He is well known as the chef with the infamous blue hair, but once you have dined with him, you won’t soon forget Jason Santos‘ comfort fare at Abby Lane and Back Bay Harry’s. The chef/owner of both restaurants got his start working in famous kitchens throughout the city like Tremont 647 and Gargoyles on the Square.
From there, Santos decided to make an appearance on Season 7 of Hell’s Kitchen with Gordon Ramsay where he was a runner-up. He returned to Boston and opened Abby Lane in Boston’s Theater District where diners flock for “showtime” nachos, Kobe sliders with smoked onion aioli topped with pepper jack cheese and crispy confit chicken leg with sweet potato puree.
Photo Credit: Abby Lane
Over at Back Bay Harry’s, you can find his famous boneless buttermilk fried chicken on the menu along with pan roasted monkfish, cider brined pork chops and Kung Pao swordfish.
Photo Credit: Back Bay Harry’s
We caught up with Santos recently to find out what he loves most about Boston.
Where were you born: Melrose, Massachusetts
How long in Boston: 39.9 years
Occupation: Chef/Restaurateur Abby Lane & Back Bay Harry’s
Favorite Restaurant: Gourmet Dumpling House
Best Sushi: UNI Boston
Best Italian: Il Casale
Best dessert: Anything from Joanne Chang…anything!
Best place for a romantic date: Deuxave
Best Sunday brunch: Todd English’s Tuscany in Connecticut or Culinary Dropout in Las Vegas
Best place for a power business meeting: Davio’s
If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend? W Hotel in the Theatre District
Favorite place to buy jewelry/watches: LLG Jewelers in Burlington or the Apple store for my crazy Apple watch obsession
Best Spa: Elemis Spa at Mohegan Sun
Favorite Charity Event: Share Our Strength’s “Taste of the Nation”
Favorite Cultural Event: Boston Marathon
Favorite Cultural Institution: Wang Center
Best Steakhouse: Smith & Wollensky
Best Pizza: Tie between Pizzeria Regina in the North End (only in the North End) or Santarpio’s!
Best Lunch: Sam LaGrassa’s all day all night! I could live there.
Best Gym/Athletic Facility: Power Core Yoga in Medford
Best Massage: My girlfriend?
Best Limousine/Driving Service: By default I like uber, haven’t tried another service as of yet
Best Museum/Exhibit: I mean I do love a good aquarium, does that count?
Describe Boston in three words: Vibrant, cultured, home
Favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore: Either Fenway Park on a great summer night or on a boat in Boston Harbor looking back at the city
All-around favorite spot in Boston: Any patio in the Seaport in the summer
Best Aspect of Boston: 3 things….1. I love that is there is something for everybody 2. I love that it is so rich in culture 3. I love the diversity.