What shuttered classic Boston restaurant do you miss the most?
Marjorie Druker, chef/owner of The New England Soup Factory & Modern Rotisserie:
"Growing up in the 1970-80s, Anthony’s Pier 4 was the 'it' restaurant, because the real estate was prime and the prime rib was big and delicious. We were there a lot when I was growing up. I knew the menu by heart. They served so many goodies before dinner was even served. Pier 4 cheese & crackers, relish trays on ice, marinated mushrooms, toasted Syrian bread with parmesan cheese, popovers with butter, glover salad...and then dinner was served. Pier 4 lemon ice cream pie for dessert always. A table overlooking Boston Harbor. My grandfather Druker from Detroit always took us there when he and my grandmother would come to visit. Pier 4 was also famous for its crème de menthe parfaits. I would stuff myself until I was passing out from food. I loved it."
Peter Davis, chef at Henrietta’s Table:
Paul Maslow, owner of Strip-T’s:
"Growing up in the late 60s, we didn't eat out much, so I used to get so excited when my parents told me we were going to Valles Steakhouse. They had a huge menu with great pictures of steaks and lobsters — they were the first ones to do surf & turf — and everything in the pictures looked so good that my parents would have to decide for me. I'd start crying because I couldn't make up my mind. That's when I knew I was into food."
Steve DiFillippo, owner of Davio’s:
"Pier 4 back in its heyday. Grand Pier 4 in the ‘70s was incredible."
Matthew Gaudet, chef/owner of West Bridge:
"Obviously Hamersley's. And without question, Charlie's in the South End. When I first met my wife, I was living in the neighborhood and we would frequent that place. Big loss for the community."
"Biba, because Susan Regis and Lydia Shire were brilliant together. The way they wrote the menus and cooked together was unforgettable. It was also set on the edge of the gardens, and the space was the first of its kind — and so was the bar scene."
Johnny: "What was the steakhouse on Route 1, Hilltop?"
Kosta: "Nah, that’s played out."
Johnny: "But it was good back in the day."
Kosta: "It’s played out. What did we go to that we miss? Would it be selfish to say my dad’s place? Billy’s Pizza in downtown Lynn."
Johnny: "You can’t say that."
Kosta: "Why not? I miss it. It’s the restaurant we grew up working at; it’s where we learned how to do what we do."
Johnny: "Yeah, pretty much."
Kosta: "What else do we miss?"
Johnny: "Hilltop was good."
Kosta: "Hilltop was good, but everybody says Hilltop. Get a little more creative with your answer. But the places that we grew up eating at are still there."
Johnny: "Billy's Pizza in Lynn."
Kosta: "A little selfish of us, but yeah, Billy's Pizza in Lynn."
Sean Newell, general manager of M.J. O’Connor’s:
"Dad’s had the best staff (Ernie Buonaccorsi, Skeeter, DJ Lou Greenwald, too many to mention). Sunday nights were the best. Daisy was just an institution."
Richard Gordon, owner of South End Buttery:
"Hands down, for me that would be Galleria Italiana. The dynamic duo of Marisa Iocco and Rita D’Angelo ran a first class restaurant in the ‘90s with the best fresh pastas, salads, and sandwiches in Downtown Boston. There was nothing like it and I really miss it. Voted "Best Italian Restaurant" by Boston Magazine in 1996, you waited in a line that snaked out the door at lunchtime, and it was so popular at night that you had to be really cool or know someone to get in for dinner."
"Jasper’s, back in the '80s. Jasper White’s restaurant. It changed my whole perception for food, especially seafood. I’ve fished since I was a little kid, but for me, fishing entails going out to catch a striped bass or a bluefish and going home to grill it, very simple. The first time that I went to Jasper’s with my family, I saw the potential for the incredible things people could do with the seafood that we have here in New England. I think Jasper is one of the people who sort of created the lineage of great Boston cuisine; he’s really at the forefront of it, and I have a lot of respect for him and what he’s done. It’s one of the places that I still think about some of the dishes I had, and I think I was around 10 years old."