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weekend in Boston

  • m

Four people staying at the Windham Hotel, downtown
Boston, for July 21, 22, and 1/2 day Monday.
Would like a couple of good seafood restaurants
nearby, a little off-beat, and not "tourist traps."
Know of any? Would appreciate some suggestions.
Maybe throw in the name of a good Italian.
Thanks!

Manny

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  1. b
    Big Momma Anne

    I'm a native, but don't get out to eat often. However, I still like Durgin Park for it's history, and it's fish. I hear the Naked Fish is excellent too. For steak I would go to Morton's, or the Capital Grille.

    My favorite Italian restaurant in the North End is Mama Maria's. It's pricey, but worth every penny.

    How many in your party, and what's your price range?

    4 Replies
    1. re: Big Momma Anne

      Thanks.
      We're a party of four.
      I suppose our price range is anything from
      $40 to $80 a couple, though an out-of -sight
      place could command more.

      Manny

      1. re: Manny
        b
        Big Momma Anne

        It's true Mama Maria's does warrant a coat and tie, which you may not want to do on a weekend away. I'm not too familiar with the other North End restaurants, as I said, I don't get out much. I have small children. In the North End, you really can't go wrong for Italian food, but those little holes in the wall can be a great find.

        One word of caution, avoid the takeout area in Faneiul Hall, it's not worth it IMHO. Especially the fish places. I think they should be shut down, they are not representative of good fish.

        The Marketplace restaurant in Faneiul Hall is good, however, and Durgin Park will fit into your budget as well. I agree with other posters that said to stay away from Anthony's Pier Four and Jimmy's, and I don't think Legal's is a tourist trap, as I've never had a bad meal there. And I agree, the Sail Loft is very good, and reasonable.

        Want my phone number, so I can yay or nay your thoughts on possible restaurants when you are here? LOL

        1. re: Big Momma Anne

          Just a note - I too loved the Marketplace, just for a great, quick, no-frills meal. Sadly, though, they closed down.

          1. re: Big Momma Anne

            FYI - Marketplace Cafe is no longer. In October it will open as another McCormick and Schmick location.

      2. Haven't been in quite a wile but it used to be very good. Maybe someone has been more recently.

        Paul

        Grillfish 617-357-1620
        162 Columbus Ave
        Boston, MA

        1 Reply
        1. re: Paul

          went recently to grillfish...ok food in a fun atmosphere at reasonable prices

        2. Boston- Home of the Cod, is in fact lacking in the department of GREAT seafood restaurants. Here are a few good choices though;
          East Coast Grill in Cambridge- Chris Schlessinger is the proprietor and one of Greater Boston's finest. If you like it grilled, with a healthy dash of spice, this could be your best choice. If you have a car, Chris owns another restaurant called the Back Eddy in Westport MA that is in fact GREAT. Worth the 45-60 minute drive.

          Jumbo Seafood in Chinatown- Pick your own fish. Watch as they use the net to snag your shrimp appetizer out of the tank. It gets no fresher, it tastes great, and its CHEAP. Atmosphere?? Well it is Chinatown after all.

          The Barking Crab- South Boston by the New Court House. Outdoor dining on picnic benches. New England Clambake and Fried Seafood are the way to go here. Looks like a tourist trap, but if you listen close, all those folks smashing lobster claws with a rock have Boston accents.

          Anyways- Hope you find these helpful.

          John H.

          P.S.- Mamma Maria's is VVG, but requires a reservation and warrants a coat and tie. The best dining in the North End is generally found on Salem Street.. Marcuccio's, Antico Forno, and Sage(corner of Salem and Prince).

          1. Within walking distance to your hotel (on Long Wharf) sits Legal Seafoods, which is infamous for the freshest seafood in town. Most likely the hotel can get you a table, as it can be booked especially on the weekend. I would not consider this restaurant a tourist trap, would other Chowhounds agree?

            Also on the waterfront near downtown, is the Sail Loft, which a good-to-great casual place for seafood, especially if you are jones'n for fried clams, or boiled lobster. I would recommend it for lunch over dinner.

            The North End, like others have commented, is also a good spot for Italian. We recently went to Prezza and had a fantastic meal which included traditional Italian/seafood entrees.

            Avoid this short list of tourist traps (others can chime in here):

            Anthony's Pier 4
            Jimmy's Harbourside
            Francesa's (North End)
            Felicia's (North End)

            Have a good weekend!

            Sam

            4 Replies
            1. re: Sam I Am

              imo, legal is weak. thx

              1. re: sk

                I agree. I *have* had bad meals there, and it's been many years since I've had a great one. I would definitely rate Legal's as a tourist trap.

                Does anybody know if this Sail Loft is related to the one in Marblehead? If so, it's definitely worth a try.

                1. re: C. Fox

                  I'm not sure about the Marblehead Sail Loft..isn't that Maddie's SailLoft? They do have a location in Cambridge near Kendall Sq. I had a fried clam craving last week and had lunch onj the waterfront...delicious..I find the SL to be quite good for simple seafood or burgers...this is a restaurant/ bar that I think is far better that Zagats rating

                  1. re: 9 lives

                    The Boston and Cambridge Saillofts are the same, the Marblehead one (Maddie's) is different. Of course, the Marblehead one is the best for both seafood and big drinks! Maddie's has new owners and they now take credit cards - what's the world coming to?!

            2. The restaurant in the Harbor Hotel (I think that's the name) Margo's is supposed to be very good. From the reviews, they make it sound like it hasn't been getting a lot of business. Someone here ragged on Kingfish Hall but I think it's pretty good and it's got a fun atmosphere. Sel de la Terre is another that gets mixed reviews but I liked it and my brother was just there last week and loved it. A comfortable room and all entrees are $21 I think.

              1 Reply
              1. re: joanie

                Just so you don't get confused - Margo is at the Harborside Inn on State Street. Many confuse this with The Boston Harbor Hotel which is nearby. Margo has some strange hours of operation sometimes so call before you go.

              2. you are in walking distance of two good places-The Good Life and the Intrigue Cafe at the Boston Harbor Hotel.

                TK

                1. As a non-Bostonian who frequents the city on business I agree with notes about avoiding Anthony's. Feeble is about the most generous word i can think of.

                  Someone posted Naked Fish as an idea, I have only been there once but was not especially impressed. My companion had the Cuban Chicken, which looked and smelled much more interesting than my fish.

                  Some Bostonians love to hate Legal Seafoods but i have been there many times and only once had a meal i was disappointed in. They are expensive but pretty reliable. I keep going back.