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Boston Seafood Restaurant Needed!


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Hi!

My wife and I are hitting the Boston Wine Expo in about a month. We are looking for great seafood; I love fish and she wants shellfish. Altough we are not looking for a fancy place in particular, we would love to taste something different than plain or blackened stuff. We love originality. So far, I think that the best fish I had was at Emeril's Fish House in Vegas. Ono served on a risotto with lentils and a buttery sauce was just delicious. She had scallops with figs I think, and that was tremendous as well.

We are not looking for a repeat, but for a chef that will expand our minds and show us that there is something else than Fish'n Chips out there -I do love it though :raz: . That may be a big thing to ask, but what would you suggest?

Who said you could not play with your food?

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Neptune Oyster Bar in the North End sounds like just the place for you. A really great raw bar and shellfish selection, fantastic fish entrees, daily specials, and a different kind of atmosphere. Unfortunately, despite our seafood rep, Boston's fish restaurants tend towards the fried fish, steamed lobster, touristy kind. If you are tempted to go to Union Bay Oyster, sit at the raw bar and only order oysters (everything else is rather subpar). B&G Oysters in the South End is probably the next best option, but they have a small menu, a small space, and big prices. East Coast Grill in Cambridge, while not dedicated to fish, has both a good raw bar and some unique fish entrees. Finally, some people really like the Legal Test Kitchen, which is pretty much right across from the Wine Expo. I haven't been in awhile, but it gets tepid reviews around here. My husband, friends, and I hated it (strong words, but unfortunately true)- you'd be better off going to a regular Legal Seafoods (there's one across from the Aquarium, not far from the Expo), if you are tempted to follow that route. Good luck.

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I used to live in Boston but now only get there a few times a year. Others may have better or more current local knowlege, but I have had a couple of great meals at Neptune Oyster in the North End. More than just an oyster house, this tiny hole in the wall has a nice range of creative entrees as well an excellent lobster roll.

A word of warning, however. Like a lot of Boston restaurants, they don't take reservations and the place can get crowded at time.

(Just noticed another post above that just pipped me with the same recommendation, so that's a pretty good endorsement. I have also been to B&G and, while good, I prefer Neptune.)

Edited by BrentKulman (log)
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I agree that B&G and Neptune are the places to go (though for me B&G is a bit ahead). Regarding prices there is actually no real difference. While not cheap, Boston has plenty of places with much worse food for significantly more money.

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Neptune Oyster is wonderful. I'd avoid Legal Seafood like the plague. How can a seafood restaurant overcook fish so very badly, and make chowder so loaded with flour that a spoon stands straight up in it? Ugh.

"Life itself is the proper binge" Julia Child

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We like B&G over Neptune, for whatever it's worth.

I'd also second East Coast Grill, and add Rendezvous in Central Square, Cambridge. Not seafood places, but the seafood that is on the menu is going to be really good, perfectly fresh, and prepared in an interesting way.

I haven't been to Clio in ages, but I would have to assume that it's another possibility; perhaps someone with more recent knowledge can comment?

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Thanks all!

So far O Ya looks great! Kinda weird to go to a Japanese place on a trip to New England though, but the owner seems to be a local :laugh: Oh well, I know I will find my way to an Irish pub for some "chowdah", fish and chips and a "paint" of stout during my stay...

Who said you could not play with your food?

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East Coast Grill is actually a fantastic place for seafood, particularly if you don't mind a bit of heat in the seasoning. In recent years it seems to have become their primary focus, more so than BBQ.

I don't get the hate on Legal. I've had plenty of boring meals there, but never a bad one that I can recall. I think of their chowder as the standard against which all other attempts at traditional New England chowder should be judged. Few come close.

John Rosevear

"Brown food tastes better." - Chris Schlesinger

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I failed to include O Ya in my recs - I just wasn't thinking sushi when I read your request - but I have to say, it is by far the best table in Boston. You can't go wrong with that pick. Enjoy!

If it would have been a conventionnal sushi place, I probably would not have gone. But after reading the menu and discovering all the twist they are taking into this I consider it to be almost a tapas place (with some raw fish). Which sushi bar has it's own take on clam chowder anyway :laugh: ?

Who said you could not play with your food?

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  • 6 months later...

East Coast Grill is all about quality. Love that place, and they have a raw bar. Cocktails are terrific too.

From a Review on WeeklyDig.com

SEAFOOD

EAST COAST GRILL AND RAW BAR

If you can't make it to the waterfront, let the fresh seafood swim your way. Menu offerings-from fleshy fish to toasted tentacles-change daily at this long-standing favorite in Inman Square so you know you're getting that day's fresh catch. Belly up to the compact bar (don't worry, you can squeeze in) for the freshly shucked, supremely slurpable oysters-even more so when served "Asian"-style with pickled ginger, aged soy and wasabi. With good food in a casual atmosphere with tons of wine, beer and Tiki-lounge inspired cocktails (a Flaming Volcano for two, please), no wonder this place has been a neighborhood favorite for decades. [1271 Cambridge St., Inman Sq., Cambridge. 617.491.6568. eastcoastgrill.net]

Grace Piper, host of Fearless Cooking

www.fearlesscooking.tv

My eGullet Blog: What I ate for one week Nov. 2010

Subscribe to my 5 minute video podcast through iTunes, just search for Fearless Cooking

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