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East Coast Grill Best Seafood in Boston

There have been some naysayers of late, but ate their with 6 people Sunday night and it rocked. Sure it is busy on a Friday-Saturday.

No it is not a mellow dining experience.

But the food was superb (won't bother with details) the drinks perfectly executed, and the service excellent.

Still my favorite, no contest, for best seafood in beantown.

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  1. ECG is what it is. The service is average and the food is great. When dining there, people need to grab a drink at the bar, be prepared to wait and have an overall chill attitude.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ponyboy

      Service is average? You must go to a different place than me. The waitstaff at ECG is, for the most part, remarkable. They run around like crazy all night every night, they know the menu and the specials intimately, screwups are rare, food gets delivered hot, they're friendly and personable. What am I missing? What more do you want?

    2. I'd say it's also tops for a full-service BBQ restaurant. I agree with the original poster, the service is excellent. I was there last Friday and had a great time.

      1. I'm a big ECG fan, but Friday night I had an off experience for the first time in six years of regular meals at the restaurant. Perhaps I was due.

        My entree, a plaintain crusted bluefish, was absolutely spectacular, except one side of it was burned. It should never been plated in that condition. This made me really sad, as ECG is one place we always know we can go to and have a great meal, with great (professional and friendly) service in a comfortable and fun environment. I hate to see any suggestion of a quality slippage in a place that is usually so consistent. sigh.

        2 Replies
        1. re: debtslave

          I hope you sent it back. I've never had to return any food to the kitchen in the many many times I've been there but I know they'd want to make it up to you.

          1. re: yumyum

            I agree. Perhaps it should not have been plated that way, but if you said something they would have made it right.

        2. I'm also a big fan, it's completely good. I will say that it is a particular style of cooking (grilled and spicy) so there are other places that I like for seafood (Legal, Neptune, B&G, Jaspers...).

          1. Im one of the naysayers.

            I find the food to be overcooked to the point of unedible on some items.

            Waits long.
            noise level too high.
            tables cramped.
            overpriced - $25-27 for a 4-6oz pc of overcooked fish

            I suppose its a fun place to go with friends and enjoy the fun drinks and friendly servers but best seafood? Not a chance. Id trade 10 meals at ECG for 1 at Legal, B&G, Skipjacks, Sole proprietor or a number of other places.

            I hardly even considor it a "seafood" restaurant really. They have some grilled fish and a rawbar but very little in the terms of shellfish or chowders, or any of the other things you would expect at a true seafood place.

            6 Replies
            1. re: hargau

              Oysters (and great ones at that), littlenecks, crab claws, shrimp, mussels and clam chowder. What would you expect in terms of "shellfish or chowders"? Maybe you should check it out again to refresh your memory.

              1. re: Gabatta

                I did refresh my memory. Saw their dinner menu online. 3-4 seafood entrees + another 3-4 on the "blackboard" listed and a couple apps. + rawbar. Legal seafood or any other decent seafood place has dozens of options.

                Where is the new england clam chowder? Fish chowder? Lobster anything? Whopping ONE shrimp dish which happens to also be the ONE scallop dish.. It is what it is, but calling it Bostons best seafood restaurant I think is really a stretch.

                I cringe when people recommend it to out of towners looking for Boston Seafood.

                1. re: hargau

                  For mains I see bluefish, swordfish, scallops, halibut, tuna, mahi plus the catch of the day and generally 1-2 specials.

                  For apps + raw bar there are oysters (raw & fried), littlenecks, shrimp, shrimp and scallops, jonah crab, clam and corn chowder, black and blue tuna taco, buffalo fried shrimp, and PEI mussles.

                  I'm not even the hugest fan of ECG so I don't have a dog in this fight, but to say it's not a seafood restaurant is just plain silly. ECG is what it is - a competent, sometimes excellent restaurant with a focus on fresh seafood.

                  According to this thread you have been there only once yet you seem to love to argue with people that have been to ECG hundreds of times over the years. While everyone is welcome to their opinion on chowhound, which is why I love it, I tend to agree with the long time diners there. I've been maybe 10 times and never had a bad meal there. I've also never had a transcending meal there. Portions are somewhat small but I don't recall ever leaving hungry. Personally, I find Legal to be competent as well, but let's face it, it's boring as all hell too.


                  1. re: Dax

                    Exactly, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Why my different opinion is considored "arguing" I dont know.

                    Makes no difference if I have been once or a hundred times, I can still have my opinion and will still state it when the subject comes up. I dont recall seeing a rule as to the minimum # of times you must think something is awful before being allowed to state it. So if someone has been to McDs 100 times and tells you they have the best burgers, you cant disagree if youve only gone once?

