Boston Has 10% Of The Best New Restaurants In America

Esquire has long been our favorite dude magazine. Two of our top nonfiction writers (AJ Jacobs and Chuck Klosterman) appear on the masthead and the fiction section is pretty great. We rarely buy it, but we’re always pretty pumped to see it in a waiting room. The neatest thing about Esquire, to our food-obsessed mind at least, are the food articles, which are written by the very distinguished critic John Mariani. His reviews are sophisticated, clever, and articulate. Our esteem for Mariani has only grown now that we’ve seen Esquire’s list of the best new restaurants of 2007. Two Boston restaurants made the list, tying our fair city (along with Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Atlanta) for the second highest number of restaurants to make the list (predictably, New York came first). Awesome!

So, which new restaurants made Esquire’s list? Rialto and Rocca. These are interesting choices for two reasons:

1) Rialto is not, strictly speaking, a new restaurant. It’s been open for thirteen years and was almost entirely redone in February. Rocca is definitely new, but has had decidedly mixed reviews.
2) Rialto was originally opened by Jody Adams and Michela Larson. Larson left Rialto and opened Rocca. Thus, the two best new restaurants in Boston, at least in Mariani’s view are Michela Larson Joints.

Mariani makes a great case for the inclusion of both Rialto (“This is not a rehab; it’s a great new restaurant with a fine pedigree.”) and Rocca ("Larson has really nailed the flavors of the region”) on the Esquire list, but do you agree with him that these are the city’s two best new restaurants? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

The Best New Restaurants in America, 2007 [Esquire]
John Mariani [Official Site]
Rialto [Official Site]
Rocca [Official Site]

Boston Has 10% Of The Best New Restaurants In America