I have one thing to say to Boston restaurants: Lighten up!
Thanks to some suggestions from friends on Twitter I ate in some really great restaurants while in Boston. But I was bitterly disappointed in the photos I did take and the ones I could not take because every single restaurant I ate in was too dark! There is one thing to have mood lighting, entirely another to not be able to see your food at all. Presentation is a key part of the meal as well!
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My first night in town my colleague and I headed to Eastern Standard Kitchen for dinner. They had quite an eclectic menu and making a decision was tough. Since I had eaten a total of two breakfast bars since getting on my flight at 8 that morning, I was starved. Everything on the menu looked wonderful. I started with a ceviche which was tasty but oddly served with potato chips. Anyone else ever had ceviche served with this accompaniment?
Appetizer complete, I moved on to my main course which was rigatoni with lamb sausage served with fresh ricotta on top. Again, it was too dark for photos so I stole this from the Eastern Standard Kitchen website! It was very tasty (I could have done without the lamb), but it was served in this big Staub (French) skillet and it felt like I was not making any progress as I ate! There was also these amazing young fresh peas that made the entire dish, they were incredible!
The next night I had what was easily in the top 10 best meals I have ever eaten. The restaurant is called Oleana. Sadly I have no photos to illustrate the incredible meal I had. (Even Google and Flickr searches only produced dark and blurry photos!) This was the place that was so dark that I could not even see the detail of the dishes that were being served. Such a shame.
We had the pleasure of eating food cooked by the owner Ana, who cooks in the restaurant Thursday and Friday nights. There were three of us so we took a couple of appetizers and shared an entree. All of it unbelievably good. One of the starters, barbecued octopus, was the best octopus I have ever had in my life. Despite being grilled, it was exceptionally tender. I have eaten octopus all over the world including Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Japan, Mexico and I have never tasted anything like this.
We had hummus that was also very tasty, I don’t know what was added with the chickpeas but it was creamy and tangy to the tongue. We also had a cheese plate which included a cheese called Shanklish, one I had never tried before, it was like a stringy mozzarella or burrata, it was great with the pinot noir we ordered.
The entree arrived and I was thinking about ordering another round of the octopus until I bit into the lamb chop. I love lamb, but I am not big on the chop. I may have to reconsider my position. It was tender and rare and spiced to perfection. I seriously thought of ordering a second round of those instead. But my colleagues talked me into dessert and so we ordered their famous baked Alaska. Sort of an odd special of the house to have for a Turkish restaurant but we decided to go with our waiter’s suggestion. He hadn’t steered us wrong yet.
I have to say that I am sure that the dessert was made to perfection and it was gorgeous to look at, but it was not my cup of tea. It tasted good but I could only eat a few bites because it is really rich. Thank goodness we were splitting it. Here is a photo from Oleana’s website so that you can see what it looked like:
I left on a total food high vowing to bring Mr. Misadventures there when we returned to Boston (hopefully this autumn).
For my last night in Boston, one of my colleagues and I decided to go classic Boston: lobster!
We didn’t want to go to far from the hotel, but we want to walk to dinner, not too far as it was freezing. I had been to Boston during the exact same week the previous year. The weather had been hot and humid. This trip was cold and bitterly windy. So we headed to the waterfront and ate at Anthony’s on Pier 4, an institution.
I actually did not plan to plan to eat lobster. My plan was actually crab, but when we walked up to the restaurant there were stacks and stacks of fresh lobster through the kitchen window. My colleague and I took one look at each other and both smiled. Lobster it was! Funny too, we both decided on a medium steamed one and got talked into a large one! I had stone crab claws as a starter and then a classic lobster boil with baked potato. It was seafood heaven!
Three days in Boston and three really good meals. This foodie was happy! The amateur photographer in me was frustrated, but what can you do?
How about you? Ever been to Boston? Got a restaurant suggestion for my next trip there?