                    4 of us went, all 4 hated it, thats my experience. We went wanting to love it and excited about it, and left feeling ripped off, hungry and with a huge headache.

                    If everyone always agreed and liked the same thing then all restaurants would be exactly the same!

                  2. re: hargau

                    Curious - why should ECG have New England Clam Chowder?

                    1. re: gini

                      If lots of people have gone to see Bob Dylan in concert and LOVE him, yet you've only heard him once and expected him to sound like, I don't know, say Paul Simon, I could see why you might be put off. Oh, and maybe the night you saw Dylan, he had a cold.

                      Maybe you might want to give him (it) a second chance.

                      Personally, I love the ECG, but I know that my mother would hate it (It's so loud!) and my father would merely tolerate it.

                      That said, I think I'm going to suggest Summer Shack when they come to town on Thursday - much more their speed.

              2. Isn't the best of a local seafood establishment to serve what's local and seasonal, and to prepare it well? In Boston or anywhere else? I'd never send an out of town guest to a chain restaurant that lacks character or your average fried fish house.

                I really appreciate that ECG serves what's fresh and local, and prepares it, usually, in an expert fashion that is unique. Usually spiced and with lots of Asian or Latin influences.

                That may not be what they were serving in Boston 20 years ago and frankly, I'm really grateful. I can get chowder anywhere.

                1. The best SEAFOOD restaurant:: ECG???? No way. I think of this as a barbeque joint. I have been several times (4-5?) and think it is a fun place but never in a million years would I characterize it as a great place for seafood. The food is good but served in a sloppy all over the plate fashion. Good place to take people who are drinking alot( they do have good drins) and don;t mind the noice and casualness of the place. There is nothing boring about Legal Seafood. You can go there every night for a month and have something different.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: emilief

                    So are you suggesting that because Legal's menu is larger that it's better? I happen to be a fan of Legal's, but it's not even close to being in the same category as ECG in terms of how interesting the menu is and how well the food is prepared. Legal's does basic fish preparations competently: nothing more and nothing less. ECG is about bold flavors and creative preparations, which they do incredibly well.

                    1. re: Blumie

                      I agree wholeheartedly with you...especially about ECG bold flavors and creative preparations. I think this is what makes them unique to any other seafood place in Boston.

                  2. I suppose given my frequest posts of admiration for ECG, it won't surprise you that I agree with StriperGuy.

                    I'll also repeat that in hundreds of meals there over the past 12 - 14 years, I've had one bad mussel, a couple of underwhelming dishes, a dozen or so "good" dishes, dozens and dozens of great dishes, and a few near-perfect meals (several of which were in the tiki room and included the reliably spectacular Polynesian Pupu Platter). And while every guest I've ever introduced to the restaurant has managed to avoid the few underwhelming dishes (and that one bad mussel), I will give this much to the naysayers:

                    1. My in laws would hate it. They prefer subtler flavors and cheaper prices.
                    2. My grandfather would hate it. Way too loud and casual for him.
                    3. I generally find the apps more consistently impressive than the entrees, and the specials more so than the regular menu items.

                    Hey, to each his/her own. If it's not your cup of tea, I won't have to wait behind you in line for a table.


                    1. I don't like ECG...it's just not my cup of tea. For seafood, I'd rather go to Neptune. Not to mention that ECG is in Cambridge :)

                      1. As I have in the past, I have to stand up and loudly support ECG -- it is one of my most favorite spots for well over 10 years.

                        I do wholeheartedly agree it's not for everyone -- like my hard of hearing mother or my seafood-averse sister or impatient yuppies who really need reservations and excessive elbow room whether they realize it or not.

                        Nonetheless, in my frequent experience there, it is consistently excellent in terms of raw bar, cocktails, service, and food. This was affirmed as recently as two days ago. I don't know of a lot of places that achieve this.

                        Miraculously, we were seated immediately at 7p on Fri night. The wines continue to be reasonable and good. The margaritas are excellent, but small(and only $6.50). The oysters were pristine. The WET BONES were, well...the WET BONES (so glad I ordered two this time!).

                        None of our group actually ordered entrees, as they are expensive and small relative to the ample and delicious apps paired with sides. The tuna taco was just as awesome as ever. We had the usual efficient and well-informed service and hot, properly-cooked food.

                        I have never been a fan of the desserts, but tried the guava flan and chocolate pecan pie anyway -- not a fan now, either. I still think going to Christina's is the right answer for a sweet tooth.

                        The $5 parking across the street is a great thing -- too bad it fills up so quickly -- we were lucky to get the last spot at 7p.

                        We were unrushed and finished by 8:40p -- we'll be back again and again -- it's a good thing not everyone else will be based on the six-deep bar wait we left behind.