You might know Chef Jason Santos by his blue hair. Or you might know him by his two Boston establishments — Abby Lane in the Theater District or Back Bay Harry’s in Bay Village. Or (more likely) you know him from both. The 40-year-old Medford resident’s playful culinary techniques landed him on the seventh season of “Hell’s Kitchen” — he made it pretty far — and he’s set to open his latest endeavor, a Southern restaurant called Buttermilk and Bourbon, later this fall. Santos shares his favorite date night restaurant, where he takes his out-of-town guests and the best little spot in Chinatown.
Best late night meal?
I love heading to Chinatown late night after a shift. For many years, my favorite place has been New Golden Gate. The food is great and I’ve tried everything on the menu — you can’t go wrong. 66 Beach St., Boston, 617-338-7721
Best meal under $5?
I wish I knew of a good meal under $5. I do know that Night Market in Cambridge has some great menu items for $3 and $4 — like their tea eggs and numb nuts.
75 Winthrop St., Cambridge, nightmkt.com
Best hidden gem?
I live in Medford and there is a place called Bob’s Italian Foods which is an old school deli with ridiculously good sandwiches. I go there all the time and get their Italian sub. I legit crave it. 324 Main St., Medford, bobsfood.com
Best place to dine alone?
I feel totally comfortable dining at the bar at Eastern Standard. The whole team makes you feel at ease when solo. 528 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, easternstandardboston.com
Place you always take out-of-towners?
My top pick is always Toro. It’s such a great restaurant; everything about it is right: the atmosphere, the menu, the service, the drinks. It is all just spot on. 1704 Washington St., Boston, toro-boston.com
Go-to date spot?
My girlfriend, Thuy, and I love going to Boston Chops for date night. Chef Chris Coombs and his team make the best steak in town and the space is gorgeous. We love to share sides, especially the poutine baked potato and the broccoli. 1375 Washington St., Boston, bostonchops.com
Best place to catch up with friends?
We live close to Assembly Row and our go-to place is River Bar. The cocktails are delicious and it’s very approachable. 661 Assembly Row, Somerville, river-bar.com
Most Instagrammable dish in town?
Anything at Alden & Harlow and Waypoint. Michael Scelfo’s food is on-point and make for beautiful photos. 40 Brattle St., Cambridge, aldenharlow.com; 1030 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge,