In a town of foodies, you’d be hard-pressed to find one with as diverse and wide-reaching an influence as Kathy Sidell.
The Metropolitan Restaurant Group’s president and founder boasts an impressive portfolio. A degree from Columbia Film School in the 70’s led to a founding partnership at Chelsea Pictures, which turned into work on the acclaimed documentary “Fast, Cheap, & Out of Control,” along with thousands of award-winning commercials.
Along the way, Sidell found time to hone her writing chops. She has been a food contributor to the Boston Herald, and also wrote the 2012 book “When I MET Food: Living the American Restaurant Dream.” She has been featured on the Food Network, NBC, ABC, Bravo, and now, Sidell dishes on some of her favorite spots around Boston.
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Best late night meal?
For sure, Peach Farm or Gourmet Dumpling House in Chinatown. Gourmet Dumpling House for the pork and leek dumpling or the spicy flounder pot; Peach Farm for heartier main dishes—the fried pork chops are very good, and the pork belly is amazing.
Best meal under $5?
Galleria Umberto. Be prepared to stand in line to get a baseball-sized arancini for $3.25, or a slice of the Sicilian squares for a couple bucks each. The North End at its best.
289 Hanover St.
Best hidden foodie gem?
Café Sushi is one of those places that has managed to stay under the radar. It’s modest, but the fish is likely the freshest in the city. Order off of their daily blackboard menu, which has the most unusual and epic sashimi.
1105 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, cafesushicambridge.com
Best place to dine alone?
Coppa in the South End. The food is simple and so very satisfying. Sit at the small bar and watch those crazy good Italian grinders sliced to order on their old school Berkel.
253 Shawmut Ave., coppaboston.com
Go-to date spot?
Tiger Mama. The room at Tiger really transports you—it’s super fun and sexy, and makes you feel like you’re in the tropics on a hot summer night. The Taiwan On is killer, and the Bun Cha Hanoi brings all the flavors of Southeast Asia to life.
1363 Boylston St., tigermamaboston.com
Best place to catch up with friends?
I live very close to the Four Seasons, so the Bristol Lounge is my go to meeting place. They are very accommodating, and the couches are super comfortable. The set up of the room allows for just the right amount privacy.
200 Boylston St., fourseasons.com/boston/dining
Most Instagrammable meal in town?
Well, I’d like to think it’s Saltie Girl’s Lobster and Waffles. For some reason people can’t get over the twist on the old time classic. Pretty close to perfection, and it looks great in a picture!!
281 Dartmouth St., saltiegirl.com
Spot you recommend for out-of-towners?
Neptune Oyster. It’s the quintessential New England seafood experience. An unexpected dish of Johnnycake—a corn cake with smoked trout and honey butter—may be the best dish on the menu. Heaven. Also, the lobster meat is by far the best in the city.
63 Salem St., neptuneoyster.com