City restaurants feature fresh, local seafood
You’ve spent a long day looking at seafood, talking about seafood, learning about seafood and sampling seafood. Hungry? Boston has many fine restaurants whose award-winning chefs offer both unique and classic takes on fresh favorites from the sea.
Restaurants that focus on seafood head our Boston dining guide, ranging from traditional Beantown favorites to innovative newcomers. Seafood and other favorite foods can also be found at the dining establishments serving up American, Asian and European fare that are also listed here.
Atlantic Fish Co. | 761 Boylston St. | (617) 267-4000 | www.atlanticfishco.com
The menu at this Boston favorite changes daily, featuring classic seafood dishes like baked stuffed Maine lobster and jumbo lump crab cake and contemporary dishes like seared sesame tuna served rare with sautéed bok choy, crispy rice cake and soy dipping sauce and a barbeque glazed salmon with crushed new potatoes and corn salsa.
B&G Oysters | 550 Tremont St. | (617) 423-0550 | www.bandgoysters.com
This stylish oyster bar features 12 varieties of oysters, New England favorites and Mediterranean-inspired seafood fare. B&G has earned "Best in Boston" accolades from Boston Magazine and The Improper Bostonian.
Boston Sail Loft | 80 Atlantic Ave. | (617) 227-7280 | See our menu here
Popular among locals as well as tourists, Boston Sail Loft is prized for fresh seafood at affordable prices. The menu features basic fare like broiled scrod and scallops and fried fisherman's platters, including "Boston's Best Fish and Chips." Grab a seat by the window and watch the boats go by.
The Chart House | 60 Long Wharf | (617) 227-1576 | www.chart-house.com
The Chart House is located in the renovated Gardiner Building, which dates back to the 1760s and is the oldest building still in use on historic Long Wharf. This waterfront outpost of the national chain specializes in New England and American fare and has great views. Signature entrées include Snapper Hemingway and Shrimp Fresca. A daily selection of fresh fish is offered, and Maine lobster is cracked for you at the table.
The Citizen Public House and Oyster Bar | 1310 Boylston Street | (617) 450-9000 | www.citizenpub.com
It's difficult to classify the Citizen Public House and Oyster Bar. It's an oyster bar with a pig roast (served with shellfish appetizers, the whole roast pig is $380 for 10 people), and it also has menus catering to vegetarian and gluten-free diners. Located behind Fenway Park, Citizen may be best remembered (or not remembered at all) for its craft cocktails and a whiskey selection that is 100 bottles strong.
The Daily Catch | 2 Northern Ave. | (617) 772-4400 | www.dailycatch.com
The Daily Catch on Seaport Pier prepares fresh fish from family-held Sicilian recipes — steeped in red sauce and garlic and served, still in the pan, with pasta. Owners Paul and Maria Freddura offer their Famous Fried Calamari, Sicilian-Style Littlenecks, Monkfish Marsala, Black Pasta Putanesca, Lobster Fra Diavolo for two, Broiled Haddock and Shrimp and Scallop Aglio Olio. The menu also includes grilled fish, espresso and desserts. No credit cards.
Island Creek Oyster Bar | 500 Commonwealth Ave. | (617) 532-5300 | www.islandcreekoysterbar.com
Island Creek Oyster Bar's take on fresh is "to bring the restaurant to the farmer." The menu features the names of the oyster growers, fishermen, harvesters, winemakers, distillers and brewers who make each meal possible. It all results in dishes made from fresh, often local, ingredients, including 10 to 14 varieties of oysters served up nightly.
Jasper White's | Summer Shack | 50 Dalton St. | (617) 867-9955 | www.summershackrestaurant.com
At the Back Bay Summer Shack, across from the Sheraton Hotel and Hynes Convention Center, guests can enjoy the fun ambience of a clambake featuring Jasper White's expert touch with fresh seafood. The Shack boasts "Boston's best and largest raw bar" and a menu of seafood dishes ranging from classic New England chowder to "Mostly Crab Crab Cakes," pan-roasted lobster and daily fresh-fish specials.
Legal Harborside | 270 Northern Ave. | (617) 477-2900
Named one of America's best new restaurants for 2011 by Esquire magazine, the 20,000-square-foot Legal Harborside features three concepts with a traditional fish house and oyster bar and old-fashioned fish market on the first floor; upscale, creative cuisine on the second; and a four-season rooftop lounge with retractable glass roof and walls on the third.
