What is the ultimate classic Boston restaurant (that is still open), and what gives it its staying power?
Marjorie Druker, chef/owner of The New England Soup Factory & Modern Rotisserie:
"Grill 23 has been in town a long time. It's the real deal in terms of a Boston steakhouse. They remain true to their roots and their customer base. It's very 'Boston Proper.' That is what people love so much about Boston — the classics and history of Boston dining."
Peter Davis, chef at Henrietta’s Table:
"Union Oyster House. They continue to do what they have always done and serve a consistently good product."
Paul Maslow, owner of Strip-T’s:
"Really hard to answer because so much has changed. Probably Durgin-Park. The prime rib with the bone falling off the side of the plate kind of sticks in your head. It's famous, it's very old (it's well over a hundred years old), it's a popular tourist destination, and it has a lot of classic Boston dishes. (Strip-T's used to do much better customer abuse, though!)"
Jason Bond, owner of Bondir:
"Locke-Ober had been one of my favorite restaurants since I first moved to Boston. The bar was great to sit at on a regular night to just sit back and enjoy being in that old space full of old wood and silver, with a style of service and formality definitely not of today. Over the years, I was lucky to have many birthday dinners there with Monica, all ending with a flaming baked Alaska, of course."
Steve DiFillippo, owner of Davio’s:
"Grill 23, no question."
"Harvest — a neighborhood restaurant with a focus on hospitality. The food has always been natural, delicious and true. Mary Dumont is keeping it modern yet grounded in Harvest traditions."
Matthew Gaudet, chef/owner of West Bridge:
"Silvertone. I remember going there before I moved to NYC. Josh Childs' genuine nature is the reason for its staying power. His sense of hospitality which he has managed to instill in his staff and other establishments is really something to behold."
Sean Newell, general manager of M.J. O’Connor’s:
"Pizza Regina — a staple for the North End, always the best pizza. Union Oyster House — touristy, food is always good."
Richard Gordon, owner of South End Buttery:
"For me, it’s all about the entire experience. The food and service have to be consistent and genuine every time. For those reasons, it’s a tie between Eastern Standard and Rialto. Garrett Harker and Jody Adams are the consummate hosts at their respective restaurants and make you feel right at home, and the food is terrific at both."