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Massachusetts Best Restaurants 2010

Massachusetts Best Restaurants 2010
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by in May 2010

Best Comfort Food
15 WALNUT, South Hamilton
Chef Sam Hunt is zealous about getting back to basics: baking bread, making sausages, curing meats, infusing vinegars, producing fresh mozzarella. Applying this yields his wonderful linguine with wood-roasted veggies and meatballs, or pizza topped with homemade pepperoni, sausage, and pancetta. 15 Walnut Road. 978-468-2434; 15walnut.com

Best Brodetto
BRIDGEMAN’S, Hull
Brodetto was originally a stew made from whatever catch Italian fishermen couldn’t sell. Next to such simple fare, the luscious brodetto served here–full of mussels, clams, shrimp, and fish in a fragrant tomato sauce over squid-ink pasta–is a cathedral beside a country chapel. It’s a rustic and hearty seafood lover’s dream dish. 145 Nantasket Ave. 781-925-6336; bridgemansrestaurant.com

Best Chocolate Fudge
YE OLDE VILLAGE FUDGE SHOPPE, Hyannis
A throwback to the era of tried-and-true family-run confectioners. The chocolate flavor is quite simply the creamiest and most chocolaty to be found, period. 576 Main St. 508-778-0350

Best Calamari
GRACIE’S TABLE, Dennis
Basque cuisine is the specialty at this cozy restaurant. That translates into robust tapas, such as stuffed calamari, a tender whole mantle filled with a garlicky mix of onion and Bayonne ham, roasted in a traditional spicy red-pepper tomato sauce. 800 Main St. (Route 6A). 508-385-5600; graciestablecapecod.com

Best French Toast
CHACH, Provincetown
Heavenly French toast ($7.50) is reinvented with vanilla custard instead of mere eggs and milk, for a taste and texture that produces audible exclamations of delight. 73 Shank Painter Road. 508-487-1530

Best Cheeseburger
ATRIA, Edgartown
The Brick Cellar Bar here serves the creme de la creme of burgers ($16): a juicy Angus patty, best ordered medium rare, on a well-glazed bun, garnished with melted cheddar, sauteed onions and mushrooms, and roasted tomato, accompanied by a salad and, if you like, crisp truffled shoestring fries ($2 extra). 137 Main St. 508-627-5850; atriamv.com

Best Mac & Cheese
L’ETOILE, Edgartown
This paragon of unstuffy high-end dining re-interprets comfort-food staples. Top honors go to the mac-and-cheese ($19), laced with fresh lobster and shrimp, tossed with parmesan and sharp cheddar melted into a rich bechamel, and plated with an arugula/watercress salad. 22 North Water St. 508-627-5187; letoile.net

Best Steak
21 FEDERAL, Nantucket
The signature steak is a tender sirloin from all-natural free-range grass-fed Angus steer, served with perfectly crisp parmesan-dusted shoestring fries and seasonal vegetable accompaniment. Tasty enough to make a carnivore out of the most ardent seafood fan. 21 Federal St. 508-228-2121; 21federal.com

Best Global Fusion Cuisine
TOWN, Nantucket
Asian and Indian flavors combine with seasonal local ingredients to stunning effect. Juicy beef-and-lamb sliders with fresh-baked chapatis for buns, tempura escargot, amazing tandoori lobster, and fenugreek panna cotta give a hint of what’s in store. 4 East Chestnut St. 508-325-8696; townnantucket.com

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