Legal Sea Foods | 100 Huntington Ave. | (617) 266-7775 | www.legalseafoods.com
Legal Sea Foods | 800 Boylston St. | (617) 266-6800 | www.legalseafoods.com
Across the street from Legal Harborside, Legal Test Kitchen features "Simply Legal" options, wood-grilled with a choice of Cajun or Indian spices and four distinctive sauces: Shandong, lemon-chive butter, béarnaise and Thai red coconut. Both are located near the seafood show on Boston's waterfront. Other Legal Sea Food restaurants can be found in Back Bay at Copley Place on Huntington and in the Prudential Center.
Mare Oyster Bar | 135 Richmond Street | (617) 723-6273 | www.mareoysterbar.com
Can't decide which shellfish is best? A Mare Shellfish Tower piles on 12 oysters, six clams, a Jonah crab claw, shrimp cocktail and half a chilled lobster. The Zuppa di Mare combines half a lobster, scallops, mussels, cockles and clams in a light tomato broth. In the city's North End, Mare features plenty of fresh local options from its raw bar and other seafood selections.
At Meritage in the Boston Harbor Hotel, chef Daniel Bruce organized the menu around six wine categories rather than by course. Under Sparklers, you'll find Pan-Seared Tarragon Jumbo Shrimp; under Light Whites is Wood-Grilled Atlantic Halibut; and the Fruity Reds list includes Pan Roasted Scottish Salmon. Robust Reds shift to meats, like venison loin. Large and small plates are offered for each item on the menu.
Skipjack's | 199 Clarendon St. | (617) 536-3500 | www.skipjacks.com
In the heart of Boston's Back Bay, Executive Chef Andrew Wilkinson's criteria of freshness and pricing are evident on this menu, which offers a wide selection of fish prepared broiled, grilled or Skipjack's style, with a spicy rub. The innovative menu features seafood from around the world and global preparations, with such signatures as Gingered Sea Bass, Cajun Catfish and Baja Fish Tacos.
Turner Fisheries | 10 Huntington Ave. | (617) 424-7425 | www.turnersboston.com
Turner Fisheries, conveniently located at The Westin Copley Place Hotel, is known for its Clam Chowder and East Coast Oyster Flights. Fresh, local seafood is delivered daily. Entrées include Limoncello Block Island Swordfish, Georges Bank Cod Loin and Baked Cavatappi and Cheese made with bay scallops, shrimp and crabmeat.
Union Oyster House | 41 Union St. | (617) 227-2750 | www.unionoysterhouse.com
Established in 1826, the Union Oyster House is the oldest restaurant in America and as such has seen its share of history's big names. Here, Daniel Webster once ordered his daily tall tumbler of brandy and water with a half dozen oysters, and John F. Kennedy had a favorite booth in the upstairs dining room. The menu celebrates Union's long New England tradition, with native oysters and lobster specialties among its local, fresh seafood offerings.
City Table | 61 Exeter St. | (617) 933-4800 | www.lenoxhotel.com
Located in the Lenox Hotel, City Table has a menu that emphasizes fresh and organic ingredients, local when possible, such as line-caught Chatham cod with fingerling potatoes and lobster-and-corn-chowder sauce, or day-boat scallops with hardy grains and grapefruit. There's plenty for meat eaters as well; this is comfort food with class.
Eastern Standard Kitchen | 528 Commonwealth Ave. | (617) 532-9100 | www.easternstandardboston.com
Located in Kenmore Square, Eastern Standard Kitchen classifies its food as nostalgic New England and European with dishes like Veal Schnitzel, Beef Wellington and Mussels and Frites. Even more adventure can be found from behind the bar with a robust cocktail list that includes Singapore Slings (gin, Benedictine, cherry heering, lime and bitters) and Don's Zombie Circa 1934 (five rums, lime, cinnamon, falernum and absinthe — suggested two per visit) among its many offerings.
Grill 23 Bar | 161 Berkeley St. | (617) 542-2255 | www.grill23.com
Considered one of the best steakhouses in Boston, Grill 23 offers expertly prepared prime, all-natural, dry-aged beef and sustainable seafood. This is the place to indulge in the likes of Prime Flatiron Steak au Poivre, Kobe Cap Steak and Loch Duart Salmon. You'll pay big bucks, but you won't be disappointed.
