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No. 9 Park
Photograph: Courtesy No. 9 Park/Barbara Lynch GruppoNo. 9 Park

The best fine dining restaurants in Boston

Fine dining spots in Boston attract the most discerning gourmands

Written by
Cheryl Fenton
Written by
Eric Grossman
&
Gerrish Lopez
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This pandemic has put a cramp in our style. WFH has translated to sweats and slippers, and all of that home cooking is losing its charm. Up your game (both in outfit and meal) with a reservation at one of Boston’s finest restaurants. With pristine white tablecloths, exquisite service and creative cuisine, these spots take dining out to the next level. Here’s just a taste of some of the finest dining in town. Other memorable dining experiences can be had at the best steakhouses in Boston and the most romantic restaurants in Boston.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Boston

Best fine dining restaurants in Boston

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Leather District
  • price 4 of 4

The dining experience at o ya is luxurious from start to finish. The grand omakase menu incorporates a breathtaking assortment of artfully composed plates prepared by James Beard Award-winning chef Tim Cushman. Sake sommelier Nancy Cushman pairs each dish with selections from a world-class sake list. o ya is one of the most expensive restaurants in town, but scores of critics agree it’s entirely worth it. 

  • Restaurants
  • American creative
  • Seaport District
  • price 4 of 4

The priciest restaurant in Barbara Lynch’s collection, Menton impresses with its contemporary French- and Italian-inspired cuisine. Guests choose between à la carte options and a “chef’s whim” tasting menu. Dishes feature luxurious ingredients like sea urchin and black truffle, while French linens, Austrian crystal, and attentive service elevate the fine dining experience. The private chef’s table, which provides views of the impressive kitchen, is an excellent option for a special occasion.

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  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Beacon Hill
  • price 4 of 4

No. 9 Park remains the crown jewel of Barbara Lynch’s culinary empire, as well as one of the best fine dining establishments in Boston. Located across from Boston Common, this sophisticated restaurant offers expert service alongside its regionally-inspired Italian and French dishes. The welcoming lounge area offers one of the city’s most decorated wine lists, plus well-made cocktails and a more affordable menu. Dining tables by the windows, with views of the Common, are perfect for a special occasion.

  • Restaurants
  • American creative
  • Somerville
  • price 4 of 4

Chef Peter Ungár's culinary talents bring foodies out to a hidden corner of Somerville. Ungár worked in the kitchen of the late, lauded Aujourd'hui, as well as in Paris, and is unafraid to push the envelope across all courses of his tasting menus. Creative dishes are prepped in front of the 20-seat counter, thus the “dining as theater” aspect of the experience.

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  • Restaurants
  • American creative
  • Seaport District
  • price 4 of 4

With waterfront views as the backdrop, this pasture-to-plate eatery is fine dining at its best (hello, caviar service). Chef Charlie Foster impresses with dry aged duck breast, grass fed hanger steak, and seasonal line-caught striped bass, while produce comes fresh from his New Hampshire farm. Homemade pasta dishes like Squish Ink Casarecce might stuff your belly, but the friendly atmosphere is anything but stuffy.

  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Bay Village
  • price 2 of 4

With stone floors, high ceilings, enormous windows, and an atmosphere suggestive of Provence, Mistral is both sophisticated and elegantly casual. It’s a sunny fine dining experience marked by an exquisite French-Mediterranean menu and fine wines. Service remains superb, making it a distinctive fine dining experience.

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  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Harvard Sq
  • price 4 of 4

Harvest has celebrated regional ingredients through its elegant, seasonal menus since 1975. Diners can enjoy locally-sourced seafood, meats, and homemade pastas. The menu is sophisticated, and service is meticulous. In warmer weather, Harvest offers outdoor fine dining in a beautiful patio terrace.

  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • Back Bay
  • price 4 of 4

Famous city-wide as a steakhouse and fine dining option, Grill 23 has hosted countless business dinners and special occasion gatherings. High ceilings, marble columns, white tablecloths, and white jacket-clad waiters all contribute to the classy atmosphere. The wine program has won national awards, as have the perfectly-prepped steaks.

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  • Restaurants
  • Seafood

Leave the jingle of Encore’s slot machines behind for the rare opportunity to dine in an elegant steakhouse with the only authentic beef program of Japanese Wagyu in New England, along with domestic beef from Snake River Farms in Idaho and LaFrieda Meats, locally farmed produce and dairy, and freshly caught seafood. On Sunday, hit the jackpot with the famed Surf & Turf for Two—a 20-oz, dry-aged domestic Wagyu New York strip paired with a broiled, 2 ½-lb Maine lobster. White tablecloths, plated perfection and attentive staff all add to this winning fine dining experience.

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Downtown
  • price 3 of 4

The 19th-century mahogany bar that once anchored the revered Locke-Ober is still present in this Downtown Crossing restaurant. It’s just as swanky as its former incarnation, and remains a destination spot for celebratory fine dining. A cocktail in the classy library bar sets the stage for a high end meal of small plates and larger “feast” platters like whole chicken Cordon Bleu or a two-pound Niman Ranch ribeye.

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  • Restaurants
  • Back Bay

The sweeping Back Bay views and Neoclassical-meets-Art Deco decor are equally as captivating as the menu at this crown jewel atop Boston’s newest luxury destination, The Newbury Hotel. The latest from Michelin star-winning Major Food Group, Contessa is a buzzing beauty packed with Boston’s A-listers ordering fanciful dishes such as melt-in-your-mouth squash carpaccio, spicy lobster capellini and a signature 40-oz dry-aged bistecca alla fiorentina.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • South End
  • price 4 of 4

For a study in sushi-as-fine-dining, head to this pricey South End sushi den, where celebratory couples and business groups come in for over-the-top meals. Rolls are made with lobster tempura, truffles, caviar and wagyu beef, to name but a few outré elements. Steak and potato types might want to stick to the entrée side of the menu, which includes teriyaki ribeye, seafood risotto and a Chilean seabass. Studious, respectful servers maintain a calm atmosphere.

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  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Fenway/Kenmore
  • price 3 of 4

From Tiffani Faison—who already brought Sweet Cheeks, Fool’s Errand and the gone-but-not-forgotten Tiger Mama to Fenway—comes Orfano, an Italian-American joint that combines a glamorous, old-school setting with a fresh, modern approach. Tableside martinis, craft cocktails and an elegant wine list set the vibe, while handmade pastas and indulgent steaks are sure to satisfy. Don’t miss quirky culinary twists like the Pig Parmesan (with tonkatsu serving as the base), or pizza lasagne (featuring a tasty “burnt cheese”).

  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • Somerville
  • price 2 of 4

Who says vegans can’t enjoy fine dining? True Bistro offers a high-end, seasonal vegan dining experience, with a candlelit dining room that complements the innovative, artfully prepared dishes. The menu changes frequently, based on what’s fresh and in season. Fresh salads and small plates, such as seared cauliflower with crispy aloo and assorted chutneys, lead the way for larger plates like mushroom shepherd’s pie, housemade capellini, and tempeh skewers.

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