They say that we always want what we can’t have. Whether or not that’s true, it’s hard to deny that nabbing a table at a notoriously in-demand restaurant makes sitting down to eat just a bit sweeter. Check out these restaurants across Massachusetts that are known for being constantly booked, but with good reason.
1. The Table at Season to Taste, Cambridge
This place has a small number of seats (about 20), which makes it pretty challenging to get a reservation. Once you’re in, you’ll be treated to sublime contemporary French cuisine. The restaurant is home to Chef Carl Dooley, one of the contestants on the most recent season of Top Chef. The menu is prix fixe, and there are wine pairings available.
2. Ceraldi, Wellfleet
Ceraldi specializes in beautiful culinary creations inspired by local products and the bounty of the sea. Dinner reservations are a must, and best made at least a few weeks in advance. This is definitely a great spot for seafood and shellfish lovers.
3. Clean Slate Eatery, West Dennis
This place takes clean eating and delicious flavors seriously. Clean Slate sources its ingredients locally, and offers guests the choice between two menus (including a vegetarian selection) that rotate weekly. The restaurant may not look like much from the outside, but the interior has an intimate vibe that will make you feel right at home.
4. Wheatleigh, Lenox
This sophisticated hotel offers plenty of opulence, minus the stuffiness. If you’re a guest at the hotel, the restaurant is the obvious place to dine. Even if you’re not checked into one of the Wheatleigh's beautiful rooms, you should still make time to check out their impressive menu of classic and contemporary dishes that incorporate local flavors.
5. The Capital Grille, Boston
This place is one of Boston’s most renowned steakhouses. You’ll definitely need to be prepared for a bit of a splurge if you sit down to dinner at The Capital Grille, but the delicious fare is worth it. Reservations can be hard to come by, especially on weekends, so it’s worth calling a few weeks in advance. Try the Wagyu cheeseburger with fried egg and onions for lunch ($18), or the dry-aged Porterhouse steak for dinner ($52).
6. Company of the Cauldron, Nantucket
You’ll find plenty of romance at this small, charming island eatery. The menu is prix fixe, and reservations are required. All diners are served at the same time from a selection of entrées that feature local ingredients and creative flavor combinations. This is a great place to go for date night.
7. Top of the Hub, Boston
Located at the top of the Prudential Building, this sky-high restaurant is known for its panoramic views and stunning culinary creations. They are pretty much always booked between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., so if you’re interested in a dinner reservation, it’s best to plan well in advance.
8. Maggiano’s Little Italy
Delicious Italian food at reasonable prices and family-style portions draws a big crowd, which means that reservations are hard to come by at this awesome Back Bay spot. Try the four cheese ravioli for dinner, and be sure to save room for dessert: the lemon cookies are to die for.
9. Beehive, Boston
The atmosphere at this place is jazzy, with plenty of exposed brick and local art adorning the walls. Their Sunday Jazz Brunch is the perfect way to inject a little excitement into the end of your weekend, but it’s so popular that you might have trouble getting in. The entertainment and food are worth a bit of persistence, however.