The Hawthorne | 500 Commonwealth Ave. | (617) 532-9150 | www.thehawthornebar.com
The Commonwealth Avenue bar puts the emphasis on cocktails and comfort with award-winning mixologists specializing in craft cocktails, and a sophisticated but comfortable décor with loveseats and chaises for serious lounging. No living room would be complete without snacks, and The Hawthorne's menu includes small bites like marinated mushroom caps, sweet and spicy cashews and a variety of cheeses as well as heartier selections like fingerling potato skins with raclette, bacon and horseradish cream.
Market | 100 Stuart St., Theater District | (617) 310-6790 | www.marketbyjgboston.com
Super-chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Market, at the W Boston, provides top-notch food and service in a sophisticated setting — and at reasonable rates. Dedicated to fresh, local ingredients, chef Chris Damskey goes from farm (or sea) to fork via flavors of France, Asia and Italy. Try Georges Bank Haddock with Parsnip Purée and Coconut Juice or Grilled lamb chops with smoked-chile glaze, king oyster mushrooms and broccoli rabe. A six-course chef's tasting menu is offered for just $58.
Located in the Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers, Pairings, as the name implies, focuses on contemporary food and drink designed for sampling and sharing, including an extensive list of wines available by the pour. For the table, order several small plates, such as grilled baby octopus, Alaska king crab fries, Hudson Valley foie gras, Brussels sprouts with bacon and glazed short ribs. You'll find a perfect wine match for each.
Parish Café | 493 Massachusetts Ave. | (617) 391-0501 | www.parishcafe.com
Parish Café and Bar stars sandwiches created by famed local chefs. Recent sandwich specials included the Rialto, the Schlow, the Lumiere and L'Espalier. On the standing menu are sandwich standouts like the Spicy Tuna Burger, courtesy of Tim Cushman at O-Ya, and Steak and Blue from Lydia Shire. If you're feeling less "cheffy," there are basic dinner entrées like Peppered Tuna, Baked Mac and Cheese and Sean's Simple Chicken, featuring breaded cutlets.
Located at the Clarendon Building (the site of the former Back Bay Post Office Annex), Post 390 is an urban tavern on two floors, with exhibition kitchens, three fireplaces, two bars and dramatic city views. The menu features "refined American classics" made from the freshest local ingredients. Try Beer-and-Bacon Mac and Cheese, Turkey Pot Pie, House-Smoked St. Louis Ribs or the daily specials: Sunday, roast leg of lamb; Monday, roast rack of pork; and Tuesday, veal chop schnitzel.
James Beard award-winning chef/co-owner Michael Schlow offers a modern American cuisine in a variety of tasting menus, a prix fixe menu that changes weekly and main courses marked by Schlow's emphasis on seasonal ingredients, classical technique and the use of flavored oils, emulsions, juices and reductions. Current dishes include a Slow Roasted Scottish Salmon with lovage broth and a Pan Roasted Monkfish with candy roaster squash, tender pork, cockles, fingerling potatoes and star anise jus.
Has all the show excitement left you too tired to explore the city? Fortunately, the Westin Boston Waterfront is just steps away and is home to Sauciety, which offers a selection of basic grilled and pan-roasted meats and fish, which diners can then pair with their choice of two out of 15 flavorful sauces, spreads, dips and chutneys.
This restaurant, located in the downtown Ames Hotel, bills itself as a modern-day tavern. Offerings largely showcase New England and are based on seasonal ingredients. The menu doesn't delineate between apps and entrées, but the left side is more starter fare, while the right is main-course oriented. All dishes are designed for sharing. From short-rib tortellini to duck confit flatbread to monkfish tail with lobster and sweet potato hash, there's plenty to please and pass around.
ASIAN / SUSHI
Haru | 55 Huntington Ave. | (617) 536-0770 | www.harusushi.com
The stunning Haru serves inventive Japanese cuisine ranging from sushi, sashimi and creative salads to signature dishes like carpaccios, ceviches, tartares, grilled spicy shrimp and specialty rolls. Located at street level below the Shops at Prudential Center, Haru Boston features a Japanese garden, bamboo floors and wooden footbridge. An elegant sushi bar anchors the main dining room.
Osushi, a hip nook between the Westin Hotel and Copley Place Mall, has some of the best sushi in Boston. Tuck into a booth or belly up to the sushi bar and enjoy ultra-fresh fish crafted into visually stunning sushi and maki rolls. Prices are reasonable, considering the excellent quality, and there's a great selection of sake.
