James Beard Award-winning chef Lydia Shire is one of Boston’s most legendary chefs, and her restaurant, Scampo, is one of the best Italian restaurants you’ll ever dine at. In fact earlier this year, Scampo ranked number 16 on The Daily Meal’s list of the 20 Best Italian Restaurants in America. While Italian at heart, Shire isn’t afraid to incorporate a tandoori oven or lamb sirloin souvlaki into the mix, and the menu is fun and playful. Handmade breads come in seven varieties, salt cod fritters come with bacon tempura and quince aioli, there’s a full "mozzarella bar," and spaghetti comes topped with cracklings and hot pepper.
Admittedly, a restaurant serving foie gras, almonds, and cracklings may not sound like the place you’d expect to seek out one of America’s best pizzas, and you’d be forgiven for doing double-takes at toppings that can include smashed plantains, smoked salmon, and lobster. It will be difficult to pass over the lobster and white clam and bacon pizzas (Scampo goes directly to what's called the advanced clam pie at Frank Pepe’s), but if you can only have one, order the lamb pizza. That’s right, lamb with ricotta, Parmesan, Sriracha, mint, a mix of cumin, curry, turmeric, and pepper. Talk about a delicious perspective shift.