East Coast Grill & Raw Bar
The vibe at this always-packed Cambridge spot is boisterous and casual, but there’s serious food—and an ambitious mix of cuisines—being served up here. Grill guru Chris Schlesinger pairs traditional New England seafood (local cracked Jonah crab claws, a killer clam-and-sweet-corn chowder) with spicy, smoky Caribbean and Latin-inspired dishes. The white-pepper grilled tuna with wasabi and pickled ginger is deliciously light; those who can tolerate more mess (and calories) should order the barbecued, shredded North Carolina pork platter.
Tip: Avoid Sunday brunch—the crowd can get a little too lively at the DIY Bloody Mary bar.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.