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Can’t make up your mind at dinner? Try Bianca, which combines sophisticated cuisine (owners Tim and Nancy Cushman run the downtown O Ya hotspot) with a variety that could rival The Cheesecake Factory. Choose from excellent sushi, Roman-style pizza, roasted fish tacos, rigatoni, and fried chicken, and a kids’ menu that even includes a Wagyu cheeseburger. However, no food snobbery; They use American cheese and it comes with a side of fries.
47 Boylston Street, Chestnut Hill, 857-576-8300, biancachestnuthill.com
Lane Turner / Globe staff
Da Vinci Bistro
Chef Peppino (aka Shingara Singh) previously owned the now closed Da Vinci in Back Bay; before that he cooked at La Campania in Waltham. He knows his Italian food. After opening Soul of India in Sudbury, he followed suit with a reborn Da Vinci in the same town. The take-away menu is filled with classics – mussels in white wine and lemon with capers, rigatoni bolognese, chicken parm – as well as surprises like masala ravioli, a clever piece of Indian-Italian fusion.
457 Boston Post Road, Sudbury, 978-261-5330, davincibistro.com
Nadia Liu Spellman – daughter of restaurateur Sally Ling, who ran the legendary Sally Ling’s on the water – brings sophistication to the Chinese take-away from her restaurants in Weston, Cambridge and Brookline. Try the fat-free shrimp dumplings, the sweet crab rangoon (made with real meat!), And the savory shallot pancakes, which are rolled with eggs, vegetables, and flavorful mayonnaise. The takeaway service is quick and courteous.
37 Center Street, Weston, 781-216-8989; 73 Ames Street, Cambridge, 617-577-8886; 1309 Beacon Street, Brookline, 617-383-5282, dumplingdaughter.com
Celebrate special occasions (like a Wednesday) at this posh Waltham Steakhouse with seafood towers, filet mignon, bone-in prime rib eye and all the classic side dishes. There are cheesecakes for dessert and bottles of champagne. Pick up at the roadside? Check. Pretty baller.
74 Tower Road, Waltham, 781-373-1245, the-federalrestaurant.com
Gigi’s Pizza Co.
Former limo driver Alexi Girginis opened this humble pizzeria in Watertown, named after his young daughter, in the fall of 2020. Not the ideal time to start a business, but the locals are grateful for the fluffy spinach pie and overcrowded meatball subs on sweet plait rolls, as well as the warm service. Regulars ask for Gigi’s Cutlet, chicken with fresh mozzarella.
129 Waltham Street, Watertown, 617-744-0957, gigispizzaco.com
Get a whole bunch of imported French take-away groceries at this cute little deli and grocery counter in Lexington, but don’t go without ordering a sweet battered salmon, brie, mushroom and tomato crpe that is lovingly made being folded into a pizza box and tasting Paris in the spring.
46 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington, 781-862-1047, mafrancegourmet.com
The menu for this Framingham favorite (there’s a sister restaurant in Worcester) is Vietnamese plus – entrees include a popular soft-shell crab seared, plus crab rangoon, spring rolls, and summer rolls. Enjoy the sweet kick of his phos and his excellent yellow curry. The Pad Thai offers more vegetables than usual.
101 Concord Avenue, Framingham; 508-872-2211; 593 Park Avenue, Worcester, 508-756-7555; phodakao.com
Royal India Bistro
Tucked away down a side street in Lexington Center, some of the area’s richest and hottest Indian dishes serve creamy saag paneer, lamb vindaloo that doesn’t hold back heat, and buttery naan with plenty of garlic. The portions are generous, as are the staff; The phone service is courteous (although you may get a busy signal first; don’t give up), the in-house delivery team is quick and the food always arrives hot. Ask for extra mint chutney. You will want to drink it alone.
7 Meriam Street, Lexington, 781-861-7350, bistroroyalindia.com
Saxonville Mills Cafe and Roastery
Get a taste of Colombia at this former carpet factory near the Sudbury River Dam in Framingham. Coffee importer Cristian Barragan decided to add a retail store to his business that served single estate brews from the Andean village where he grew up. There are American and Colombian-style sandwiches (try the guava and cheese empanada) and smoothies made with Colombian fruits. The Tres Leches cake is transcendent.
2 Central Street, Framingham, 508-309-3294, saxonvillecafe.com
David Punch’s neighborhood bistro has become a mainstay of the Newton Center-eyed thanks to its pies and dips, balanced salads and spicy main dishes like grilled avocado with lentils and red rice mujadarra, harissa chili crisp, tahini and grilled pork chop with braised cabbage, black Peas and pepper jam. You can subscribe to monthly meals and don’t forget to check out the menus at sister restaurants Little Big Diner and Buttonwood.
755 Beacon Street, Newton, 617-244-4445, sycamorenewton.com
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With contributions by Peter Bailey-Wells, Michael Fitzgerald, Alyssa Giacobbe, Sheryl Julian, Jakob Menendez, Jeneé Osterheldt, Mark Pothier and Melissa Schorr.
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