Black-Eyed Susan’s, Neptune Oyster, and The Beachcomber all made the list.
A lobster roll at Neptune Oyster. Wiqan Ang / Globe Photo
Union Oyster House was named the best restaurant in North America at the World Culinary Awards
At the end of a tumultuous year that saw a wave of restaurant closings due to the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, Esquire magazine recently named the “100 Restaurants America Can’t Afford,” adding five Massachusetts destinations.
Compiled by a handful of Esquire staff, the list crosses the country and features popular Philadelphia restaurants; Shepherdstown, WV; Nutley, NJ; Pescadero, California; and more.
“What if these places disappeared?” wrote Jeff Gordinier, who recently announced he was retiring from Esquire’s term as Food and Beverage Editor. “What if you woke up tomorrow morning to find out that this remnant of your life – and that part of the lingua franca of your community – had been wiped out?”
Among the list, guests in Massachusetts will find five well-known names: Black-Eyed Susan’s in Nantucket, Celeste in Somerville, Neptune Oyster in Boston, Roadside Store and Café in Monterey, and The Beachcomber in Wellfleet.
Editor-in-Chief Ryan D’Agostino praised Nantucket’s Black-Eyed Susan’s – a casual downtown breakfast and dinner place – for its Pennsylvania Dutch pancakes.
Contributing author Jason Tesauro called the meal at Celeste, where the married couple JuanMa Calderón and Maria Rondeau serve excellent Peruvian food, “an alchemy of menu, mixtapes and happiness that satisfies a deeper hunger”.
Neptune Oyster, a popular seafood spot in Boston’s North End, received a greeting from Gordinier, who paid special tribute to the restaurant’s Johnnycake. “I was speechless, delirious,” wrote Gordinier. “Salty, creamy, sweet – it all made sense. Listen: people are waiting in line for that damn Johnnycake, and they’re no fools. “
Writer-at-Large Kate Storey praised the Roadside Store and Cafe in the Berkshires. “It’s a really special place,” said Storey, noting that both the ingredients and staff are from Gould Farm, a therapeutic community.
And D’Agostino praised The Beachcomber in Wellfleet with a simple one-liner: “Local oysters and steamers in a shell hut in the sand.”
Other New England restaurants also made the list, including Havana in Bar Harbor, Maine; Noonie’s Deli in Middlebury, Vt .; Shady Glen Dairy in Manchester, Connecticut; SoLo Farm & Table in South Londonderry, Vt .; and The Pizza Stone in Chester, Vt.
Gordinier encouraged readers to donate to Southern Smoke, the Lee Initiative, and other organizations that are helping restaurant workers during the pandemic.
“Because if we lose her, we lose who we are,” he wrote.
Read the entire list here.
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