Sitting just seven miles outside of Boston, the suburban city of Newton – a patchwork of villages rather than a single city centre – is the 11th largest in the state of Massachusetts. Famed throughout America for its quality of living, Newton has ranked in the top five US cities to live in. It’s easy to see why when the city has such a great range of restaurants to visit, here are 10 of the best.
Decorated in a minimalist style, Lumiere is a truly beautiful, one of a kind restaurant. Despite its obvious elegance, Lumiere is not overly formal – waiters and waitresses are well versed in the art of American-style service and know how to ensure the comfort of guests as they arrive to be seated. Sourcing ingredients from local farms wherever possible, Lumiere enjoys a reputation for preparing locally sourced food with a modern yet clearly bistro style approach. While an extensive wine list and cocktail selection takes care of thirst, delicious dishes including hanger steak or lamb shank more than satisfy guests’ hunger.
Operating in Newton for a little over 10 years, Fiorella’s offers rustic Italian charm. Managed by a small team of five, Fiorella’s is principally owned by head chef Remon Karian, a man who has enjoyed cooking for guests since the age of 13. After first opening Fiorella’s when he was 23, Remon has watched – albeit from behind a stove – as his restaurant has grown from strength to strength. While Fiorella’s does serve pizza, its main draw lies in the quality of its speciality plates. These include chicken parmigiana, brick-oven baked haddock, and pecorino cheese topped salmon.
The Local is a revolutionary gastro pub that sits in the heart of Newton. Decorated and furnished to a high level, dark wooden stools line propped up against a beautifully polished bar area for communal eating while tables and booths make for great family dining. The Local prepares the very finest in American food, using a mixture of classic French techniques and modern presentation methods. To start with, diners can choose from options including roasted garlic hummus, grilled shrimp glazed with a sesame sauce and more. Main dishes, such as New England lobster rolls or Cajun salmon risotto make for indulgent second courses.
51 Lincoln arrived in 2006, the creation of chef and owner Jeffrey Fournier. With a focus on high quality, low cost approaches to both food and wine, Fournier uses his vast experience – more than 20 years worth – to prepare the best cuisine possible. Fournier started his culinary career in 1991, aged 23, after growing up in what he calls a typically culinary household. Taking inspiration from his roots, Fournier’s menu features dishes such as pan seared watermelon steak, Bolognese with rigatoni, and parmesan and black truffle risotto. As well as a great selection of dishes, 51 Lincoln also offers sharing plates of cheese or charcuterie.
First opening in 1914, Biltmore Bar and Grille more than earns its old-school reputation. Rumoured to have been a speakeasy during the prohibition era, this local hangout – complete with four bowling lanes – was a favourite among both celebrities and politicians. While the clientele has changed somewhat over the years, the interior remains decorated true to its original roots. Biltmore Bar and Grille has a number of signature dishes. Indulgent treats, such as waffles with fried chicken, hot sauce and honey butter; or maple-mustard glazed pork medallions with sweet potato and brown butter puree, are some of the best ways to relax with company after a long week.
The Farmstead Table combines French cooking techniques with new-world innovation, producing a unique and modern dining experience. The name Farmstead Table provides a clue to the dining ethos of this restaurant; the team of chefs, led by executive owner Chad Burns use ingredients sourced exclusively from local farms. The inventive food menu – featuring dishes such as grilled trout or wagyu beef burger – is accompanied by a great selection of wine and cocktail options. The maple-balsamic daiquiri, using seven year-old rum and a lime and balsamic syrup, is a great example of Farmstead Table’s ability to reinvent a classic cocktail recipe.
Sycamore, owned and operated by head chef David Punch, offers a holistic and friendly approach to cooking. The minimal decoration of open brick work and dark wood furnishings helps to add to Sycamore’s intimate atmosphere. Joined in the kitchen by Lydia Reichert – a chef with 10 years’ experience – Punch cooks up all manner of delicious dishes. Starters of charcuterie, confit suckling pig and red wine braised squid make for great warm up acts, while steak and fish dishes follow for main meals. Finally, for those with a sweet tooth, there are a number of desserts available. French toast with candied kumquats, or chocolate torte and peanut butter ice cream, provide a perfect end to the meal.
A friendly neighbourhood restaurant, Cook specialises in comfort food that is also highly nutritious and prepared from the best quality ingredients. Somewhere between a bistro and a canteen, this restaurant offers a fun and relaxed take on what it means to be a restaurant; the team insists that guests can dress down because the food ‘takes care of the dressing up’. Main meals such as flat iron steak with creamed white polenta or homemade cheese ravioli – with meatballs at a small extra cost – are just some of the dishes available; there is also a great range of brunch and dessert options.
Specialising in booze and meat, O’Hara’s Food and Spirits is a family run restaurant that opened in 1985. The massive horseshoe shaped bar, built out of dark wood, is accented by the glow of softly lit lamps. O’Hara’s is proud of its reputation for having dedicated regulars, boasting that diners often recognise each other from previous visits. Using a range of techniques, O’Hara’s prepares a mixture of classical and modern American dishes. A whole selection of burgers, steaks and fish dishes are available to tantalise your taste buds, and house specials, such as chicken pot pie or meatloaf, are also well received.
Sat in Newton City’s Upper Falls region, Jean and Lee Kitchen brings a range of different Asian cuisines to the local restaurant scene. Taking inspiration from south east Asia – including Thailand and Vietnam – as well as China and Japan, Jean and Lee Kitchen presents all manner of rice and noodle dishes. The Taiwanese specialities on offer include pan fried pork dumplings, sliced beef in scallion pancakes, and Taiwanese shredded pork. All can be served with rice or noodles, depending on personal preference.