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Top 3 Places for Calamari?

I'm on a calamari kick these days. Had it at Louie's in Raynham (excellent), Dock and Dine in Old Saybrook, CT (very good), Lobster Tale in Brant Rock (almost perfect), the Aegean in Watertown (not bad), and several other places.

If you had to choose your top 3 places for calamari, what would they be? Price is no object, and they can be clam shacks, upscale restaurants, or anything in between.

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  1. Daily Catch - North End
    Peach Farm - Chinatown
    Sabur Restaurant - Somerville

    1. Daily Catch (preferred), Courthouse Seafood (quick fix), and Bistro5 with semolina crust when I want it different.

      North End feasts can also be excellent and its the right time of year.

      1. Are we talking fried, or any style?

        3 Replies
          1. re: hiddenboston

            I feel with fried calamari, you have to have a really good dipping sauce. I like the tomato anchovy sauce at Sabur in Somerville which really makes the dish. I'd be curious where else one might find a unique dipping sauce other than your standard marinara sauce.

            1. re: Infomaniac

              I agree that Sabur in Somerville has some of the best calamari around. The tomato anchovy sauce has capers and pepper in it and is an amazing alternative to a basic marinara. Plus, because they offer very little fried food, the oil is always clean, so the calamari is light and crispy. They also toss the calamari in fennel before bringing it out.

        1. I don't know if it holds up as well today as in my nostalgic memories of youth, but Jack's Family Restaurant in Warren, RI used to do fantastic local-style fried calamari (with hot pepper rings), as well as lovely fried smelts.

          I've had grilled calamari many times at the Franklin Cafe in Boston's South End, with a terrific smokey flavor. One more out of many reasons to patronize this great neighborhood bar with excellent food served till late. The long-gone Marcuccio's in the North End also did grilled calamari exceptionally well.

          The North End's Daily Catch is practically built around permutations of calamari, and famously offers squid-ink pasta; Pomodoro did fried and sauteed calamri dishes quite well at one time. I haven't been back to either of these in a while.

          A few places in Chinatown do reliable salt-and-pepper calamari, another preparation I favor, like Taiwan Cafe.

          5 Replies
          1. re: MC Slim JB

            I had the S&P fried calamari at TC about two weeks ago and found it to be mostly bland. About the only boring thing (except the beer braised rabbit - I think it was called) that I have tried on their menu.

            1. re: Dax

              I find, in general, that Peach Farm has a better hand with the fryer than TC....

              1. re: galleygirl

                Well the S&P fried pork at TC is very good.

            2. re: MC Slim JB

              I love the version at Best Little Restaurant

            3. Billy Tse in REVERE makes a mean fried calamari w/ hot peppers.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Chicky

                As does Billy Tse in the North End. Now I'm hungry again.