I finally understand how Craigie On Main has appeared on the “Best of Boston” list year after year. After just my first visit, it easily moved to the top of my list, too. Off Main Street in Central Square, Craigie is anything but casual, perfectly pairing complex French cuisine with the simple taste of local New England. Classic 1920s prints decorate one wall, while another is adorned with myriad cooking pots and books. The rustic French design is complimented by a spacious open kitchen where diners can watch Chef Tony Maws busy at his art. The menu fluctuates with the seasons, and it’s compiled only with the freshest and often organic, but always local meats, fish, and vegetables. If you’re craving passionfruit out of season, you won’t find it on this menu. But if you want the richest, tangiest rhubarb flavor during the spring, the “Market Fruits Crisp” paired with canela ice cream is definitely for you.
Though I don’t normally think of Kendall Square as the happenin’ place in town (most of the Cambridge nightlife and restaurants are clustered in Central Square), EVOO has spiced up the scene and brought the crowds to an area previously devoid of palatable pizazz. EVOO (which stands for “extra virgin olive oil”), though new to the Kendall Square area behind the Mariott hotel, is no newbie to the culinary world. The restaurant moved from Somerville just over a month ago.
The moment you walk in the door of KO Prime, the well-acclaimed steakhouse near the Park Street T stop, you feel trendy, surrounded by a funky chocolate and red decor complemented by faux cow skin chairs and zebra-striped pillows. KO Prime feels more like a modern lounge than a restaurant, and indeed, the spacious dining room is adjoined by a classy bar and couches. While fun and upbeat describe the atmosphere itself, the food is nothing less than elegant.
School is finished, and the summer is upon us. Who wouldn’t want to visit the cheese capital of the world — beautiful France — with her rolling countryside and complex wines? Fortunately, Thierry Charles of The Wine Cellar, the fondue restaurant located conveniently across the Harvard Bridge, has brought France to Back Bay. With its exposed brick and wrought iron, The Wine Cellar is a very cozy place, perfect for intimate gatherings of close friends and family and even better for getting to know a new group of people. The cook-it-yourself fondue style fosters conversation and makes the meal feel more like a group activity than a simple dinner.