2010 in Boston restaurants

By ROBERT NADEAU  |  December 22, 2010

Down to the dish level, the most contested categories were meatballs and tagliatelle. Every menu that ever had meatloaf or a premium burger has gone to the spherical form of chopped meat, and/or the dispersed form over the widest noodles. I like these dishes, too, but by December, I am getting nostalgic for meatloaf and odd burgers.

MEATBALLS OF THE YEAR Duck, in massaman curry, from Patricia Yeo at Ginger Park.


BISTRO BURGER OF THE YEAR Regal Burger with tempura sweet-potato fries and house-made bread-and-butter pickles, at Regal Beagle.

BEST POUTINES Never had this award before, and may never have it again, but the Gallows pub wins for 2010.

EASIEST WEIRD THING I ORDERED IN 2010 Pig trotter schnitzel at the Citizen Public House and Oyster Bar. Might as well be meatloaf.

MEDIUM WEIRD Tripes à la provençale at Petit Robert Central.

HARDER WEIRD, BUT WORTH IT Beef tendon with spicy wonder sauce at Sichuan Gourmet. A crunchy delivery system for hot sauce, it establishes cred with one of the most authentic spicy kitchens around.

BEST GRANDMOTHER DISH Silver Pin Noodles at Ginger Park.

FUNNEST BREAD BASKET Basil bread with grassy extra-virgin olive oil at Bistro du Midi.

BEST SOUP The bottom of the black chicken broth at the end of the meal at Hot Pot Buffet.

BEST CLICHÉ SOUP Nine-hour French onion soup at Deuxave.

BEST SALAD Poached pear with mizuna at the Foundry on Elm.

BEST TWIST ON A BEET SALAD Yorkshire puddings in the golden beet salad at South End Buttery.

BEST RE-THUNK CLICHÉ APPETIZER (TIE) Tuna tartare at Noche, the obvious cylinder, topped with pink bluefin burger, but sitting on a brilliant green layer of avocado, cilantro, and citrus; chilled jumbo shrimp at Russell House Tavern, on the same foundation.

BEST VEGAN APPETIZER Gobi Manchurian at Red Lentil.

BEST VEGAN ENTRÉE Grilled tofu steak at American Craft.

BEST ANTI-HEALTH FOOD Crispy chicken-skin club sandwich at American Craft. Who is this chef, Corey French?

BEST CHICKENENTRÉE Chicken Pescatore at Galleria 33.

RED MEAT MOMENT Barreh soltani mixed grill with lamb kebab and beef kubideh at Khayyam.

COMFORT-FOOD HOME RUN The RemDawg, at Jerry Remy's Sports Bar, combining a triple-size knockwurst covered with remarkably good chili.

POTATO OF THE YEAR Yukon Gold potato fritters, at East by Northeast — ultimate tater tots with a bit of ginger in them, and a dilled tartar sauce.

BEST CHEAP WINE AND DRAUGHT-BEER LIST Jacky's Table (reviewed as Chez Jacky).

BEST CRAFT COCKTAILS The Citizen Public House and Oyster Bar.

WORST BEVERAGE TREND Charging more than 25 percent of bottle price for a glass of wine. You know who you are.


BEST DESSERTS Market by Jean-Georges.

NON-CHOCOLATE DESSERT OF THE YEAR "That Grapefruit Dessert" at Bergamot (we will overlook the white chocolate madeleine).

THE LAST WORD IN VULGARITY Putting a plasma TV on the outside of the restaurant. Everybody knows who you are.

Robert Nadeau can be reached at robtnadeau@aol.com.

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