Red Lantern | 39 Stanhope Street | (617) 262-3900 | www.redlanternboston.com
Opened in 2011, Red Lantern features an open, exhibition kitchen with a wok cooking station for such specialties as Miso Glazed Sea Bass with Japanese Eggplant, Grilled Bok Choy and Jasmine Rice, and Broken Lobster, which is "mostly shucked" and stir fried with ginger and house XO sauce. Selections from the restaurant's full sushi bar range from traditional to Red Lantern specialties like Tuna Tempura, a whole fried spicy tuna roll with masago and spicy kabayaki.
Aquitaine French Bistro | 569 Tremont St. | (617) 424-8577 | www.aquitaineboston.com
Located in Boston's South End neighborhood, Aquitaine Bar à Vin Bistrot has the sophistication of a modern Parisian bistro. Chef Matthew Gaudet favors seasonal ingredients of traditional New England favorites in his culinary creations, with an emphasis on the area's abundant seafood offerings. Dishes include a lemon sole meunière with slivered snap peas, tomato concassé, beurre blanc and pommes purée, and a pan-roasted Atlantic cod with navy bean mousseline.
Bistro du Midi | 272 Boylston St. | (617) 426-7878 | www.bistrodumidi.com
Located at the luxurious Heritage on the Garden, Bistro du Midi brings the bold, fresh flavors of Provence to Boston. The ingredient-driven menu is based on the cuisine of France's Midi region. You'll find main courses like Roasted Monkfish, Classic Provençal Beef Daube and Seared Venison Tenderloin. An extensive list of French wines complements the food.
Clio/Uni | 370 Commonwealth Ave. | (617) 536-7200 | www.cliorestaurant.com
At Clio, named Best French Restaurant of 2009 by Boston Magazine, chef Ken Oringer's menu often takes an Asian spin — as in Aromatic Braised Beef Short Rib and Glazed Unagi. Uni, the sashimi lounge adjacent to Clio in the Eliot Hotel, features raw seafood from around the world.
Coppa | 253 Shawmut Ave. | (617) 391-0902 | www.coppaboston.com
A cozy enoteca, or wine bar, Coppa offers small plates of Italian food made with locally sourced, sustainable ingredients. The menu, which changes daily, entices with house-made charcuterie, or "Salumi," and inventive appetizers, or "Stuzi," to enjoy while sipping a cordial-based cocktail or a selection from the eclectic wine list.
L'Espalier | 774 Boylston St. | (617) 262-3023 | www.lespalier.com
One block from the Hynes Convention Center, Prudential Center and Copley Place, L'Espalier offers sophisticated New England-French cuisine with an emphasis on artisanal and local ingredients. Diners can choose from prix fixe and multi-course menus featuring local game, seafood and produce prepared with luxury touches — all at luxury prices. An excellent wine list and cheese cart round out the dining experience.
Lucca Back Bay | 116 Huntington Ave. | (617) 247-2400 | www.luccabackbay.com
Lucca Back Bay offers Italian classics at moderate prices. Crossover dishes from the parent Lucca North End include wild boar with rigatoni and pappardelle Bolognese. Chef Anthony Mazzotta, formerly of The French Laundry and Per Se, puts his stamp on dishes like house-made tagliatelle pasta with confit chicken and pancetta, and Capa Santa (scallops with marinated chanterelle mushrooms, creamed corn and bacon).
Menton | 354 Congress St. | (617) 742-9991 | www.mentonboston.com
Menton is a small French village near the Italian border as well as the newest offering from celebrated Boston chef Barbara Lynch, whose restaurants include No. 9 Park and B&G Oysters. Diners can choose from four-course prix fixe or seven-course chef's-tasting menus, which feature a healthy selection of seafood offerings including Casco Bay cod, lobster, Dungeness crab and octopus.
Miel | 510 Atlantic Ave. | (617) 217-5151 | Visit us here
The InterContinental's signature restaurant Miel (French for "honey") celebrates the cuisine from Provence. Two-star Michelin chef Jacques Chibois offers simple organic fare infused with the flavors of Côte d'Azur ingredients, including lavender, olive oil and honey. A classic New England raw bar adds local flavor.
Trattoria Di Monica | 67 Prince St. | (617) 720-5472 | www.monicasboston.com
Located in the city's Italian North End, Trattoria Di Monica is owned by brothers Chef Patrick and Frank Mendoza, who grew up in the neighborhood and learned how to cook from their mother, Monica. Guests have can choose from the menu's many pasta dishes within an authentic trattoria setting of exposed brick walls and cozy candlelight dining.