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  Tuesday, March 3, 2015
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xtra xtra!
August 29, 2013
The “Bests of Boston” Hit Home in 2013
By Rick Winterson

American Provisions vends gourmet "Bests" in the shop at I and Broadway.

Barbara Lynch’s Hat Trick
Barbara Lynch is a hometown lady – born and brought up in South Boston.  She got three “Best of Boston” Awards for the extraordinary quality of her Congress Street locations – Drink and Sportello at #348; Menton at #354.  That’s a South Boston gourmet hat trick.  Who else but she could achieve that, while also getting two other “Bests” elsewhere in Boston?

Drink garnered much praise for being the first high profile, “craft cocktail” lounge bar.  Many of Boston’s most noted bartenders first worked at Drink.  Talk with the knowledgeable bar staff at Drink about your own ideas for that perfect cocktail, then let them make it for you.  Sportello is just one floor up from Drink.  Go there; reflect on Barbara’s background in Tuscan cuisine as you watch the staff prepare your order with Italian flourishes.  Try Calabrian chili or the mushroom sauced gnocchi.

The third of Barbara’s Awards actually went to Kristen Kish, who is the Chef de Cuisine at Menton.  But  Menton is Barbara’s haut cuisine restaurant.  She first employed Kristen in her demo kitchen Stir, and then appointed Kristen as Menton’s Chef de Cuisine.  Menton is one of the few prestigious Relais & Chateaux (about 500 worldwide, 50 in the U.S., and only four in Massachusetts), which entitles Barbara to the appellation of “Grande Chef”.

Louis is the fourth “Best” on South Boston Waterfront, justifiably a “Best” for its men’s dress clothes.  But their building on Fan Pier looks very much like the original Building 19.  Too bad.

The Seven Hometown Bests
As you might have expected, some – four (4), actually – of the hometown’s “Bests of Boston” were food establishments.

American Provisions at I and East Broadway was named Best Gourmet Shop.  If you would like a selection of local cheeses, a source for hard-to-find oils, spices, and condiments, or a memorable sandwich, that’s the place to go.  Franklin Southie was named our “Best” neighborhood drinking and eating spot.  You can get roast duck or even order a suckling pig in advance, and eat al fresco in good weather.  Fresh seafood is part of their varying menu, also.  The Galley at the north end of P Street is Boston Magazine’s Best Diner.  Try that old standard ham and eggs at The Galley; ask for the ham to be lightly grilled (lightly!).

South Boston Online admits to stretching a point here, but Tasty Burger got “Best Burger, Low Brow”.  Well, Boston Magazine judged Tasty Burger by its location in Harvard Square.  Our Tasty Burger on L Street near Broadway is as good or better, so Online will claim credit for a “Best”, too.

The remaining three “Bests” in South Boston are an eclectic trio:  Peter Welch’s Gym (371 Dorchester Avenue), Sadie Higgins (in Sarra, at 840 Summer Street), and LaMontagne Gallery (555 East Second Street).Peter’s gym focuses on getting you in peak shape to box, but it’s the training that counts with him.  Half of his clients are women; only 20% of his members actually go on to boxing in matches.  But arguably, a well-trained boxer is the best conditioned athlete going.  The skilled trainers are why so many go there.

Sadie Higgins works for Sarra’s.  She specializes in eyebrow shaping.  Her concentration on what she does so well is complete and thorough.  Just watch her work.  By the way, Sadie’s working address of 840 Summer is actually L Street where it intersects First.  She’s in Sarra’s loft space on the second floor.

LaMontagne Gallery, at 555 East Second, exhibits modern, contemporary artists, and has attained more than a regional following.  But South Boston Online is forced to admit that LaMontagne has us baffled – it’s never open, even during the hours posted on its teal-colored door.  We don’t know why.  Maybe it’s LaMontagne’s unique way of being modern.  Instead of looking at the art on exhibit, you are froced to imagine what’s inside – now that’s really abstract.

The 2013 “Best” Conclusion
Congratulations to each and every one of South Boston’s  Awardees on your 2013 “Bests of Boston”.  If you didn’t see your own favorite South Boston spot in the 2013 “Bests of Boston”, wait till next year.  Now, where have you heard that saying before?

Tasty Burger (not the original T.B. in Harvard Square) at L and Broadway.

Sadie Higgins performs her "Best" work at Sarra, 840 Summer Street.

South Boston's "Best" diner--the Gallery at 11 P Street (dine al fresco, yet!)

Sportello, "Best" Fort Point neighborhood eatery, by Barbara Lynch.

Louis, the "Best" for men's dress clothes (but where did they get that building?)

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