennel pollen. Scoop it up with wheat crackers.
Insider tip: This is a super-intimate, 30-seat space, so don't take your chances; reservations are highly recommended.
Must-order: Though tinned seafood is the star at this wine bar, don't snooze on some of the composed small plates from chef Carolina Curtin — like the fantastic (and gorgeous) roasted carrots with sprouted lentils, kefir and coriander.
Insider tip: Keep an eye on the wall's letter board, updated with names of uncorked bottles available by the glass.
Must-order: Waypoint's large-format roasts are meant to be shared by two to three people. There's a 30-oz. rib-eye with green almond romesco and boquerone toasts; a whole lamb shoulder with pickled lemon; and a whole branzino (pictured) with radish, corn and tomato.
Insider tip: This is the only restaurant in the Boston are where you'll find Jade Liqueurs, an absinthe maker founded in 2000 by scientist and absinthe advocate T.A. Breaux. Breaux researches — and then recreates — historically accurate recipes (yes, there's wormwood) and is largely responsible for the U.S. government lifting the 95-year ban on absinthe sales in 2007. Pay the guy your respects!