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Friends of Eater on Top Restaurant Standbys of 2012

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As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, bloggers, and readers. For our first question, friends of Eater weigh in on their top restaurant standbys. And readers, please add your thoughts to the comments.

[Photo: jm Curley/Cal Bingham]

Q: What were your top restaurant standbys of 2012?

MC Slim JB, restaurant critic, The Phoenix: Strip-T's, Coppa, Dumpling Café, Estragon, Island Creek Oyster Bar, jm Curley.

Marc H., Boston's Hidden Restaurants and Boston Restaurant Talk: I tend to go to local neighborhood joints when I'm not reviewing restaurants. A few places that I go to on a regular basis include McKay's in Quincy, O'Sullivan's in Somerville, McKenna's in Dorchester, Cambridge Common in Cambridge, and Santarpio's in East Boston.

South End blogger BosGuy: Stella is my neighborhood go-to restaurant. Good no matter the meal, brunch, dinner or late night. Honorable mention to Metropolis Cafe.

An anonymous industry insider who we'll call Litchi Bear: jm Curley, DooWee & Rice, Posto.

Aaron Kagan, editor, Eater Boston: As always, the Sichuan menu at Thailand Cafe, pretty much everything at Sichuan Gourmet, Dwelltime for coffee, and Area Four for any meal of the day.

Rachel Cossar, ballet dancer with the Boston Ballet and food blogger at foodista on pointe: The year 2012 for me was marked my numerous visits to West Bridge in Kendall Square, arguably one of the most solid restaurant openings of the year. JM Curley is another one of my frequent visit's hands down my favorite post-performance hang out.

Tom O'Keefe of BostonTweet: The Abbey in Washington Square is one restaurant that I crave on a nightly basis. Though I didn't eat there nightly, I did find myself there weekly. When downtown, JM Curley is hands down my most frequented bar - it has a great friendly neighborhood feel to it.

Jacqueline Church, local food writer. Regulars at Les Zygomates. After so many years, it still delights. Good raw bar, reliable and solid menu that often features local pork, seafood and grass-fed beef, interesting tagines, great wines by the glass. (Of course Lee welcoming me with my favorite martini doesn't hurt, either.)

Damien S., community manager for Yelp Boston: With such a heavy influx on table service establishments, I've spent most of my time checking out the new kids. That said, the kids at Amsterdam Falafelshop are no strangers to my mug. When Drinker asked the same question, the answer was backbar. Oh but I kid; there is no Drinker (yet).

Audrey Giannattasio of Boston Foodie Tours: Scampo and L'Espalier. Both are on our Beacon Hill & Back Bay tour, with L'Espalier included in the premium version. Almost without exception, our guests return to Scampo, often to celebrate special occasions, such as Valentine's Day and birthdays. Anything coming out of Lydia Shire's kitchen is a "can't miss", and her lobster pizza just can't be beat.

L'Espalier - One of the best ways to pamper yourself is to sit by the window in L'Espalier's lounge overlooking Boylston Street, and enjoy tea, wine, a cheese plate or dessert. Often, our guests don't want to leave! In fact, on more than one occasion, guests have enjoyed post-tour drinks there as well.

Jennifer Che, blogger at Tiny Urban Kitchen:Bergamot, Area Four, Ten Tables Cambridge.

Dumpling Cafe

695 Washington Street, , MA 02111 (617) 338-8859 Visit Website


917 Glacier Avenue, , AK 99801 (907) 586-3500 Visit Website

Island Creek Oyster Bar

500 Commonwealth Avenue, , MA 02215 (617) 532-5300 Visit Website