NESN’s Dining Playbook features two of America’s favorite pastimes: food and sports with help from the region’s best known hosts, athletes and tastemakers. Emmy award winning duo Billy Costa and Jenny Johnson will leverage their considerable following and bring NESN viewers a fresh new approach to enjoying the best of what the region has to offer.
This week’s show features restaurants that were nominated for the prestigious James Beard award.
Mei Mei: The 2016 Restaurant and Chef Award Semi-Finalists: Irene Li of Mei Mei named as Rising Star of the Year semi-finalist. This restaurant that also has a food truck is founded and operated by 3 siblings. Founded in 2011 they use only the freshest local ingredients to serve up some incredible Chinese-American cuisine. With many affordable options at the restaurant and a quick grab and go style bowl at the food truck this establishment makes for a good meal no matter what the occasion is.
* 506 Park Dr., Boston, MA 02215 (857) 250-4959 http://www.meimeiboston.com/#about-1
Banyan Bar + Refuge: Philip Tang of Banyan Bar + Refuge, was nominated by the James Beard Foundation in the category of Best Chef in the Northeast region for the 2016 James Beard Awards. This modern Asian restaurant provides a healthy and tasty option not just at dinner time but in the late night hours as well. Putting a modern twist onto some not so modern recipes makes for a great combination. The assortment of bowls and dumplings are sure to give an option to even the pickiest of eaters and with a large drink menu there is not much that you can’t love about this place.
*553 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116 (617) 556-4211 http://www.banyanboston.com/
Oleana: Oleana’s Ana Sortun and Maura Kilpatrick, were nominated by the James Beard Foundation once again for Outstanding Chef and Pasty Chef contenders. This stylish restaurant puts a modern twist on all of their food through the use of some very nice Turkish spices. Guests are welcome to enjoy their food inside of the restaurant or they are also welcome to sit outside at the beautiful patio setting complete with a water fountain. Maura Kilpatrick prepares homemade ice cream that is to die for. Once you try it you will not want to have ice cream from any other places again!
*134 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02139 (617) 661-0505 http://www.oleanarestaurant.com/
Flour Bakery + Café: The James Beard Foundation nominated Joanne Chang for Outstanding Baker. This great bakery with multiple locations in the Boston area is perfect for that person in your life with a sweet tooth. This bakery has their own homemade breakfast pastries along with a large assortment of fresh cookies made daily. But that’s not all they offer, at lunch time be sure to get a tasty sandwich on one of their steaming hot fresh baguette rolls. With a well-trained professional staff and some tasty treats this bakery is sure to be a positive experience.
*Visit their four locations: Fort Point 12 Farnsworth St., Boston, MA 02210; South End 1595 Washington St., Boston, MA 02118; Central Square 190 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139; Back Bay 131 Clarendon St., Boston, MA 02116 http://flourbakery.com/
Myers + Chang: The James Beard Foundation nominated Karen Akunowicz for Best Chef in the Northeast. This exotic Indie diner scene is sure to make you feel right at home when you walk in the door. Through the use of some creative spice combinations the dishes presented are some very classic Asian cuisine. This establishment all came to be when the chef saw the Chinese takeout that was being brought home and she could not believe that was being called Chinese food. She said enough was enough and wanted to be able to offer her Boston guests the experience of an authentic Chinese and Asian meal. This experience is sure to be a good one, nothing else in this area will compare to.
*1145 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118 (617) 542-5200 http://www.myersandchang.com/