AAA has released its national lists of five- and four-star restaurants, and 14 restaurants in Massachusetts made one of the two lists. The five-star list, released Thursday, includes just 67 restaurants in North America and only three new restaurants were added this year. In other words, just 0.2 percent of the nearly 32,000 AAA-inspected and approved restaurants were included on the list, AAA said in a release.
Here are the restaurants that received a five-diamond rating in Massachusetts:
- Boston: Menton, five-diamond since 2011
- Lenox: The Portico by Jeffrey Thompson, five-diamond since 2005
- Natucket: Topper’s, five-diamond since 2017
The organization noted that more restaurants have embraced a casual environment, as patrons are continually looking for a more relaxed experience. This means high-end restaurants have shifted toward simple and streamlined décor, and others now have lively open kitchen designs so diners can watch chefs work their magic.
“To be considered leading edge, chefs must incorporate a laser-focused approach using innovative concepts and menus featuring the finest ingredients,” Michael Petrone, director of inspections and diamond ratings, said. “Diners want to be wowed on multiple levels, so exceptional service is also important, but they’re not necessarily looking for all the formalities that were once synonymous with fine dining.”
Newcomers on the five-diamond list include Altera in New York City, COAST in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, and Oriole in Chicago.
Meanwhile, More than 650 restaurants earned a four-diamond rating, equating to roughly 2 percent of restaurants inspected and approved by AAA. And these restaurants are by no means slouches — they, too, offer a distinctive fine-dining experience and utilize creative food-prep techniques.
Here are the four-diamond restaurants in Massachusetts, with the year each got its first listing:
- Bar Boulud Boston (2016)
- Deuxave (2013)
- Mamma Maria (2005)
- Meritage (1994)
- Miel (2007)
- Mooo…. (2007)
- No. 9 Park (2002)
- twenty-eight Atlantic (2002)
- The Old Inn on the Green (2000)
Patch national staffer Dan Hampton contributed to this report.
Photo credit: AAA